It’s highly unlikely that we know the exact day we will meet our soulmate. We may pray that such a fairy tale exists, but when reality hits, the bliss of the moment is overwhelming. For self-proclaimed soulmates Mikhailia and Olivier, fate would have them experience their date with destiny in 2008 at a Latin club Loca Luna in Atlanta, Georgia. Their attraction to each other was instaneous. At the time, Mikhailia was living in Atlanta and about to graduate from medical school, while Olivier had recently moved there to start his new job. “We exchanged hellos but said nothing else to each other for two-and-a-half years,” shared Mikhalia.
By then, Mikhailia had moved to Baltimore to complete her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. As fate would have it, Olivier had been visiting Washington DC, for a memorial ceremony at Arlington Cemetery, for his uncle who had served in the army. Mikhailia discovered this after seeing Olivier mention it in a Facebook update. “I had a free weekend ahead, so I replied to his post asking ‘for how long?'” shared Mikhailia. He responded privately with a message which included his phone number.
They spoke briefly and made plans for their long overdue first date. That Friday night, they dined at a restaurant called Marrakech in Washington DC. “It warmed my heart (to know) that Olivier, who had suffered the brunt of the then collapsing economy and had not flown in close to a year and a half, took his last dime to take me out to dinner,” recalled Mikhailia.”Every time I think about that night it makes me cry,” she further explained. By the end of the night, they both knew they wanted to see each other again.
About a year later, the couple took a weekend trip to Paris, which is not only the most romantic city in the world, but the place Olivier called home for many years during his childhood. One Sunday afternoon, they took a stroll by the Eiffel Tower before sitting on a patch of grass next to the tower. Before long Olivier pulled out a diamond solitaire and asked Mikhailia to be his wife. The dinner cruise down the Seine River which followed thereafter completed what seemed like the perfect evening.
The magnificent French-American-Jamaican-Nigerian themed wedding was a three-day affair, starting Thursday night with a family dinner at the Cary Island Villa in Ocho Rios. On Friday evening they hosted a welcome cocktail and dinner reception at the Couples Sans Souci Resort. On Saturday, they exchanged vows at the Prospect Chapel in St Mary on November 10, 2012. The chapel which was beautifully decorated by Tara Hirst of White Light Events incorporated fuchsia, white and silver as the wedding couples.
The ceremony began with the thrilling sounds of the South African song Mbube Wimoweh by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The bridesmaids entered the chapel wearing fuchsia dresses by Mori Lee paired with shoes by Brian Atwood. The groomsmen who accompanied them up the aisle were attired in Vera Wang suits. The sounds of I Can’t Help (Falling in Love With You) by UB40 heralded the arrival of the bride, who stunned in a mermaid gown with a beaded bodice created by Mori Lee and make-up by Loni Jones. Her father Michael Lake, financial controller of Couples Resorts, escorted her up the aisle to meet her nervous groom Olivier, who was smartly clad in a Vera Wang gown. The ceremony, which was officiated by Canon Glen Prince, came to a close with an exhilarating African drum performance by Zooco Performing Arts Drummers from Ocho Rios.
The reception followed at the luxurious Cary Island Villas in Ocho Rios. The couple used their reception to incorporate several traditional practices of their multicultural family. They performed an authentic Togolese libation — an African tradition of honouring ancestors. Their Nigerian family members showered them with gifts of money for their future together, while the French family members recited their speeches of heartfelt advice in French. The couple had the luxury of indulging in two scrumptious wedding cakes. The first a four-tier chocolate fudge and raspberry creation by Melissa Holbrooke while the other was created by Mikhailia’s cousin, Paulette Reid, who made a fruit cake which she brought with her from Canada. With cake-cutting duties complete, they partied the night away in true Jamaican style with their guests.
– Mr. Phillipe Cointault & Mrs. Joni-dale Morgan
– Mr. Edmund Otubuah & Ms. Danielle Williams
– Mr. Coy Levons and Ms. Misha Haye
– Mr. Kurt “Special K” Watson and Ms. Chantal Michael and Mrs. Nadria Gordon- Lyn
Photos: : Dean Clarke Photography
Flowers/Décor: White Light Events
Lighting: Starlight Productions
Wedding cake/desserts: Melissa Holbrooke
Wedding planner/coordinator: White Light Events