A shot at actualising a medical school crush finally became a reality when Dr Gerren Austin and Dr Shanelle Reid met for a second time at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James. “I met her in med school, but she didn’t really remember me,” 26-year-old Gerren told Island Wedding with a laugh.
The medical professionals, who work and live in Montego Bay, St James, tied the knot on June 12, 2021, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in the same parish.
Natives of Kingston, Shanelle and Gerren, formed a friendship and life in the Second City, but 27-year-old Shanelle had reservations about exploring more as Gerren was her intern and his brother her supervisor.
But Gerren was not deterred, and when his rotation on obstetrics and gynaecology ended, he pursued a relationship with Shanelle.
Two and a half years after dating, he proposed to Shanelle at his home, in front of their closest friends, surrounded by rose petals and balloons, to the tune of John Legends’ You and I.
“There were cupcakes as well! I said yes for the cupcakes,” joked Shanelle, who shared that before her surprise proposal, she was sad when they left dinner, and he hadn’t proposed. “He kind of gave me a hint, and he told me January. So literally everywhere I went in January, I was like, this must be it! He proposed the second to last day in the month!” shared Shanelle.
“That was my plan! I wanted to keep her on her toes,” a laughing Gerren added.
Meanwhile, so would the pandemic as the couple struggled to secure a venue for their nuptials.
“We both wanted something outside, and initially, our wedding was supposed to be at White Witch [Golf Course], but eventually, we ended up only taking our pictures there,” said the bride.
It was not until a week before they were due to get married that they came to an agreement with the north coast resort for their elegant-themed affair.
“It was hard because I had to keep watching the numbers,” said Shanelle, who shared that having most of her bridal party being vaccinated doctors helped ease some of the stress of accommodating her bridal party of 14.
“I initially had a [guest] list of 200, and I ended up with 50 people, but looking back, it made it more intimate.”
As rain clouds threatened to damper their special day, Shanelle remained composed as she donned her Helen G Bridal gown, and Gerren waited at the altar in a suit by Max Brown International.
The tearful bride was escorted down the aisle by her brother, and her father to I Choose You by Ryann Darling.
“I loved the words of the song. There was a part in there about how God chose us for Himself, and we have chosen each other. I really like that concept, and I think the words are pretty powerful,” said Shenelle.
A bridal gazebo and umbrella-covered tables, part of the wedding décor by Petals and Promises, initially to keep off the sun, kept the wedding festivities alive as the couple took their vows during the rainfall and small praise and worship session included in the ceremony.
However, the crowd held their breath for one moment when the pastor asked if there were any objections, and the father of the bride, who was changing seats, stood, much to the worry of those attending.
The party continued at the Montego Bay resort as the couple’s first dance was choreographed by Montego Bay-based dance instructor Antonio Dennis to John Legends’ Conversations in the Dark, a suggestion made by the groom and what the Campion College alum admits was his favourite moment of the day.
With a four-year plan to start their family, the Austins are just glad their pandemic wedding has passed and are ready to start the next phase of their life.
The couple honeymooned at Excellence Oyster Bay in Falmouth, Trelawny.