Vows: Fallen For You

Monday, May 07, 2018

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IGL Limited engineer intern Gwayne Pinto wed Clarendon Alumina Works laboratory technician Sonishea McKenzie on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at Biter's Restaurant and Lounge, Shenton Road, Bog Walk, St Catherine. Vows recounts the unfolding of this love affair.

How they met, as told by Sonishea

We both studied chemical engineering at the University of Technology, (UTech) and had been classmates for almost three-and-a-half years. Although we basically moved in the same circle of friends we never actually spoke to each other. He reached out to me on Facebook sometime in February of 2015, but I brushed it off. Our studies required us to travel to Cuba for a month to complete some lab work and industrial/technical classes in Spanish. The evening of our departure and whilst at the airport I felt for a patty but discovered that I had no local currency so I asked Gwayne's twin brother, who came to see him off to buy me a patty... Gwayne did the honours.

On arrival in Cuba, I found that I had no seat on the bus that would take us to our dorm. I ended up on the seat handle beside him. There were a few bumps in the road on our journey and he offered to secure me with his arm. Lo and behold, one almighty bump sent me straight into his lap! Our classmates closest to us in the bus created a big ruckus but we brushed it off. There was nothing going on.

As time progressed, however, we found that we would often bump into each other. Very soon we found ourselves deliberately looking out for each other and in time became inseparable.

Upon leaving Cuba, I told him that I wanted to end whatever this was when we landed in Jamaica. It proved wishful thinking on my part... I couldn't stay away. I didn't want to and neither did he… And so we stayed…

A year after we started dating, my father died of colon cancer. It was a huge blow. Still is, honestly. And we fought a lot during my grief because we were trying to understand each other and cope with all that was happening and it was just a lot for him and me. But there was this one night, he lived in Old Harbour and I in Liguanea. We were talking on the phone and I started crying uncontrollably for my dad. I was alone at the house and he spoke calmly to me, told me to relax and try to sleep. We hung up and I lay on my bed softly sobbing. In what seemed like barely an hour, I heard a knock on the front door. Lo and behold, Gwayne was at my door with food in his hand and an overnight bag. I thought I cried earlier… I was bawling now!

The proposal: Sonishea's version

The proposal came a year after I finished school and was doing an extended internship at Jamalco, which required me to travel between Clarendon and Kingston. It was a Sunday morning after we had finished breakfast and we were there sitting and talking. I was reflecting on all the amazing things I was doing and wishing my dad was there to see it all, when I started to cry. Gwayne started to console me. Upon embracing him I started praying, and I asked God to not let this relationship be a waste of my time as I thought of past hurts and time invested in other people. Immediately after quietly praying in my heart, he pulled away from me and went into a drawer. I thought he was going for a handkerchief to wipe away my tears. But he turned around with a small pink box in his hand and said, “I just felt like this was the right time…” And, of course, I started to cry again.

The ceremony

The bridegroom was dashing in a navy blue three-piece suit, accented with a blue tie. The groomsmen wore navy blue pants and vests with white shirts and ties, while the best man wore a yellow shirt. They escorted the bridesmaids, who were beautifully styled in mustard gold linen and chiffon bohemian-style maxi dresses designed by the groom's mother Dorrett Pinto, making their way up the aisle in pairs to the strains of Tori Kelly's I Was Made For Loving You featuring Ed Sheeran. India Arie's He Heals Me was played while Sonishea made her way up the aisle escorted by her brother Orville Watson. The ceremony was officiated by Minister Cleo Ellis of Beeston Street New Testament Church of God, Kingston.

The reception

Family, friends and the bridal party converged inside the lounge where the celebration continued. The space was draped in white, gold and navy blue. Here, the festivities began as the bridal party and newly-weds made their way in to the strains of 24K Magic by Bruno Mars. Emcees Dexton McKenzie Jnr, brother of the bride, and Yanique Watson welcomed guests and invited them to be seated for the couple's first dance to Jason Mraz's I Won't Give Up. Other highlights included the shoe game, open trivia (where people asked the bride and groom anything they wanted to throughout the reception), a candle-light ceremony, a sign language performance by Seyvonnie Campbell and a poem written and read by Odain “Fuju” Murray. Formalities over, guests enjoyed a three-course meal ahead of further celebrations.

The honeymoon will follow at a later date.

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