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Caribbean Dream

A pair of New Yorkers head to sunny Paradise Island, Bahamas, for a romantic fete in a 12th century cloister.

Nicole wore a detailed gown by Oscar de la Renta, which paired perfectly with her groom’s classic suit.

The custom seahorse logo was used throughout, representing persistence and contentment.

Rose petals lined the stone walkway that led to the ceremony site.

The bride's bouquet

Ivory garden roses and hydrangeas in various shades of violet and blue adorned the tables.

The square cake accented with fresh flowers came from One&Only Ocean Club.

Although Nicole Abbatemarco and John Giusti grew up in neighboring New Jersey towns, they didn’t meet until the summer of 2011 when they were both working as stockbrokers on Wall Street in New York City. John was employed by Nicole’s father, who initially suggested they connect. “It was instant attraction,” says Nicole, who remembers the sparks that night at The Palm restaurant. “We stayed up late talking after everyone else had left but decided to just be friends. My dad was both of our bosses, and we wanted to keep things professional. We would only date if it turned out to be the real thing.”

After two months of flirting, the relationship changed. During a drink-filled dinner in a West Village Brazilian restaurant that fall, John quipped to Nicole: “I want to marry you.”

They dated for two years before he actually proposed. The moment came in June 2013 after a romantic Italian dinner at Maialino in Gramercy Park Hotel. Nicole worried because John was acting quiet and nervous. But as they walked around the park, excitement began to fill the evening air. “I had actually only hobbled about 10 feet in my Louboutin stilettos when John got down on his knee and proposed with a 3-carat, cushion-cut diamond ring, like the one in The Great Gatsby film,” recalls Nicole. “I was shocked, put my hands over my face and had an out-of-body experience! I wondered if this was really happening but somehow managed to say yes.”

The wedding took place at the One&Only Ocean Club, the elegant Bahamian villa-style resort where Nicole had vacationed with her family for more than 20 years. Seventy people gathered for the weekend to celebrate in a tropical dream theme amid the stunning ocean backdrop.

The team at Tracie Domino Events in Tampa helped Nicole execute her vision, including a tented reception held in the resort’s tiered Versailles Garden, which glowed with plentiful candlelight. Crystal chandeliers and uplighting of white and purple on the cloisters added more delicate detail and looked spectacular. “I grew up visiting ‘The Lady’ [a statue located in the garden’s 12th century Augustinian cloister], always dreaming that she would someday witness my vows,” says Nicole. “She looked down on us at the reception, and I was so happy.”

After dinner, a DJ entertained guests by blending oldies, rock and contemporary pop tunes. Around midnight, the bride and groom exited on a golf cart through a maze of elegant sparklers. Two days later, they left for their honeymoon at Sandy Lane in Barbados.

Venue & catering One&Only Ocean Club
Rentals, tent & lighting Wildflowers Events
Planner Tracie Domino Events
Linens Over the Top Inc.
Paper goods Pauline’s Paperie
Florals Grymes Cannon Designs
Videography Voila Cinematic
Live music Strings’n Tings 
Bridal gown & veil Oscar de la Renta
Groom’s suit Brooks Brothers
Honeymoon Sandy Lane