TEENAGE SWEETHEARTS Jill and R.C. Crofton met when they were both young but decided to wait nine years to marry. Their daughter Laila Rose is now over two years old and Jill says, ‘she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to either of us’.
Photos by Gavin Howarth
TEENAGE SWEETHEARTS Jill and R.C. Crofton met when they were both young but decided to wait nine years to marry. Their daughter Laila Rose is now over two years old and Jill says, ‘she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to either of us’. Photos by Gavin Howarth

Friendship is the key to a happy marriage, and no one knows that more than teenage sweethearts Jill and R.C. Crofton.

The couple met through friends almost 10 years ago, when Jill was 15 and R.C. was 17.

Jill said: “From the beginning we could talk for hours and never had those awkward silences.

“We first of all became best friends, and we are still very best friends to this day. I think that is the most important aspect of our relationship, the fact that we are more than husband and wife; we are best friends, each other’s rock and support system.

“I grew up in Paget and R.C. in Warwick. After we met, after no time at all — maybe only a couple of months — we were in a fully committed relationship.

“I think some people might have thought we were too young, but our commitment never changed over the next nine and a half years, until we got married, and to this day.

“Some people grow up and grow apart but we just grew together. We just fitted in with each other, I guess.

“We went through high school, college, new jobs, and we even moved to England together for a year for university,” she said.

Jill, nee Harrington, studied science and R.C. studied information technology at the University of Sussex, but they both returned to Bermuda after a year.

“Unfortunately it didn’t pan out in the end but when we came back, we then found out I was pregnant and we decided to stay in Bermuda.

“Laila Rose is now over two years old and she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to either of us.

“Before we found out I was pregnant, my husband had been planning our engagement and was saving for my ring. However, the news of our baby came up a couple of months before the proposal he had planned.

“Then on Christmas morning 2010, as a meal was baking in the kitchen, we were sitting around the tree as a family, getting ready to exchange gifts.

“First of all we exchanged our Christmas cards. As I was reading mine I turned to my side to see that R.C. had gotten down on one knee and had a box with the most beautiful ring I could ever have wanted.

“He proceeded to say all the beautiful things a girl can dream of and asked me to marry him. I burst into tears and of course, said ‘yes’.

“We both knew many years ago that we would be ‘it’ for each other, but as we got together so young we wanted to wait and just be a little bit older and to maybe have a little bit more experience before marriage.”

Jill and R.C. got married on August 25, 2012, at Tucker’s Point.

Jill said: “I always wanted a beach wedding with a Bermudian atmosphere, with people mingling.

“I wanted a princess style dress and a dusky rose colour for the bridesmaids. I found my dress on a trip to London, at Alfred Angelo Bridal. RC wore salmon pink Bermuda shorts and the groomsmen wore beige.

“The wedding day itself was like a whirlwind but went very smoothly.

“Although some people might think we did things backwards by having a child first, I think it was also meant to be that Laila Rose was there and to walk down the aisle with us.

“We’ve been together for so long that we actually felt married, but to have the wedding ceremony and have everyone around us, it was very special. It was like a celebration of young love.

“The wedding was a beautiful day, as I’m sure and hope that all brides’ wedding days are.

“We had the wedding ceremony on the croquet lawn at Tucker’s Point and the reception by the pool. But probably the best time of the day was going down to the beach with our photographer, Gavin Howarth.

“Talking and laughing with all of our friends on the beach, and having the portraits done with my husband was amazing. We then went back up to the pool area where there were speeches, delicious food, good company and music and dancing until well after midnight.”

Although the couple have not yet gone on their honeymoon, they are planning a trip around Europe next year.

Jill said: “For us, married life is amazing, and to have that bond is very special.

“We have been together for over nine years now. We have lived together overseas and in Bermuda, and we also have a daughter.

“Our lives together started before marriage but that doesn’t make marriage any less special or any less important to either of us; it just makes it even better.

“We love our little life together, and having a gorgeous wedding day to celebrate made it all the more special.”

Jill, 23, and R.C., 26, live in Flatts, where Jill raises Laila Rose and R.C. is a Digicel smartphone technician.

Jill said: “We enjoy the same things, such as travelling, and also enjoy each other’s differences.

“R.C. is the strong and silent type, whereas I tend to be more outgoing, so we are partly opposites, but we are also very similar in other respects.

“It is also nice we have a different heritage. R.C. is Bermudian-Filipino whereas I’m Bermudian-Scottish.

“In any relationship a good sense of humour is also important. R.C. could always — and still — makes me laugh.

“Being friends is very important because, to be in love, you have to like each other, trust each other, enjoy each other’s company and be able to count on that person for anything big or small.

“If it’s an issue with a job, children, friends or family, you need someone that will listen to you and understand you.

“Also, you want to spend time with this person, so you want to be able to have fun and go for dinners, go to the movies or have a quiet night in, and I think the basis of that is a friendship.

“I don’t think you can get any luckier than to find someone who you can have a friendship with and then have that become something even more, and have that person become a boyfriend, girlfriend,
fiancé, a husband or wife.

“And then if you’re even luckier, you can have a child with that person and have a whole life with someone that means so much to you.

“It’s the best thing I know; it’s been one of the best parts of my life to fall in love with my best friend.”