Shakarah Rannea McCrae, multimedia applications developer at Mona Information Technology Services, University of the West Indies, Mona, wed Jermaine Julian Levy, clerical assistant at St Elizabeth Technical High School on December 30, 2012, at Everglades Centre in Parottee, Black River, St Elizabeth.
The Perfect Valentine's Day Gift
The couple met in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth, in February 2005, during the pre-Valentine season. "He came to the store where I was working part-time to buy a gift for his "mom", but he wasn't going to fool me; you can't really play the 'player,'" shared McCrae jokingly. "While I was assisting him, he asked what I would want as a Valentine's gift. I showed him a pink fuzzy heart that said 'I love you'," she continued. After he spent weeks trying to get her attention, she finally gave him her number. "Much to my surprise, the pink fuzzy heart showed up days after he got my number," McCrae recalls fondly.
McCrae admits it wasn't love at first sight. In fact, her cousin Adrian Samuels was the one who encouraged her to give him a chance. Jermaine, on the other hand, was immediately infatuated. "In fact, I remember the first text message he sent, he was telling me he loved me. I don't remember him ever asking me to be his girlfriend; we just went with the flow," shared McCrae.
Will you marry me?
Levy took McCrae to Hope Gardens and proposed on June 13, 2010. On their way to the park, his friends Carltonette Walters, Rohan Smith, Simone Williams and Fabion Williams used petals to write 'Will You Marry Me?' in the grass. When they got to the spot he smiled at her and asked what her answer was. "I told him I am yet to hear him ask and he should get down on his knees which he did, and the rest, as they say, is history!" mused McCrae. "Our engagement was well overdue. I had always promised myself never to be in a long-term relationship without any commitment from my partner. So when my birthday was coming up, I gave him a list of all the possible gifts he could have gotten me and yes, an engagement ring was on it," she shared. "When I received that list from her with the ring I knew what I had to do — buy the ring," shared Levy with a smile.
Here Comes the Bride
The couple tied the knot with the assistance of officiating pastor Dr Meric Walker on December 30, 2012 in the presence of 180 guests. The wedding's theme was 'Dreams do come true', with Disney-inspired DVD invitations which depicted the couple in animated form. The venue was beautifully decorated with burnt orange and chocolate brown accents by Alethia Grant of
St Bess All Occasions. They opted for those colours because those are Jermaine's favourite colours.
The bridal party consisted of 30 persons: 24 bridal attendants,
four mini attendants, and the bride and bridegroom.
The bride, who wanted to look like a fairy-tale princess, opted for a white gown with a beaded bodice and sweetheart neckline which she purchased at Lori-Ann's Brides. Her sister-locks were styled for the occasion by Sophia Coke of Coke's all Naturals and her make-up was done by Leontre. She was escorted up the aisle by her mother and uncle, Catricia Dixon and Shane Dixon, to the strains of I Found Love by Bebe Winans performed by Giselle Edwards. The bridesmaids wore burnt orange gowns that were made by Elsie Bromley, a dressmaker in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth. She altered a design that was originally found by the bride online. The headpieces and brooches for their shoes were made by Carrialeisa from Lisa's Closet, while their shoes were by Charmaine.
The nattily attired groom purchased his suit in Maxie's Department Store. The groomsmen wore black suits — six of
them wore burnt orange vests and ties, while the other five wore chocolate brown vests and ties made by a tailor in St Elizabeth called Clive Adams.
For the unity ceremony, the couple planted a mango tree. "We felt the need to use something that we would both have to spend time to nurture, like our love for each other. We look forward to watching it grow, bear fruits as we hope our union will," shared McCrae.
The three-tier wedding cake was a chocolate and fruitcake made by the bride's maid of honour Shanell Robinson and decorated by the bride's mother, Catricia Dixon. The couple shared their first dance to Nothing Else Matters by Leontre Roberts. Sandrie Dennis later did a rendition of Maurette Brown Clark's The One He Kept For Me, which the bride dedicated to her groom. "We may not be perfect, but the thing that keeps us together is the fact that we really love each other and we are committed to that love," shared McCrae. "Fairy tales do not only exist in story books and we aim to keep each other happy while enjoying every moment of our 'Ever after'," she exclaimed.
The couple honeymooned at hotels in Hanover, St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, St James, Kingston and St Andrew for two weeks.