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A Wedding on the Secret Paradise Island of Formentera

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

RPS Wedding Photography

Marta Donadi—a fashion stylist who also consults for brands as well as has her own jewelry brand called STL Made In Italy (“Share The Love”)—met financial trader Riccardo Pagani in high school in Milan, where they both still live. “We were 18 years old, and we started out as friends,” Marta remembers. “Then, we fell in love, and from 2007 on, we’ve been a couple. In total, we’ve been together 11 years, but it all began when we were really young, and we grew up together.”

On their 10th anniversary, they went out for a celebratory dinner. “I was just back from a fashion shoot abroad, and I was literally dead,” says Marta. “I was not enthusiastic about going out for a romantic dinner at all, and I had no idea a proposal was coming.”

When they got back home, Marta went to change into her pajamas. She made her way to the bedroom and found Riccardo down on one knee with their two kittens seated next to him and a ring box in hand. “It was the most perfect diamond solitaire ring I could have ever dreamed of, and I was completely surprised,” Marta admits. “I started to laugh. And, I think he was a little bit worried about my reaction and thought I wasn’t taking him seriously, so he asked again and then I realized it wasn’t a joke and started crying. He told me that he had already talked to my father some days ago, but not with my mother, so we decided to spread the news together to all of our friends and family.”

Ever since she was a little girl, Marta’s family has gone to the island of Formentera for vacation. “During the 70s, it was still a little secret paradise—a land of gypsies and hippies—and my parents used to go there every summer when they were young with all of their friends,” she remembers. “Then, when me and my brother were born, we started to go with them during our summer holidays and so Formentera is our ‘family place.’ We are ‘habitue’ on the island even though we live more on the original side and less amidst the V.I.P. allure that Formentera has attracted over the last few years.”

As a fashion stylist, arriving at a wedding aesthetic was easy for Marta. “My whole job is based on mood boards and inspiration, and I’m pretty used to taking care of every single detail that makes a photo a good fashion photo, so I was super sure about what I would and wouldn’t like,” she says. “Fashion is literally my life, so when it was time to choose my wedding dress, I was more than ready.”

Marta’s friend Christian Boaro had told her several years prior: “When you get married, I would love to do your wedding dress!” So, of course, once she and Riccardo landed on a wedding date, Marta called upon her friend.

“I knew in my mind exactly the kind of dress I wanted to wear, and Christian and I started working together to realize it,” says Marta. “Sometimes he disagreed with me . . . I mean, you can imagine the kinds of fights that might occur between a designer and a bride-stylist!”

Despite the inevitable creative disagreements, Marta and Christian loved working to create the custom cotton macramé dress—and along the way the bride even managed to embroider little white shells, which just so happen to be her good luck charm, into the train. Christian also designed removable sleeves so that Marta could dance easily once the party really got started. The veil was 4 meters of silk tulle, and a few days before the wedding, Marta and her mother found a beautiful cotton hem that they added to the edge as trim.

For the perfect final touch, Marta worked with the team at Sergio Rossi to create custom shoes. “I was able to choose every little detail of the shoes—color, shape, heel height, etc. It was literally a girl’s dream!”

Riccardo wore classic blue suit with a double-breasted linen waistcoat made by his tailor, and his groomsmen were in matching waistcoats in olive green and ties by Marinella—one of the ancient tie makers in Italy. Meanwhile, Marta’s maids of honor and bridesmaids all wore the same floral dresses by Daniela del Cima in different styles.

On the day of the wedding, Marta’s uncle drove she and her father to the small church in the tiny village of La Mola. “It was very emotional because two friends were singing and playing the guitar,” Marta remembers. “They made everybody cry when they performed ‘All of Me’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud.’” Their priest in Milan traveled all the way to Formentera to perform the service. “The moment me and my dad entered the church, I saw only Richi at the end of the aisle waiting for me,” says Marta. “I was really touched, and I wasn’t afraid of anything because we were there together hand in hand.”

Afterwards, Marta took off the veil and put on a handmade wax flower crown created by a designer from Ibiza for the reception which took place at a restaurant surrounded by a big orchard. The evening commenced with an apertivo in the garden as guests mingled and posed for pics in a greenery photobooth. Everyone then moved into the courtyard and found their seats for dinner under the stars. The newlyweds then made their grand entrance to Rihanna’s “We Found the Love” while everyone cheered and waved their napkins in the air.

“During dinner, our best men gave a hilarious toast,” Marta laughs. “In the days leading up to the wedding, there apparently wasn’t any paper around, so they decided to write their toast on pizza boxes, and of course, they took them to the reception, so they were standing in front of all of the guests reading from pizza boxes. Can you be any more Italian!?”

Following dinner, Marta and her father got the dance party started with a first dance to “I Had the Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing. And as the rhythm in the song started to grow, Marta threw away her wedding dress sleeves and proceeded to dance the evening away with Richi and her friends. Late night, she changed into a white DSquared2 dress and Aquazurra sandals for the after-party. “We were all back home by the pool with croissants and music,” says Marta. “And then, in the early morning, we were finally able to go to bed!”