VIDEO: Merlene Brown And Denroy Francis Tie The Knot After 13 YearsJanuary 13, 2024
Promises of a lifetime of togetherness echoed within the walls of Spanish Town Seventh Day Adventist Church in St Catherine where scores of people had gathered for the exchange of nuptial vows between two long-time lovers.
Merlene Brown and Denroy Francis formally became one on 10 December 2023 after a 13-year-old love affair that produced a son, Jerome.
The two live together at Top Hill district in Lluidas Vale Division, St Catherine.
That’s several miles away from where the couple, their bridal party, and their guests converged close to sunset for the wedding proceedings presided over by Pastor Robert Williams.
Among the guests were the bride’s father Herman Brown and the groom’s mom Albertina Francis. The couple’s other parents died.
The ceremony flowed without interruption – with no one rising to object, and no one declaring knowledge of any legal reason for the two not to have been joined in holy matrimony.
The couple eventually signed their commitment with a pen and sealed it with the highly anticipated kiss.
While they were the signing the relevant document behind closed doors in Pastor Williams’ office, Member of Parliament for North-Central St Catherine Natalie Neita-Garvey entertained the gathering, belting out an array of love songs.
When the couple was again in full view of the congregation, Pastor Williams marshaled the remainder of the formalities and expressed best wishes.
“I wish to be the first to congratulate you; I wish that you live like Isaac and Rebecca [in the Bible] and not like two woodpecker picking each other. Enjoy each other; make sure that you deposit wonderful memories and have a happy life together,” he told the newly wedded couple.
Moments later, the husband and wife exited the sanctuary, walking hand-in-hand through an arch that members of the bridal party had created with their raised hands.
The next stop was Caymanas Golf and Country Club, where the reception was held on the outskirts of the island’s old capital – Spanish Town.
Standing beside his other half amid intermittent cheers from the gathering, Denroy, in a speech delivered near the end of the reception, promised to never leave his wife.
“I am never gonna leave her. This moment, Merlene, is for me and you,” he declared before initiating another round of deep kissing, much to the delight of the audience.
He also thanked a number of other people, including his step-son, Jermaine Williams, who turned out to be the give-away father.
Jermaine, he explained, who was the one who invited him to his mother’s home when their romantic relationship was just getting off the ground.
He first set eyes on Merlene while he was visiting Snake Hill district in Point Hill, St Catherine, where preparations were being made for the burial of one of his in-laws. Merlene initially resisted Denroy’s pursuits, but his persistence gradually chipped away her disinclination.
He made the right pick, according to Lydia Thomas, the matron of honour, who delivered a toast to the bride.
“I just want to say to Mr Francis, you don’t have to worry; you will be well taken care of,” she said.
Thomas described Merlene as family-oriented and hard-working. “She does not eat the bread of idleness; she is a worker; she is a loving person; she is a caring person; she is a hard worker… She has a passion for her family members…”
Thomas, who has been married for decades, also encouraged the couple to exercise understanding in their marriage, which she likened to a house. “The only way that house will last is by understanding. So, cherish the house; take care of the house; just don’t give up on it.”
The best man, Kerone Hall, who flew into the island for the wedding, stated that his cousin – the groom – is a positive role model that young men can emulate.
“I salute you because there are so many young men who are behind bars today wishing and hoping they could be in that seat [in which you are sitting, Mr Francis]… You did it cous; you did it in your right mind. Ain’t nobody force you to do this; ain’t nobody give you no alcohol or drugs; you did this consciously. And for that reason, congratulations. And I salute you,” he declared.
Hall asserted that the decision his cousin made to get married in a “big man move”.
“It takes a man cous to step up to the plate and to say ‘I am done with the world and I am going to be a king to a queen’…” he added. “I fly all the way from Europe just to be here for you, cous. And I am telling you that I will do it over again next week if you ask me to. I love you; I am so proud of you; congratulations.”
In the meantime, Denroy, while basking in the moment, expressed hope his father, Donovan Francis, were still around to witness his wedding.
According to him, his dad, who passed away in 2022, always encouraged him to settle down with a wife.
“Nothing happens before its time; the time is just right and I am doing it now… I wish my father was here with me, but him nuh deh here, but his spirit is still with me,” Denroy told the gathering.
He also singled out his mother for praise, adding that she can always rely on him for support. “I am happy to see you, Mom. Daddy passed and gone, but you look good. Trust me, you look really good.”
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