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Journey To Love

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

It was a fourth of July, backyard-style wedding for Sunshine Snacks Jamaica Brand Manager Shantell Hill and Hospiten Country Manager/Director Samuel Afonso Diaz.

Theirs was a random meeting in 2018 at the Sigma Corporate Run followed by another later that year at Reggae Sumfest.

The third time, at a Frenchman party in Ochi, could very well have proved to be the charm save for the fact that Shantall was all set to relocate to Papua New Guinea.

Light-hearted banter at Frenchmen ended up with Samuel mimicking a proposal. Shantell found the whole thing hysterically funny, and Samuel was reminiscent of her many Hispanic friends from college in the US. Indeed, the two took a bunch of photos and stories for Instagram. She even captioned one #MyFutureFiance...

Little did she know how prophetic those words would turn out to be!

Numbers were exchanged at the end of the evening with few expectations about anything. But Samuel had other plans...

The following weekend he would message her suggesting drinks. Shantell invited him to her send-off pool party where he expressed his interest in a relationship. Shantell, however, was more focused on starting the new chapter of her life that would come with the move and didn't want any distractions.

Luck favours the brave, or rather the determined. Papua New Guinea proved a disappointment and Shantell returned to Jamaica. On her arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport she was met by Samuel, bouquet of flowers in hand. He had driven all the way from Montego Bay to pick her up! His proposal a month later was this time purposeful as, too, their exchange of vows that took place on the lawns of the bride's home in Barbican. Shantell was escorted to her bridegroom by her mother Valimore Elliott-Merchant to Can't Help Falling In Love by Kina Grannis (from the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack). She was beautiful in a white gown designed by her best friend Jehan Wanliss.

The 40-minute ceremony was officiated by Reverend Dr Carla Dunbar and included a paint ceremony.

Formalities aside, the reception, dubbed a lyme and which represented the couple's love for soca, followed at the same venue.

Guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal catered by Pink Apron Food Truck, witnessed the cutting of the two-tiered Sweet Pot Ja cake, and basked in the heartfelt sentiments of the copious toasts raised.

The couple opened the dance floor to a medley of their favourites like Love Someone by Lukas Graham, and Puppy Tail by Demarco, among others. Guests, thereafter, joined in and partied to the tunes of DJ Bloodline Franco.

A honeymoon will follow at a later date in Europe.