Sheneal and Jerry had been in each other's company many times but had never formally met. They were just two teenagers running in the same circles but fate had plans for them. A few years later they were introduced by a mutual friend and eventually Jerry received Sheneal's phone number. They would talk for hours, creating the love story we're telling today.
About two years ago the pair got engaged but it just wasn't right. "Not realizing it at the time, we starting drifting further apart. Wedding planning stopped being fun and started to become a disaster. We wanted to remember this experience as a happy one but we were experiencing everything but that. Things were moving way too fast. I knew I wanted to marry Sheneal, and I knew she wanted to marry me. So we gave ourselves some time. After a lot of thinking and praying, we decided to call off the engagement," Jerry shares. But love conquered it all. Take a look at their romantic beach wedding in Montego Bay and read the rest of their love story below.
Bride: Sheneal Williams
Groom: Jerry Simmons
Wedding date: December 18, 2015
Wedding location: Iberostar Rose Hall Suites - Montego Bay, Jamaica
Tell us all about the proposal!
I didn't want to let her down this time so the first thing I did was ask for her parents blessings. Thankful to God, they approved. I knew I wanted to do something BIG this time around for the proposal. After looking up some parks, I decided to go with Love Park in Philadelphia. It was the best spot for what I had in mind. About a week before the proposal I called her best friend and asked her to make a good excuse for Sheneal to go to Philadelphia and get dressed up. Two days before the proposal, I ordered one hundred white and red roses at a flower shop. I also ordered a custom banner at Staples that said, "Sheneal, Will You Marry Me?" with our picture on it. The Sunday that I planned to propose finally came. I had our friends and family hold the banner while I went to go get her. As I was walking toward her and her friend with the roses in my hand, my heart was pounding out of my chest. I kept asking myself, what if she says no? I came to a cross light and I saw her on the other end of the road. There she was, smiling. She didn't know I would be in Philly that day. (even though I still think she had an idea). I walked up to her and handed her the roses. She looked at me with this hilarious facial expression. I kissed her and grabbed her hand. I told her this is the first surprise but we have two more. We walked towards Love Park and she saw her family and friends holding the banner. Half of the city was staring at us and they were all crowded around us yelling and clapping. I got down on my knee, and asked her to marry me. She said yes! Afterwards, I took her to this restaurant that she had been bugging me to go to. It was a restaurant called R2L that overlooks the city. It was a cool place to celebrate. That day, was the start of forever. I thought, wow I finally get to marry the girl of my dreams.
Describe your wedding dress. What was wedding shopping like for you?I'm more of an online shopping type of girl. I knew I didn't want to shop around in 50 million different places to find my wedding dress. After web searching, I found my dream dress online through Pinterest. I looked up the designer and searched for the nearest boutique who held the dress I wanted. I tried it on the week after Jerry proposed. Once I tried it on, I knew immediately that it was the one! It was super easy!
How was culture incorporated in your wedding?
I tried to incorporate my Indian heritage throughout my wedding without it overtaking the look I was going for. I had feathers added to my bouquet, to my father and husband's boutonniere, and my mother, step mother, and mother in law's corsages. I also wore a Indian head chain for a small touch.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
There were so many great memories on our wedding day but there is one that still replays over and over again in my head. That was when my older brother gave a small speech during the ceremony. I asked him before the wedding to conclude the ceremony with prayer and he agreed. When it was time for him to pray, he walks up to the wedding arch, he puts the microphone down, and he looks at me and Jerry in the eyes. Whatever he was about to say I knew wasn't suppose to be for everyone's ears. I'm thinking to myself, what's going on here? He's tearing up as he starts expressing his happiness and approval of our relationship. He gave us deep biblical advice on making our marriage last. Once he was done, he put the mic up to his mouth and concludes with prayer. Jerry and I were both tearing up by the end of that. That moment showed me how much he truly loves and cares about the two of us as his little sister and his new brother-in-law. It was so touching!
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Have faith in God and incorporate him in as many ways during your wedding planning. That will keep your bond stronger than ever. Block out any negativity and focus on only yourself and your soulmate. Try not to stress about the little things, and just have fun!
Photography: WPAJ; Christopher Lee
Wedding Dress Designer: Katie May
Wedding Dress Salon: Katie May Bridal Shop in Los Angeles California
Hair/makeup: Iberostar Rose Hall Spa
Sandals: David's Bridal
Groom's Tuxedo: Men's Warehouse
Reception Location: Calabash Gourmet Restaurant (on hotel grounds)
Entertainment: Steel Band
Wedding Planner: Simone Parker and Nicole Barnett
Florist: Kassni's Decor & Floral Works
Chandelier Rental: Helen G Events