Dec. 2, 2013, 7 a.m. by SMARTBRIDE
Real Destination Wedding: An Eclectic Mix of Chinese, Indian and the Caribbean!
Beejel Patel & Timothy Chen
Ochos Rios, Jamaica
July 30, 2011
All photos by Dwayne Watkins
“Who would have guessed, a beautiful Indian princess from Michigan would find a ragga muffin Chinese-Jamaican Prince?” Timothy says. “Not in a million years!”
Timothy and Beejel attended Oakland University and both travelled on a medical mission trip to Jamaica. Timothy was doing his residency as a Pediatric Dentist and Beejel was a second year Pharmacy student. On the mission trip, the pair treated patients in rural parts of Jamaica.
“While I was taking care of some kids in a school I was distracted by this exotic girl in pink scrubs,” Timothy remembers. “So, I decided to sneak off and introduce myself. We had a little conversation which I thought went pretty well. I guess it did because here we are now together!”
“I surprised Timothy with a trip to Greece for his birthday, but the real surprise came when he proposed!” Beejel recalls. Timothy popped the question during his birthday dinner at Mykonos, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea horizon.
Beejel and Timothy married at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and held their reception at Cary Island, also in Ocho Rios.
The couple chose Cary Island, an exclusive 1930s Tudor House, because “it had so many interesting features and it in itself was a small paradise,” Beejel says. With a full staff, including a chef, Cary Island features a main house with an adjoining cottage, pool and gazebo and a private island.
And the Bride wore…
Designed by Madeline Gardner, Beejel’s stunning ruffled organza wedding gown in ivory featured a strapless mermaid style with a sweetheart neckline. In addition, make-up artist Stacy McNeil, from Kingston, ensured Beejel looked radiant for the entire day. “She did an amazing job!” Beejel says.
The Groom sported…
Timothy stood handsomely awaiting his bride-to-be in a single-breast European cut suit by Jean Yves.
Bobbie Ghosh (Friend), Digisha Patel (Cousin), Ginelle Moya (Friend), Jessica Uppal (Friend), Sarah Knuth (Maid of Honour - Friend) Sejal Patel (Cousin), Rina Arya (Cousin) Dhruvi Amin (Flower girl - Brides Niece)
Daren Chen (Brother & Bestman), Adam Chen (Brother), Ryan Nunez (Friend), Jorge Solano (Friend), Ticu Patel (Brides Brother), Gonzalo Cortez (Friend), Craig Bernard (Friend)
Beejel and Timothy infused Chinese, Indian and Jamaican cuisine into their reception dinner:
- The Chinese influence included mini spring rolls, roast chicken, crispy pork, sweet and sour filet fish, chop suey, noodles and rice.
- Indian menu items included mini samosas, dahl makhni, aloo gobi, mater paneer, garlic nan, plain nan and gulub jamum (dessert).
- From Jamaica: ackee and calaloo quiche, curried goat, jerk chicken, rice and peas, white rice, toss salad, and baked plantains in cinnamon and butter.
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Unique Wedding Features…
To mix their cultures, Beejel and Timothy incorporated Indian and Chinese, Hindu and Catholic, American and Jamaican into their celebration. “We made a special effort to ensure guests felt valuable and had a memorable time,” Beejel says. “In true Jamaican style, it was a wedding “out of many one people."
Beejel describes the event as “magical, captivating, breathtaking and romantic,” featuring a slide show and skit along with a few dance performances and a customised entrance walk.
Advice from the heart: a parting word from the bride…
Planning a long-distance wedding is challenging, so Beejel recommends you begin the process early and hire a wedding planner. “They are more than worth it,” she says. “And it helps to have someone there to help coordinate the day of the wedding.”
Congratulations Beejel and Timothy!
Bio: Caribbean Bride magazine is the premier resource for planning weddings and events in the Caribbean. Download Issue 5 on iTunes for more articles and tips to design your perfect Caribbean wedding! For more inspiration, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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