Vows: One Love, One Heart, One DestinyTuesday, September 07, 2021
“There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.”
This saying perfectly sums up the love story of Nicole Alicia Blake and Lij Tafari Imru Keith.
Nicole, principal of BrushedbyNicole Beauty Ltd, had a wedding scheduled for September 2-4, 2016 at the Trident Castle in Portland. She arrived on September 2 to provide make-up services for the bride's welcome party. Having taken the winding Junction route (as most would appreciate) she felt a tad queasy on arrival. A mint was therefore top of mind as she approached the front desk. Seems the request made its way to the office of the assistant general manager Lij Keith, who was out of mints, and so arrived instead with two Snickers bars.
Not quite the remedy Nicole had sought. But, she could hardly feign indifference to his good looks! “ When I laid eyes on him, I remarked to myself what a handsome young man!” she informed Tuesday Style Vows (TSV). She quickly dismissed the moment however, and went in search of the bride-to-be to execute the job at hand and therafter get ready for the welcome party.
Their second encounter occured at the party. They spoke briefly and went their separate ways. “It was a busy night for him because of the party”, she recalls.
Fast-forward to the day of the wedding. “It was my first time at the castle so I took the opportunity to wander around... and lo and behold, I saw him again! He startled me, actually. But we exchanged pleasantries before things got busy... At the reception, he ensured I had something to eat; he sent over drinks. We partied a bit. He asked me for my number and the rest is history!”
Indeed, it was complete with a Christmas Day surprise proposal perfectly executed by Lij and Nicole's mum Pauline.
“He told me he would not be able to come to Christmas dinner because he had to work. I was disappointed, but then to my surprise when I came downstairs after getting ready there he was! After dinner I was summoned upstairs by my cousin. She told me she wanted to retouch her lipstick. After rolling my eyes I reluctantly obliged. A few minutes later I was called downstairs to the living room where everyone was waiting on me. I saw a chair in the middle of the room, romantic music was playing, and there was Lij grinning from ear to ear. I was escorted to the fully decked-out-chair. He made quite the speech and then went down on one knee!!” Nicole said yes and this time became the woman who was getting married.
Let the planning begin...
“I knew from the start that I wanted Kara-Ann Anderson of Petals and Promises to execute my wedding. I knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted the day to flow. Lij and I are very big on details and entertainment. We wanted to make sure that our guests enjoyed every bit of the day with us.
Kara took us through everything we needed to get done effortlessly, because the Lord knows I could not have done any planning as my schedule didn't allow it. I pretty much left everything in her hands.
The overall feel of the wedding was vintage and classy, yet modern. Nothing was left to chance, from the carefully selected silver to the choice of tableware, the design of the name place cards, the napkins, etc. No detail was overlooked. We were absolutely blown away when we saw everything come together. Breathtaking!
“In conversations with my photographer Merrick Cousley I told him that I didn't want the typical wedding pictures”. Soooo, I told him I want a picture of me in my mom's Jacuzzi. Of course he thought I was crazy, but guess what? Sometimes crazy works, and I got some wicked shots of me in the tub!”
Here comes the bride...
Nicole was stunning in a vintage couture ballerina ballgown made of white pleated silk tulle, accentuated at the decolletage with embroidered embellishment and wrap around off-the-shoulder sleeve details. The gown was made in Jamaica by the mother-and-daughter Cochen Bridal design team of Eulette and Chenelle Wallace. A bouquet of hand-tied roses with sprigs of eucalyptus completed the look. Nicole's brother Ryan escorted her to her suave bridegroom as the dulcet tones of UNV's So In Love With You set the perfect tone for the ceremony. Standing ready to officiate was the Reverend Astor Carlyle.
Cocktail hour followed with guests enjoying signature fruit mojitos as they stepped into yet another spectacular area of the bride's family's estate. Entertainment came courtesy of The Silverbirds Steel Orchestra. On hand, too, was a life-size Tower of Jenga, one of the entertainment elements for guests, which they thoroughly enjoyed!
Famed tenor Rory Baugh, a friend of the bride whom she had heard perform in the musical Beauty and the Beast , was top of her list to perform the song Be Our Guest as guests transitioned from the cocktail hour to the reception. Baugh, the bride informed, nailed it.
A prayer by Deby Howell-Cameron was followed by a specially curated four-course meal by culinary artist Alex D- Great.
The evening proceeded with toasts to the bride from Mesheka Lewin, and to the groom from Santo Valdez, followed by the cutting of the cake. Then it was time for the groom's reply and finally the couples' “First Dance'” to Michael Jackson's Lady In My Life.
Dancing followed prior to the bride being whisked away by her groom to start their honeymoon at Jamaica Inn before continuing at Sans Souci and Couples Tower Isle.
Naturally, there were Snickers bars in Nicole's wedding trousseau and we reckon the bars will forever play an integral role in their lives.