Their mutual love for music that made them cross paths, but it was the pandemic that would bring attorney-at-law Sheryl Markland and musician Earl Smith Jr closer together and led them up the aisle.
The newly-weds shared with Tuesday Style Vows (TSV) the journey that lead them to wedded bliss on June 22, 2023 at Villa Gilgal, Whitehouse, Westmoreland.
Sheryl, who is an avid music lover, recalled that she met Earl at a record shop in Kingston in 1996.
"I used to work in downtown, Kingston and would frequent the High Times music store that was located near my workplace, and that was my first encounter with Earl," she said. Then, the two would only have platonic encounters, conversing at the store over their shared musical interest. Earl always made time to accommodate her and her many queries about music. "He was friendly, and always had nothing but a welcoming and warm smile," she said.
Following an unfortunate flooding in 1997 the store closed its downtown location permanently, and Earl and Sheryl's music connection was lost, at least until 2014.
For Earl, that chance encounter was fate as he had always been smitten by this "slim, dark-skinned, pretty-eyes" woman.
"One day in 2014, I was in a supermarket in Portmore, and I saw this familiar angelic smile. It brought me back to when I met her in my dad's record store – she had one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen," Earl said.
The two exchanged numbers then and started communicating. Eventually, it was Earl's WhatsApp posts of inspiration that pulled Sheryl in, leading to deeper conversations. "During COVID-19 we had more time to catch up and I remember him posting some praises that pulled me to his status, and so I would make it a habit to always view his posts," Sheryl said.
With more frequent conversations, Earl and Sheryl started dating.
Earl proposed to Sheryl a couple days after his birthday, during a photoshoot at Hope Gardens on September 3, 2022.
The couple's royal blue, pink and peach-themed nuptials were witnessed by 75 of their closest friends and family at the breathtaking Villa Gilgal ocean-front property overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea on the south coast.
The bride, beautiful in a white lace and sequinned dress from Bliss Bridal Boutique, walked up the aisle to the strains of the traditional Bridal Chorus by Richard Wagner and So Much In Love by All-4-One.
The bridegroom, dapper in blue and peach suiting, awaited the bride's arrival.
Following the official 'I do's', and the attendant wedding rituals, the couple and their guests danced the night away to some of their favourite musical selections.
Sadly, the groom's mom passed away a month after the wedding – the couple wishes to dedicate this feature to her.
For their honeymoon, and to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, the newly-weds have planned a European tour for the summer of 2024.
(Photos: Dwayne A Watkins)