Grace & Trai

Leisure Travel Update
Global Citizen Concierge

Fans of Fox’s hit music-industry primetime television soap opera Empire will recognize Grace Byers (née Gealey) and Trai Byers as two of the show’s main characters. Trai plays Andre Lyon whose
on-screen father Lucious Lyon, (played by Terrence Howard) just married his second wife, Grace’s character, Anika Calhoun! In real life, it’s Trai who got the (Caymanian) girl! In April 2016, the real-life couple made a homecoming of sorts to Grand Cayman for their beautiful, intimate wedding.

- Destination Homecoming -

Raised from the age of two in Grand Cayman (her mother’s native country), bride Grace returned ‘home’ for her destination wedding to co-star and life partner Trai. It was a natural choice—even though early on in the planning process, the celeb couple briefly debated on other locations.
“We heavily considered eloping to some far-off unknown place for the most amount of privacy, but my husband knew that as an island girl, there was no place quite like home for me,” says Grace. “So in the end, we decided on a small and intimate affair on Grand Cayman.”
The celebrity couple wed on April 14, 2016, at Tranquility Cove Estate, a property managed by Luxury Cayman Villas. Situated in a gated estate on the East side
of the island, the location offered sentimental meaning since Grace’s family originates from the same area.
For help with planning their big day, the couple commissioned Grand Cayman-based event planner Ann Ogden of Uniquely Annz, who orchestrated all on-island vendors to produce their dream wedding.
“After meeting, we were sure that her expertise, skillful design and attention to detail would help create our vision of an elegant, classic, intimate setting with a warm island and vintage flair. Ann transcended our expectations with the highest level of professionalism and execution. Planning an overseas wedding can be a truly daunting task to undertake but Ann helped to make it seamless, calm and efficient. Talk about relief!”

SOMETHING SECLUDED
The couple chose Tranquility Cove for its all-in-one convenience, full seclusion, private beach for a waterside ceremony, gourmet kitchen for the catering team, and room for an oceanside reception tent on the lawn. Luxury Cayman Villas allows up to 50 guests, which determined how Grace and Trai landed on their final guest count!

FAMILY LOVE
Grace’s mother accompanied her down the aisle as DJ Lin played Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love.’

THE CEREMONY
With the ocean as their perfect ‘something blue’ backdrop, Grace and Trai exchanged personalized written vows in addition to the traditional vows officiated by Pastor Alson Ebanks of Church Of
God Chapel.

IN UNITY

The couple tied a Unity Cord based on a biblical passage that reads; “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Each strand was a different symbolic color; gold to represent God, burgundy for the groom, and white
for the bride.

FLOWERS

Del Child from The Flower Dell provided all of the floral design for the wedding including Grace’s bouquet of crimson roses tied with burlap and lace and secured with pearls. A picture of Grace’s mother, from her own wedding day, was clasped to the bouquet and provided the traditional ‘something old’ element. Grace’s sister Faith was the maid of honor and carried a bouquet of white roses, also tied in burlap. Bridesmaids Brandy and Destiny, Trai’s sisters, each carried white hydrangeas tied with twine.

DJ Lin provided musical accompaniment for the ceremony, playing ‘Cheek to Cheek’ by Louie Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald for the celebratory recessional.

Grace and Trai hired two incredible island-based photographers, David Goddard and Rebecca Davidson to capture their wedding day.

“Not only are they both phenomenally talented, but their integrity, humor and rare ability to snap the most intimate of moments blew our minds,” says Trai. “The flashes of life they were able to capture left us in awe. We couldn’t be happier.”

This beautiful portrait of the newlyweds was captured by David Goddard.

STYLE NOTES

Grace’s champagne-hued Monique Lhuillier gown was purchased at Ultimate Bride in Chicago. She paired it with a blush-hued, crystal belt and a birdcage veil and custom-made fascinator, both by Debra Shirley of millineryetc.com.

Beverly Jo ‘BJ’ Pryor provided makeup services for Grace and her bridal party while Melissa ‘Missy’ Forney provided hair styling services for the group. Hairstylist Brent Flournoy styled Trai and his groomsmen.

“Cayman provides the most superb of backdrop settings no matter where on island you get married.” – Grace


“Because we love anything involving warmth and light, that was a constant theme throughout the event: lanterns, a sunset wedding, candles, chandeliers, torches, twinkle lights and pool & stair lighting for a stunning afternoon-to-nighttime affair.”
– Grace


MEANINGFUL NOTES

Grace’s uncle, Edward Solomon and his band, Mainstream, performed during cocktail hour while guests enjoyed island cocktails served in local Cayman coconuts!

TABLE FOR TWO
Grace and Trai dined at their own sweetheart table.

VINTAGE VIBES

Event Planner Ann Ogden and Florist Del Child worked harmoniously to fulfill Grace and Trai’s vision of a vintage, elegant vibe for the reception by creating correlating crimson bouquets tucked in sophisticated candlelit silver candelabras. They also embellished the outside of the oceanside tent with the matching ceremonial bouquets.

CAYMAN KISS

As an ode to Cayman history and the clanging of kitchen bands, customized graters and wooden spoons were given to each guest during the reception to scratch and grate whenever they wanted to see the newlyweds kiss! These also doubled as wedding favors.

CATERING

The event was catered by Chef Remy Azavedo of Rent-a-Chef Cayman. The menu included marinated conch, filet mignon, lobster and herb-roasted chicken. “He was nothing short of stellar,” shares Trai. “He is, without question, one of the best chefs we have ever encountered.”

THE CAKE

Grace’s sister, Faith Gealey, has her own cake company Cayman Caykes. “She's wildly demanded throughout the island and it was so important to me that she was a part of the wedding in this way. She designed a traditional cake for us covered in fondant icing and topped with a single, white rose,” says Grace proudly. “The flavor, you ask? Vanilla Rum, of course! Decadent and delicious.”

“We ended the night with a ‘love and light’ sendoff where we had sparklers as we thanked our guests and then lit a Chinese lantern together to signify our two lives coming together as one. We then sent it off into the sky to symbolize our oneness being released into the world. That is how we chose to end the night.” – Grace


Resources

WEDDING PLANNING •Ann Ogden, Uniquely Annz, Venue, CEREMONY + RECEPTION •Tranquility Cove, Luxury Cayman Villas, MAKEUP, BRIDAL PARTY • Beverly Jo ‘BJ’ Pryor, HAIR STYLIST, BRIDAL PARTY • Melissa ‘Missy’ Forney, HAIR STYLIST, GROOM’S PARTY •Brent Flournoy, WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER • Monique Lhuillier, GOWN BOUTIQUE • Ultimate Bride, Chicago, OFFICIANT • Pastor Alson Ebanks, Church Of God Chapel, FLORIST • The Flower Dell, EVENT DECOR + RENTALS • Uniquely Annz, The Flower Dell, DAY-OF-STATIONERY • Etsy, CATERING • Rent-A-Chef Cayman,  CAKE • Cayman Caykes, LIVE BAND, COCKTAIL HOUR • Edward Solomon + Mainstream, DJ, CEREMONY + RECEPTION • DJ Lin, DANCE FLOOR • Massive, LIGHTING • Intec