Guests were of the utmost importance at Diana Pavlov and Nick Fletcher’s Tuscany wedding, followed closely by the music. The bride and groom, who hail from New York via Moscow and the U.K., respectively, wanted a destination that would feel like a treat for their international guest list. At the same time, they didn’t want travel logistics to prevent guests from having a laid-back, carefree time celebrating the nuptials with plenty of great tunes.
“It was really important that our loved ones had an opportunity to meet and enjoy each other, which was the biggest highlight of our wedding,” Diana says.
The New York-based couple landed on Villa Il Palagio, just south of Florence. The property happens to be owned by musician Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, but what really impressed Diana and Nick was the warm and inviting welcome by the groundskeepers, who worked for the property long before the famous owners. The to-be-weds were immediately smitten.
Diana is a global director of experiential marketing and quite adept at throwing events so she took the lead on all-things wedding planning. That said, she knew she needed local know-how to pull off exactly what they wanted, so she turned to Italy-based event studio, Weddings in Tuscany by Chiara Sernesi, to help her source vendors and provide local expertise. Together, they organized three days of events—welcome party, wedding day, and farewell pool party brunch—as well as curated guides to help guests explore the area, including wine tasting experiences, restaurants, and shopping.
To get the vibe just right though, Diana and Nick had three musical acts: a local instrumental band, DJ Bobby French from Los Angeles, and Ellie Sax, known for performing high-energy parties in Ibiza. Needless to say, guests stuck around the dance floor.
“It turned out exactly how we envisioned,” Diana says of the celebration. “Our wedding created so many long-lasting relationships, which was absolutely beautiful and what we wanted.”
Upon arriving at the villa, guests were welcomed with a note from the couple along with a bottle of wine from the venue's sister winery.
Diana and Nick kicked off their wedding weekend with a wine and pizza party at the property’s winery, La Limonia, which is also owned by Sting. All the guests wore white to complement the lush atmosphere.
True to the venue's name, escort cards were attached to mini bottles of limoncello.
Diana and Nick met through Bumble before meeting in person for a first date at the lobby bar of the Bowery Hotel. “After discovering a mutual love of travel, cat videos, as well as equal indecision over Netflix choices, the rest, as they say, is history,” Diana says. The duo now lives together in Brooklyn and co-parent a cat named Homey.
On the morning of the wedding, Diana relaxed in the sun and worked on her vows, which were written in a pale blue vow book.
Diana fell in love with this structured, drop-shoulder ball gown by Berta. “In the evening light, the dress glistens, and it's spectacular,” Diana says of the hand-embroidered gown. In order to get the dress, she ended up calling the New York showroom to purchase a runway sample, then had a “wonderful seamstress” make the dress one size larger.
“We wanted to embrace the landscape of the vineyards and mix in dark jewel tones like burgundy and deep purples to complement the local greenery, then added delicate pampas grass for a softer touch,” Diana says of the ceremony décor. “It was all perfectly imperfect like it was just meant to be there for our special occasion.”
The couple’s good friend Evan Starkman officiated the ceremony, which included personalized vows by Diana and Nick. In fact, one of their favorite memories was realizing “how in sync our vows were.”
After exchanging rings, Nick broke a glass and the couple was pronounced husband and wife. They exited with smiles as a three-piece band played a cover of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
The reception featured long tables flanked by olive trees on the villa’s property.
Each table featured arrangements of pampas grass, ranunculus, roses, and dahlias scattered among antique candelabras and bowls overflowing with grapes and plums.
After tasting fried zucchini blossoms and spicy margaritas by the pool, guests sat down to a three-course meal designed by chef Galateo Ricevimenti, including burrata ravioli, porcini risotto, sea bass, and beef filet, along with wine pairings.
Music is very important to Diana and Nick so the evening’s entertainment was a very big deal. During dinner, the band played modern instrumentals of songs by Rihanna, Jay Z, Queen, and, of course, Sting.
After dinner, both Diana and Nick honored their parents and grandparents with special songs during the reception. “My dad losing it when I surprised him with his dad’s song was a moment I’ll never forget,” the bride adds.
In fact, music was a big deal to the couple that they ended up flying in their DJ, Bobby French, from Los Angeles, and a saxophone player, Ellie Sax, known for playing in Ibiza. “It was time to party,” Diana says of the post-meal shindig. Beyond the band, there were a few more surprises in store. Diana’s sister, a professional ballroom dancer, performed choreography inspired by the couple’s love story, and Diana’s best friend, a former recording artist, sang a cover of Sting’s “English Man in New York” as a nod to Nick.
As the night raged on, Diana noted one special memory: “Stepping back together to observe how much fun everyone was having and seeing it all come together was an absolute joy.”
Venue Villa Il Palagio
Planner Weddings in Tuscany
Officiant Evan Starkman
Bridal Gown Berta
Jewelry Cassouto Jewels
Hair & Makeup Giulia Cresci
Bridesmaid Dresses Jonathan Simkhai
Groom & Groomsmen Attire Paul Smith
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands Custom; Hoorsenbuhs
Floral Design Fluida Design
Ceremony Music Alma Project
Catering & Cake Galateo Ricevimenti
Videography Oui Maison
Photography Hanri Human