Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 45

A Springtime Italian Dinner Party Wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Gesi Schilling

|Planning by 

Masi Events

David Balk proposed to Maria Canel, who works in advertising in-house at Calvin Klein, at the hot springs surrounding the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Once engaged, they landed on a “springtime Italian dinner party” aesthetic for their April wedding and chose Vizcaya Museum & Gardens as their venue. To help plan everything, the couple hired Jessica and Michael Masi of Masi Events.

“I figured that since I work in fashion, I would be suuuuuper particular about my dress. For the longest time, I imagined I would go the custom route, source the fabric, and design something with a seamstress based on airy, lacy vintage dresses that I didn’t think I would find in the current bridal market,” Maria says. Much to her surprise, while at the Moda Operandi bridal trunk show, she fell in love with the first Costarellos gown she tried on and paired it with sandals from The Row and pearl earrings by Satomi Kawakita.

Bridesmaids complemented Maria well in dresses they picked out by Ulla Johnson, Rachel Zoe, and Johanna Ortiz. And David wore a gorgeous, custom dark navy, three-piece suit, made out of Loro Piana all-season wool fabric. The look was designed in New York and made in Italy, alongside a friend of the couple, who launched a suit company called SuMa. “The tailor, Gennaro, flew to New York three separate times to fit it on David,” Maria reveals. “I never realized he would have taken so much pride in what he wore that day, but I think the design process got him really into it.”

On an elevated mound, shaded by oak trees, Maria walked down the wildflower-lined aisle with her father to “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King, played on guitar by her brother in law, Daniel. Once two were announced as husband and wife under a stunning floral arch, they gleefully walked out to “Baby I Love You” by The Ramones. 

For the tented reception, guests found their seats at long banquet tables, and a delicious Italian meal was served with biodynamic, natural wines. Dinner was followed by the couple’s 42-inch wedding berry meringue and dulce de leche pavlova. 

The newlyweds had their first dance to “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke and then stayed on the dance floor with their band and DJ. At one point in the night, David’s brother, father, and a few close friends delightfully surprised the two on stage by singing and playing their own rendition of “Stand By Me.” And in another moment, the bride was picked up, so she could crowd surf over her loved ones. 

The day after the wedding, Maria’s family, who is Argentine, hosted an asado—BBQ pool party—at her family home. “We really let loose with our friends and just spend the entire day dancing in the sun and late into the night,” the bride says. “It was truly the perfect way to decompress!”