Samantha Settembre first met John Tyler Stoviak when she was hosting a small gathering at her house in Hoboken over the holidays in 2016. One of her friends had invited Tyler to the party, and they quickly bonded over their love of good food, Italian wine, and reality television.
After dating for nearly two years, Tyler proposed to Sam in her favorite place in the world –Tuscany, Italy – at the Belmond Castello di Casole. Having planned the engagement for almost a year, Tyler surprised Sam with a professional photographer that popped out of the trees when he dropped down on one knee, followed by a private dinner on the balcony overlooking the Tuscan sunset, accompanied by a cello player.
"DINNER WAS A FIVE-COURSE ITALIAN MEAL WITH BANFI WINE PAIRINGS FOR EACH COURSE."
By the end of their trip, the couple decided to celebrate their wedding in Tuscany and share their favorite place with all of their friends and family. They chose to get married on September 21, 2019, as the date held special meaning for many reasons: Sam’s last name means “September” in Italian; her birthday is September 22nd; and the couple loves the Earth, Wind and Fire song “September,” which starts with the lyrics “do you remember, the 21st day of September.”
When picking a location in Tuscany, Tyler and Sam couldn’t settle on one spot. Instead, they resolved to have their welcome dinner on Friday and Sam’s farewell birthday brunch on Sunday at Castello di Vicarello, and selected Castello Banfi il Borgo for the wedding day.
The theme of the Friday welcome party was “Tuscan Chic,” and they hired a local Italian band that played Italian classics to really get their guests into the mood. Fresh caponata and trofie pasta was served, followed by a traditional Tuscan BBQ of various meats from Vicarello’s professional butcher.
When the big day arrived, the bride and groom got ready at Vicarello where they shared their first look, and then took a vintage Mercedes to Castello Banfi for the ceremony and reception. As Sam truly despises all color except black, the color palette of the wedding was black, white, and gold. The couple relied heavily on white flowers, greenery, fairy lighting, crystal chandeliers, and candelabras to create a scene which was both magical and enhanced the already elaborate castle landscape.
The bride wore a Vera Wang gown with a black bow around her waist, which alluded to the invitation suite that was bound by a black bow. The groom wore a custom Ermenegildo Zegna tuxedo with custom Stubbs and Wootton shoes that had the cypress tree design embroidered on the toes, which Fourteen-Forty sketched originally for the invitation suite.
Dinner was a five-course Italian meal with Banfi wine pairings for each course. It was important to the couple that the meal felt upscale and like it was being plated for a table of four, while serving at table of 75. Banfi exceeded all expectations and the meal was a delightful culinary experience. The night concluded with a power dance mix of songs that the couple curated prior to the wedding, and the DJ masterfully mixed so no song was ever played in its entirety. The DJ was also accompanied by instrumentalists that kept the party going.
On Sunday, the newlyweds and their guests returned to Vicarello, where they relived all the fun of the wedding over endless amounts or Italian food and a beautiful birthday crostata for Sam. Afterwards, the couple jetted off to Greece for their honeymoon, where they spent four nights at the Canaves Epitome in Santorini and four nights at the Amanzoe in Porto Heli.
Location: Castello Banfi il Borgo, Montalcino, Italy; Planning and Event Design: The Extraordinaire Italy; Floral Design: Stiatti Fiori Montevarchi, Italy; Dress: Vera Wang; Jewelry: Verstolo Fine Jewelry