VOWS – The Flavour of Love
For George Junior Matthews, personal chef to the US ambassador to Jamaica, and his sweetheart Sandra Marlene Anderson, the recipe for romance called for marination.
The two initially crossed paths five years ago at the US Embassy, and for George it was love at first sight. However, it would take a bit of persistence on his part for Sandra to see that they were meant to be.
“He would always come by to say hi, and for me it was just that. He kept asking me for my number but I kept changing the subject. It was like this for months, years even! Until one evening I was asked to work on a fourth of July event, and while there we talked for a while. This time he asked for my BlackBerry pin and I gave it to him. Eventually we became friends, and about a year later we got closer. We went on a few dates; he was so romantic,” Sandra told Vows.
Fast-forward four years — December 7, 2014. During an intimate welcome home dinner for George’s mother, he invited Sandra to give the vote of thanks, and it was then he decided to make it official.
“He held my hand and thanked me for being a part of his life. Then all of a sudden he was down on one knee. I heard screams from our friends and family, then I realised what was happening. He then asked me to marry him,” she recalled.
The lovebirds tied the knot on Sunday, January 24, 2016, at The Powell Plaza Grand Ballroom, before a gathering of close friends and family, as well as Ambassador Luis Moreno, the current US Ambassador to Jamaica, former US ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater, her husband the Reverend A Russell Awkard, Deputy Chief of Mission for the United States Embassy to Jamaica Elizabeth Martinez and her husband Don Pohlman.
The weather might have been a tad nippy on the outside; on the inside, however, it was nothing but warm reduction as Chef Matthews stood dapper in a three-piece grey suit by Spokes Apparel with pink and grey accents. His smile widened as he saw his bride making her way up the aisle escorted by her brother Levi, with Etta James’
At Last as the soundtrack. Sandra was picture-perfect in an understated strapless, slim-fitting gown — by Allure Bridal — for Petals and Promises — with soft English net ruches delicately woven throughout the entire gown and crystals and embroidery accents at the sweetheart neckline. Her tiara veil completed the look.
The ceremony — officiated by Reverend Levi Johnson — commenced with a prayer for the couple and included a sand ceremony. With rings exchanged and a short, passionate kiss to seal the marriage, Sandra and George were declared husband and wife to lusty applause from all present.
A cocktail hour followed, ahead of a sumptuous three-course meal prepared by George — who has served as personal chef to four ambassadors of the United States of America to Jamaica and who is a Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards award-winning chef — and his groomsmen Nicholas Beckford, Venroyse Clarke, Delano Volae Williams, Andre Williams, Garcia Brown and Louis Matthews.
Zedoj Events & Weddings executed the lovely reception dÃ©cor, while the formalities were ably handled by master of ceremonies Dwight Ross, who added to the celebratory mood of the occasion by keeping the energy up and spirits high. The toasts made by family and friends of the newly-weds were heartfelt and heaped praises on both sets of parents for raising such wonderful children. Rita Anderson and Halvale Matthews, mothers of the bride and groom, respectively, then unveiled the five-tiered wedding cake by Terri-Ann Brown of KukUp Kreations.
The couple’s first dance as husband and wife — to Rod Stewart’s
For the First Time — followed, after which George offered his remarks and regards to the toast makers and for the show of support expressed through the presence of all who were in attendance. The Reverend A Russell Awkard then blessed the gathering and the newly-weds. The couple retreated to the parish of Portland for their honeymoon.