Worth the wait
JEANNA SEALE-BAILER and Ryan Matalon initially met five years ago through a mutual friend before they made the journey down the aisle. “We were introduced by my brother’s wife – Rae Matalon. Rae and Jeanna have been best friends for many years, before either of them knew my brother Daniel or I,” Ryan explained to Flair.
Jeanna confessed, however, that while there was a mutual attraction, the timing wasn’t right. “I was very attracted to him when I first met him. We always had fun with each other. I knew that he was too young for me. He was in college and enjoying his college years.” So they went their separate ways. Little did they know that Cupid had other plans.
Time passed, then one day, Jeanna met up with her best friend, Rae, and her husband. “I was supposed to go on a date to a Chelsea
Handler comedy event when it got cancelled. I was looking at Facebook and saw that my longlost best friend, who I never see anymore, was at a bar in Buckhead, where I lived. I decided to just show up, have a drink, and catch up on old times. In the back of my head, I wondered if Ryan would be with them.”
Ryan was missing in action, but that did not stop Rae from putting in her brother-in-law’s résumé. “She said that Ryan had graduated college and was ready to settle down in a relationship. She said she knew that we were meant for each other. She set us up on our first official date at Dave and Busters – a video arcade and bar!”
The video games brought out their competitive streak in a fun way. They even played on the same side, when the occasion called for
it, and later took the fun outdoors where they “made out like teenagers”. They have been together ever since.
Ryan revealed that while they were both in Spain for his friend’s wedding, he delivered a romantic proposal on the most famous bridge in Girona. Called the Eiffel Bridge, it was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same architect who designed the Eiffel Tower.
However, getting Jeanna to go to that bridge proved to be almost mission impossible, but the smooth operator cruised his way right into “Will you marry me?” Jeanna immediately said yes.
According to Jeanna, “I felt so bad! I was complaining about wanting to go to bed because I was tired. He wanted me to go out to this bridge that was built by the man who built the Eiffel Tower. It was late at night, so I couldn’t understand why. It had been pouring rain earlier that day and he didn’t have the opportunity to propose. He also wanted to do it before we arrived in Cadaques for his friend’s wedding, which was the next day. When he did, I was so surprised and happy to become his wife.”
The Atlanta couple decided to plan a destination wedding and jetted off to paradise – Ryan’s roots, Jamaica. Wedding planner Tie Di Knot’s Shelle Parchment, alongside the insightful groom-to-be, handled all of the nuptial details.
“I was introduced to Shelle by Ian Banks the manager of Frankfort House, who utilised her as his own wedding planner. Without Shelle, it couldn’t have been half of the success it was, so for that she deserves amazing praises,” Ryan declared. While Jeanna noted, “Shelle was an angel and couldn’t have been more perfect to plan this with Ryan!”
The night before they were to get married on the beach at Frankfort House, nature seem to cloud the next day’s proceedings. “Hundreds of sea turtles hatched and were crawling all over the beach and we were to be married the next day. A man by the name of ‘Boxer’, who lives in Port Antonio, told us that sea turtles are a blessing.”
On September 5, two hearts became one in front of close friends and family, who travelled from near and far to witness the grand occasion. The radiant red-themed wedding provided a rich backdrop for the blushing bride.
The festivities turned up the fun factor for the reception and the two, as newly-weds, continued to celebrate with close ones the next day by the beach.
Beaming with joy, the bride is embraced by her groom. AT RIGHT: The happy couple seal it with a kiss by the seaside.
The beautiful bride shares the spotlight with her flower girl, Taylor Matalon.
The couple’s sand ceremony, using Red Stripe bottles and a mason jar – a beautiful combination for happily ever after.
AT LEFT: From left: Claire Murray, Janis Copeland, Falon McGaughy, Rae Matalon, flower girl Taylor Matalon, the happy couple, ring bearer Ashton Matalon, Daniel Matalon, Mark Murray, Jordan Truppman and Nick Benzine.
Newly-weds bask in nuptial bliss after they said ‘I Do’.
The beautiful bride is escorted up the aisle by her mother, Lodi Soderholm.
Replicas of the bride and groom atop their beautiful cake.