Fri | Jun 5, 2020

High-school sweethearts say ‘I do’

Published:Tuesday | April 21, 2020 | 12:22 AMKrysta Anderson/Gleaner Writer
Matthew McFarlane and Tomeika Flemmings tying the knot on April 17 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. They couple were determined to not have the pandemic thwart their plans of saying their vows.
Matthew McFarlane and Tomeika Flemmings tying the knot on April 17 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. They couple were determined to not have the pandemic thwart their plans of saying their vows.

When Tomeika Flemmings and Matthew McFarlane’s plans to get married seemed threatened by the coronavirus pandemic, they decided to go ahead with the ceremony in the safest way possible.

The lovebirds first met during their formative years in high school.

“I sat behind her in our fourth-form math class,” Matthew told The Gleaner.

It wouldn’t be long before casual interactions, multiplied by mutual admiration and affection, resulted in a beautiful love connection.

The years which followed only added more passion to their romance.

Matthew found himself mesmerised by Tomeika’s gorgeous smile and motivated by her unconditional love. After 10 years together, close to her birthday, Matthew asked his high-school sweetheart to marry him with a romantic beach proposal.

Wedding Wednesday

They wasted no time, planning their wedding in a year through weekly Wedding Wednesday sessions.

“We definitely had some guidance from her friends and our event planner,” Matthew said.

There was only one thing left standing in the way of their happily ever after: COVID-19.

“We were distressed,” Matthew confessed, but they knew that the marriage was more important than the wedding, and decided to push through.

Seeing other couples tying the knot during lockdowns across the globe, Matthew and Tomeika confirmed their wedding less than a week before the date.

Originally, the McFarlane wedding was scheduled for April 18 but massively scaled down and moved up by a day. The new-look intimate garden ceremony accommodated only eight guests at The Jamaica Pegasus.

“Although we missed not having our families and friends present, we discovered that having a simple wedding meant a lot more flexibility. Despite the conditions, we insisted on making the most of it,” Matthew said.

Adorned in vibrant matching masks gifted by their parents, the bride and groom set a relaxing tone for the celebration. The delightful duo opted to wed in white and denim.

“Being comfortable was the key, so I told Tomeika, ‘Don’t worry, if you want to wear jeans, I’ll wear it, too.’ It turned out to be perfect.”

The newly-weds are encouraging other couples to consider still pressing on with their weddings as a simple ceremony is still an option – a fun one at that.

“Nothing is wrong with doing something different. Our wedding exceeded expectations and it was the `for us,” Matthew reflected.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com