Shaleen Kennedy and Jonathan Neary spent almost two years planning their dream destination wedding in Jamaica for April 22, 2020. Then the COVID-19 virus intervened. Instead of being despondent, they rescheduled and improvised a little bit of Jamaica in their own back yard on what would have been their original wedding day.
When asked why they choose Jamaica for their wedding, the bride-to-be Shaleen Kennedy said, “We chose Jamaica for our dream destination wedding because we’ve been 4 times and we kept going back, we loved it so much. It was the first country we travelled to together 8 years ago and we absolutely fell in love with it. We love Jamaica for its people/hospitality, the beaches, sunshine/beauty, the delicious food, the culture, we love everything about Jamaica! We are looking forward to returning to Jamaica next year for our rescheduled big day. Our love is forever and we are patient so we don’t mind waiting another year to tie the knot and Jamaica is worth the wait! We couldn’t think of a better place to start our new beginning as Mr. And Mrs.”
Kennedy’s mother lives in the basement apartment of the home and took photos of the celebration. The event received a lot of attention after Kennedy posted photos of the day on Facebook. The innovative couple took the day off work, bought a baby pool, some sand, decorations, and then created a “beach” on their deck.
To commemorate the occasion, they toasted the day with Jamaican Red Stripe beer and a local restaurant, Jamaica Taste NL, provided the jerk chicken for the festivities. The couple also video chatted with their wedding party while listening to Bob Marley.
The bride-to-be posted the photos to make a point and offer hope to other couples whose plans have been delayed due to COVID-19. She noted that in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, people have to be flexible and stay positive.
Kennedy and Neary are from Newfoundland. They’ve been together for eight years and engaged for three. They’d booked their ultimate wedding at the Riu Ocho Rios and planned on 50 guests to witness their nuptials in idyllic Jamaica.
The couple isn’t letting COVID-19 stop them. They worked with their travel agent and the resort before the establishment closed due to the pandemic. The Riu was exceptionally accommodating, honoring the couple’s original pricing and booking a new date for April 20, 2021. Life is full of unexpected events and the couple’s positive attitude bodes well for their life together.