The eight-year transcontinental romance between London-based school principal Michael O'Grady and RJR Communications Group director of communications and multimedia Yvonne Wilks had its happy ending on Saturday, August 9 when the lovebirds tied the knot in a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Webster Memorial United Church. Vows takes you to the chapel of love.
Pre-wedding jitters were nowhere in sight as Yvonne Wilks patiently sat in air-conditioned comfort in the backseat of the Toyota SUV in the parking lot of the Webster Memorial United Church, minutes away from marrying her fiancé Michael O'Grady.
This was to be a non-traditional kind of nuptials as there was no grand reveal of the bride to her groom waiting at the altar. The engaged pair, in fact, had long seen each other. In-between their mature conversation outside the church, the duo was a study in calm, with the free-spirited Wilks noticeably erupting in jovial fits of laughter as she chatted up family members and friends.
Awaiting the end of an in-progress wedding, the contingent for the O'Grady/Wilks nuptials was a stylishly-attired mix of Rock-based friends drawn from Wilks' media and social circles, as well as London-resident family members who jetted in to support both the bride and the groom. There was, too, Yvonne's tight-knit sisterhood of gal pals who flew in from Toronto, Atlanta, Florida and Philadelphia to see her make her fairy-tale walk up the aisle.
Officiated by Reverend Norbert Stephens, the wedding ceremony commenced minutes after 5:00 pm with maid of honour R Christene King strolling hand-in-hand into the church with best man Matthew O'Grady, son of the groom. They were immediately followed by the bride's sons, Lloyd Wilks Jr and his elder brother Rodel Richards and the groom's offspring William O'Grady. The congregation then rose to its feet as organist Ann Trouth's piano selection, Vivaldi Four Seasons signalled the entrance of the bride -- fabulous in a floor-grazing golden creation by designer Louise Graham -- and her husband-to-be, ever-so-dapper in a black Calvin Klein tux.
The ceremony moved along unencumbered, with Lloyd Wilks Jr's recital of scripture from 1 Corinthians; the congregation singing Praise My Soul, The King of Heaven; and Reverend Stephens' prayer for the union, and his subsequent overseeing the blessing and exchange of rings.
Recital of vows complete and wedding bands firmly in place on their respective fingers, the two were ushered away to sign the marriage register as Kimiela 'Candy' Isaacs serenaded them with gorgeous renditions of country superstar Shania Twain's From This Moment and jazz legend Etta James' At Last.
Lusty applause greeted Mr and Mrs O'Grady when they were presented as newly-weds to the company of nearest and dearest, before marching down the aisle to the clicks of the sea of camera phones and tablets.
The wedding party then retired to the overcast climes of upper St Andrew for the reception, hosted at the luxe residence of business titan Kenny Benjamin and emceed by Marilyn Bennett.
The cathedral at Benjamin's home — with the twinkling lights of the evening cityscape below — served as the dining area where Signature Weddings by Jacqui Tyson magnificently executed décor and catering services. The buffet spread included 'Yardstyle' curried mutton, roasted beef tenderloin, roast pimento chicken breast, broiled fish kissed with black bean and ginger, and 'jerkilicious fillet of pork'.
After cutting their three-tiered white and pink wedding cake designed by Rosaline Monteith, the newly-weds were toasted with heartfelt speeches by their loved ones.
The two spent a getaway vacation at the north coast, and will later enjoy a delayed honeymoon in New Orleans.