Fri | Apr 12, 2024

14-14-14 doubles in its second year

Published:Friday | February 23, 2024 | 12:16 AMShanel Lemmie/Staff Reporter
Overcome by emotions, bride-to-be Stephanie Lyew (centre) finds comfort in the arms of her fiancé Delano Thomas (right), as their friend and mentor, Monique Walcott, looks on.
Overcome by emotions, bride-to-be Stephanie Lyew (centre) finds comfort in the arms of her fiancé Delano Thomas (right), as their friend and mentor, Monique Walcott, looks on.
Still reeling from the earlier announcements, recipients of this year’s mass weddings (from left), Stephanie Lyew, Delano Thomas and Janene Wright pose for a quick pic.
Still reeling from the earlier announcements, recipients of this year’s mass weddings (from left), Stephanie Lyew, Delano Thomas and Janene Wright pose for a quick pic.
This gown and tuxedo are just a taste of what can be acquired at Petals and Promises.
This gown and tuxedo are just a taste of what can be acquired at Petals and Promises.
With a captive audience at the Hope Royal Botanical Gardens, Walcott explained her crazy new ideas for the June 14 staging of 14-14-14.
With a captive audience at the Hope Royal Botanical Gardens, Walcott explained her crazy new ideas for the June 14 staging of 14-14-14.
Overcome with gratitude and familiarity, Nastassia Hall-Lewis (left), a bride at the last 14-14-14, embraces the woman who gave her a fairytale concept, creator Monique Walcott.
Overcome with gratitude and familiarity, Nastassia Hall-Lewis (left), a bride at the last 14-14-14, embraces the woman who gave her a fairytale concept, creator Monique Walcott.
Oozing with joy, Monique Walcott, chief executive officer of MSW Events, is hopping into this season of weddings with double the energy.
Oozing with joy, Monique Walcott, chief executive officer of MSW Events, is hopping into this season of weddings with double the energy.
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Ten years ago, Monique Walcott had the seemingly insane idea of planning and hosting 14 wedding for 14 deserving couples on February 14, 2014. On that day of love, 14 couples got their fairytale moment.

With a decade now elapsed, Walcott and her team at MSW Events are upping the ante with a June 14 rehashing of the legendary event.

On Wednesday afternoon at the launch for this year’s 14-14-14, Walcott shocked the crowd saying, “We are not doing 14, we are doing 24 weddings for 2024 and with that we are also opening the competition to the Caribbean, allowing our Caribbean nationals to apply from the US, the UK and Canada. We want them [to] experience the love that lives in Jamaica.”

With the audience yelling, ‘a now you mad’, Walcott proclaimed, this year’s expansion is just a larger expression of her love for love.

Reminiscing on the previous staging of the event, Walcott told Living, “If you think about it, 14-14 when I initially started, was exactly 10 years ago. Love is timeless, it’s endless so why bring it back? Because love needs to be celebrated in all forms. A lot of times we get so caught up and pre-COVID everybody’s going on [about their business] but post-COVID, you realise that I never knew what love is until I had to watch family members pass away, friends that you knew.”

She continued, “So love in its form now is not just about a relationship, meaning between a man and a woman. It’s [a]bout a relationship between couples, a relationship between friends and family, and media houses and companies. Love should be celebrated in its entirety and that’s why we moved it from Valentine’s Day. We didn’t want it to be cliché love, we want it to be authentic love, timeless love and meaningful love which has no set time at all.”

Keeping everything but the scale, the same, Walcott announced two of the couples who have already won the all-expense paid memory. Janene Wright and Dwabenhe Gordon alongside Stephanie Lyew and Delano Thomas are the first two lucky couples to be named in this event.

As representatives from sponsors Petals and Promises and Hope Royal Botanical Gardens looked on, Walcott proclaimed this staging would raise the bar.

“We are dubbing this as our best 14-14-14 ever. Their stories are beautiful.”

Going further, she proclaimed Jamaica as the Caribbean’s number one destination for love. “We are so diverse, we are so artistic, we are so skilled, I feel like it should not go unnoticed so I opened it up to the diaspora so that they can experience what our love is like on our island.”

Before wrapping the evening, the brides-to-be were given a taste of what is to come when they don their Petals & Promises gowns and say ‘I do’ in a group of two dozen. Both the Lewises and the Baileys, couples from the last staging, sung the praises of the mass wedding concept.

“We would do this all over again,” Natassia Hall-Lewis who got married in that same spot ten years ago said.

shanel.lemmie@gleanerjm.com