The premiere of the Marriott-Blakes
Educator and author Sharon Draper expressed in an interview that "It's the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps." Little did Andre Marriott-Blake know that he would be sipping his way blissfully with Kimberley Issa-Denise Sherlock into a Hollywood series the first time they met.
Andre, an attorney-at-law at DunnCox, first met Kimberley, the executive director of Jamaica Association for the Deaf, back in 2009 at a journalism club meeting. Gregarious versus unfamiliar, Andre mobilised efforts to make the lovely newcomer feel welcome and at home. "The obvious thing I noticed about her was that she was an attractive girl. There was a sincerity in how she introduced herself. I was intrigued to know more about her," Andre told Flair. But his efforts fell short with Kimberley, who didn't give that initial introduction much thought.
As she got to know him better, she was awakened by deeper discoveries. Not only was he poised with panache, he was friendly, supportive, determined and family-oriented. "He takes his relationships with friends and family seriously, and he's committed about putting his best foot forward, in his appearance and his various personal or professional efforts," she added. They made their relationship official the year following their first encounter, and would sojourn six wonderful years as a couple until Andre decided to amorously advance their connection by way of a nuptial union.
Selected for the prestigious Chevening Scholarship in 2016, Kimberley was scheduled to jet off to pursue her master's degree in the United Kingdom. Andre would make the occasion a dual celebration: a surprise going-away and engagement party. He enlisted the assistance of friends from Main Events and Eskay Events Management to transform the manicured lawns of his best man, Alando Terrelonge's family home, into a purple-hazed garden soiree. He took her to dinner at East Japanese Restaurant first. Kimberley confessed that over the course of the night, she picked up a bit and knew he was up to something.
After taking her to the house where close friends and family members had gathered, everyone gave their toasts and best wishes for her studies. But at about 11 p.m., Andre took over for his congratulatory speech. Flipping the script on her. "When it was his turn to speak, he pulled out a slideshow of our photos, and played A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. At the end of his well wishes, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was very sweet and I knew he would do something to celebrate my being offered this great opportunity to study abroad, but this pushed me to tears: the event and the proposal," Kimberley said. Andre added, "Needless to say, she said yes, much to the delight of our guests."
OLD HOLLYWOOD GLAM
Being engaged for about two years gave the soon-to-be-wedded couple time to think through what they really wanted, so they could plan without being too pressured. And having years of experience in event planning and live event production, Andre was very involved in the planning process of the wedding, alongside Kimberley. Main Event or MStyle XP was their production partner and decorator who brought the couple's concepts of old Hollywood elegance to life. "My father (deceased) actually named me after famed James Bond actor Sean Connery, Sean being my middle name, and Kimberly has always had an affinity with Audrey Hepburn of the golden era of Hollywood. Those facts, combined with our own appreciation of vintage elegance, informed our choice of theme." They were supported by friends and family members who pitched in and assisted with the day's nuptials.
On December 8, 2018, Kimberley and Andre tied the knot at the Mansion of Devon House in St Andrew. In a sea of all things vintage, the suave, glitzy and glamorous invitees entered the ceremony to the music of James Bond 007 theme. The bridal party walked the red carpet to Christina Perri's A Thousand Years, while the blushing bride floated down the aisle towards her husband, with Leela James' Fall for You matching her elegant stride.
Kimberley, who describes her husband as the wedding planning champ, disclosed that the big day had its fair share of glitches. "I had to remind myself that more than likely only Dre and I knew about them. Marrying my best friend, with the support of my closest crew, and awesome family and friends - that's what made it all I could ever want, to be honest," the beautiful bride expressed.
The reception, held on the East lawn of Devon House, saw the pronounced husband and wife making their grand entrance to Natalie Cole's This will be (An Everlasting Love) and their master of ceremonies, Alysia Moulton Whyte, ably led the proceedings.
Wedding highlights for the bride came with saying 'I do' and executing the first dance as newly-weds, while for the groom, "It is hard to pinpoint my favourite moment: the sheer love we felt from our guests as we enter our next chapter was definitely a standout tremendously. But what topped it all was the thought that I would be spending the rest of my life with my best friend, partner and confidante."