We got engaged the winter of 2013 on the beautiful island of Jamaica at the RIU Resort in Ohio Rios, Saint. Ann on the third night of their seven day stay on the island. After we arrived, on day one, Phillip told me he was going to book dinner at all the restaurants for the week and left her on the beach sun tanning for over an HOUR!!! Little did I know that he was actually planning an eventful time! Of a lifetime, Yes! I waited and waited on the beach but there was no sign of his return…so I ended up walking around trying to find him. There was no sign of him anywhere, so I just got a pina colada and went back to the beach. During the time he was gone, he met and was in coordination with the Resort’s officials to finalize the key location and the actors who would take part in the event.
By later that evening she was upset at him upon his return, “Our first day here and you left me all by myself, where were you so long?” she asked. He apologized “The lines were long and I had to wait.” When the second day arrived, I was served breakfast in bed. Gifts of the prestigious Blue Mountain Coffee were delivered, and the day had started out better than the previous day. Phillip did over and beyond everything she requested of him-to his soon to be fiancee. This included all the excursions that were offered for that day and laying out on the beach in the sun, certainly not a “chocolate skin thing” right? Every second was well deserved as it felt like the second day was their first day vacationing. I was happy and she mentioned nothing about the first day, did I forget already?
On the third day, the temperament was right, and everything went as planned. I woke up to an organized anonymous knock that followed with a silence from the main entrance of the suite. Upon arriving to see who was there, instead I found an envelope safely slipped from under the opposite side of the door, the deliverer, gone. Enclosed was a treat for a full body massage at the spa that would last quite a while. This was perfect for Phillip, he needed to close open arrangements while avoiding a redo of their first day. They met for breakfast then went their separate ways, and then met again for lunch and enjoyed the rest of the day together. I was happy and relaxed by full body massage at the spa. At this point Phillip was noticeably nervous but he remained calm. He instilled the idea that perhaps, they should inquire what the cost would be to professionally capture some pictures on the beach. That night, they were going to know if they were really meant for each other and I had no clue what was in store.
We got dressed and headed to dinner. On the way, Phillip had discretely organized a camera man to be at a specific spot on the way to their “normal nightly booked dinner” to take their pictures. Though this camera man would also have another role to play, the role of an annoying photographer and sure he did do that well. I was caught off guard but didn’t think much of it due to our conversation we had earlier, so it worked out perfect as I just thought that now we had the perfect opportunity to snap some quick photos. The camera man, lured the us in, taking multiple pictures in different poses. He offered that the we follow him to the beach as he knew a nice location with good lighting and a perfect background-which by the way, I thought was a little odd because it was practically dark outside. As we were getting “late” for their “dinner” I was kind of irritated by him. He had a deep Australian-Jamaican accent and kept on saying “yes, like this, yes like that, nice” and so on after each picture he took.
The camera man was very good at being annoying. The couple followed and more pictures were taken but this location happened to be secluded, though foreseeable from a far that Phillip had it setup for me. As we approached the area, the pathway were lit with candles the entire walkway towards the dinner table, dressed with flowers, with a personal letter from Phillip addressed to Lauren seated on a white table cloth on the beach front. Me being an introvert, I wanted none of this and was hesitant to trespass the area. I said to Phillip, “why would we photo bomb another person’s setup to take our pictures”, but little did I know, the setup was all for me. We arrived at the table together, and I noticed a heart, dressed with red and white rose-pedals which wrote “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” before the table.
At this time people had started to gather from a far, speculating on the outcome for a special moment they assumed. I still did not get it, that this was for me and I even said “wow” to express in admiration of how beautiful the setting was. As we came closer to the decorated heart, Phillip then held my hand and asked the big question softly, “Lauren, will you marry me?” x3 the moment became still, every blink of an eye seemed like an hour, the camera man still taking shots was no longer annoying and I was no longer worried about missing dinner, because, I was at dinner. I answered Yes! x3 in awe. I was then greeted with single a white rose, which is my favorite flower. I could not believe this was really happening. The crowd roared from a far as they understood what the scenery meant. We hugged and we kissed and away went the camera man.
We were exquisitely treated and catered for by the exclusive Sirr Richards Restaurant, the most elite of all on the resort. The orchestrated private dinner on the beach was accompanied by a personal waiter and included a 5 course meal. We feasted for several hours as we intermittently took walks between courses, because hey we had the beach all to ourselves!! We then enjoyed the remaining two days at the RUI Resort living as royals but by then the word had spread fast and everywhere we went, people knew who we were. We then left from Ocho Rios and headed to Negril, west of the island where we spent our last couple of days at Sandy Haven Resort before returning to the United States, and met with some of Phillip’s family to enjoy the rest of their stay.
Late December when we returned from the Jamaica, we immediately started a Facebook guest list private group with the intention for a Big Wedding but later changed our minds, stating “We just couldn’t wait, we wanted something more personal, private and most importantly sacred”. We did well and steered away from the publicity by choice. On March 24th 2014, we had a private ceremony where we became one in marriage covenant. Today we are living happily as can be and enjoying Ashleigh Elizabeth, our first baby girl. We are planning to return and renew our vows on an anniversary on the island. We think it would be romantic and that this time we would like to share our vows in front of friends and family, if they are willing.
P.s If you’ve never been to Jamaica, GO!!!