It seems certain people thought Ryan Hanna and Jessica Alves belonged together. So Jessica’s brother and sister-in-law found a way to orchestrate an encounter at a Super Bowl party in Boston in February 2013. Ryan confesses he noticed Jessica right away. “We really hit it off,” he recalls. “We had so much in common.” He was so smitten, in fact, that just a few weeks later, Ryan made a surprise appearance at a music festival Jessica was attending with friends 1,200 miles away.
“I admit I wanted to push fast forward,” he says, “and see what would happen.” Jessica was impressed with his efforts. “He was such a gentleman,” she says. “Everything changed for us that weekend.” Eleven months later, in February 2014, Ryan would surprise her again.
“WE HAD THE TIME OF OUR LIVES”
Convinced he needed to make his move during a weekend getaway in New York City, he arranged for private time on the ice at Rockefeller Center. It was there that he proposed to Jessica while family members, mixed-in with the crowd of onlookers, waited for the right time to applaud from afar.
“It was a complete shock for me,” says Jessica. “He had planned everything for months on his own.” It wasn’t long before wedding plans were in full force. Intrigued by the idea of a destination wedding, the couple chose The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico, a venue that enabled them to incorporate elements of their Latin roots as well as host a week full of festivities for their large families and extensive group of friends.
From the beginning, the goal was to create a classic wedding event. The service began before sunset on the Plantation Lawn. Jessica wore her mother’s chapel-length veil along with a delicate, lace gown by Elie Saab, a selection that won her over with its vintage appeal. Ryan donned a sharp, white Tom Ford dinner jacket. After Scripture readings and traditional rituals, the couple recited their vows surrounded by their 140 guests. “It was very intimate,” says Jessica of the ceremony. “It felt like it was just us.”
Cocktail hour on the Astor Terrace followed the service. Later, guests spilled into the adjoining room, the Astor Ballroom, for dinner and dancing. While a DJ kicked off the dance, an eight-piece Batucada ensemble served as a surprise for family and friends before the evening ended. Ryan and Jessica admit they stuck around to close down the party.
We had the time of our lives,” recalls Ryan. “The day was all we could have asked for and more.” The newlyweds remained in Puerto Rico with some guests for a few days following the wedding. They are planning a honeymoon to the Maldives in November.
Location and Caterer: The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort Rio Grande, Puerto Rico; Floral and Event Design, Linen, Rentals and Lighting: Flora by Arquetipo Special Events Designers, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cake: Contemporary Cake Designers, Puerto Rico; Wedding Dress: Elie Saab; Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford