Our Love Story
Bianca Alberga, a top-tier real estate agent, was thrilled to receive an invitation to the grand launch of the Mandarin Hotel’s new Cayman Islands project, hosted in the heart of New York City. Little did she know that her beau Alessandro Sax had a magical surprise up his sleeve. He had meticulously planned a secret, private sightseeing sailboat tour, presented as a generous gift from the hotel’s sales manager. This enchanting excursion took place on a luxurious 40-foot sailboat, complete with professional wait staff and a photographer to capture the moments. As they glided gracefully in the shadow of the iconic Statue of Liberty, Alessandro found his perfect moment. On the bow of the boat, against the stunning New York skyline, he took a knee and proposed to Bianca, leaving her absolutely speechless. The proposal was followed by the joyous popping of Champagne and heartfelt celebrations, encapsulating a truly unforgettable start to their new life together.
Alessandro’s move to the Cayman Islands for a career in investment management marked the beginning of a new chapter in his life. As he immersed himself in his work and the vibrant island community, he frequently saw Bianca, a local who had recently returned from her master’s programme abroad. Although their paths crossed in various places around the island, they had never formally met.
Their formal introduction came at a gathering at a beachfront restaurant — a favourite among locals and expatriates alike. The restaurant, known for its exquisite seafood and breathtaking views of the ocean, provided the perfect setting for social interactions.
During this gathering, mutual friends, recognising the potential for a connection, introduced Alessandro to Bianca. The meeting was natural and filled with ease.
After their serendipitous meeting at the beachfront restaurant, Alessandro and Bianca began to explore their connection through a series of dates. Each meeting brought them closer as they discovered more about each other and shared their dreams and aspirations. The beauty of the Cayman Islands provided a picturesque backdrop for their blossoming romance.
As they were getting to know each other, the festive season of Carnival arrived on the island. Carnival in the Cayman Islands is a vibrant, colourful celebration filled with music, dance, and cultural displays, embodying the spirit and joy of the island community.
Alessandro and Bianca, both eager to immerse themselves in the festivities, decided to experience Carnival together. This decision marked a significant and memorable moment in their relationship. Carnival was exhilarating; they found themselves swept up in the lively parades, mesmerised by the rhythmic beats, and captivated by the intricate costumes. Dancing through the streets, they felt an undeniable connection, surrounded by the energy of the celebration.
The shared experience of Carnival deepened their bond. They were not just spectators but active participants in a cultural event that celebrated life and community, mirroring the joy and vibrancy they found in each other. This shared experience became a cherished memory, a symbol of their compatibility and the start of something special.
From then on, their relationship took on a new depth. Carnival had been the catalyst that transformed their initial spark into a lasting bond. As they continued their journey together, they often looked back at that Carnival as the moment when everything fell into place, when “the rest became history”. Bianca and Alessandro’s love story, like the Carnival itself, became a vibrant and joyful celebration of connection and shared experiences.
A destination wedding in Jamaica at the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel and Villas met with little resistance. The property was conducive to the requisite intimacy the couple craved. “We wanted everybody to feel special and togethe,r” the newly-weds shared with Tuesday Style Vows (TSV).
And so the countdown commenced to the three-day event with wedding planner Kimberly Wong of IdoIslands. Wong retained the services of Pussbackfoot to handle décor, production – Starlight, photography – Rebecca Davidson-Hollins (Cayman) and Corey Hamilton (Jamaica); videography – Noah Hollins (Cayman) and Reynaldo Martin, (Jamaica).
The event’s hosts were the bride’s parents Michael and Sandra Alberga.
Bianca’s make-up artist, Christine Williams, was flown in from the Cayman Islands. Natalia Golding of Simply Beautiful did the bride’s and bridesmaids’ tresses.
Here comes the bride
Bianca slipped into her wedding gown from luxury bridal couture house Berta at Estate Villa at the Round Hill Hotel and Spa.
Aiesha Panton of Pussbackfoot presented her with her bouquet of dozens of cascading, hand-tied white phalaenopsis orchids wrapped in silk ribbon.
The wedding ceremony took place on the Spa Lawn at Round Hill Hotel. Guests entered through the spa and upon entering the pool deck were greeted with Champagne flutes, enveloped with baby’s breath, hemp tied.
Guests sipped and took in the scenery as Dayna Palmer and Emily Dixon complemented the scene with their musical giftings on cello and violin.
At ceremony start time, guests were invited to take their seats. Noted Cayman Islands attorney-at-law Richard Barton was the officiant.
The groomsmen started the procession, followed by the bridegroom and his mom, then the mother of the bride and her son.
The bride was accompanied up the aisle by her father, Michael Alberga. The heart- warming ceremony lasted 22 minutes and took place against the breathtaking backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. A classic arch generously spotted with white florals afforded an organic feel, while a romantic array of planted tall white florals at the two ends of the dramatic curved white aisle completed the impressive décor.
The Champagne cocktail hour began thereafter.
The guests’ seating chart, designed by B House Designs, was untraditional, allowing each to find their seats while also being able to leave the newly-weds a note they could keep. Notes were placed in an envelope placed on a wall, on the flap of which would be their name and table number.
Guests were also invited to take a shot and take their seats or enjoy freshly cut monogrammed B & A coconuts, provided by Have A Jelly, all whilst entertained by the live musical duo of Dayna Palmer and Emily Dixon.
The over 300 guests were invited to take their seats by the master of ceremonies for the evening, Christopher Phillips. The fabulous décor featured the tent dressed in dark wood to complement the lush natural surroundings with floating garlands that consisted of an exotic mix of local and imported greenery with white florals suspended over the length of rows of rectangular tables paired with natural-stain, cross-back wooden chairs. Mini lights worked into the pendants created a magical canopy in the entire space.
A luxurious runner of greenery with shades of white and green florals dancing along the table at different heights, mimicked floating garlands interspersed with clear and smoke cut-crystal votives.
The tablescape included gold-rimmed glass chargers topped with white flat fold cotton napkins accented with a sprig of greenery and gold flatware. Cold mint-infused oshibori towels completed the setting.
The couple made their entry, post bride and groom portraits, to For My Hand ft Ed Sheeran by Burna Boy. Other formalities included the blessing of the meal and cake by Richard Barton, a formal welcome by father-of-the bride Michael Alberga, and a suite of toasts. Then followed the cutting of the two-tiered vanilla cake by Leelee Cooke; the couples’ first dance to Conversations in the Dark, by John Legend; father daughter dance, This Dance by Scott Thomas and the mother son dance to: A Song for Mama by Boyz II Men.
After the bouquet toss, before the couple could step away, a surprise firework show courtesy of the bride’s godmother officially marked the beginning of the dancing segment. The dancefloor created yet another wow moment as hundreds of long lighting strands embellished with pale green floral blooms, created a twinkling flowery sky for dancing the night away.
After ensuring guests understood the assignment of dancing the night away, the newly-weds slipped away to change. During this time an assortment of desserts was laid out.
Late night eats followed, at which time the bride surprised her husband with his favourite — a bucket of KFC.
Celebrations continued the next day. The newly-weds left for GoldenEye – of James Bond fame – where they enjoyed a minimoon.