Zara & Colin Harper
By Darlene McCarthy Barnfield
Whoever said playing hard to get was a good thing never met Zara DeSilva. DeSilva, a well-known Bermudian, ventured out to a party on the island two years ago and surprisingly met a fellow Bermudian she had never seen before. Colin Harper was a singer and had travelled all around the world performing. She was the executive secretary for her family’s company, Island Construction Services. On the first night they met, they were both stunned that they had never run across each other before, because, as the saying goes, Colin Harper was really the boy next door. “He had been living literally a two-second drive down the road from me,” says DeSilva. “I guess that’s when it happens right? When you’re not looking for it.”
After their initial meeting, Harper flew to Jamaica. They kept in touch. When he returned to Bermuda, he mentioned to DeSilva that he would soon be off again. Miami this time. “I’d love to come,” said the enthusiastic DeSilva. So off they went, just as friends, to enjoy some sun and beach time in South Florida.
Soon after that trip, Harper announced that he had a singing engagement overseas and would be leaving the island once more for several weeks. “He said, ‘Oh, I’m going to Europe on tour for a month,’” says DeSilva. “Oh my god, I want to come,” she texted. “I’m coming!” she repeated. And true to her word, off she went once again after Harper. Although she left as a happy single woman, she returned as Harper’s sweetheart.
“He said, ‘How’s this supposed to work?’” says DeSilva. “Am I supposed to ask you to be my girlfriend?” Neither of them verbalized the answer, but actions spoke louder than words when they quickly became engaged.
The wedding invitations went out all over the island. Three hundred and fifty guests came to the couple’s splashy wedding at Elbow Beach, and a good number of them remarked at how quickly this romance had blossomed into marriage. “Some people were a little shocked and said, ‘My god, they’ve only known each other for a year,’” DeSilva says. “To me you can’t put a time frame on that stuff. You just know when it’s right.”
DeSilva attended high school in the States and predicted that her Prince Charming would be found there. She also admits she never thought she would be married at 26. “If you were to ask me that two years ago, I would have said, ‘I’m not getting married to a Bermudian, number one, and number two, until I’m in my late thirties!’ So you just don’t know.”
For DeSilva and Harper, this seems like a match made in heaven. “We’ve meshed since day one, and I don’t want to make it sound like this relationship is perfect,” says DeSilva, “but he’s such an easygoing husband. I can say husband now.” She beams. “Words can’t even describe what a sweetheart he is.” Asked what she liked best about her husband, DeSilva says, “His smile. And he’s a very humble man.” So humble, in fact, that he would not take the spotlight away from her when we all meet, except to reveal what he liked best about his wife. “Her laugh,” he says.
Laughs and smiles seem to equal happiness. “My dad said, ‘Never go to bed angry. I’ve done it twice. And I hate it,’” says DeSilva. This couple may avoid going to bed mad, but they’re going to need all the sleep they can manage now. Not a pair to move slowly, the happy couple is increasing the Harper family by one. “It’s a girl,” says DeSilva. But they are keeping mum about her name. “I don’t want anyone to steal it,” DeSilva says.
The irrepressible DeSilva laughs when it was suggested that a casual observer might have seen her as a woman who didn’t play too hard to get. It all began as an innocent friendship, she insists. It does take two to tango. After meeting DeSilva for the first time, Harper always returned to the island to see her. “Whatever’s meant to be is meant to be, I guess,” says DeSilva.
Reception and ceremony location: Lido at Elbow Beach Hotel
Wedding gown: Kleinfeld’s of New York
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Priscilla of Boston
Photography: Becky Spencer
Reception band: DJ Chubb
Catering: Lido at Elbow Beach Hotel
Flowers and decor: Petals
Event planner: Bermuda Bride: Nikki Begg
Wedding cake and groom’s cake: Elbow Beach Hotel
Transport: Elbow Beach Hotel
Invitations: Pulp and Circumstance (Invitations by Vera Wang)