Fri | Jun 21, 2024

From matched to hitched with the Wilsons

Published:Wednesday | June 12, 2024 | 12:14 PMKrysta Anderson/Staff Reporter
You know what they say: Happiness is holding someone in your arms, knowing you’re holding your entire world.
You know what they say: Happiness is holding someone in your arms, knowing you’re holding your entire world.
A couple that prays together stays together.
A couple that prays together stays together.
Laughter was certainly the best medicine to ease the nerves of the groom and his groomsmen.
Laughter was certainly the best medicine to ease the nerves of the groom and his groomsmen.
Jumping into ‘Wilson Wonderland’, the wedding party was excited to celebrate the nuptials of Anya-Jean and Calvin.
Jumping into ‘Wilson Wonderland’, the wedding party was excited to celebrate the nuptials of Anya-Jean and Calvin.

The proclamation of ‘two hearts meant to be’ mirrors the union of Anya-Jean Phillips and Calvin Wilson. With plot twists of missed opportunities, a sister inadvertently acting as a matchmaker, and online romance, their journey of fellowship, melody, comedy, ministry and love took flight, making a smooth landing to its destination of holy matrimony.

Anya-Jean recalled her first online interaction with Calvin, more affectionately called Dale, courtesy of his sister, Sherri-Ann.“We both knew how to be the life of the party, as Sherri-Ann puts it. We both are comedians, both have similar interests, and based on our interaction, she thought Dale and I would have been good friends because of our personalities,” she told Island Wedding.

While her recollection of the events is accurate, Calvin’s story began long before they connected in the social world.

“There was a woman that I liked from work, but I was too timid to approach her and make my interest known. Months after, I finally had the courage to connect with her; she gave me a great vibe and seemed really interested. I thought I had time, and delayed making my move. When I eventually went to make my move, her manager told me she had resigned and moved out of state,” he recounted. It turned out the woman in question was Anya-Jean.

Heartbroken, Calvin confided in his younger sister, who, coincidentally, was friends with Anya-Jean, about his romantic plight.

His sibling responded unfavourably, saying, “Serves you right, I told you about Anya and you did nothing!” He followed up by adding, “You see, little sis had tried to connect us before, thinking we had similar personalities and would make great friends, even if it didn’t go beyond that.”

Mustering up the courage, Calvin reached out to Anya-Jean again and she had him at ‘hello’.

Their phone calls continued for about a year, until they finally met face-to-face during his visit to the island in the summer of 2022. “Anya inspired me to take a visit to Jamaica after migrating 10-plus years prior, and that was when we saw each other in person,” he revealed. Sherri-Ann, the ‘matchmaker’, was there to witness their reunion.

Despite nerves creeping in, the moment he set eyes on her, he discovered she was more breathtaking than he could have ever imagined. They revelled in the opportunity to finally match a physical face to the voice and imagery.

“Our first date was actually on his birthday,” where she had an intimate dinner planned. “I had some friends of mine, who were really good at hosting and catering, set up a nice private dinner for us. That was so special, and he really appreciated that. He said he never had that kind of effort being made for him before.”

After a few months of communicating, Calvin made things official by asking Anya-Jean to be his girlfriend in January 2023.

Since getting to know each other better, she continues to be amazed by her darling’s intellect and passion. She is also blown away by his thoughtful, amusing and gentle nature.

“Calvin intrigued me from the conversations. As someone who stimulates my mind, his knowledge is evident through his readings and research. It can be current affairs or the word of God, and that is a big plus for me,” she shared.

As her ‘gentle giant’, she noted that he possesses the sweetest soul, “He thinks about me and others before he thinks of himself. Dale makes me feel that I can accomplish anything, especially when imposter syndrome sets in. He has witnessed and supported me through all of my endeavours, providing support to become better, while helping me to find balance.”

Additionally, it was important to him that they spent quality time connecting, especially since they were in a long-distance relationship. “We were intentional about date nights, devotion times and ‘just because’ moments, where we connected and kept the momentum of the relationship going.” Anya-Jean added.

Describing his soulmate as fiery, spiritual, loyal, committed and humorous, Calvin explained that Anya-Jean has brought life, a sense of purpose and peace of mind to his world, “Anya’s love for God is unending. She is passionate and committed, and I found myself becoming more inspired as I watch her grow spiritually. She was the first woman her age I know that owned her business, and as demanding as this is for her, she manages. The drive for family, loyalty to her friends and church family is beyond admiration. She inspires me to love hard, to give everything, to be kind and sweet, to be humble, and yet carry this much influence wherever she goes.”


Convinced she was the one, Calvin proposed to Anya-Jean in late 2023. Knowing she would be in Atlanta in September of that year, he wanted her to return to Jamaica assured of his commitment to making her his partner.

“There was a couple set to be married that same weekend, and I was supposed to help with the arrangements and would pick up Anya from church. We would then go to the movies right after. However, while Anya was aware of the plan to pick her up for movies, she would not think it strange to see cars parked outside, since a wedding was scheduled and preparations were being made. The good thing was, both my pastors were in on it! She walked in to find a fair-sized crowd waiting, with the room darkened and a ‘MARRY ME’ sign at the altar. She said yes,” he recounted. It was everything his fiancée could have ever asked for, and more.

Though the couple didn’t hire an official wedding planner, Anya-Jean’s childhood friends and church sisters Stephanie Haye, Arianna Lawrence, and Shaneil Williams eagerly took on the task.

On April 20, surrounded by God and specially invited guests, Anya-Jean entered the ‘Wilson Wonderland’ to meet her dapper groom as a stunning and glowing bride. The ceremony unfolded at Emmanuel Apostolic Church in Portmore, St Catherine, followed by an intimate reception at Christar Villas Hotel in Kingston.

The groom shared, “The day was more than I hoped for. It was the first time in almost 13 years that I had gathered with my biological family. Now I had church and Anya’s family joining the gathering. The highlight for me was the prayer tunnel. It was the moment when God publicly sanctioned our union, in the presence of both our pastors, friends and family. I saw the effect of the presence of God on my new wife as she also laid hands on me.”

A Couple of Forevers by Chrisette Michelle was skilfully played by saxophonist Marlon Junior Williams as the soundtrack for the couple’s first dance as husband and wife. “We smiled and laughed through it all. Nothing else mattered in that moment. We were surrounded by loved ones, but it felt like the room froze, everyone else was a blur except us both and the music,” Mrs Wilson added.