What if, instead of just one day to celebrate your wedding in an epic location, you had four days to celebrate?
You and your family and friends could soak in la dolce vita for your destination wedding in Lake Como.
You wouldn’t be in a time crunch to get all of your excitement and energy out within one single wedding day. Instead, you could spread it out over several days and make the wedding an unforgettable, immersive experience for everyone!
That’s exactly what Rachel Roff, the founder of UrbanSkincare and her groom, Javin, did for their glamorous wedding at Villa Balbiano, Lake Como. From a wild bachelorette party to the wedding, followed by a pool party to cap the celebration week off, I was there to photograph it all!
Keep reading to see how it all came together:
I can’t imagine a better way to kick off a wedding celebration week than with a night with your best friends! Can’t you picture everyone letting loose, relaxing into the realization that you’re enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience?
The bride and her bridal party aimed for that feeling as soon as they arrived at the Villa Balbiano wedding venue.
I was thrilled to be there to capture it all! It was such a unique moment to get to photograph, one that will create an even more dynamic wedding photography gallery experience for the bride.
Having a welcome party the day before a destination wedding is an extra day that allows your friends and family to disconnect from their everyday lives and sink into the magic of your wedding event.
Bright orange bougainvillea flowers were made into flower arches and table accents at Villa Geno for their welcome party. But maybe my favorite part was the lemons that creatively took the main focus! From the large lemon chandeliers to the lemon place cards, I loved the unique direction Vincenzo Dascanio, the floral designer, went with.
Day 3 of their experience was all about the wedding! There are so many incredible Lake Como wedding venues to choose from. But one of my all-time favorites is Villa Balbiano.
It’s one of those villas that has so much charm, elegance, and history radiating from every corner of the estate.
Being the founder of the prominent beauty brand, UrbanSkinRx, I knew this bride would find a gorgeous gown that suited her and her personality perfectly.
And that she did with a form-fitting Galia Lahav dress that flared in the skirt to make it easier to move and dance in.
I love when my brides are all about their fashion. But there is something extra special about a couple that is equally all about looking their absolute best on the wedding day.
The groom for this Villa Balbiano wedding had his own style, and he made sure it was known in his choice of groom’s wedding attire.
He opted for a modern groom’s tuxedo, contrasting a white jacket with black accents and black trousers for a sharp, dramatic look.
It takes sheer talent and skill to be able to transform one of the Lake Como wedding villas while still letting it shine.
That meant they could focus on each other, sharing their vows, and soaking up those first seconds after becoming a married couple. Of course, that also means that I was able to capture some of the most heartfelt moments of the day!
Although Lake Como destination weddings are becoming more popular, there is always so much room for creativity and a couple’s unique style shine. That’s especially true when couples allow wedding designers to think outside the box.
For this Villa Balbiano wedding, rather than having an altar, the floral designer created an entire tree installation, as well as a trellis aisle runner!
If anyone chooses to have a destination wedding in Lake Como, I always encourage doing it Lake Como style.
And that, of course, means having a “Just Married” sunset portrait session on a classic Riva boat on the lake!
When you can create an experience for your wedding, you’ll host an event that will have all of your friends and family saying, “That was the best wedding I’ve ever been to!”
So rather than leaving their guests standing around to wait while the two of them and I had our portrait session, the bride and groom made sure they had a luxurious aperitivo to keep them immersed in la dolce vita.
Their aperitivo was set up with lounge seating by the pool at Villa Balbiano. They brought in violinists who created a show on stage boxes in the garden. And to make sure it felt Italian, they opted for delicious local fare!
All amazing weddings spend the night with a wedding reception that gives everyone the chance to really celebrate with dinner and dancing.
This Lake Como wedding reception was held in a completely transformed greenhouse on the Villa Balbiano estate.
There’s a reason why blush pink never goes out of style when it comes to weddings! When paired with a color palette like this, it creates a romantic, timeless aesthetic. And by that, I mean Rachel and her groom will be able to look at these decades in the future and not think, “Oh that looks so 2023!”
What I especially loved about this particular Villa Balbiano wedding decor style was the sheer creativity, especially in the flower arrangements. The floral designer, Vincenzo Dascanio, stepped outside the box with the types of flowers he chose – from orchids to pink hydrangeas and even pink baby’s breath.
The unbelievable flowers and the small touches like custom napkins at each place setting, were such incredible, upscale ways to take a traditional wedding color palette and create a modern, unique aesthetic throughout the wedding reception!
Those added details are some of the most unique ways to personalize your wedding – and I am here for the couples who love to do that!
Rather than having a DJ, the immersive, upscale experience continued for everyone with a live band during the reception.
All of the best celebrations come with fireworks. Think of it – New Year’s Day, Independence Day, your wedding day.
Imagine stepping out onto the terrace at Villa Balbiano, Lake Como, while fireworks sparkle in the night sky to celebrate such an incredible event.
As this bride and groom’s photographer, I was able to capture the moment that happened for them so they can relive that feeling years later.
Weddings, no matter where they are, are filled with so much high energy. After the toasts have been given and the cake has been cut, it’s so much fun to see all of the guests let loose and give in to the music.
Better yet, it’s so much fun to feel that excitement and energy in the photos afterward!
Coastal chic met pool party glam with the decor at this celebratory pool party! The vintage-inspired sun umbrellas and beach chairs matched with the muted colors of the flower arrangements created a coastal, Southern European chic aesthetic.
But the pool floats and the bar decor brought the fun pool party glam element that kept everything lively.
It’s unique, bespoke weddings like these that keep me so excited to continue photographing Lake Como destination weddings, whether that’s at Villa Balbiano or any of the other venues in the area.
Photography: Lilly Red
Planning: Bespoke Unique Weddings
Wedding Venue: Villa Balbiano
Flower Designer: Vincenzo Dascanio Studio
Videographer: Lumos Produzioni
Wedding Marquee: Privitera Eventi
Catering: Sunlake Catering
Mixology: Mercury Events
Riva Boat: Como Classic Boat
Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav
Makeup Artist: Cristina Isac MUA
Hair Stylist: Lolo Beauty Room