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Vows: From Ruby To Forever

Monday, September 03, 2018

Over 40 years ago, Yvonne Webber, a 22-year-old film and theatre enthusiast, met John Pilbeam while he was on assignment as the third secretary at the Australian High Commission in Jamaica. It was fate, as they'd say… Yvonne was crazy about John, and she lit up his world – marriage was inevitable.

Naturally, there was a resistance from Yvonne's close relatives and friends…they were young…she had a big future ahead of her… she was recently infatuated with “the German on a motorbike”…what about her plans to study theatre in Paris? They were free-thinking liberals, after all. However, John and Yvonne both had that loving feeling. The two shared their first go-round at the altar on August 26, 1978, at St Andrew Parish church.

With their marriage and John's promotion in rank with the Australian Embassy, the newly-weds afforded themselves a lifestyle of wander, travell to and settling in places like Papua, New Guinea, New York, South Korea, Australia, Hong Kong and Vanuatu. Their family grew to five with three girls: Rachel, Sarah, and Veronica Pilbeam (RSVP) – in that order.

Vows affirms Yvonne and John's continuing commitment.

 

“White with a touch of burgundy or blue”…

…was the dress code observed for the renewal of their vows. The mid-morning ceremony took place inside the St Andrew Parish Church. The trio of event co-ordinators Jacqueline Vickers, Maureen Webber and Maureen Aarons added a tropical element to the aisle with birds of paradise, tropical ginger, lobster claws and beehive ginger hoisted on shepherd hooks. John forgot the ring the first time around and recalls, “Yvonne was six minutes late,” but, to her credit, she was adding last-minute touches to her beautiful Grecian-inspired wedding dress. A lot less pressure this time around, but a nervous John stood at the entrance awaiting his wife. Nerves turned to tears when he saw her figure in the distance.

Organist David Stone directed the interlude and cantor Joan Jonas covered Your Song by Elton John. Yvonne arrived with grace in the company of her daughters. She wore a bateau-neck pleated A-line dress with specks of burgundy to match the scarf she'd worn to the first ceremony. She carried a bouquet of red and white tropical ginger stalks.

John wore a crisp white suit with a white stripe shirt, navy tie, black lace-ups, and a beige fedora – suggested by Yvonne. Reverends Louis Hurst and Mark Jones officiated the ceremony, and for the second time in their lives together, on the eve of their ruby anniversary, John and Yvonne were announced as Mr and Mrs Pilbeam.

Now That We've Found Love

An intimate reception followed at Maison Webber in Acadia. Guests enjoyed mint lemonade and mint basil cocktails over scrumptious hors d'oeuvres while viewing the couple's first wedding album. The décor included a selection of floral art by Yvonne and a mix of eclectic elements by Jacqui Tyson and her team.

Emcee Maureen Aarons introduced the re-newly-weds to Elton John's I Need You to Turn to. Yvonne wore a Courtney Washington asymmetrical dress in ivory.

A three-course brunch was served al fresco. Yvonne ensured the menu comprised a taste of Jamaican-infused and international flavours with elements of the places they've lived or visited.

Best man Peter Black led the convivial toasts given by maid of honour and sister of the bride Maureen Webber, long-time friend of the couple Pierre Lemaire, and their daughters, RSVP, which left guests teary-eyed.

Keyboardist/vocalist Harold Davis brought good humour with personalised serenades to the bride and groom. RSVP later joined their parents to cut the four-tiered fruitcake they designed along with family friend Zena Atkinson.

Joan Jonas and Harold Davis harmonised with a duet of Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

Festivities ended with singing and dancing to Third World's hit Now That We Found Love.

The re-newly-weds will celebrate with family at Jake's Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth.