Love stood the test of time, and the pandemic

by Jul 4, 2022Love

Theirs is a love affair that started in May of 2016 in England and nurtured along the way at Sandals resorts in Jamaica and Barbados, then blossomed beautifully in marital bliss in March 2022 at the Sandals Royal Plantation (SRP). Lee and Demi Martin built an impregnable partnership as they overcame the challenges of the pandemic to finally tie the knot at their favourite Sandals resort, SRP, on March 10, 2022.

In 2016 the Martins spent their first holiday at SRP. Six years later, in a spirit of romantic nostalgia, the couple thought it only fitting to celebrate this milestone and their marriage at the resort they have come to refer to as home. In reflecting on the journey, Demi shared, “Our lives are richer in taking on the challenge of preparing and executing this wedding.”

“We had the dream team here at Sandals Royal Plantation to make this special day worth celebrating. After all, we had waited four years with three date changes and the logistics of having all guests healthy and available. The first time that I saw Demi’s dress was when she started the walk down the aisle and I’m happy that I waited for this special day,” Lee beamed.

Added Demi: “Being able to get someone who understood and managed our big day was the most important feature for us as a couple. This stage of our lives needed the best pilot with a calm, clear mind to guide us through all the intricacies in order to make the day most memorable and Kelly-Ann Styles, SRP’s weddings manager, was the most qualified for this job.”

After getting engaged in 2018 at Sandals Royal Barbados, Lee and Demi Martin set August 29, 2020 as the day for their nuptials. Planning their wedding would always have had its unique challenges because, in early 2020, Lee, who works in hospital operations, was based in Spain and Demi lived in the UK. But the pandemic added a whole new dimension for the couple.

“When I left Spain in early 2020 I had seen first-hand the devastation of COVID-19. I told Demi when I got back to England that the world is about to see something devastating,” Lee shared. England, at that time, had not felt the brunt of the pandemic, but that was not far away. The couple had to prepare mentally and otherwise for the uncertainties ahead.

As the pandemic increased in severity, it was soon obvious that an August 29 wedding was simply not possible. With a fitted dress and tailored suit hanging in their closet, the couple was forced to select another date, March 15, 2021, inform their 20 guests, and remain in constant communication with their wedding planner at SRP. Kelly-Ann ensured that they knew down-to-the-minute details about their cake, the entertainment package, the décor, and location of the event. As one could imagine, this process wasn’t always straightforward as the dynamics of the situation were in constant motion.

“With our outfits in the closet, we knew we needed to be disciplined enough to stay in shape for our big day. Feeling the reality of the pandemic, and we being in each other’s space constantly, our mental and physical strength were being put to the test daily,” Demi added.

“Amidst the challenges we were facing as a couple, we held on to the belief that usually the things that are easy to do are not always the most rewarding. We focused on getting through the day-to-day challenges of dieting and becoming ‘professional athletes’ by being disciplined and having daily workout plans in place with our rigorous training regimens, which brought us closer together,” Lee said.

 Interestingly, both wife and husband shared resilience as the most admirable trait that they saw in each other. With the restrictions applied by the UK government, this characteristic was about to be put to the test.

“The pandemic had truly tested our mettle as we had to transform our home into our workspace. With no opportunity to explore the outdoors or being away from each other, we had to find creative ways of making each other comfortable while maintaining our mental state of mind,” Demi continued.

Lee added, “Making our home adjustable for work and play was one of the most challenging stages of our lives. We both enjoy fitness, but to have the restrictions on us was mentally a tough task. Our plan to have a wedding was always on the table and to wear the outfits on that special day was inevitable.”

“Whenever we had to change dates, we were bombarded with ideas of cancelling the entire booking, circumventing the logistics of having all our guests physically healthy and keeping ourselves in shape. With these hiccups, we were even more determined to support each other and grow stronger individually,” Lee added.

“With the pandemic looking as if there was no end in sight, we decided to get the formality of the marriage certificate out of the way, hence we, along with our parents and grandparents, decided on and had a private ceremony on April 16, 2021,” Demi shared. 

Work commitments led to the Martins moving to Florida from the UK in June 2021. Notwithstanding, the couple was just as determined to make their special occasion the most memorable, so they maintained communication with the SRP team throughout and despite restrictions, the Martins set their final date — this time March 10, 2022.

The logistics needed to make their dream wedding happen on March 10 was even more tedious than before as the couple and all their guests had to abide by travel restrictions, which included obtaining negative COVID-19 test results. As fate would have it, they were all in the clear.

At 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 10, Demi finally walked down the aisle to Daniel Caesar’s hit song, Best Part. With both lovebirds finally getting the opportunity to be united in marriage at SRP, the incorporation of both traditional and personalised vows created an atmosphere of love. The couple also recited three beautiful poems, much to the admiration of the guests and wedding planners. 

The overwater beach gazebo was decorated in gold and silver fabric and the Caribbean Sea was the perfect backdrop with the crashing waves providing a natural acoustic sound for the wedding team. The couple had only what could be described as a picture-perfect day — perfect weather, calm soothing wind caressing the faces of those in attendance, and a twilight that saw the sun kissing the horizon slowly.

According to Styles, “The wedding team here at SRP pride ourselves in personalising each guest experience, and for the Martins, we created a wedding look-book that allowed them to see the plans and created a visual for them to appreciate. Over the years we created and maintained a wedding file covering the details for the day that we used for the wedding planners and the couple. We believe in consistency, and this couple allowed us the opportunity to make their day most memorable.”  

She added: “Planning such a special event will always bring out the best in the team here at SRP as we believe in giving each guest more than what they expect. The Martins were meticulous in what they needed and I’m grateful that we were able to deliver the best wedding experience to the couple. At Sandals, we pride ourselves in providing our guests with memories of a lifetime through our powerful global brand, delivered by our world-class team members.” 


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