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Juan & Gioalis share their story

to get married in the BVI Why to Choose The Virgin Islands for your DESTINATION WEDDING


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GOLDEN PAVILLION A golden opportunity awaits

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OLE WORKS INN Your home away from home

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SHELDON & INGRID A unique wedding for a unique couple

SURFSONG Mirroring a Dream Destination Wedding

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GIOALIS & JUAN Aaaah Love (cover story)

ON THE COVER

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SAY ‘I DO’ IN AREA CODE 284 Local couples share their stories on getting married

Couple: Juan Carlos & Gioalis Quezada Location: The World Famous - Bomba Shack on Cappoons Bay Beach Bridal Bouquet: Stems Boutique Photography: Amanda Baker (Virgin Portraits Photography)

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VIRGIN ISLANDS

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The VI Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Guide

MYETT’S WEDDING Your beat will go on with a Myett’s Wedding

PUBLISHER Relyon Marketing Group ADVERTISING Elton F. Callwood: relyongroup@yahoo.com 1 284 542 0121

EDITOR Jerelyn Callwood

MARKETING ASSISTANT DeVaughn Callwood

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angela Burns April Glascow Elton Callwood

PHOTOGRAPHY Amanda Baker (Virgin Portraits Photography) Rainbow Vision Photography John Black Photography SRM Photography Elton F. Callwood

GRAPHIC DESIGN & LAYOUT Visual Eyes Designs

hank you for choosing the beautiful Virgin Islands as the setting for one of the most important life decisions you’lll make– your wedding. The Virgin Islands Wedlock Magazine is an informative, entertaining guide designed for prospective brides and grooms, sharing all you need to know about getting married here. A destination wedding can truly be a dream come true if you plan carefully and know what to expect. The VI Wedlock Magazine showcases the people waiting to help you make it happen. Everything you need from the fairytale gown and sparkling diamond rings, to jawdropping cake designs can all be found right here on our shores. Add to that, the stunning scenery of some of nature’s most spectacular wonders forming the perfect backdrop for your wedding photos as captured by expert local photographers. On our companion website, www.viwedlock.com, you will find features on experienced, local wedding planners and suppliers, who are committed to making your day nothing less than perfect. From the moment of engagement to choosing the honeymoon suite, VI Wedlock has you covered. All you need to do is love, laugh and go with the flow. Say ‘I Do’ in the Virgin Islands and create your own little secret.

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Ph: 284-494-8420/8105 CELL: 284-542-0121 Fax: 284-494-8425 P.O Box 4491, Wickham’s Cay 1, Tortola, Virgin Islands On the web:

www.viwedlock.com for articles:

editorial@viwedlock.com for advertising:

relyongroup@yahoo.com Virgin Islands Wedlock magazine is powered by Relyon Marketing Group. The content of this publication, including any nuptrial advice is for information purposes only and is not a subsitute for personal consultation with a qualified wedding planner. The entire contents of this magazine is copyrighted and may not be used without the written consent of the publisher.

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The Virgin Islands is a newlyweds’ paradise, with the perfect mix of exciting activities – from sailing to snorkeling to island-hopping – as well as laid back couples-friendly relaxation. The top-notch spas, luxurious accommodations and abundance of first-class cuisine make the Virgin Islands [BRIDES Magazine] the perfect choice for any honeymoon. Photos by Elton Callwood

Why Choose a Destination Wedding in the

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ore and more couples are seeking new alternatives for the most special day of their lives; tradition has taken a back seat. People are looking for the latest innovations, theme weddings, destination weddings or something cultural. The Virgin Islands offer much unique locations and top notch service where couples can choose from getting married in a boutique hotel, exquisite villa or a high end resort. The VI is a one-of-a-kind destination. Every couple wants the most important day of their lives to be an unforgettable one; here are some reason why we recommend the VI as the country for your destination wedding:

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The Virgin Islands is included among the top 10 Caribbean places for destination weddings and honeymoons.

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The Virgin Islands is among this venerable list for its clear-blue seas, exhilarating activities and plethora of date-night to-dos – or a very “sweet routine”.

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With 60 Islands to choose from, you’ll have 1 unforgettable experience. You will find the perfect spot to have the most memorable wedding anywhere imaginable. The ceremony can take place on a soft beach in the quiet of sunrise, aboard or at sea with a yacht, underneath the spectacular ocean’s reef for an underwater

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Virgin Islands ‘Nature’s Little Secrets’ adventure, on a secluded island, in our lush tropical botanical garden, in a cave, a friend’s lawn, your favorite restaurant’s poolside or gazebo, the traditional church, the local registrar’s office or the great outdoors of a mountain top.

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Getting married in the Virgin Islands “Nature’s Little Secrets” is the best way to begin the story of your married life.

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The Virgin Islands has wedding experts who will ensure that the whole process is relaxing from your arrival.

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With direct flights to St. Thomas, St. Martin or Puerto Rico you can choose from the options

Elton Callwood

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of connecting flights, ferries or personal charter pickup, getting to the Virgin Islands is a day trip.

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It is so easy to get married in the Virgin Islands. Couples now only need to be in the Territory for just one day before they can be married and the marriage certificate is valid in the United States. The Virgin Islands is truly a destination that offers romance. With a breathtaking vista of the ocean from almost every corner, pristine beaches, snorkeling and diving, deserted cays, sparkling turquoise waters, refreshing breezes, starlit nights, excellent hotels and amenities, and the happy friendly people, the VI sets the stage for the perfect destination for marriages and honeymooners.

Amanda Baker (Virgin Portraits Photography

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bride will always remember two special occasions in her life: The moment she heard, “Will you marry me?” and the setting in which she said, “I do.” The ultimate journey for a couple begins when she and her groom begin planning their special day; in the British Virgin Islands that day can be filled with all the beauty and splendor found in our exotic paradise. Here, in the British Virgin Islands we open a gateway for brides and grooms to carve the most unique weddings and honeymoons of their dreams. Our lustrous islands set the tone for couples seeking to discover excitement and intrigue amongst nature and tranquility.The allure of our lush landscapes and vivid shores enthralls couples. Day by day, they have the option of being whisked between our 60 islands and cays where they can explore our treasured seas or lull on our white sand beaches. Our notable botanic gardens provide explosions of colour to complement the peaceful tempo and serenity of our Caribbean homeland, while historic

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and cultural landmarks add nuances of elegance and tradition. We welcome couples to begin every page-turning aspect of their new journey together by tasting the flavors of our local cuisines, dancing to the vibrations of our rhythmic beats, and diving into one of our many nautical escapes. In the British Virgin Islands our enchanting backdrop makes an ideal occasion for a bride to tell her groom, “I love you.” Nature’s Little Secrets and the British Virgin Islands Bridal Association are prepared to fashion your vision into a reality. Our new marriage law allows couples to complete their documentation and registration within a one-day timeframe. To view a complete list of items and documents required for marriage in the British Virgin Islands visit www.crisvi.gov.vg Start planning today by visiting www.bvitourism.com! Sharon Flax-Mars Director of Tourism British Virgin Islands

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4 Beautiful Spots TO GET MARRIED IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

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Photo by Elton Callwood - Rouges Bay, Tortola

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A Golden Moment Awaits by Angela Burns

By Angela Burns -- Photos contributed

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Perched on the edge of one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots on the island of Tortola in the beautiful British Virgin Islands, is Golden Pavilion - an expansive property that beckons. www.viwedlock.com

t's like having a world of your own and doesn't that just help to make your dream wedding all that you want it to be? Escaping to an archipelago in the Caribbean is quite alluring in itself, but finding yourself wrapped up in the luxuries of what this Balinese inspired four bedroom villa with its one bedroom guest cottage has to offer, is beyond words. You simply must experience Golden Pavilion! Spread over four acres, Golden Pavilion offers 180 degree ocean views; a heated infinity pool; hot tub; outdoor gas fire pit; second floor gallery with wet bar and pool table; a media room with large flat screen TV and surround sound; office space with fax/pc/wireless internet; a fully equipped gym; air conditioning in all primary rooms; and a private chef. Spa services are also available and boating and other outings can be arranged for your additional enjoyment. With all of its amenities, Golden Pavilion makes the perfect destination for your small family holiday or large events, including weddings or corporate functions. For after all, location is everything! Airport greeting, baggage transfers, rental car facilitation and escort to the estate will make your arrival and stay that much easier. Golden Pavilion is located just 15 minutes away from the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, is a 7 minute walk from secluded Little Bay Beach and a 15 minute drive into the Capital City of Road Town. VI wedlock

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Estate Manager Mathew Restell is as amenable as they come and has been around long enough to see Golden Pavilion host some really awesome wedding ceremonies against the picturesque background of the Jerusalem Gold stone entry courtyard; spacious and beautifully adorned gardens with fruit orchards; sunken stone retreats with seating; traditional Indonesian sculptures, or the heated infinity pool on the ocean facing deck, with views east, north and west. While the entire property is available and couples can choose the exact location for their wedding, the entry courtyard is definitely a favorite place to get married at Golden Pavilion. As you enter the main villa, you will be greeted by a 1000 lb. hand-carved stone Buddha who ensures perfect Karma for all who enter. This is most certainly one of the property's most seductive areas, lined as it is with imported Balinese footlights and statues, the gentle colors bathing the stone wall interiors at night. This courtyard is not just a pass through to the house, it is a destination. It is certainly a wonderful place to read, listen to music and just relax and take in the awesomeness of the surroundings. In close proximity is the elevated entry pavilion with its carved seating and comfortable cushions, bordered by avery attractive lily and frog pond. This too, makes for a picturesque area to host a wedding ceremony and capture the moment. On the inside, there is no lack for living space in the Great Room to socialize or retreat alone, with family or friends, books, music or just the ambience and there is an expansive dining space with table seating for up to 12 adults and a kitchen that comes either

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fully provisioned or with its own private chef ready to cater to the specific needs of the guests, who also have free access to the pantry. Needless to say, guests would also want to sample the variety of fruits from the orchard - star fruits, passion fruit, mangoes, bananas, limes - which are available all year around. The bedrooms in the main villa are each uniquely designed, but all open out to their own private terraces. They come decked with quality linens and drapes; four poster beds; ensuite bathrooms - the master with jacuzzi, hot tub and double outdoor showers; safes; dressing areas; air conditioning and other comforts. The architecture throughout is oriental, accentuated by

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mahogany and teak furniture from Bali and Indonesia. Golden Pavilion comfortably accommodates a maximum of four couples with up to four children in the main house and another couple in the adjacent guest cottage, which is as beautifully adorned as the main villa and has a self contained kitchen. Guests can have the property exclusively to themselves or choose to have some room service for dining, housekeeping, errands and tours. There are varied equipment and activities on property to satisfy the sporting and adventurous guest, who might be interested in kayaking, surfing, water skiing, snorkeling, boogie boards, going to the gym or out on a power boat. For the discerning couple who wants to have a long lasting and uniquely extra special memory etched in their minds, Golden Pavilion definitely makes for one of the best wedding destination venues in the world. While the staff at Golden Pavilion are not wedding planners, they are on standby and very open to working in concert with the organizers and guests to coordinate from the decorations to the food, to extra furnishings, the music and of course the ambience, which is a given as it comes with the package. So come with your families, small or extended, explore the destination in the days leading up to the big day and then stay on for the honeymoon. Or feel free to just come to vacation and then return for the wedding. To arrange your dream destination wedding at Golden Pavilion in the British Virgin Islands, please visit our website at www. goldenpavilionbvi.com.

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Surfsong Villa Resort Mirroring a Dream Destination Wedding

By Angela Burns

sn’t it just fitting that Surfsong “sprung out of our own marriage”? Mark and Cate Stephenson got married before acquiring Surfsong, but this would certainly have been a perfect location for their dream wedding - the beach; the naturalness of the property; immaculate landscaping; the buildings harmonizing with the land; and everything blending with the tweeting of the birds and the buzzing of the bees and even the faint drone of boats and airplanes in the distance. Conveniently located just minutes away from the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, you wouldn’t tell easily, as there is a natural hillside barrier between the two locations and the resort is not on the flight path at all, lending to the tranquility of the property. Surfsong is also located close to the conveniences of Trellis Bay with its market, restaurants, art and craft shops,

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water sports activities, entertainment and the ferries that go to several other islands. Reminiscent of their own choice of a small, intimate and private wedding on a beach, Mark and Cate modeled Surfsong Villa Resort after what they most enjoyed from their special day. As such, Surfsong provides a perfect natural ambience, impeccable services and fun activities such as treasure hunts, hobie cats, kayaking, art and craft days and hiking to and planting mangroves. Cate, who is the General Manager, overflows with excitement as she talks about the property and glides me from the very inviting reception area, lounge and honor bar where I would have been more than happy to stay a while, through the meticulously kept garden adorned with palm, turpentine, tamarind, loblolly trees and the most beautiful variety of plants and flowers, such as desert roses, hyacinths, ixoras and bougainvilleas, to the beautiful villas and then up and away

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Photos by Rainbow Vision Photography

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to a special spot. Now in its 10th year of business, Surfsong is a private enclave that has evolved from one main house to seven extraordinary and very romantic one, two and three bedroom villas that can accommodate a single guest or groups of up to 30 guests in 14 rooms. Many of them are ocean front and have different luxuries and amenities, but each with a unique character. Some have kitchenettes, canopy beds and double sinks in marble and slate bathrooms, while all have espresso makers, mini speaker systems, courtyards, barbecues

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and air conditioning with screens which allows guests to hear the ‘song of the surf’. In the renovation process, the owners were careful to maintain the original architecture of natural stone masonry done in the 1960’s, for the property known then as Casa Crate. Surfsong loves weddings and offers a variety of packages tailored to satisfying a couple’s desires. Surfsong, as you will agree, is built for romance. The signature ‘Wedding-moons’ at Surfsong are great for couples who wish to elope or have their wedding and

honeymoon combined and have all of the witnessing and paperwork done for them. “Those weddings are so lovely because it’s all focused on the bride and the groom and what they’re exchanging in the moment,” Cate says. “We really cater specifically to the needs of the guests, everything is custom designed to what the group wants, how formal or casual or how traditional or contemporary they might like it to be.....we can set up a wedding arbor, seating area and pathway so there’s a sense of entrance for the bride, we focus on color schemes and a natural decor incorporating palm leaves,

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Photos by Rainbow Vision Photography

shells and torches...” So where does one actually get married on this 5-acre property called Surfsong? “Let’s go this way,” says Cate and we mosey on up to that special spot, a multi purpose open air beach lounge, which has a white sandy first floor shaded reception area equipped with a bar and a top floor for the view, for private diners, sundowners, yoga, Pilates, hula hooping, massages, make up, manicures and pedicures. While couples can choose to get married at any location on the property, including on the beach itself against

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the background of eight islands on the horizon, or even under a tree, this spot is undoubtedly one of the favorites. For the reception, dining options are varied, from formal seating inside the reception area or in the courtyard or a casual affair on the beach. Surfsong can arrange the fine dining. But the popular choice has been a beach barbecue with accompanying steel pan music for that tropical Caribbean feel, topped off with some champagne. Imagine the beautiful photographs and video memoirs, since these are mostly sunset weddings! Some of the weddings at Surfsong have seen couples dancing down the aisle to a happy song being strummed by a guitarist or there have been those traditional ones with the ‘big reveal’ where the bride and groom don’t see each other ahead of the wedding. Among the packages offered at Surfsong are ‘Just The Two Of Us’ and different levels including providing an officiant, video and photographs, flowers, musicians and the wedding cake. All of these imageries can be taken back home for an announcement party mimicking the actual ceremony.

There is also much to be said about the privacy that this destination affords. Whether every room is rented or there is only one occupant, it would not be unusual to not run into anyone else for the entire day, as there are a number of places to explore. One can be swimming on the beach, at the beach lounge, upstairs at the spa, in the courtyard, taking a hike, out kayaking or of course confined to the intimacy of their own villa, with its private deck and kitchen facilities. The allure of eight islands dotted on the horizon and the boats sailing by does present an enticement to go exploring though and guests are encouraged to visit the rest of the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Needless to say, when you get married at Surfsong, you would definitely be returning for your anniversaries. This way, it becomes a never ending story! With demand increasing, Cate sees the imminent addition of more rooms, but has promised to keep the tone of the resort, the private feeling and the very high level of customer service. To contact Surfsong and get your story going, please visit their website www. surfsong.net. VI wedlock

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Photos by Amanda Baker (Virgin Portraits Photography)

Your beat will go on...with a by Angela Burns

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Myett’s Wedding

Tying the knot in the British Virgin Islands is a totally relaxing experience in a place where life moves at a comfortable pace and the emphasis is on romance! VI wedlock

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aits Photography)

Photos by Amanda Baker (Virgin Portr

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hat definitely will be the story of your life when you get married at Myett's, where there is a little bit of everything to make that moment extra special. Myett’s Garden Inn is located on the beach in Cane Garden Bay on the island of Tortola and has been built with nature as its surroundings. Guests are invited to enjoy the beautiful turquoise waters of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, that’s just steps from new and modern private suites, which boast all the comforts of home. Owners and Managers Valerie and Kareem Rhymer say these charming luxury suites, nestled in tropical gardens, were built with large open air design to maximize guests' comfort and to share with them the uncrowded feel of a typical hotel. The spacious rooms, which are also air-conditioned, feature a tropical decor and come with king size or two queen size beds, refrigerator and wet bar, coffee maker, telephone and maid service. Myett's specializes in weddings! While there are specially

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designed packages, Kareem and Valerie pride themselves in being totally flexible! Throughout every stage: from booking your stay and arranging the legalities, to the beautiful beachfront setting for the ceremony, providing video services to capture the event or enjoying dinner and refreshments just steps away from the sandy altar, Myett's can help your through the entire process. The professional team at Myett's has designed several wedding packages that you can choose from or they can customize a package for you. They focus on weddings, renewals and rehearsal dinners. You simply let them know what kind of service and party you are thinking about and they will give you a quote. The standard Base Wedding Package offers a simple sunset beach set up with potted palms, a flower aisle and special table for signing on the beach; the Silver Wedding Package adds a buffet of appetizers and champagne service on the beach under a tent with a private beach bar; while the Gold Wedding Package includes everything in the Silver Wedding Package, plus a dinner table with candle decorations set up on the restaurant deck with a special menu of your choice, white linens and flowers. Other miscellaneous items you might want to consider, include arranging fresh local flowers for the bride's and bridesmaids bouquets; the wedding cake or going as far as booking the entire restaurant! Depending on the group size (Myett's can cater to 70+), you can have dinner set up on the beach with tiki torches and a romantic setting, instead of inside the restaurant. While at Myett's, guests are invited to patronize the Garden & Grill Restaurant. Since 1992, Myett’s has been serving up Caribbean Cuisine at its best. The dining area and gardens were designed with the ambience of nature in mind, where guests are surrounded by a lovely setting of lush tropical gardens and spectacular sunsets right on one of the best sugar white sandy beaches on the island of Tortola. Open air dining features fresh lobster, fish, shrimp, steak, vegetarian and more delicious foods, grilled right before your eyes. There are sunset Happy Hour daily specials on drink prices, recorded music concerts all day and live island entertainment on select days of the week. Another great feature to enjoy while at Myett's is the Sea Spa,

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located upstairs the restaurant, where you are invited to indulge in pure bliss with a relaxaxing massage, a luxury facial or a range of other treatments which will melt away whatever is left of your cares and bring you into balance with the rhythm of island living! A visit to Myett's and indeed the British Virgin Islands would not be complete without a souvenir to take away. On property at Olivia's Corner Store, one can find unique island inspired local arts

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and crafts, Caribbean music, books and cards, camera batteries and film, sun and reading glasses, skin-care products, tee shirts, men, women and children tropical wear, cuban cigars and much more. With all of that and more, you will surely find that Myett's is like no other for a destination wedding and a memorable Caribbean vacation.

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Photos by Bareboats BVI

Ole Works Inn… your home away from home

Do you yearn for a vacation where you can unwind fully but still feel like you’re at home?

W Photos by Elton Callwood

hen you dream of marrying the love of your life, do you think of honeymooning at an exotic location where the service is impeccable, but you still feel the comfort and familiarity of home? For many, weddings are a once in a lifetime event and perfection, though humanly impossible is profoundly desired. Therefore, location, atmosphere and setting all have a crucial part to play in making it the perfect occasion. If either of these scenarios match your reality then Ole Works Inn with its sister businesses, Quito’s Gazebo and Jan’s

Potpourri and Gallery is just the place for you. Proprietors Quito and Janice Rymer have created the perfect blend of businesses that seamlessly complement each other. Nestled on an acre of beachfront property, on the ruins of an old sugar factory in Cane Garden Bay, the 18room Ole Works Inn is uniquely poised to offer a distinct “at home” feeling while still providing customers with the service expected of a five-star hotel. It was in 1981 that the couple, while still dating, embarked on what has become a business model that features a gazebo-

Some of our guests arrive late, they may be tired and the reception area may be already closed. It’s almost like being met at the airport by a relative and being taken to their home for your vacation. www.viwedlock.com

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It’s not just a hotel; we offer our guests a home away from home.

Photos by Elton Callwood

Quito Rymer

styled, split-level restaurant on the water, Quito’s Gazebo; cosy accommodation just metres from the beach, Ole Works Inn and Jan’s Potpourri and Art Gallery, a well stocked gift-shop that offers beautifully crafted souvenirs and all the conveniences required for a resort stay. Typical, you might say, but the uniqueness of the business is illustrated in the fine details and the way they complement each other. An accomplished musician, who has written countless songs and produced nine albums, Quito adds an authentic flavour to the dining experience of customers, crooning a multitude of genres, from folklore to roots rock reggae. For those who desire more than a mere taste, his music is also on sale at the gift shop. Quito’s artistic talent is portrayed throughout the restaurant – he lovingly but painstakingly hand-painted all of tables with prints featuring flowers and the covers from some of his albums. His artistic work is also on display in the gift shop and patrons have a variety of prints to choose from. At the inn, across the street, the manager’s cocktail is a mustdo for guests and there, they are also treated to the crooning of the BVI’s very own musical legend. That’s the business as it exists today but it has taken years to achieve this product. The idea however, had its genesis in the 1970’s as Quito honed his culinary craft at hotels in neighbouring St. Thomas and St John and even the state of Wyoming in the

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United States. With noble intentions, the couple initially set out to make fine dining available in rural BVI, Quito’s hometown to be precise. The intention was not just to create a business but the impetus stemmed from a deeper, heart-felt love for community and a desire to contribute to the neighbourhood where he grew up. Patrons however, had a slightly different perception. By now, Cane Garden Bay had become a popular anchorage and the customers were primarily sailing enthusiasts who desired a more casual and relaxed atmosphere. As you know, the customer is always right, so what the customer wants, the customer gets. Being the savvy entrepreneurs that they are, the Rymers immediately saw the wisdom in responding to the needs of customers. Thus came the move to the actual beachfront property and the establishment of a gazebo. “People wanted more of a laid back beach-type atmosphere and wanted to be closer to the water.” The cuisine is distinctly BVI, to give you a true taste of the islands with menu items like chicken and Johnny cake, fish and corn but the desire is to please everyone’s palate. Having satisfied the needs of the customers, the business was reaping the rewards of having a growing clientele. Partly through natural progression and a desire to remain at the cutting edge of the business and again in response to the needs of customers, many of whom had inquired about the availability of rooms while dining at the restaurant, the Rymers transformed the old restaurant into a hotel. In 1987, the 18-room Ole Works Inn opened its doors. It began with standard hotel rooms, but has evolved over the years – suites have been added so long-stay guests have the amenities to facilitate cooking and there’s also two units called ‘Honeymoon Towers’. “These are octagon-shaped units with swinging love seats, king-size beds and a complimentary bar for occupants. It’s something different designed with newlyweds in mind.” What’s unique about Ole Works Inn? “Our personal touch,” the Rymers respond in unison. From inception, the motto of Ole Works Inn was simple – “Your home away from home”. To ensure that the establishment unfailingly delivers its personal touch, the proprietors of Ole Works Inn screen potential employees very carefully. “We employ people who understand what we are about. It’s not just a hotel; we offer our guests a home away from home so we need persons who will genuinely care about the well-being of our guests and create that kind of environment where they feel truly at home.” Just how far does this homely feeling extend? “As far as the airport,” was the response with a distinctive chuckle, leaving me with a momentary quizzical look, pondering the meaning of that statement. An explanation was quickly forthcoming. “We have a designated taxi driver who will meet the guests at the airport and drive them to the hotel. He would have a key and will take them directly to their room.” By way of further explanation, he added, “Some of our guests arrive late, they may be tired and the reception area may be already closed. It’s almost like being met at the airport by a

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relative and being taken to their home for your vacation.” Talk about attention to detail. I nod my head in silent agreement, thinking I’d love to be able to go on vacation and receive that kind of service. Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one giving a thumbsup to this ingenuity. For years, guests were so enthralled with this level of service that many of them would book their next stay as they were checking out. But then came the recession, making the disposable income of some, one of its many casualties. People began more conservative in their spending habits and the entire tourism industry suffered. Ole Works Inn was not immune to the impact of the recession but its owners made every effort to keep the business operational. Survive they did. “Now that we are seeing the tail end of the recession, it’s building back. The level of occupancy is still far from the numbers we saw prior to the recession but there’s hope.” There is hope indeed, for in the midst of our interview, some guests came in, had drinks at the bar and inquired about getting a room for a couple nights. There’s one other side to the unique Rymer business model. The gazebo is also the perfect location for wedding receptions and they’ve hosted quite a few, some big, some small. Just months ago, a couple tied the knot on the rocks right outside the restaurant. Employees too are seeing the benefits of this fantastic product and are using it – one employee got married last year and used the gazebo for the reception and another employee is planning their reception for the same venue this year. The Rymers have definitely created a name for themselves with their uniquely blended businesses. Quito’s talent as a musician and artist have been incorporated into the business, adding a distinct and unique flavour that cannot be replicated. His artwork has garnered international interest as he was recently the featured artist at the annual exhibition at the BVI London House. His musical journey which has included opening acts for well-known international artistes like Third World, Ziggy Marley and Freddy McGregor, is nothing short of legendary in the BVI.

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Photos by Elton Callwood

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Photos by Amanda Baker (Virgin Portraits Photography)

GETTING MARRIED IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

Getting married in the Virgin Islands has never been easier. The Office of the Civil Registry has simplified the process for marriage licence application.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS Certain documents will be required for the application process. All documents must be originals or certified as true copies of the originals.

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These include:- Proof of identity and residency status (passports) - Proof of marital status (including certified copies of divorce decree) - Two persons to witness (and to sign) the application for the licence. These two witnesses need not be the same two witnesses who are present at your marriage ceremony. - US$220 for a Special License and US$120 for an Ordinary License. The Registrar General will perform a civil marriage at the Civil Registry’s office for a fee of US$340, or at an outside venue for US$220. If you wish to be married in a church of your choice, you must make arrangements with the minister of the -Source: www.crisvi.gov.vg church in advance.

ouples now only need to be in the Territory for just one day before they can be married. With the implementation of the Civil Registry Information System (CRIS), the application for marriage licence can be submitted online by visiting www. crisvi.gov.vg and following the simple instructions. An online application for a Virgin Islands marriage licence must be reviewed by the marriage officer before it can be submitted to the Registrar-General's Office. Note that a marriage licence is issued for a specific marriage officer and marriage ceremony venue. It is imperative that you discuss your plans with the Marriage Officer before submitting the application for their

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approval of the ceremony, which will be followed by submission of the application in person to Registrar-General's Office for approval of the application. You can also apply in person for your marriage licence at the RegistrarGeneral’s Office, which is located upstairs of Burhym Electrical Services in Wickham’s Cay, Road Town, Tortola. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A Special Marriage License (requires one day residency) takes one working day to process, while the Ordinary Marriage License (requires 15-day residency) takes three working days. Once granted, the license remains valid for three months from the date it is issued.

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Photos by Amanda Baker (Virgin Portraits Photography)

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I have to say that I would have never imagined that coming to this island would help me find the love of my life! This came somewhere in the end of Juan Carlos sharing this beautiful love story. By Angela Burns Photographs by Amanda Baker (Virgin Portraits Photography)

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B

ut if you think about it, if we all were to imagine the path our lives would take and it becomes a reality, that would not leave much room for excitement, the element of surprise, intrigue and destiny. We can really wrap up this story like this: Boy grows up, achieves academic qualifications, journeys to another country to work, meets girl, they get married, started having babies and are looking forward to a great future. Or we can satisfy our yearning for a 'feel good' love story by being a tad more elaborate. Ok, hands down, we all choose the latter. Juan Carlos Quezada, 29, was born in Panama. He is a lawyer who moved to Tortola, British Virgin Islands about five years ago to work at a local Trust Company. As with many foreigners who come to the Territory, it was originally for a short period of time, very often to fulfill a 1-3 year contract. But in a lot of cases, 'life' happens. In Juan Carlos' case, he grew to love the island for its tropical weather, its beaches, the people he met here (especially one particular family as you will see later on) and of course he loved and was good at his job! It is not unusual in Panama to be a qualified professional at 23 years of age, since students can graduate High School at 18 with their Bachelor's Degree and then move straight into pursuing higher education. What is unusual is him not being married around that age! It was not a tough choice for Juan Carlos moving to and settling in the British Virgin Islands from Panama. The only regret is having had to leave his family and that he was not there when his grandmother passed away. He considers Panama, which is located in Central America and has over 3.6 million people, a small country with the similarities of any major city. That is relative of course and so he finds the BVI a lot less hectic. After all, there are not as many options for going for lunch or drinks or having a good time, as he puts it. But Juan Carlos loves the sea and the BVI has lots of that and the water is great for swimming, surfing and sailing, which he enjoys. When he moved here in 2008, he was so focused on his career that he was not dating, neither was he looking for a relationship. In fact, he did not care to get married at all or maybe when he was about 35. That worked out well for about 3 years, but as a young professional on the social scene, this was soon challenged. He

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did have a great group of friends from diverse backgrounds, but he did notice that there did not seem to be many available and eligible females here to hang out with. Then, it happened.....one Friday night.....about three years ago.....June 15th, 2011.....happy hour at a local night spot with some friends.....there she was among the crowd! "I saw this beautiful girl and she really caught my attention and so I asked one of my friends who I thought would know her and right away, I was introduced," related Juan Carlos. This 'girl' turned out to be Gioalis, who was with her friend who was with her boyfriend. That meant Gioalis was on her own, at least for the night. He later found out that she had just graduated college in her native Venezuela and arrived on the island a few months ago, as she awaited the transition to her next unknown phase of life. And get this....she was not dating either! By this time, of course, Juan Carlos was doing the 'Happy Dance'! Now while he was suddenly convinced 'this is the full package', she was understandably hesitant. But he went in for the tackle: "how are you doing, what's your name, how long have you been on the island, how is it that I haven't see you before, would you like to join us, I am with some friends who speak Spanish?" - you know, small talk to break the ice. Turns out Gioalis was having the same social challenge as Juan Carlos - not much to do on the island. So while he was preoccupied with work, she basically stayed at home a lot. Did he capitalize on that? Yes, he sure did! "Give me your phone number and I will show you that this island has a lot to offer," he told her. He had to be quick on the fingers, because she made it quite clear that she was only going to say it once. She did not warn him, however, that she was also going to say it softly. But hey, when a man really wants a woman, he goes after her! So yes, he got that number and he made sure to call her right there on the spot to ensure that he entered it in his phone correctly and she did not give him a wrong number. Fast forward from that night when they pretty much closed the place down at around 5:30am the next day, to the 'couple' spending every single day together after that, to today when.... hold on, hold on! Now don't go reading the end of the story; take the journey with the rest of us! Juan Carlos would come up with every reason to connect with Gioalis - "I don't want to have dinner on my own, would you like to

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join me; there's this party, would you like to come; have you ever been to a full moon party at Bomba's, we should go, even though it might have been on a Tuesday night." He was enamored by her beauty, personality, confidence and determination. Gioalis had all the time in the world, as she was not working, but came here to visit her mother Alice, who was living here for the past 17 years.

So, the big question! How did he pop the question?

Their meeting in June, came a month before his birthday on July 12 and he wanted to go sailing for his birthday. By this time, he says they were actually dating, but of course after only one month, she would not be caught holding his hands in public. So on the Saturday, on the Willy T against backdrop of Norman Island, with the sun setting in the background and having one of their many conversations, Gioalis asked Juan Carlos what more could he want, being at a good place now in his life. She compared her own situation as she remembered that she had to soon make a decision about whether she was going to stay in the BVI or go on to further her studies. Then it dawned on Juan Carlos! He may lose this girl if he doesn't help her to make a decision to stick around, for the moment, at least. So there and then, he quickly told her that she didn't have to leave, because he wanted to marry her and spend the rest of his life with her!

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"It felt right," he said, "and I was not going to negotiate losing her just because the conditions were not right, so that's when I popped the question." They immediately got engaged and planned to get married within a year. This would give them time to get to know each other better, figure out the immigration requirements for her to stay here while he was on contract and certainly, work out the logistics of the actual wedding. As it turned out, they were able to get married about a year after they met right here on Tortola at a rented villa, again against the backdrop of one of the islands - Guana Island. The villa was beautifully decorated by none other than Gioalis' mother, who incidentally is a florist and decorator at Stems and the best mother-in-law ever! It was an intimate gathering of family and friends, including his parents, on January 5, 2013. "So we have already celebrated our first anniversary and I have to say that 2013 was the best year ever, until now that we found out that we're pregnant," he beamed. Baby girl, first of no more than 3 children, is due in May. Gioalis, who is now 28, must be a proud wife and even prouder expectant mother, don't you think? The Quezadas have some time left in the British Virgin Islands before going back home to Panama to continue raising their family. Aaahhh, love!

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Photos by John Black Photography

Sheldon & Ingrid

A Unique Wedding for a Unique Couple We wanted a unique wedding so we planned a lot of unique stuff;” gushed the visibly happy new bride, Mrs. Ingrid Gunn, who said I do to her spouse, Mr. Sheldon Gunn on February 15, 2014 at the New Testament Church of God. Nodding in agreement, an obviously adoring new groom, lovingly rubs his wife’s shoulders and seemingly unable to tear his eyes away even for a moment says, “she is very unique, very creative and came up with some innovative ideas for our wedding.” Eager to share the elements of her dream Valentine’s Day themed wedding, Ingrid revealed that they had a sand ceremony, instead of the candle ceremony that seems to be the more popular choice in the BVI. “There were three colours involved, white for him, red for me and silver, our

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accent colour for God,poured by our Bishop after he explained the significance of the intermingling of all three to the congregation - that a marriage should be a triangular shape, with the man and woman at the base on the same level at either end reflecting partnership and God at the top as the head of the relationship.” The bride’s entrance was another unique feature. “At the sound of the trumpet ,I stepped into the spotlight and started walking down the aisle and was joined by my groom who came to get me half of the way,” she said. Already finishing each other’s sentences Sheldon added, “My back was turned, everybody saw her before me. My best man gave me the indication and I turned and started walking towards her and I was like wow, almost breathless, she looked beautiful.” There were several other unique

elements. “Instead of a pillow, our ringbearer carried a jewelry box in the form of a red rose bearing all three rings. The bridesmaids didn’t have bouquets. Instead, the groomsmen walked down the aisle with a concealed rose, to meet their respective partners, twirled them around and presented them with the single symbol of love. There were no cake boxes for guests. Instead, a sweet buffet was created with an assortment of candies, cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries, all in keeping with the Valentine’s theme and with a three– tier red and white wedding cake, standing on a very unique cake-stand as its centrepiece. The stand consisted of nine 10-inch vases, each containing three artificial red roses, at various heights, filled with water for stability and glass stones covering the bottom. The table arrangements were VI wedlock

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similar to the cake-stand, consisting of a glass vase with a single red rose inside and the white floral arrangements at the top. The cupcake rose bouquets compliments of La Baguette Bakery also represented another unique quality, one which brought immense satisfaction to the bride. “When I first explained what I wanted, he was a bit hesitant but as I’d done my research I directed him where to find it online. When I saw it on the day, I was very pleased.” Though largely a unique wedding, the couple included some elements of tradition. Traditional yes, but they added their own flair. “She wanted a motorcade and when we got to the area just outside Digicel, we released 30 red, heartshaped balloons on which was printed, just married, the date and our names.” While they were very hands-on in the planning of their wedding, the couple was pleasantly surprised with a unique feature added by the limo driver. “The limo driver had a red carpet. We’d asked for a white limo in keeping with the theme but when he came for us, we saw him rolling out the red carpet and we were like WOW, this is awesome.” As if all of those unique features were

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not enough, the couple shared what to them was the best part of the wedding. “The most exciting part of the day was the first kiss because in truth and in fact that was the first time we kissed,” Ingrid said, still reveling in that memory. During their courtship, there were occasional kisses on the cheek but the first intimate kiss for the newlyweds occurred on their wedding day after they were pronounced husband and wife. With a huge smile - not that they’d stop smiling since the interview started – Sheldon added, “It was beautiful. It being the first, we thought it would be awkward but it wasn’t; it just flowed. It was a really special moment, really the best part of the wedding.” Being devout Christians, Ingrid and Sheldon decided from very early in their relationship that they wanted to keep it pure and refrain from intimacy until they were joined by marriage in accordance with the teachings of the bible. “Of course there was temptation but we decided we were going to keep it pure. While nothing may be wrong with kissing we chose not to because we knew it could lead to further temptation. We plan to have a family and we wanted to have something special and unique to tell our children - that mom and dad did this and it is possible; that

God can keep you from anything as long as you ask him to. We trusted in God and we moved forward in faith and despite all the negative comments we were able to abstain with God’s help.” Ingrid added, “With the help and strength of God, we waited. He never touched me inappropriately; I never pushed myself on him. While we admitted our feelings to each other we kept the boundaries. We would hug and kiss on the cheek but no fondling. What we have is not just based on romance and emotions. You cannot rely on that. Emotions are feelings and feelings change, it’s only natural. Our love is based on the qualities we saw in each other and like Sheldon said, we moved forward in faith.” How was it that this young couple with their firm religious beliefs was able to find each other in a world that glamourizes everything that is secular? It may have been a chance meeting but their footsteps were definitely ordered by God. They met in 2009 at Esme’s Shoppe on Main Street where Sheldon was working at the time. Ingrid worked at a nearby trust company and would often buy snacks at the shop. They struck up a cordial friendship, finding it easy to converse about various subject matters. They lost

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touch in 2010 when Sheldon changed jobs and they had not even exchanged numbers. When they met again in 2011, Sheldon was excited and immediately requested her number. Though reluctant, she consented and he began sending text messages, not of a personal nature, but encouraging messages about God as Ingrid had walked away from God. Though she received and read each message he sent, Ingrid never sent any acknowledgment. Sheldon eventually called and explained that he didn’t want to pressure her about her faith or to be annoying, he just wanted to encourage her. Though still cordial, their friendship grew. Sheldon would bring her mangoes which he learned she liked and coconut water when she wasn’t well. After rekindling her relationship with God in April 2011, they attended the same church, learning more about God together. “All this time, we never had a conversation about liking each other; we were just talking about God and things of mutual interest. I’d liked her from early on but I never approached her on that because I didn’t want her to get the wrong idea and think that I was being inappropriate.It finally came to a point where I admitted my feelings but I

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was just letting her know, not to pressure her or anything and she said okay.” Their friendship continued until Ingrid started giving Sheldon indications in late 2012 that she was interested and he eventually asked her to date him. “I was a bit hesitant when he first approached me because I’d just come back to God and I wasn’t prepared to share my time with someone else but I prayed about it. I was attracted to Sheldon and he had the qualities I was looking for in a partner and God helped me to see that he was good for me and that we could have something really special. I came to appreciate that I was able to find a young man who shared my beliefs and I definitely have to give God praise.” What was dating like for the young Christian couple? “The first thing we did was go to the Pastor and he was very happy because he really likes to see people of the same faith coming together. For the most part, we spent a lot of quality time together and just had good conversation.” Adding details, Sheldon said, “For example we had our Friday night ritual, of having goat water, going to Singles at the church, then by Panchie [food van] after for chicken, fries and corn where

sometimes we spent hours talking.” Ingrid chimes in laughingly, “He always said he would get me to stay out until morning but he never did.” They shared a quick laugh before she added, “We would go to restaurants sometimes, movies, buy ice-cream and sit and look at the ocean; sometimes just sit in the car in the parking lot by the church. It was simple stuff really, just getting to know each other better and talking about our mutual interests. When we went to each other’s homes, we would never go in the bedrooms. Actually we never knew what each other’s bedroom looked like until about a week before the wedding when we showed just to satisfy curiosity.” By virtue of their beliefs, marriage was the only way to take their relationship to another level and Sheldon began trying to determine if Ingrid was ready. He planned to propose the weekend after Valentine’s Day in 2013. On the night, many things were going wrong, their reservation was not recorded and calls to four other restaurants brought the same reply – fully booked. On a whim, they took the boat to Scrub Island and the pieces finally began falling into place. With the casual restaurant filled to capacity, they were escorted to fine dining and immediately VI wedlock

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gravitated to the seats on the balcony where they were alone. But the stumbling blocks were not all removed, at least not just yet. “At one point, I took the ring out, then the waitress came up to the table. Thankfully, Ingrid didn’t see it yet.” Ingrid’s version – “I could see he was nervous and I was there thinking to myself tonight is the night. We were on the balcony by ourselves and the moonlight was reflecting on the water, it was just beautiful. He started with a little speech, took the ring out and I began giggling, I couldn’t stop laughing. Even though I anticipated it was coming, when he actually said the words, I was so excited. I said yes, he put the ring on my finger and kissed me on my cheek.Even in all of that excitement we didn’t slip, we still kept it pure. The waitress came out and I told her I just got engaged and started laughing again.” It was not that long ago, but it is definitely one of their more precious memories. As they look ahead to their future, we certainly wish them a lifetime of happy memories. That may be our worldly desire but for Ingrid and Sheldon, they have placed

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their future in God’s hands. “God has to be the centre of our lives, whatever we do, we need to put him first. As long as it is his will, whatever you desire, you will achieve; the Holy Spirit will lead you to do the things you are supposed to do.” It is certainly inspiring for me and I’m sure for many others who read this to see a young couple remaining true to the teachings of the bible, refraining from worldly behavior and living up to the principles of God, given to us through the commandments. It is their hope that their story will inspire others, young and old, to dare to be different; to know that there is always an alternative way, God’s way. “This story is not about us really, it’s a proclamation of God. When approached by Wedlock magazine, we were reluctant because we didn’t want to be scrutinised by the public and judged for our decision but then we saw it as an opportunity to glorify God’s name publicly. You don’t hear enough about God, he is hidden. That’s the main reason why we decided to share our story – to talk about his goodness and his power to enable us to accomplish what he expects of us.We

don’t know what will happen tomorrow but we have to trust in God and believe that He will guide us.” Sharing one of her favourite passages in the Bible, Matthew 6, Verse 33 – ‘But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you’, Ingrid said, “Not too long ago it seemed that it was not in my fate to meet that special someone but upon returning to God, I am amazed at what he has done and all the things that fell in place.” Her take away message, also taken from scripture is that,“The race is not for the swift but for those who endure to the end.” As young women, there’s a lot of pressure to get married but don’t be in a rush to get married, instead be concerned about it lasting as God intends. Romance is just a minute part of love. A decision about marriage cannot be made based solely on romance, on what you feel today because feelings change. When you make and maintain your decision based on love as defined in the bible, you are giving yourself a better chance of having a lasting marriage by the grace of God. We can only take it one day at a time in faith.’

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Jeovan & Junette

Say “I do” in Area Code *1-284: Local Couples Share their Stories on Getting Married in the BVI By April Glasgow

In 2013, 484 I do’s were said by 242 couples, who had 60 islands and cays from which to choose - all in one beautiful destination, the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Over the years, the BVI has attracted many visiting couples who wish to read their marital vows and honeymoon in Nature’s Little Secrets. And of course, couples in the BVI also enjoy the benefits and luxuries of having their nuptials in the paradise in which they live. Some local couples, chose to celebrate island life with beach weddings, while others, like Jeovan and Junette and Chad and Joanna Gaskin, opted for a traditional church wedding in one of the BVI’s most attractive churches. Once couples begin planning a wedding in the BVI, they are advise to seek marriage counseling and the rest is a piece of because getting married in the BVI is easy and hassle free, especially when it came to paper work. And paper work may get even easier, since Premier of the Virgin Islands Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE announced aforthcoming change in the BVI’s wedding legislation to make it possible for couples to obtain marriage licenses and get married in less than 24 hours. Currently, the law stipulates persons wishing to get married in the BVI should be in the Territory no less than 24 hours. 42

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Photo by SRM Photography

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Chad & Joanna

Photo by SRM Photography

Junette and Jeovan were introduced to each other by two mutual friends that worked next door. Since the two were both coming out of bad break ups they decided they can’t be any more than ‘friends’. Reluctant to go on a one-on-one first date, they decide to go on a group date instead. During the date Jeovan and Junette stepped out for a short walk to get to know a little more about each other and sat and talked for two hours. After a year and a half of dating and talking about the future it was on a Friday evening, February 15th 2013, after Jeovan had just lost a rugby game on the A.O Shirley track, he popped the question. “I went over to cheer him up and while we were standing away from the crowd he half got down on his injured knee and ask “Even though I don’t have a ring on me now, will you marry me?” and I said “yes” with a big grin on my face. We hugged and kissed for what seems like the longest and sweetest kiss of my life,” said the still happy bride. The two exchanges nuptials at New Life Baptist Church and had a sunset reception at Lambert Beach Resort Restaurant where they danced until the last guest left. Junette says she would tell other couples to “go for it” and get married in the BVI. While highlighting that you can get almost everything they need here, the bride admitted to getting her dress from Puerto Rico and the groom’s tuxedo for VI Bridal in St. Thomas. She noted everything else was locally done and that her flowers came from Primrose Florist in Road Town, Tortola. With regards to venue, Tiffany lauded the owners and staff at Lambert Beach Resort Restaurant as being welcoming and easy going. Both husband and wife would encourage other couples to get married in the BVI, if they can. “The BVI is a fabulous wedding destination. It’s diverse with so many locations, hotels and restaurants; and best of all good people that can meet all of your wedding needs.” Their advice for other couples? “Start with a budget, be prepared to compromise and above all have fun planning the wedding.”

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On Christmas Day last year, Chad, a BVIslander, wed Joanna, a Filipino with bells ringing in their nuptials at the very popular New Life Baptist Church in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola. The Gaskins decided to have a traditional church wedding that fused both BVI and Filipino culture. While Joanna dawned a white wedding dress, Chad wore a ‘Barong Tagalog’, a formal shirt from the Philippines. In choosing between BVI and the Philippines, Joanna says, “BVI is my second home and both my family and my husband’s family are here.” Joanna said there were no disappointments and emphasized, “The BVI is a paradise for me and it’s a perfect place to get married.” The new wife said that she would encourage anyone to choose the BVI as their wedding destination for the warm people and beautiful natural surroundings. “Tranquility and simplicity resides in Nature’s Little Secrets.” A perfect combination for a perfect wedding, and better yet, marriage, this author notes. April Glasgow is a mother, daughter, literary artist, entertainer and freelance writer born, nurtured and tempered in the British Virgin Islands. Contact her at aprilglasgow@gmail.com.

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TEN FACTS THAT EVERY GROOM SHOULD KNOW 1

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THE LOCATION

THE WEDDING DRESS

THE GUEST LIST

THE INVITATIONS WEDDING No you can't just call TRADITIONS

Yes we know that you will still be legally married regardless of where it happens. And of course cost is an issue. But she has dreamt of this day since she was a little girl so the location IS important. Maybe you do both need to be more practical due to finances or travel distance. But make sure she understands that you know how important this is. "It's such a shame but I'm not sure we can afford that" sounds better than shrugging and asking "does it matter?"

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The chances are that she thought about her wedding dress the moment she accepted your proposal. And although you think that all bridal gowns look exactly the same - she doesn't. So take an interest and whichever one she likes tell her it's the perfect choice and that she'll look beautiful in it.

Why invite your cousin Frank and his family when you haven't spoken in three years? Because she wants you to! She wants to share her special day within everyone she can and she expects you to feel exactly the same. The same goes with her friends and family. If she wants to invite all the girls from work (the ones she complains about at the end of every single day) then smile and tell her what a good idea it is.

people up. Nor can you run them all off your computer - even if you can find a template online!. The style and professionalism of the invitations will reflect that of the wedding day itself. They don't have to be expensive but they do need to look as if some thought has gone into them. And yes they do need to be personal and have the individual names on them.

5 Go on - admit it. This bit is actually quite fun - tossing the garter and all that. And there will be very little cost involved here so earn yourself some brownie points and suggest as many as possible - something old, something blue , silver sixpences and chimney sweeps etc. You may also be able to surprise her with the odd item on the day itself.

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Nobody would want to imply that grooms-to-be are never romantic. There are of course many men who are (or can be if they choose) extremely romantic. But the truth is that most men don’t quite understand the importance of the details of their wedding. They fully understand that it’s about making a commitment to the woman they love, but the chances are that their future wife will look into it all so much deeper than that. And by not appreciating this fact you guys really aren’t doing yourselves any favors. So here we are - ten things that grooms need to try and consider important for the sake of their bride.

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THE VOWS

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

THE RECEPTION

THE HONEYMOON

THE THANK YOU NOTES

This is an integral part of the ceremony so don't just gloss over this with a sweep of the hand and "oh let’s just use the usual ones". Of course if she wants to use the traditional ones then that's fine. But why not suggest writing your own?

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This is another area where it's just too easy to suggest you can save a few dollars by asking your mate from work to do it with his smartphone. Remember that these will be permanent reminders of your very special oncein-a-lifetime day. You can't go back and do it again if the photos don't come out right. There's no harm in asking someone you know to do it for you but make sure they know what they're doing and have some decent equipment.

Yes a knees-up in your local bar sounds great doesn't it? But only to you. Read again what was written under 'The Location' and apply it to your reception as well.

Remember that this is not your usual holiday together - suggest somewhere romantic where the two of you can spend time alone together. Yes we all know that a lot of couples honeymoon in Vegas - that doesn't mean that you have to as well.

It's a fact of life that ladies like to write thank you letters. Yes she knows that you thanked everyone at the reception but she would like to do it properly. But isn't it just a waste of time? No. How about if you text them? No - that's not a good idea either. But why do you have to help write them? Because she asked you to. Haven't you learned yet? You're married now!

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Affording Your

Wedding

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re you thinking about how you are going to afford your wedding? You are not alone. The price tag of many nuptials these days can get out of control pretty quickly. But, there are many ways of having the wedding of your dreams and still being able to afford it. Of course, this may take a little bit of saving, flexibility, creative thinking, and even a little do-it-yourself kind of craftiness to make it happen. But, if you are open to the possibilities of making your day quite unique, it will be as special as you are. Of course there are some essential pieces to a wedding that are going to be a little bit pricey. That is just the way it goes. But, you can defray some of those costs by being a little savvy. First, if you don't have your heart set on getting married in a church, you can choose a wedding site like on the beach, in a park, or even a family friend's home. Exchanging your vows somewhere where there is no cost will allow for you to have a little money to spend on the reception hall. There are many beautiful places that do not cost one cent. You just have to look around. Another great way to make your wedding happen on a budget is to have your friends arrange their own flower bouquets. Buying a few flowers, or even some simple and inexpensive arrangements from

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your local farmers market or grocery store can be beautiful and cost effective. Thinking outside the box can really make your whole day more affordable. If you are quite whimsical, or like to have a bit of fun, you may even want to consider making your own paper flowers or even think about using helium balloons as a bouquet that can be let go at the end of the ceremony. Often times, when a couple just cannot afford to throw a lavish affair they make a decision about what things they will splurge on and what things they will try and save on. This kind of thinking can really make the whole process more enjoyable and rather fun. For one, knowing that you will not be in debt later on for just one day is always a good thing. But, for other reasons, too, when the couple has to rely on creative thinking, a bit more of their own personality comes out, and it shows in the whole event itself. If you must have certain elements on your special day, or your heart is set on specific things that are very pricey, the best choice is to save for them. Putting off your nuptials for a year and a half or two years can mean the difference between having it or not. And, if you think about it, putting off the date for another six months to a year will not only allow for more time to afford it , it will allow for more enjoyment of your engagement.

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Wedding Invitations How to Choose the Best Designs

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hoosing wedding invitations may seem like a daunting process, but it could be exciting. That is because this is really your time to shine as a couple and show off your personality to its best advantage. The invitation will be the first impression that you are able to make on your guests, and will give them some idea of what type of wedding this is going to be. Therefore, the design that you choose should be indicative of this and go along with the overall style and theme, for the best overall effect. Some of the factors that go into choosing these designs for wedding invitations involve your personal sense of style, the latest invitation trends, and the color schemes and motifs that will be a part of the actual ceremony and reception. This should all be reflected in your invitation designs. Think of a couple of main colors that you will be using for your floral arrangements, bridesmaid

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gowns, and this wedding stationery as well. You will need not only the invitations themselves, but also save-the-date cards and thank-you cards as well, so there is a lot of room for experimentation and interesting design choices. If you are unsure where to start, it would be a good idea to look through wedding catalogs, magazines, and websites, to see some examples of other wedding invitations. You could choose one of these, or use them as a jumping off point towards creating your own unique designs. In either case, there is no limit on the creativity that is involved in designing this stationery. Some choose to make them three-dimensional, with extra embellishments such as pearls

or lace. Having custom photos printed onto them of the happy couple can be another way to get people excited about the upcoming ceremony. Vintage looks are always quite popular with invitations. Because a wedding ceremony is always rather traditional, just in its very nature, it makes sense to incorporate some nods to tradition in your wedding designs. This could include oldfashioned patterns, floral designs, or a pale pink or cream color scheme that hearkens back to an older, more romantic style. You could also forge ahead with current trends if you wish. The sky is the limit and with time couples have reached new levels of creativity in their wedding invitations designs. Getting started involves simply opening your mind to all of the various possibilities , and remembering to have fun with it.

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Questions Regarding Wedding Packages Wedding packages can provide you with everything you need for your special day. Find out what these include and what they may not.

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edding packages are one of the best ways for individuals to create an amazing day without having to have multiple providers and vendors. When planning for your day, you may find one or more venues that offer this type of bundled offer. However, each one offers different services. As you compare companies to work with, you will want to consider what each offer includes, what is not included, and what additional services you may need. There is no doubt that every detail of your day needs to be perfect and with these offers, you may find that easier to achieve. Every company or venue offering wedding packages offers a range of product options for you to select from for your day. Many times, the features and inclusions will vary based on what you need and what the facility can offer. You should ask some questions about these services before booking them, though.

WHAT SERVICES ARE INCLUDED AS PART OF THE PACKET?

Some will lump together the rental of the facility with the catering services. Many venues provide this basic packet offer.

WHAT SERVICES ARE NOT INCLUDED?

You may still need to hire outside vendors to manage things like flowers, music, and photography. However, some facilities may offer dĂŠcor as a part of the packet.

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Photo: Golden Pavillion Photo by Rainbow Vision Photography

WHAT ADD-ON FEATURES OR OFFERS ARE AVAILABLE?

Sometimes, you may want to pay a fee to the facility to offer you additional services. This may include a bartender or a coat checking service. This helps make it more affordable to get these services, but it may not be a part of the original packet.

WHAT IS THE PRICE BREAKDOWN?

After asking about what is included in the wedding packages, you need to know how much it will cost you. Is it less expensive than getting services from individual vendors? Is there a benefit to you to use the packet offer?

WHAT IS NOT OFFERED OR NOT ALLOWED?

Some facilities do not have a liquor license. Some do not have audiovisual equipment. Some venues may not have outdoor space for you to take photographs. You will need to know what limitations the facility offers. Wedding packages are meant to keep your costs low, while also minimizing the amount of work you have to go through when planning your special day. Every situation is different, though. Your special day may require more or less of the services provided. Your budget may not cover all of the additional services you need at that particular venue. As you compare locations, take into consideration these offers, but compare them based on how well they work for your individual needs. If you will not use one service , it may not be worth investing in it. VI wedlock wedlock VI

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Photo by Rainbow Vision Photography - Surfsong

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Wedding Venue for Your Special Day

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hoosing a wedding venue for your big day will take some decision making. You will want the place that goes with the style you want, the budget your family has, and you will want the people helping to be interested in what you want. Weddings can be a stressful time for many, but it really does not need to be. If you choose the right wedding venue, you should not have a good deal of stress. You will want to choose one that of course would fit the style you want to have for your special day. You will also want to stay in the budget that is set up. An important part of keeping it less stressful is to make sure that the people who run the business that you choose will do a good job of following what you have in mind. There are a variety of different styles that brides might have in mind. A style could be a more flowery romantic style. Or a wedding style could be one of simple or even rustic elegance. All of these styles are likely best with either a wedding venue that is neutral and can be styled to whatever the bride wants or one that is specific to their tastes. A garden for the romantic would be fitting. Simple elegance will probably be one of the easiest styles as long as the location chosen does not have a lot of frills that need to be simplified. Rustic elegance might be found with a banquet hall in the style of a barn. Once the bride makes sure that her style will fit in with the wedding venue, then she needs to make sure that the location will even fit her or her family's budget. This is important because although her family may be paying, the bride should not take advantage of them and overspend. She should try to find a venue that her family will agree to pay for. Once she gets the okay from her family for the price of the location she is looking at, she will want to make sure that the staff is also what she is looking for. They should be professional and experienced in the art of planning weddings. They should be well-organized and be able to show all of the possible options for the ceremony and reception areas. If they are handling the food, then the bride should have the opportunity to taste some of the food that could be at the event. Organization is a key when looking for the right coordinators for your special day. Also important is that the coordinators will be willing to listen to what the bride wants for her special day rather than doing their own thing. The details really should go through the bride as much as she wants them to. After considering all of these areas, the bride should be close to choosing the wedding venue she wants. As a bride reading this, you might feel that it is much more complicated than this. The details will be somewhat more complicated, but if you find the right coordinator for your special day , most of the details can be left in their hands with the responsibility to run things by you. Do not let your day be more stressful than it needs to be. Choose a business to take care of your special event that you can trust to do things how you picture them.

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Has “I Do” Become, “What Do I Do Now?”

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aving a marriage that appears to have failed takes courage, determination, resolve and endurance. It also takes a lot of love. But, when problems have cropped up in the marriage, it may take more than just love to mend the rift. You should understand that fixing the damages done in a relationship is simpler said than done. But remember that being clear-cut and honest goes a long way in making the marriage work again. Any difficulty we should face in life commonly have two sides even the difficulties in marriage, thus there are always a solution. If things are not going as it used to be, because the fizz is out of your marriage and it looks like your love boat is heading for the rocks. Then you are wondering, how can I save my marriage? You need to read every phrase in this article. You are likely confused

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and discouraged right now. You may instinctively lash out. But this would be the worst thing to do. If you are wondering how can I save my marriage, you need to pursue this seven step approach. If your marriage appears to have failed and you want to save it, then you must know that a lot of bravery, determination, resolve and endurance is required. Furthermore, nothing will happen if a lot of love is not added. Sometimes, when problems have cropped up and were allowed to add up, it may take more than just love to mend the rift. You should realize that fixing the damage in a relationship is easier said than done. This problem can be overcome if you remember that being clear cut, straightforward and honesty go a long way in healing the marriage. So, to save your marriage and keep the harmony and prevent marriage breakup and divorce, you need to do the following seven things.

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Don’t jump to conclusions, zip your lip and try putting yourself in your spouse’s shoes when problems arise. Consider things from his or her perspective. Before blowing your top about dishes not done after breakfast, first consider if you could have covered her schedule and still do the dishes or should something else be neglected? Or, sometimes he work late and you feel that he do not care about you standing in front of the stove to prepare a meal for him, think that he might yearn to rather be at home, but he are working the extra hours at the office to walk the extra mile, to get a pay rise to help support the family better.

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You might ask, how can I save my marriage? If you actually want to and need to save your marriage, stop the accuse game. Marriage to work in any situation, need a contribution from both partners. Before you accuse your

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spouse, do some self analyzing and look at the things you may have contributed to the problem. Remember the longer you accuse each other the longer you are planting the seeds of mistrust and blaming and further destroy the relationship.

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Deal with your own issues. Often, a spouse will project their own problems onto their husband or wife. If you have issues of your own, consult your spouse and share the issues (you are partners) or get therapy and work through them. Don’t take them out on the one you love.

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Sometimes all of us make mistakes even your spouse. Do not concentrate on the things he or she does wrong, rather see what’s been done right. Say ‘thank you’ more often. Appreciate the things that were done to make your life better. Any time you find yourself criticizing, stop,

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think of two reasons to express gratitude and do it then within one hour. When you are in the wrong, be big heart-ed enough to say you’re sorry and be sincere.

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With all the signs evident. How can I prevent a breakup? Make your spouse’s life simpler in any way you can. There are too many demands on people’s time these days. Take some time to help your partner to relax by doing small things that let him or her know they are being appreciated

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Look for activities, concerns, and interests that you can enjoy doing together. Participate, reach out and build bonds when you can. If you cannot join then at least display some interest in your spouse’s activities. When you can build bonds through activities, it can help you get through a rocky stage of the marriage. You can also build bonds by taking a twosomes only vacation. If this

is a two week trip to the bush or a couple of nights at a local lodge or camping ground, the main purpose of this exercise will be to be together without work or family interference. The experience of being together and sharing things can only reinforce and strengthen the bonds of your marriage.

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Remember when you got wed you both said ‘I LOVE YOU’, ‘I WILL’, ‘I DO’ or simply ‘YES’ it is still applicable today, even casual touching or loving words can do a lot to show that you still love your partner. If you are wondering how can I save my marriage, follow this seven step plan. Real love is not in words but in actions. With perseverance, endurance, forgiving, plenty of understanding and tender loving care, a break-up can be prevented. VI wedlock wedlock VI

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