Marissa & Ramon Brangman
Marissa Wainwright and Ramon Brangman had many opportunities to get to know one another throughout their lives. They attended the same primary school, were enrolled in the same after-school programme and lived only a few doors down from one another as children. As adults they continued to find themselves in the same situations, attending the same church and church functions. So isn’t it ironic that two people who always lived so closely together were never introduced formally? That all changed the day Ramon spotted Marissa on her way to work and called out to her. Although Marissa was surprised by Ramon’s gumption, she wasn’t surprised that the two had finally reached a meeting point. To Marissa, it was destiny : “It’s almost like I always felt that our paths would eventually cross.”
“I was impressed by his love for God and his involvement with young people, and that he was a full-time dad,” says Marissa. Not wanting to let the opportunity pass them by, they exchanged numbers with a view to working together to plan an event benefiting Bermuda’s youth through sport. “Little did I know that it would lead to a relationship and, better yet, marriage!” explains Marissa. But they both admit now that it was a great segue into a lifelong partnership.
The couple dated for two years before they started discussing marriage. Both were in agreement that getting married to each other was what they wanted, so they began planning their own wedding without a proposal or a ring. While Marissa busied herself with pulling together arrangements for their dream wedding, Ramon set to work organising the perfect proposal for his future bride. Recognising how important family was to the both of them, Ramon invited Marissa’s parents, as well as his own parents and his grandmother, to dinner at Harbourfront. When dinner had finished and the couple bid farewell to their families, they began a slow walk hand-in-hand back to the parking lot. Along the way, Ramon proceeded to tell Marissa all the reasons why he adored her and why she is the perfect woman for him. When the couple reached the top of the stairs at the entrance to the parking lot, Ramon dropped to one knee and asked Marissa to spend the rest of her life with him. As a surprised Marissa managed a “Yes!” both of their families reemerged from the parking lot, along with additional family members and close friends, and toasted the officially engaged couple. “The night ended with lots of smiles and non-alcoholic wine in the parking lot!” the couple recall fondly.
Marissa and Ramon were married on October 12, 2012, at the First Church of God on North Shore Road, Pembroke. As devout Christians, the religious aspect of their wedding day was a top priority, so they chose to focus most of their attention on the ceremony. The gospel singing group Intended Worship was invited to lead the service, and Marissa surprised Ramon by walking down the aisle to “Bless the Broken Road” by Selah, a song he had played for her in the early stages of their relationship. The couple made sure their guests would understand the true meaning of their coming together to share in their special day by giving each of them a written explanation of “The Wedding Now and the Wedding to Come”: a comparison between the love Jesus has for the church and the love a groom has for his bride.
Following the ceremony, the couple and their guests headed to Pier 6 on Front Street, not the intended location of their reception but one the couple had to decide upon at the last minute as inclement weather rendered their original location, Fort Hamilton, unrealistic. “We made the decision to move the reception to Pier 6 and although it wasn’t our first choice for our wedding day, we ended up being just as happy with the location,” the couple explained. Indeed the change in location worked out perfectly as the couple treated their guests to a celebration full of surprises. “I secretly met with Working Title, the reception band, before the wedding to rehearse a song I planned to perform for Ramon,” recalls Marissa. “Following our first dance, it was my turn to take the mic. I began singing to Ramon and he was totally surprised and beamed from ear to ear!” Throughout the rest of the evening the couple and their guests dined on food by Wilks Catering and danced the night away. “All in all it was a great night,” the couple explains.
Once their big day was behind them, Marissa and Ramon set sail for the Caribbean, exploring numerous islands, sampling local dishes and relishing married life. For now, Marissa and Ramon are enjoying being husband and wife, but the future isn’t far from their minds. “In the next few years we hope to be married still, with a family, although we’re not stating numbers.” Something else they hope to be doing? Working together in a joint ministry serving young men and women—a project very similar to the one that started it all.
Photography by Zeudi Hinds