It is the stuff romantic comedies are made of — two colleagues at work, barely acknowledging each other as friends, suddenly find that they have a lot in common and could be each other's soulmates. Fortunately for Tana Candace Barrett and Michael Anthony Kelly, it didn't take a Hollywood-style drama for them to realise their destiny; they took a leap towards love once the signs became clear. And so the lovebirds were wed at the UWI, Mona Chapel on May 3, 2014, amidst their closest friends and family. Vows shares with you their journey to the aisle.
First They Were Friends...
Barrett and Kelly are close partners in both life and work. Kelly serves as the director of M Squared Creative Studios and Barrett as the company's operations manager. When they first met, however, Barrett was a new employee, and their relationship was strictly platonic. She describes it as a regular working relationship, telling Vows that they only spoke "occasionally".
It continued in this vein until they were both tasked with organising a remodelling and relocation project, and having to spend so much time together made them realise that their shared interests went beyond the realm of their work.
Soon enough, Cupid's arrow struck. And thus began their year-long courtship.
It seems fitting that it was on the heels of a business trip that the loving couple would embark on the next significant stage of their courtship. During what should have been a normal business trip, Kelly presented his love with a ring, asking her to change his life forever and make him the happiest man alive. Looking back, Barrett says, it's very possible that he'd planned the business trip around the proposal. But in that moment, on an otherwise routine morning just before breakfast, she had no space for thoughts or words, but for a clear declaration: Yes!
Here Comes The Bride...
For the wedding, the bride wore a lovely Maggie Sottero Fiorella dress — an enchanting A-line satin gown decked with a soft shimmer and lavishly caught up at various points with rich, beaded embellishments. Swarovski crystals adorned the single shoulder strap. The groom looked handsome in a black Prado suit, which was smartly complemented by a white shirt and fuchsia silk tie.
The setting for the ceremony was intimate and inviting. Petals & Promises enlivened the grounds of the UWI, Mona Chapel with the rich coral and gold colours that served as decorations. Barrett herself designed the burlap pew cones. In fact, the bride brought much warmth to the ceremony by adding a number of personal touches. Instead of spreading petals from a basket, each flower girl carried a large and colourful paper flower that beautifully complemented the décor. The bride also added a touch of whimsy by having the ring bearer, Aiden Kelly, carry a sign that read: "Uncle Mike, here comes your girl."
The mothers of the bride and the groom were on hand to watch the couple happily vow to spend the rest of their lives together. Their fathers, though not physically present, were there in spirit, as both their images were strategically placed under a large tree on the lawn of the groom's Farringdon Heights home, where the reception was held. It was a heart-warming gesture. A sign above the pictures read: "If heaven wasn't so far away, we know you'd be here today."
It was a day filled with warmth, love and moments of tenderness. But, for the bride, the most memorable moment of all was looking at her soon-to-be-husband as she made her way up the aisle. Much like the day of the engagement, nothing else mattered in that moment for her. "I just remember floating on a cloud," she says.