A Private Villa Wedding in Saint Barths
Fernanda Frascino and Nadav Benimetzky said “I do” with a private villa wedding in Saint Barths that made guests feel right at home.
The couple first met through mutual friends, and Nadav eventually asked Fernanda out to dinner at her favorite restaurant. They fell in love quickly and spent the next several years traveling the world together and enjoying each other’s company.
“Our shared passions for exploring the world and quality family time became the strong foundation we would need to take our relationship to the next level,” Fernanda shares. “We went on a vacation to our favorite country, Italy, traveling from Capri to Lake Como.
“I LOVE YOU AND I JUST HAVE TO MARRY YOU.”
We arrived at Villa D’este on a very rainy afternoon. Nadav was trying to hide his disappointment, as we had a Riva boat waiting to take us out on the lake. He pushed the boat back so the weather could clear up a bit. Just like magic, as I finished getting ready, the sky turned perfectly blue and sunny. Nadav never felt so relieved with such big plans in his back pocket (literally). Nadav led me towards the Mosaic Garden that was set up just for us. Down on one knee, he said, ‘Fernanda, I love you and I just HAVE to marry you.’ His hands were shaking, and I was ugly crying in the middle of this fairy tale moment. I also could not believe his impeccable taste, with my custom Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring.”
The engaged pair traveled for a year in search of the perfect destination wedding location and decided upon Saint Barths. While they knew planning a wedding on such a tiny island would be no easy task – especially since it’s accessible only by a small plane – they were won over by its chic European vibes and close proximity to Miami.
“Our goal was to create a different experience every day during our wedding weekend,” says Fernanda. “We kicked it off with a welcome party on Friday that felt warm due to the deep hues of our Christian Lacroix inspired flowers, and intimate due to the continuous table scape that sat all 100 guests. As a nod to the Dolce and Gabbana dress I wore on my engagement day, I decided to go with another head-to-toe Dolce ensemble. During dessert, the 12-piece brass band got the crowd dancing! While they were only scheduled for an hour show, they ended up having so much fun that they
were the last ones to leave!”
On Saturday, guests donned their St Barths best for a “La Vie En Rose” party at Nikki Beach, where they were greeted by a sax player, custom Benimetzky hand fans, sushi boats, and giant rosé bottles. The party quickly transitioned from Fernanda and Nadav being showered with love, to the couple showering their friends and family with champagne by the ocean.
When the wedding day arrived, guests were escorted to a secret wedding venue in the late afternoon. The bride and groom had arranged for a private villa wedding in St Barths that sat atop a cliff, featuring incredible ocean views and ample outdoor space.
“The extraordinary results were the combination of my vision, and Djordje Varda’s perfect approach to flowers and event design,” Fernanda adds. “We used a plexiglass mirror on the aisle and chuppah posts to reflect the beauty of the ocean and the sky. The aisle was completely lined with florals. We arranged the clear ghost chair seating to be all on the right side of the aisle, to not obstruct the stunning views. Our ceremony was intimate and emotional. Having my father walk me down the aisle to give me away to Nadav, who was standing there with tears in his beautiful green eyes, was the most special beginning to our new chapter as husband and wife. Nadav wore head-to-toe Ralph Lauren Purple Label, and my bridal gown was by Elie Saab.”
As if a private villa wedding in St Barths wasn’t epic enough, the mirrored décor of the reception space was enhanced by lush roses and orchids. Guests were served five courses of the couple’s favorite dishes, which was an effort to evoke a “hosting at home” feel. Everyone indulged on delicacies like fresh Alba truffle shavings on Wagyu fillets, and vanilla meringue cake that was torched in the middle of the dance floor.
There was never a dull moment throughout the evening, as Le Ti dancers performed multiple acts. To tie in her Brazilian roots, the bride changed into her second look – a custom long-sleeved playsuit she designed in Brazil with Lethicia Bronstein – and everyone was on their feet while the performers put on a Carnival-inspired show.
“My father was truly the life of the party as he showed off his 70’s dancing days championship moves,” the bride recalls. “With dessert, came a flirty show by the performers, who surprised everyone by jumping in the pool for a synchronized swim! Jimmy Sax ended the night we never wanted to end. The energy of our friends and family was so warm and loving. They could feel our love for each other as a couple, and they radiated that love right back at us. These are the pros of keeping a wedding party small and intimate!”
The newlyweds traveled to Africa for their honeymoon, where they went on safari and watched the great migration in the Serengeti with andBeyond Under Canvas. They also spent a night at the famous Giraffe Manor in Kenya and checked off a bucket list experience by trekking for mountain gorillas with Singita Kwitonda in Rwanda.