Real Weddings: Donna & Nahil

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Sagaponack, New York

Caterer:  Art of Eating;   Floral Design:  Claire Bean Floral & Event Design;  Photographer: David Vaughan Photography


When Donna Savattere first spotted Nahill Younis across the room at a New Year’s Eve party in the Bahamas, she was instantly smitten by his tall good looks and sense of personal style. When she walked up to introduce herself and Nahill told her that he also lived in Manhattan, she demanded to see his driver’s license as proof. Nahill obliged, happy to prove to this forthright stranger that he was in fact, her New York City neighbor, and from that moment on, the two were inseparable.

It was only a month after that serendipitous meeting in the Bahamas that Donna and Nahill decided to make a permanent commitment. But one proposal wasn’t enough for Nahill. After proposing a first time, he spent two months hunting down the perfect diamond and setting for the perfect ring for his perfect bride-to be. And during a sunny Saturday morning walk on the beach in the Hamptons, Nahill surprised Donna by proposing to her a second time, getting down on his knees and saying, “Marry me, Donna.” Hearing the words in “that beautiful English accent that would make any woman’s heart melt,” Donna says, she gladly accepted again.

Donna was already a mother when Nahill met her, and Donna’s daughter quickly became an important part of his life. Donna and Nahill also had a son together before the wedding, and incorporating their family into their love story was an important part of wedding planning for them. “We have a home in the Hamptons and two children, so having a wedding ‘at home’ seemed like a simple way for us to have the wedding of our dreams without having to travel too far with our little ones,” says Donna.

Fortunately, there was no shortage of lovely wedding locations in the area. Donna and Nahill were immediately enchanted by the relaxed loveliness of the Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, whose beautiful outdoor spaces seemed like an ideal location for the family-style wedding they envisioned.

Friends and family traveled from all parts of the world to share Donna and Nahill’s joy, some literally crossing the globe to join the celebration. Guests came to Sagaponack from Texas, California, Florida, Puerto Rico, England, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Singapore as well as from New York and Washington, D.C. And of course, Donna and Nahill’s children were there to celebrate the union of their parents.

Donna and Nahill wanted their wedding to be a fun, vibrant celebration of life and love. They chose orange as the primary color in their wedding palette because it’s not a traditional wedding color, and says Donna, “Nothing in our lives together is traditional or about ‘following the rules.’”

In keeping with their romantic natures and relaxed style, Donna and Nahill wrote their own marriage vows, sharing them with each other for the first time during the ceremony. Nahill promised to cherish and cultivate the bond that began when luck pulled them together for that magical New Year’s Eve meeting, while Donna promised to be Nahill’s friend and biggest fan forever.

The wedding was a simple celebration of love, family, and friendship— exactly what Donna and Nahill wanted. And thanks to their savvy planning and the help of the experienced professionals who assisted them, Donna says, “Only one unexpected thing happened at our wedding: Everything went according to plan.”