Wedding Story of Tarja & Alberto

March 21, 2019 1:51 pm


  • Your initial meet. How did it happen?

We met at a salsa class in Bristol, UK.

I was in England completing my masters and furthering my dancing when my friend took me to this salsa class ‘just for fun’.

I was reluctant to go because I found this salsa class a bit basic and beneath my level but during my second lesson I met Alberto.

Our first interaction was while dancing ‘La rueda’ – a dance which requires you to dance in a circle and follow instructions from a leader who calls out the dance steps in Spanish.

As I didn’t know any Spanish, Alberto seized the opportunity to teach me the steps and lead me in this dance. I found him very charming and we started connecting over facebook.

We went on a couple of dates thereafter and that’s where it all began.

  • Who made the first move? How?

Alberto made the first move by asking me for my facebook handle. He says he didn’t want to ask me for my number and seem like a ‘creep’ or get turned down.

Of course, adding someone on facebook seemed perfectly harmless and so we started chatting through this medium.

  • What was your first impression about your spouse?

The first impression was that he was the cutest guy in the room. He was absolutely charming and such a gentleman.

  • In what ways are you most alike?  

We both respect each other’s space and individuality.     

  • What's your most memorable date? Why?

We have been on a lot of dates but the most memorable one wasn’t really a date, but a surprise trip to the Maldives where he proposed to me. This trumps all the dates that we have ever been on.

One of the most memorable things during this trip was when Alberto took me on a sunset cruise with champagne and canapes, it was one of the most magical experiences.

  • Three things you love and hate about your partner.

Love - his honesty, his eyes, his determination

Hate - his driving, his driving and his driving


  • How did the proposal happen?

On the 14th of June 2017, Alberto with the help of my dance friends led me to believe that I had a dance show in Trincomalee. I was advised to pack swimwear and Alberto even offered to help me pack (which rarely happens).

Regardless I believed the story and went along with the plan. We traveled early morning and I fell asleep in the car, only to wake up at the airport. You can imagine my shock, I was so confused for a second, I thought we were going to fly to Trincomalee.

I didn’t know where we were going until we reached the departure gate and the sign read ‘Maldives’ (one of my favorite holiday destinations).

Alberto had planned the entire trip to perfection and by 10.30 am we were on a beautiful island having breakfast with the view of the ocean.

The day only got better as Alberto had organized a romantic sunset cruise followed by dinner at a sushi restaurant over the water.  

I still had no idea he was going to propose to me.

Later that night after dinner, Alberto set a dim light on the beach near our villa, popped open a bottle of champagne and handed me a big bunch of red roses. In my excitement, I missed a little black box that was carefully placed inside the bouquet of flowers.

Alberto asked me to take a closer look, then got down on one knee and opened the little black box which carried the most elegant diamond ring.

And then he asked, ‘will you marry me?’

To which I could only answer ‘oh my god’

Of course, later I said yes

  • If the proposal was a surprise, on a scale of 10 how well did it go?

10 being the BEST it was as 10

  • What are you most looking forward to as Mr. and Mrs.?

To move into our new flat and start making our own home.


  • Most memorable moment from your wedding?

The entire wedding went so well, I enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t say there was one moment that was the most memorable for me. A few good memories were the father/daughter dance, our first dance and the pre-shoot.

  • If you could describe your wedding day using one word, what would it be?


  • What's been the most fun detail of your wedding to plan?

I enjoyed organizing the deco. Both Alberto and I had the same visuals and we came to a perfect agreement on the style of wedding we wanted to have.

  • What's been the most difficult detail of your wedding to agree upon?

The guest list was quite difficult to organize. We didn’t have many disagreements because Alberto let me handle 99.9% of the wedding planning.


  • Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We didn’t have a honeymoon, but we are saving up to go for a salsa congress in New York this year.

  • What Is Your Idea Of, “And They Lived Happily Ever After”?

Like a fairy tale? Well, I do believe our beginning was like a fairy tale because Alberto decided to leave everything in UK to be with me in Sri Lanka (I always say like my prince charming).

‘happily ever after’ is what you make of it. I believe you write your own tale and its not always going to be ‘happy’ but the strength of your relationship can be determined by how you get through the good times and the bad.

  • What has surprised you the most during the first few weeks/months of being married?

No, nothing has really surprised me. We are the same individuals as we were before marriage and expect nothing more or less from each other.

  • Who’s good at forgetting and better at forgiving?

Better at forgiving- Alberto

Good at forgetting – Me


Photographer : Amarante

Event Planner / Stylist : Tarja/ Chandana de silva (my dad) / Imran Saibo/ Thushara Abeyratne

Florist : Petals

Invitation Design : Tarja (printed by Soleil)

Placecards : Tarja (printed my anim8)

Ceremony Venue : Shangri la colombo

Reception Venue : Shangri la colombo

Signage : Carlo Fonseka (my grandfather) / Vinoth Krish (Alberto’s friend)

Entertainment : Sheranga and Brown Sugar

Bride’s Wedding Band : Careems

Groom’s Wedding Band : Premadasa and Company Jewellers


Bridal Gown : KR Designer wear/ Anum Dassanayake

Bridal Boutique: Petals

Hair Piece : Petals

Shoes : Aldo

Earrings : Lovisa

Hair : Shane

Makeup : Viran

Bridesmaid Dresses : KR Designer wear

Bridesmaid Shoes : custom made by saffans


Suit & Shirt : suit tailor made in Bangkok- Stylos  / shirt Envoy

Bow Tie : Bangkok- Stylos  

Shirt Studs : from Spain

Shoes : Hugo Boss

Socks : Envoy

Grooming : Christopher from Arq style house

Groomsmen Suits : Mango Spain

About the author

- Ruqaiyah Shabeen

I feel the same way about clothes and lipsticks, as others do about food!