Vows - Roses In BloomMonday, September 16, 2019
Torrential rains had nary an impact on the “completion” ceremony for DeZign Diva Karen Booker (née Simms) and her longtime car dealer beau Marvel Rose, who tied the knot before loved ones at the St Peter's Church in Port Royal, on September 7. Love, security and their 12-year-old son Aron were the catalysts who brought the duo to the altar after 13 years of togetherness. Vows witnessed their “I do's”.
Karen and Marvel's backstory...
“We met 13 years ago at a birthday party at Lorna's Place in St Alban's, Queens, New York,” Karen told Vows. “He came over to me and asked, 'Why are you standing there by yourself?' And my response was 'I was born alone'. It was an instant connection.” They partied the night away then went for breakfast the morning after. “It was a whirlwind romance and he swept me off my feet,” she said.
A few years in, Karen and Prince (as he is affectionately called) decided to take a break. “I decided to focus on my business. I was off the market and off the dating scene, doing me, learning and growing, and setting goals and boundaries for myself,” Karen said. Marvel, confused and heartbroken, went back to reality but never stopped loving Karen. Their son Aron kept telling his mother, “I want you guys to go back together,” and Karen's response was often nonchalant. “I kept shrugging him off.”
Another nudge came just before the passing of her mother over three years ago. “Just before my mother passed away she suggested we get back together,” she shared. Absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder and, as fate would have it, the two, for a second time, became one. Since then Karen and her Prince have been planning their wedding day.
Going to the chapel...
Karen and Marvel exchanged vows, guided by Reverend Barrington Jones. “Prince and I were done with not committing, life in the fast lane, and done with the uncertainty,” Karen explained.
Sticklers for tradition and historical sites, the storied St Peter's Church and neighbouring Fort Charles station appealed to the couple, so they requested a rustic outback theme to complement the Port Royal space. Bridesmaid Elva Clarke took care of planning, Jonelle McFarlane Dixon and the DeZign Diva team handled the execution, and the wedding day coordination responsibilities were managed by event planner Duran Coke. Maroon and gold offset by burlap, straw, tropical greens, and a bit of bling decked the aisle — with ferns and baby's breath pendants at each pew.
Marvel stood quietly confident in a Ralph Lauren three-piece Bordeaux suit with tailcoat worn with an ivory vest and tie, brown leather brogues, and a white rose and baby's breath boutonnière. His son and best man Aron, looked equally dapper leading the groomsmen, who wore slate grey suits with varying shades of pink vests, matching boutonnières and tan leather lace-ups. The bridesmaids were just as stylish in sheer embroidered pink dresses. They carried burlap-wrapped bouquets of white roses and tulips.
Endless Love by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross played as Karen and her giveaway father Mario James made their way to the altar. She held a bouquet of white roses and white lilies dotted with pearls, and looked like a golden dream in a Grecian inspired, sheer-embroidered and lamé Zuhair Murad design with an extravagant train. The glam squad at Supertouch Aestheticians & Accessories Limited took care of her effortless glow from hair and make-up to personalised mani-pedis.
At 4:47 pm, husband and wife made their exit to Stevie Wonder's hit Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours.
“Deciding on Fort Charles and Port Royal on a whole felt natural and organic. We wanted the décor to enlighten the beauty of the space and soften the rustic environs in a complementary way while retaining its soulful connection to the past. Walking through the town was also our way of breathing life into the quaint territory,” Karen highlighted.
Wedding photographer Chris Fuller took the bridal party on a tour of the town for photo ops while guests noshed on traditional Jamaican hors d'oeuvres and cocktails provided by Amazing Events by The Pantry.
The bridal party entered the reception at Fort Charles to Pharrell Williams's Happy interspersed with a mash-up of Afrobeat mixes, followed by the newly-weds. Karen and Marvel greeted guests as they entered the reception to the sounds of Dennis Brown's Love Has Found Its Way.
A scrumptious three-course dinner was served by the Amazing Events by The Pantry team, and with filled stomachs came toasts and well-wishes to the newly-weds. The two cut the four-tiered fruitcake by Sharon Loshusan before sharing their first dance as husband and wife to Whitney Houston's I Believe In You And Me sang by longtime friend of the couple, Hugh Porter.
Karen reappeared in another show-stopping gown for the reception; this time a delicate periwinkle Elie Saab number. Thereafter, a “father”-daughter and mother-son dance between the newly-weds and their loved ones took place before emcee Weston Haughton announced the dance floor open for a late-night party under the stars.
The couple are set to sail the South Pacific on a week-long cruise for their honeymoon.
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