Following their nuptials on July 21, 2018 at Bellefield Great House in Fairfield, St James, contract carriage operator Duwayne Chen and media practitioner Ophir Gayle are still celebrating. Witnessed by their parents and 65 guests, the couple cemented their over-a-decade-long friendship into a lasting commitment. The couple created a hashtag so all their friends could share in the special moments. And now, too, so will you… #meetthechens2018.
Ophir's once upon a time
“I used to see Duwayne in the mornings when my father would take me to school. We didn't exchange words until 2007 — I was in the ninth grade and he was in the 11th. Duwayne informed a friend of his interest in me. I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend and feigned indifference. However, as we got older, our friendship blossomed into a relationship and we haven't looked back since...”
Will you marry me?
On December 2, 2017, while on a date at The HouseBoat Grill in Montego Bay, Duwayne proposed to Ophir. She had no clue what was in store and found it strange that the waiter remained by her side as she ate her appetiser. After a few bites of her Caesar salad, she saw something shimmering in between the leaves of romaine lettuce. It was a ring! Surrounded by the rapturous applause of other diners, Duwayne wiped off the ring, went down on one knee and asked her to be his wife… Of course, she said, 'Yes!'
Here comes the bride
The couple exchanged vows at the Bellefield Great House. Andrew Anderson and the team from ACSD Décor Services perfectly executed the bride's concept for her special day. It was an intimate affair. Stone urns overflowed with different flowers, including spider chrysanthemums, roses, hydrangeas and carnations, in various shades of red and white.
The ceremony opened with a procesional of 25 of the couple's closest friends and family bearing roses. Duwayne's best man André kept him calm as he awaited Ophir's arrival.
I'm Kissing You by Des'ree played. Guests turned in their seats to face the bride. The bride's father Clement Gayle beamed with pride as he readied himself to walk his daughter down the aisle. And, Ophir stunned her guests in a blush lace gown, with a corseted back and cathedral veil. Classic elegance. Her cascading red and white bouquet echoed the wedding décor.
Duwayne opted for a three-piece charcoal grey suit, featuring a marsala and grey brocade tie, a gold antique pocket watch and a chain tie bar. Both looks were inspired by vintage design and complemented the pastoral environment of the venue. Rev Owen Watson officiated the ceremony that included a recital of the Sharon Olds' poem 'The Wedding Vow' by the couple's long-time friend Kalia Ellis. (Fun fact: Kalia went to college with Ophir). Thereafter, the couple declared their “I do's” and signed the marriage licence.
Mahogany tables and chairs, adorned with kissing bells and golden candelabra centrepieces reflected of the royal-themed reception. The romantic atmosphere was enlivened when the bride, jamming to HoodCelebrityy's Walking Trophy, walked down the aisle. The doting groom chose Bake Bean by Govana — much to the delight of the attendees and the evening's master of ceremonies Dainalyn Swaby.
The Bellefield Great House team prepared a sumptuous three-course meal. The cutting of the four-tiered butterscotch and red velvet wedding cake by Leanne “Leelee” Cooke of Cakes by Noida and a champagne toast to the couple and their parents capped off the meal. The newly-weds then shared their first dance as husband and wife to Leela James's Fall For You, just before tossing their bouquet and boutonnière. After that, the Chens and their guests danced the night away....
The newly-weds honeymooned at the Dreams Delight Playa Bonita in Panama. During the one-week honeymoon they explored the rainforest, the Panama Canal, the old city and the Emberá Village.