Famous American poet and singer Maya Angelou shared this about matters pertaining to the heart: “Love recognises no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope”.
What started out as an unfortunate nuptial setback for couple Shanice Witter and Doug Gore catapulted into an enchanting night under the stars celebrating life and prevailing love.
No one could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic, and when guests began cancelling for the wedding weekend of March 14, Shanice began to panic. “I thought my fairy tale was falling apart,” she told Island Wedding. But her beloved Doug looked into her eyes and reassured her that the weekend was about them. “Then it settled in that it will always be us and everything will be fine. And that’s when the magic happened,” she added.
The lovebirds first met at Dover Raceway in St Ann. She was an avid lover of motorsport, and it was while exploring the pit that she met the talented racer. With this common interest, they kept in touch and became friends.
After Shanice moved to Montego Bay for a summer job prior to starting university in the fall, their many months of friendship uncovered something much deeper that neither of them could have imagined. Shanice was impressed by the fact that he was a man of his word. He was also helpful and a good person. For Doug, he was mesmerised by her beauty, her passion, and that smile of hers that could melt a heart. So instead of robbing themselves of eternal happiness and joy, they ditched the friend lane and upgraded to the heat of ‘in a relationship’. It wouldn’t be long before the pair began their racing romance all the way to ‘I do’.
Describing him as caring, adventurous, passionate, humorous, and fun, Shanice says that she loves that Doug makes her feel safe. “He is such a good man. He never really sees the bad in anyone or anything. He’s always helping in whatever way he can, and I never have to worry about anything. If life gets hard, he is the first person I call on,” she said. He beamed with pride for his caring, loving, and assertive other half, who is not only a fantastic cook but has the best ride-or-die personality, too. He said, “Shan, to me, is the perfect fit. Some women are all about materialistic things; she’s not. She has made me understand the importance of give and take in a relationship.”
Fellas, take notes: Doug has learned, over the years, when to say ‘yes, dear’, and he was constantly reminded that she was the one when they were apart. “When I go away or she goes away, after a couple days, I really miss her. That’s when you know this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with,” he said.
Charged by understanding, trust, honesty, confidence, and stability, together, they drove in this race of love for seven years. Then, the pro race car driver offered his one and only ‘MVP’, Shanice, the championship ring of engagement.
What better occasion to ask the love of your life to marry you than her birthday? Already glammed up and attending dinner with a few of her closest friends at Caves in Negril, Shanice was in for an extravagant surprise. Doug recalled, “I told the manager at the Caves what I intended, and wow! The location inside a cave, the candlelight dinner, great friends with the ocean in the background – it was priceless.” Shanice added, “In the midst of our conversation with cards, I posed the question, ‘What’s your best memory with me?’ It was now Doug’s turn to answer the question. He got up, pushed back his chair, and said, ‘This will be my best memory.’ He then got on one knee and opened a box with my dream ring and asked, ‘Shan, will you marry me?’ I was in total shock! Of course, I replied, ‘Yes!’ My heart was happy; I will be spending the rest of my life with the love of my life”.
PLANNING NUPTIAL BLISS
One for always knowing exactly what she wants, the bride-to-be had a plan within the week of her engagement. “Shan has started planning this from the moment I proposed, looking in books, magazines, Instagram for ideas,” Doug remarked. But she enlisted the expertise of Shelle Parchment, managing director of Tie Di Knot, to assist with bringing her vision to life, as well as Tai Flora to execute the decor.
Then on March 14, this love race had two winners: Mr and Mrs Doug and Shanice Gore. Frankfort Villa in Ocho Rios provided the idyllic backdrop for their happily ever after. Doug, cool and collected in his grey suit, was the fantastic frame for his beautiful, picture-perfect bride, Shanice, as the two became one before God and among family members and friends. Shanice found the silver lining amid the cloud of doubt. She said, “Although I was sad that persons had cancelled, I got the sky lit with lights under the stars. And our families and closest friends danced under the stars with the ocean in the background”.
Her favourite parts of the wedding include her husband’s reaction when her father handed her over; listening to her husband profess his love to her while crying; their first dance as husband and wife, inclusive of a firework display; and her wedding guests, who helped to make the night the best dance party.
Story by Krysta Anderson