Written By Laura Bell | Photography by Zeudi Hinds
With this being such a small island, Bermudians Lisa Horton and Tariq Lynch-Wade had known of each other for some time before a mutual friend formally introduced them.
“I always felt there was something special about Tariq, and we really took our time getting to know each other,” said Lisa. “We’d spend hours just talking and letting each other into our innermost thoughts and feelings. There are several, but one defining moment when I knew he was ‘the one’ was when he went through the effort to learn some sign language when I lost my hearing suddenly.”
The couple dated for two years before getting engaged on a cold and windy December night in 2016. “From my perspective it was just another chill night, and certainly not one when I envisioned getting a proposal because we were just sitting off discussing various life topics, as we often did,” said Lisa. “It was when I was heading home that he was stalling me. He said he had written a letter for me and pulled out a Perrier bottle from behind his back. Perrier was a private joke meaning marriage proposal. To give a quick background on the joke, there was a point when I’d lost my hearing that Tariq asked if I wanted a Perrier, and through reading his lips I thought he had asked if I wanted to marry him!”
“Once I’d gotten the ok from Lisa’s father, that set the ball in motion,” explained Tariq. “I’d had the ring for two months and was actively trying to plan how to pop the question. I knew the significance of ‘Perrier’ and had subliminally given her hints by purchasing Perrier water every chance I got after arriving in Bermuda from my time away. On the night of the proposal, we were at my house just like many other nights in the past; however, due to the depth of conversation we were having, there was an energy in the air that spoke loudly. That was the night I needed to seize the opportunity.
“Towards the end of the night, when she was ready to head home, I realised it was now or never. I walked her out, with her on my left arm and a Perrier bottle on my right. The ring was in my jacket pocket. To stall her, I drew her attention to the scenery of the ocean to buy some time. It was dark, of course, so she was a little annoyed since it was cold and windy. After I gave her the Perrier bottle with the note inside, it should’ve have taken her all but 30 seconds to retrieve the note. Instead, she pushed the note further into the bottle, while trying to get it out, meaning it would be five minutes versus the 30 seconds I’d anticipated. Once she got the note out and read it, her attention was fixated on the paper. This gave me ample opportunity to pull the ring out of my pocket, without her noticing. As she looked up, I was on my knee with the ring in hand and asked her to marry me. It must’ve gotten warm suddenly, because we sat outside for another 45 minutes in complete bliss.
“My brother who had just gotten home from work, and unbeknownst to us saw the whole thing from his room, yelled from his window: ‘What’s the verdict?!’ I proudly yelled back, ‘She said YAAAAAS!’”
Tariq had chosen a unique rose gold ring with a round cut diamond flanked by a set of marquise cut diamonds emulating an embellished floral design at each side. “He picked it out without any input from me, and had been conspiring with a friend of mine to get my ring size and metal preference,” said Lisa. “She tricked me into going to the jewellery store to find a replacement ring for her husband and talked me into trying on a ring, so she could report back to Tariq!”
The couple wed on a much warmer date—September 30, 2017, and the bride chose to get ready at the home of her parents, Randy and Linda Horton. “Being back ‘home’ was important to me and allowed me to spend the day in a very familiar space; I wanted and needed to ensure that I would be relaxed,” said the bride. “My dad is not much of a cook, but he makes the best breakfast, so I had the girls over to get ready and to enjoy a nice breakfast with us.” The groom also chose to get ready at home.
“I got ready at my home with my brothers and other groomsman,” said Tariq. “Before my best man and groomsman arrived, one of my brothers made breakfast, and we had a moment with just the three of us reminiscing about old days and recounting memories that we’d shared. We hadn’t been together in that space for years so to have that experience hours before my wedding was special. I also spoke to my family in St. Kitts who were unable to make the wedding and received their blessing.”
The bride wore a strapless, white trumpet-style dress from Kleinfield NYC and the groom wore a tailor-made suit from Shenzhen, China. Their colour palette was navy and berry and the bridesmaids wore raspberry pink dresses from MoriLee which the groomsmen perfectly matched with their ties and pocket squares. The bride’s bouquet was created by Michelle at Flowers by GiMi and featured soft blush and ivory English roses, ranunculus and hydrangeas.
With both families originally from the west end, St. James’s Church was an easy choice for the ceremony, according to the couple. “Both of our families are from Somerset and so there is a deep-rooted history that lies within the walls of the church. Also logistically it made sense considering its proximity to the reception at Cambridge Beaches.”
Officiated by Rev. Cyril Simmons who “brought the right energy that reflected our relationship,” the ceremony was sweetly emotional with just a touch of humour—and a moment of high drama. “I was initially hesitant about writing our own vows, only because I thought it would be more likely that I’d get very emotional and be unable to speak clearly so Tariq could hear all that I had to say,” said Lisa. “I’m so glad we did them in the end as it was so special and so meaningful rather than traditional vows. Sharing our vows with each other for the first time and all the anticipation kept the emotions at an all-time high.”
Tariq added: “When the pastor asked if there was anyone who objected to us joining in matrimony, before anyone had a chance to give the obligatory glance around the church, he answered his own question swiftly and unapologetically ‘Well too bad!’
“Tears fell from eyes of friends and family who are not the emotional type,” he added. “Last but not least, although I’m not sure I should mention this… I forgot to get the wedding band. Due to a slight miscommunication on our parts, I might have misunderstood my responsibilities just a bit. No worries, I quickly rectified that and have since been forgiven.”
After the eventful ceremony, the couple and their 102 guests headed to Cambridge Beaches Resort for what they describe as a “simple but elegant, formal but not stuffy affair which brought the strongest to tears and smiles to the rest.”
“Cambridge Beaches was chosen for its old Bermuda charm and because it offered several options for beautiful photographic backdrops,” said Lisa. “The venue was perfect for our wedding size, allowing an intimate feel that we had hoped to achieve.” There they enjoyed a delicious meal, cut a beautiful cake by Kayo Lambert of Cake Boutique Celebration (“a coconut rum cake with vanilla buttercream that was so moist and delicious!”) and even did a first dance to remember. “Surprising guests with our rehearsed dance routine definitely got them excited, and ready to shake it out on the dance floor!” said the bride.
“Lisa’s timing was off during the rehearsed dance so of course I had to clean it up,” added Tariq with a laugh. “Of course, she blames me, but I was behind her so she wouldn’t have been able to see me!”
All jokes aside, the day couldn’t have been more perfect said the couple. “The day started off and ended with the most beautiful weather we could have imagined,” said the bride. “The sun was shining, the breeze was light, and the few clouds in the sky stood still to take part in our day. Amazingly enough, the forecast a week prior called for rain and heavy winds, but that waited until the day after the wedding. It rained cats and dogs which made us even more grateful.”
“It was an amazing day,” concluded Lisa. “I was so happy to have our family and friends all in the same space, particularly family and friends from overseas who made the effort to come witness our union.”
The groom agreed, but he had one thing he would have done differently: “I would have wanted the day to start earlier so that it could last longer.”
- Maid of Honour: Randi Saunders
- Bridesmaids: Renae Powell, Dahlia Watts, Claudal Caesar
- Hostess: Ceflyn Tarradath
- Flower girl: Gabrielle Saunders
- Best Man: Rashad Hare
- Groomsmen: Tacuma Lynch-Wade, John Lynch-Wade III, Bryan Flowers
- Ring Bearer: Jevin Saunders
- Officiant: Rev. Cyril Simmons
- Wedding Planner: Deshay Caines of Get Married in Bermuda
- Ceremony Location: St. James’s Church
- Reception Location: Cambridge Beaches Resort
- Décor: Flowers by Gimi
- Rentals: Pavillion Rentals
- Flowers: Flowers by Gimi
- Cake: Cake Boutique Celebration by Kayo Lambert
- Caterer: Cambridge Beaches Resort by Chef Keith Deshields
- Invitations: Carlson Craft
- Entertainment: Dj Chubb
- Bridal Hair: Raquel at Blueprint Hair Studio
- Bridal Makeup: Oneeka Williams
- Transportation: Lloyd Roberts
- Photography: Zeudi Hinds (wedding, reception), Kondwani Williams (cocktail hour)
- Videography: Exist270 by Karriem Sharrieff
- Save The Dates and Seating Chart design: DAT- Design & Art by Talisa Dyer