Deidre Jones-Mundy and Kingsley Mundy are high
school sweethearts who weathered time and distance
to be happily wed on October 4, 2014. They had known
each other as members of St. Paul AME Church for
years before that, and were students in the same Sunday
school class as kids. They had grown up together,
cultivating a relationship with God, and one another,
under the caring watch of their spiritual community.
They began dating in high school, and remained good friends when Deidre moved abroad, to Belgium, Canada, and the U.S. for her studies. It was inevitable that once I came back to Bermuda, we would make those next strides towards marriage, Deidre recalls. Although she was certain that the day would come, she had no idea how predictable Kingsleys proposal would be. The funny thing is, I actually knew all about the proposal, Deidre says with a laugh.
A friend of the couple posted the engagement ring to a social media site with a caption that was quite obvious to Deidre, and what was meant to be Kingsleys secret, became Deidres. It was me keeping the secret, she laughs. I was even practicing how I was going to make my surprised face. Even the heads up didnt keep her from being overwhelmed when Kingsley finally made the proposal. I was still full of emotion, even though I completely knew it was going to happen, Deidre says. The couple had waited years for the time where they could finally settle down as a family, and so their engagement would be short. Kingsley hoped for a summer wedding, while Deidre had her heart set on a Winter Wonderland theme. No stranger to compromise, the two split the difference, settling on an autumn wedding. I am pretty huge on timing, says Deidre of picking the date. It was 10/4, and hes a fireman, and they say it to confirm a call. Deidre signed up for wedding websites, scoured bridal magazines, and settled on venues, before becoming somewhat overwhelmed by the planning process. A few months after their engagement, the couple hired professional help to get the job done. They contracted with planner Fernanda Owen of Savoir Faire Weddings and Events. She covered and organized every single finite detail, says Deidre. It really contributed to Kingsley and I feeling extremely relaxed and at ease.
In the remaining seven months, Deidre, Kingsley and Fernanda worked to finalize plans, including sorting out their massive guest list, and brainstorming aesthetic themes that would build on the existing features of their venues, St. Paul AME Church, and their reception site, Maritime Museum, Queens Exhibition Hall, Dockyard. For the reception hall, the theme started out with just a color. Kingsley and I love the color gold; it lent itself to the time of the wedding, Deidre says. We added very Gatsby, regal attributes to the color scheme. The museum had existing antique artifacts, natural lighting, and tall ceilings. The couple mused that it would be well accented by candles, lots of pearls, and very long rectangular tables, a la The Last Supper. Deidre and Kingsley needed no extra frills to decorate St. Paul. The building carried so many precious familial and personal memories already.
On the day of the wedding, it was decorated simply and elegantly. The aisles were adorned with minimal floral accents. Ivory and gold dyed clusters of rose petals were delicately strewn down the long white runner in the center aisle. Candles flickered, giving the ceremonial space a romantic, sentimental glow. Demco Florist, longtime Bermuda wedding experts, provided floral arrangement. At 2 p.m., after their 250 guests settled into their seats, the ceremony commenced. Reverend Nicholas Genevieve Tweed, the couples long time pastor, and Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, a family friend and avuncular figure to Deidre, led the ceremony together. They opted for a traditional, classical service, with traditional vows, scriptural readings and a string quartet providing the soundscape. In a truly special highlight of the ceremony, Deidres aunt read from the same bible that was used at her paternal grandparents wedding. We didnt have a specific family tradition, but I kind of feel like one started, says Deidre. In a fortunate turn of events, they were also treated to a special musical performance by Deidres god sister, a soloist from the U.S., who agreed just a couple of days before the wedding that she would sing The One He Kept for Me, originally performed by Maurette Brown Clark.
After the reception, the couple and their wedding party drove straight to the reception site, and took pictures on the museum grounds while their guests enjoyed a cocktail hour. Along with photographers Mark and Ally, from Two & Quarter Photography, the couple located scenic vistas around the fort that featured a beautiful Bermuda autumn afternoon sky. We wanted photographers that could capture the organic essence of our day as it unfolded, says Deidre. We didnt want to feel like we were in a mall studio posing for pictures. They took the time to get to know us. We thoroughly enjoyed having them play such an intimate role in our day. After the photo shoot wrapped, DJ Mikey B, one of Kingsleys best friends, announced the couple to their guests in the reception hall, as they walked through an aisle lined by their bridal party who held sparklers for their premier. Owens, along with decorators Exclusive Events, had taken the couples initial vision to the next level of production. There were ivory and gold champagne candles, a gold sequin runner, floating candles around the room, and elegant gold Chiavari ballroom chairs. It looked like the inside of a chateau, Deidre remembers.
For their first dance, the couple danced to Endless Love, by Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross, a song that they had loved since high school, and spoke to their long-term romance. With the help of catering company, MEF, Deidre and Kingsleys wedding guests had multiple options for dining. There were carving stations for meats, veggie options, pasta dishes, and more. MEF provided some desserts, such as mini cheesecakes, mini tartes, and chocolate mousse, while Deidres bridesmaid and owner of Sweet SAAK Bakery, Kamilah Cannonier-Simons, prepared traditional bride and groom cakes, gold leaf pound cake and silver leaf fruitcake, and a three-tier center cake, pumpkin and red velvet cupcakes with cream-cheese icing. After theyd had their fill of dessert, the couple danced the night away surrounded by family and friends.
Along with the joyful memories and buttery sweetness lingering on their lips, guests went home with photo booth pictures that featured the wedding date and couples names, and cedar bookmarks designed by Deidres father, who happens to own a shop that specializes in Bermuda cedar. Be very vigilant when choosing vendors, Deidre offers to couples planning a large wedding. Make sure you build a rapport with them, because these are people who are playing a significant part in making sure your day is extraordinarily special.
TEXT by AMANDA WILLIAMS
PHOTOGRAPHY by TWO + QUARTER PHOTOGRAPHY