A Caribbean Wedding story
August 12, 2011
A Caribbean Wedding story

The beach at Lower Bay, Bequia, was the venue for the wedding ceremony of Vincentian Culinary Professional Samara Murphy-Norris and Guyanese Attorney Ronald Burch-Smith on Friday, August 5, 2011.{{more}}

For the bride, the locale represented a return to her roots, the home of her grandmother Irma Norris and great grandmother Cleopatra Hazell. Surrounded by Vincentian and Guyanese family and friends, and an international group of friends, from as far as away as the Philippines, the couple exchanged their vows on the sand to the music of the waves. They stood under a bamboo canopy, under a golden sun, blue sky and sea in the background, between the Reef Restaurant and Bee’s Café. The canopy was beautifully decorated by the bride’s mother, Artist and Jeweler Josette Norris, with an explosion of tropical blooms such as red, ginger and pink torch lilies, cascading orange birds of paradise and heliconia and white flags and streamers, green palms and ferns on the surrounding beach, all providing the ultimate tropical setting for the informal nuptials.

The wedding party was a picture of casual elegance, and colour. The bride looked exquisite in a gown of ivory Dupioni silk and soft, white cotton fabric, with an intricately hand-beaded strapless bodice of pearls and Swarovski crystals and flowing skirt splashed with sky blue, a creation of her cousin, designer Kimya Glasgow. The groom sported a matching sky blue shirt under a white linen suit.

Comprising family members and friends of the bride and groom, including a number of the bride’s classmates at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the attendants were Maid of Honour Cindy Anaya of Mexico and bridesmaids Micky Bacchus of New Jersey – the groom’s cousin; Hillary Dawson of New Mexico; Diana Yu of Panama, and Vincentian Dr. Malaika Glasgow – the bride’s cousin.

The male attendants were Guyanese Mark Waldron; Vincentian Perry Norris – the bride’s cousin; Rodwell Greaves of Guyana, and André Roberts of Antigua. Samara’s father, local businessman Sydney Murphy, escorted the bride in the processional. The Reverend Andrew Carto of Guyana, the groom’s uncle, and Vincentian the Reverend Ulric Jones officiated at the ceremony.

Following the recessional to the strains of the Wedding March, the wedding party and guests enjoyed a Vincentian-style barbecue, swimming, kayaking and dancing on the beach for the rest of the day, before returning to St. Vincent.

The celebration culminated on Saturday evening, with a gala black tie reception at Sefton House, Prospect. Under a clear starry sky, guests enjoyed cocktails, followed by a sumptuous seated dinner with heartfelt toasts and speeches from friends and family of the bride and groom. Musical accompaniment was provided by locally renowned pianist and singer Andy Cruikshank and DJ Dr Hu.

The five-tier cake was a topsy-turvy chocolate cake, designed and made by Derek Corsino of Corsino Cakes, Poughkeepsie, New York. Derek, a two-time competitor on the Food Network Challenge, travelled to St. Vincent especially for the occasion.

The first dance was a mix of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s “Love Is Here To Stay” and Winston Soso’s “I Don’t Mind”. This was followed by the tossing of the bouquet and the garter, and poolside fire-spitting performances. Guests continued to party into the wee hours of the morning.