Having just received their brand-new puppy Monty, Alyssa Chianese and Michael Palatnek took him to their Tribeca, New York home to get acquainted. As Alyssa excitedly arranged his area, Michael handed her the canine’s new collar and urged her to read it. Clueless of what was about to transpire, she reluctantly stood up and reached for the collar, realizing the tag read, “Will you marry me?” After happily agreeing, Michael surprised her with an impromptu celebration with family and friends who had been waiting downstairs.
After years of vacationing at The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas in the Caribbean nation, Alyssa’s family always dreamt of hosting her nuptials at the luxury oceanfront property. “Luckily, Michael was very on board with the destination idea,” Alyssa says.
The bride, who admits to being more of a go-with-the-flow type of gal, thought she wouldn’t enjoy the planning process after hearing how stressful the experience could become. However, with her parents by her side and the aid of talented event coordinators, Alyssa was able to relish in the planning of the fairy-tale celebration by the sea. “The setting of the Cloisters is so unique to begin with that we felt we didn’t need much decoration for the ceremony,” describes the bride. The scenic views of Nassau Harbor were ideal for the romantic, serene vibe that the couple desired. “The grounds are breathtaking and the landscaping is out of a magazine spread,” illustrates the groom of the Versailles-inspired lawns and gardens.
As Alyssa and Michael stood at the top of the stairs in front of a lovely floral arch to exchange both traditional and personalized vows, the bride beamed. “It was exactly what I pictured,” she confides. Alyssa’s white gown featuring dazzling embellishments was a striking contrast to that of the sky blue attire worn by the bridal party. Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” in C major played, marking the start of the recessional, where attendants led guests to a cocktail hour and reception area.
The décor for the evening festivities maintained the muted tones and sophisticated elements from earlier in the day. “We just wanted to highlight the beauty of the surroundings,” asserts the bride. As attendees took their seats in the open-air tent for a sit-down supper, the bride and groom began their first dance to Lady Gaga’s “Is That Alright?” from the award-winning movie A Star Is Born. “The band was absolutely incredible… they nailed our first-dance song, which wasn’t an easy one,” the groom confirms. Next was a special dance joining Michael and his daughter Ella on the dance floor to the song “My Girl” by The Temptations. “It was so sweet,” the bride reflects.
Tablescapes were decorated with either tall trumpet vases or crystal candelabra, each arrangement composed of mixtures of roses, hydrangeas, lisianthus blooms, and cymbidium orchids. Silk champagne-colored linens and ghost chairs, along with metallic details such as gold-rimmed crystal completed the elegant style.
Guests enjoyed slices from the four-tiered vanilla cake with a salted caramel filling just before the Junkanoo – a parade of music and dance popular in the Caribbean – revealed itself. “No one expected them and it was a perfect way to end the reception,” explains Alyssa, who had changed into a second dress and walked in with the group. “They led us all to the after-party at the pool where things got interesting!”
The perfect day concluded with just as perfect a night for the newly minted husband and wife. “I remember everyone telling me that the wedding would go by quickly, and to really soak it all in because just like that it will be over, and honestly, it is so true,” admits Alyssa. “However, seeing my whole family and all my friends in the pool with their tuxes and gowns still on was an amazing way for it to end!”