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Lake Como is a pretty popular location for destination weddings and elopements. What’s lovely about this wedding is that it seems to be the happy medium the couple found between a completely private elopement for two and a luxurious grand celebration typical of a Lake Como wedding.
When planning their intimate Lake Como wedding, Renae and Hayden decided to move away from the grandeur of a typical lakeside palazzo in Lake Como and focus on an intimate farmhouse in the hills of Tremezzo. Having had to postpone their main wedding celebration due to the pandemic, their Italian wedding dream was to host their loved ones for an intimate destination wedding that still enjoyed all the splendour of a Lake Como vacation.
Lake Como is world renowned for being an enchanting location for a luxury wedding but it isn’t always considered for elopements as the glitzy palazzos take centre stage. If you’re having an elopement because it feels right for you both but there is part of you that still wants a glamorous location then this will tick all the boxes for you. You don’t need 100 guests to enjoy the splendid gardens and waterside locations, and you can head up into the mountains for a connection to nature and still come down to the waterside too for your beautiful wedding pictures. It’s the best of both worlds.Lina – Photographer
Tips For Planning A Lake Como Elopement
Think about your base.
On a map it’s easy to think travelling around Lake Como is going to be quick and easy, that you can stay on one side of the lake even when you want to go to another, but in reality it is a huge lake and there is one main road that goes all the way around, so driving around it isn’t very fast. If you want to have your wedding ceremony or pictures in a particular garden, such as the stunning Villa del Balbianello, it’s worth having a base on that side of the lake for flexibility. Then if you want to visit Bellagio across the lake for example, you can take a water taxi or the tourist ferry. A much more efficient way of getting across.
Don’t Overlook The Smaller Villages
Don’t disregard the villages in the hills surrounding the lake, such as this couple staying in this farmhouse in the hills of Tremezzo. It can be a beautifully peaceful and relaxing option for your downtime, or for a very private ceremony away from the tourists.
Elopements Can Still Be Glamorous!
First of all note that having an elopement doesn’t have to mean lacking in glamour! If you want that show-stopper designer outfit, the finest negronis to toast your nuptials and killer pictures in palazzos this can all still happen at a Lake Como elopement. Some of the biggest celebrities in the world choose Lake Como for a reason, and who knows you might bump into George and Amal and they’ll bless your marriage.
Work With A Local Planner
On a serious note though, I’d definitely recommend working with either a local planner or a bilingual one, even if you think your plans are simple and especially if you have no knowledge of Italian. This is essential if you are planning a legal marriage ceremony so you can make sure your paperwork will be legitimate. Even if you are opting for a symbolic ceremony, planners in the area can be the gatekeepers to the palazzos, so you might not get into one without a wedding planner at all.
Pick Suppliers You Love (Bilingual Ones If You Can)
When choosing your wedding planner and wedding vendors, either in Lake Como or across Italy, apply the same logic as you would for a wedding at home. Do you love their work? Do you like them as people? Don’t be tempted to cut corners just because you are eloping abroad, relationships are just as important. Of course, if you’re getting married in Italy, the fact that we are bilingual is mighty useful to our clients too!
Religious or Symbolic Ceremonies in Italy
When it comes to planning a wedding in Italy in general, note that Italy is predominantly a catholic country, and unlike the Church of England for example who are more accommodating if you’re not a regular churchgoer, a church wedding in Italy is usually only possible if you are connected to a church at home and your own priest can testify they know you. So that once-a-year midnight mass attendance might not cut it. You’ll also need to participate in ‘pre-cana’ classes leading up to your wedding. A civil wedding is much simpler to organize but note that it will be in Italian so an interpreter will need to be present if you don’t speak the language. A symbolic ceremony allows you to have your own language and traditions present, which is why it is the most popular choice.
Embrace Italian Culture
Above all when getting married in Italy remember to embrace Italy itself and the sense of La Dolce Vita. Yes, they will likely recommend a four-course meal as standard, even for just the two of you, as food is a big language of love for Italians. Embrace it. If you want to get married in July or August, note it gets super hot, so you may want to go with a late afternoon/early evening ceremony. Don’t stress over tiny details, rather go with the flow and remember why you’re doing it. After all, if you’ve chosen to elope, that’s probably what you wanted anyway right?
Renae & Hayden’s Lake Como Wedding Story
They enlisted Natalie from Elleff Events as their Italian wedding planner, who alongside Lada Fiori, created a romantic garden ceremony overlooked by the stunning mountains of the pre-Alp region. The farmhouse was busy yet jubilant in the morning as the majority of the guests were staying there, excitedly getting ready. When it was time for the first look, our couple left the bustle of the farmhouse to greet each other in the quiet of the farmhouse drive.
The intimate Lake Como garden ceremony, watched on by the adorable resident ponies and donkeys, was officiated by Renae and Hayden’s close friend, standing in front of a contemporary A-frame design feature with elegant wedding florals of green and white.
The choice of natural wood elements complimented the beautiful Italian outdoor wedding setting. Following an emotional wedding ceremony, it was time to enjoy cocktails and appetisers courtesy of the catering team, before the wedding party sat to enjoy their four-course al fresco Italian wedding banquet. Chef Luigi Gandola and his team provided beautiful food embracing seasonal ingredients such as delicious grilled eggplant, melt-in-the-mouth sea bass and succulent lobster spaghetti. After a round of highly emotional speeches at sunset, the wedding group danced the night away in the garden. Following a farewell brunch in Bellagio the next day, we joined our couple on a beautiful traditional boat for a post-wedding photoshoot on Lake Como. This is a great way to enjoy more of your location without having to squeeze it into your wedding timeline. Enjoying the cool breeze of the Lake, we photographed our couple taking in the rich beauty of the Lake and palazzos from the water. For Renae and Hayden, this really was having the best of both worlds for their Lake Como wedding photography.