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A Romantic Spring Wedding at Villa La Selva in Tuscany

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Paulina Weddings

When Stephanie Spagnolo asked a group of guys at a bar on a night out if they had “any cute single friends,” one of them pointed at Evan Zaltz. After this impromptu set up, she and Evan left together and spent the rest of the night admiring Toronto’s art installations for the Nuit Blanche festival.

Six years, one move to England, and multiple COVID-thwarted plans later, Evan proposed in front of London’s Tower Bridge and booked a suite at Hotel Café Royal. The couple spent the rest of the evening popping Champagne, calling friends, and watching the Christmas lights on Regent Street.

While planning their wedding, Evan and Stephanie thought of their Italian heritage and love of traveling. They wanted to share that experience of adventure and la dolce vita with their friends and family. There could be no better place to celebrate their marriage than Villa La Selva Wine Resort on the rolling hills of Tuscany. “From an aesthetic point of view, I didn’t want anything to compete with the natural beauty of the venue and its surroundings,” she adds. “For that reason, we went with lots of greenery, soft florals, and wood accents.” They enlisted Paulina Weddings to capture the event on camera, and Flowers Living to arrange the sweeping florals. Stephanie planned everything herself, choosing to use their venue’s coordinator for the remaining last-minute weekend logistics.

While finding a destination was simple, securing Stephanie’s bridal gown was more involved. “I must have tried on about 40 dresses, each one offering something different, before I finally found the dress that checked all of the boxes,” she confesses. Ultimately, Made with Love’s Elsie dress was the romantic choice she best envisioned for an Italian wedding in the countryside. “I knew that the lace would be so romantic against a Tuscan backdrop, and the bows were the element of intrigue and surprise that I was looking for the whole time.” She paired it with a tennis bracelet Evan gave her on her 30th birthday, David Yurman drop earrings, and sparkling gold Jimmy Choos that she plans on wearing again and again. To complement the outfit’s grandeur, she kept her hair in bouncing Hollywood waves with sunkissed makeup by Lara Navarrini.

Stephanie turned to one of her favorite designers, Shona Joy, for her bridesmaids’ gown. Everyone chose their own silhouette in the same golden pink shade from the La Lune collection. Evan kept his groom look dapper with a custom midnight blue tuxedo from Suitsupply

On June 11, 2022, guests gathered in the cypress tree–lined gardens of Villa La Selva. “Without my knowledge, I ended up breaking the ice before I even walked down the aisle,” Stephanie laughs. While waiting at the top of the stairs, she thought she asked her coordinator in hushed tones if Evan was on the right side. But it turns out, everyone could hear her. The crowd erupted in laughter, which made the bride’s walk down the massive marble staircase and the aisle much less intimidating. After she met Evan—on the right side, a representative from the municipality officiated the civil ceremony in Italian while a family friend translated.

The Il Sorriso–catered dinner featured a custom menu of burrata-filled tomatoes, pasta, and beef with truffle, followed by several incredible, emotional toasts. A soft beach club–inspired playlist and the band, Love Beats, amped up the energy. The newlyweds shared their first dance to an even more upbeat version of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home,” which swiftly brought everyone else to the dance floor as well. 

After the reception, traditional millefoglie cake, coffee, tea, and other drinks were served in front of a bubbling fountain on the property. “The best part was that the caterers allowed us and our families to help make the cake in front of our guests,” Stephanie recalls. “I think that this was one of the more unique moments of our wedding!”