Wed | Jun 19, 2024
ISLAND WEDDING

Candace and Eric go from neighbours to nuptials

Published:Tuesday | May 21, 2024 | 12:06 AMShanel Lemmie/Staff Reporter
Surrounded by love, the bride and groom (centre) pose with their parents (from left) Ever Pryce, Julene Martin and Gary Martin.
Surrounded by love, the bride and groom (centre) pose with their parents (from left) Ever Pryce, Julene Martin and Gary Martin.
Marking the sixth anniversary of their meeting Candace (left) and Eric were wed at the Caymanas Golf Club in St Catherine.
Marking the sixth anniversary of their meeting Candace (left) and Eric were wed at the Caymanas Golf Club in St Catherine.
Surrounding by their nearest and dearest after their “I do’s”, the Charleses share one of many intimate moments on their special day.
Surrounding by their nearest and dearest after their “I do’s”, the Charleses share one of many intimate moments on their special day.
The bride, Candace Martin is regal in her custom Simply Majestic Designs gown.
The bride, Candace Martin is regal in her custom Simply Majestic Designs gown.
The groom, Eric Charles is definitely a dapper dan.
The groom, Eric Charles is definitely a dapper dan.
Standing beside the Charleses on their special day were (from left) Morais Hogarth, Ian Williams, best man Andre Morris, matron of honour Christon Clarke-Hylton, Felisha Doemam and Janelle Patterson.
Standing beside the Charleses on their special day were (from left) Morais Hogarth, Ian Williams, best man Andre Morris, matron of honour Christon Clarke-Hylton, Felisha Doemam and Janelle Patterson.
Forged in the fire of friendship Eric (left) and Candace turned their slow-burn romance into a soul-mate connection.
Forged in the fire of friendship Eric (left) and Candace turned their slow-burn romance into a soul-mate connection.
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The poets often say that your next big love is sometimes right around the corner. Well, for Eric Charles, his big love was right next door. In 2018, a then 23-year-old Candace Martin moved to Kingston from Clarendon. Looking back at the moment, Eric said, “Our paths officially crossed on May 4, 2018, when Candace was cleaning her veranda and I was seeing a friend out. We exchanged pleasantries and names, and ended up talking for a few hours.”

Though immediately captivated, the pair decided to keep things friendly for the foreseeable future. As the months rolled on, with their conversations only getting deeper, it was on Eric’s birthday in October of that year that they had their first date.

“We weren’t together at that point, just really good friends. I had asked him about his plans for his birthday, and he told me he was going to scatter his dad’s ashes by Palisadoes.”

Shocked by his sorrowful plans, Candace decided she would have enough excitement for the both of them.

“I asked if he had plans for the evening, and he said no, he would just be chilling in his bed or gaming. So I invited him out to dinner to celebrate. I told him that birthdays are meant to be celebrated and that we were going out!”

Under the now iconic fairy lights of Macau Gaming Lounge & Bar in Kingston, the two christened what would soon become one of their go-to date spots.

NO MORE DENYING LOVE

While both were working on their dreams, for another year and a half, the pair kept each other at arm’s length. Until they couldn’t any longer.

“I was the first to say, I love you,” Eric began. “I knew I was in love when I came to the realisation that the best moments of my day were the ones spent talking and interacting with her. She became my best friend, and I couldn’t wait to tell her everything.”

He continued: “I love her caring and nurturing nature. She’s a nurse and the true definition of a healer. She healed me in so many ways, and I felt obligated to return the favour by loving and supporting her in everything she does.”

Sharing the praise, Candace said: “He is the most caring guy I know. He goes out of his way to ensure that not just I, but also those close to him, are doing well. Even during our time apart, he still looked out for me, cared for me when I was sick, and celebrated every achievement with me.”

Less than a year after making their relationship official, Eric decided he was tired of waiting for his forever.

“I decided to propose on my birthday, October 15, 2021, which would be the three-year anniversary of our first date. That year, I decided the only thing I wanted for my birthday was for her to spend the rest of our lives together as my wife.”

DISGUISED PLAN

While the COVID-19 pandemic limited his options for a grand engagement, Eric disguised his plan as one of the hotel’s birthday perks to catch a then completely oblivious Candace off guard.

“I got her brother to bring the ring down from Florida,” he shared, “and I booked us a hotel room for the weekend at Excellence Oyster Bay. The lovely staff assisted me with a surprise proposal by a gazebo on the beach with champagne, rose petals, and a ‘Marry Me’ sign I bought on Amazon.”

Describing the whole surprise as a ‘dream come true’, Candace recalled: “In that moment, I was speechless but happy. He gave a little speech and said the only gift I could give him for his birthday was me saying yes to spending the rest of my life with him. And, of course, I said yes. It was a surreal moment. I cried.”

EASY PLANNING PROCESS

While the couple wasn’t particularly fond of large weddings, they decided to wait until the immediate danger of the COVID-19 pandemic had passed for them to tie the knot.

“Our wedding planning process was quite easy, to be honest,” Candace explained. “We started planning in November of 2023, which usually isn’t much time. By December, I had done measurements for my custom dress by Simply Majestic Designs and finalised the venues. We used Divine Events as our wedding planner and decorator. Our girl and her team really came through on our day, and everything was seamless.”

Commemorating the sixth anniversary of when they met, the couple wed on May 4 at the Caymanas Golf Club in St Catherine.

Though having no shortage of stellar memories from their special day, both agreed that their favourite moment from their wedding was the moment when their eyes locked from either side of the aisle.

“The best part of the wedding for me was turning around and seeing my beautiful bride walking down the aisle towards me. She was breathtakingly gorgeous, and I felt like my heart stopped,” he gushed.

Chiming in, Candace added: “Eric isn’t one to cry easily. I’ve probably seen him cry only three times before. So seeing him cry the way he did as I walked to meet him was definitely my favourite part of the wedding.”

Now with their nuptials behind them, the Charleses say their next big adventure is to travel the world arm in arm.

shanel.lemmie@gleanerjm.com