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Photos by: David Wears

By Essiba Small

As a girl Shelly Dass always found comfort in watching the sunset. “There was something I used to say to make myself feel better, ‘I have a God who paints the sky just for me.’”

On September 6, after the CNC3 anchorwoman exchanged nuptials with her soulmate and fellow journalist Robert Clarke at the Plantation Villas in Tobago, it was under a canopy of blue with brilliant orange red streaks that the couple frolicked on the sand.

On this the happiest day of her life, it seemed that God simply couldn’t resist painting another amazing skyscape for his little girl.

Still on a high from her wedding, an excited Dass told WomanWise: “I still can’t believe it is actually over.

“It was just absolutely fantastic. We couldn’t imagine that it could be that good.”

Flashback to June when Dass met this writer on the steps of the Trinidad Guardian building, just before picking up duty at the tv station, frantic about having missed most of the Bridal expos for the earlier part of the year.

“Would you believe I haven’t been to any yet?” she had said with a nervous laugh.

“I don’t even know where to begin.

“And can you believe I am getting married in a few months.”

But having seen the wedding come together, one can argue now that when you’ve got friends and family like Dass and Clarke, a bridal expo is hardly relevant.

Her beach wedding was fitting of her status as this country’s revered anchor woman.

From the beautiful champagne coloured Vera Wang dress (yes the famous Vera Wang who dresses Hollywood celebs for their Red Carpet events) a gift from her cousin Cliff Hassanali, her Jimmy Choo shoes with the amber stones, a gift from her parents, her Barbara Jardine designed earrings, the beautifully decorated tables of tropical flowers, the towering mocha fudge wedding cake from Food Network’s Christine Hasler and the groomsmen’s outfits designed by Anthony Reid for Meiling.

Centre pieces on guests tables featured sprays of orchids, while tropical flowers of ginger and anthuriums, all in white, from Kairi’s Blooms were also used in the fantasy-like décor, the handiwork of Hassanali.

The actual wedding ceremony itself was avant-garde.

Dass’s bridal party wore white dresses her brother Travis did the scripture reading from the Bible verses displayed on his Blackberry phone, both Dass’s parents gave her away and when the bride ditched her Jimmy Choo shoes to join her husband in baring her feet, she casually handed her stilettos to former co-anchor John Victor, much to the amusement of all the guests.

“Rob and I always wanted to get married on the beach because we both love the beach.

“That was the only thing we knew for sure about the wedding.”

When Clarke proposed to his lady love it was also on the beach.

“He told me he wanted help in looking for shells for his niece and when we got to a particular spot he took this ring out from the sand and showed it to me.

“I was clueless, I said ‘but how somebody could lose a ring like that,” she said with a laugh.

“That was until he told me it was for me and proposed.”

Dass and Clarke met on the job some years ago, she said, while they both were on duty at a post cabinet meeting.

But if you ask her she would say that she fell in love with his writing first.

“He was working with the Guardian at the time and wrote a piece of commentary with the headline A Ministry of Truth.

“I didn’t even know who he was at the time. I thought, by the maturity of the tone in his piece, he was someone older.

“I stuck up the commentary on the notice board in the office and called him to say that the piece was well-written.”

It was only at the post cabinet meeting, that Dass said, she finally put a face to the name.

It’s a face that Dass is looking forward to waking up and seeing every morning.

On Thursday the couple left for their honeymoon destinations Panama and Cuba.

At the time of our interview, Cuba was being battered by Ike.

But even that failed on put a damper on Dass’ cheery disposition.

“We are still looking forward to it. Both Rob and I have read about Cuba and we both want to see the place while (Fidel) Castro is still alive.”

“I just feel so blessed right now.

“We had a dream wedding and it wouldn’t have been possible without our friends, family and prayer.

“I think that Rob and I have the most amazing families.”

(See Section B Inside Out)

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