I know – I mentioned in my Lake Como travel guide that one of the best times to travel to the area is in the summer, despite all of the tourist traffic.
But, after this wedding, I might have to change that because this autumn-inspired Villa del Balbianello and Villa Lario wedding was an absolute masterpiece!
After taking this amazing couple’s engagement photos in the Bay Area of San Francisco, they came to me for a magnificent wedding celebration filled with their closest family and friends.
So keep reading to see how I captured their unforgettable experience in Lake Como!
Part of wedding planning involves deciding when to have the celebration. And that’s even more important if you’re planning a destination wedding or elopement. Different countries experience seasons differently, so choosing the perfect time of year is important.
Thankfully, autumn in Lake Como is spectacular! And this couple chose the greatest time – the very beginning of October. At this point, the autumn colors in the trees were peaking with gorgeous colors of red and gold.
And, maybe more importantly (for photographers, of course!), the sun still gave off that warm glow, which made for beautiful wedding day portraits.
Because the time of year was so perfect, the entire wedding aesthetic centered around it! And that made for some of the most stunning photos in their wedding day photo gallery.
The couple and their wedding planner chose a color story reminiscent of the peaking autumn colors of the Lake Como mountains. They went with jewel tones to add romance and drama to the day’s details, such as the deep red, orange, and yellow tapered candles during the Villa Lario wedding reception.
Even the bridesmaids’ dresses added to the romantic drama with their dusty blue (instead of bright pastels) color!
In keeping with the jewel-toned aesthetic, the floral designer created contemporary arrangements filled with autumn flowers and even dried leaves and wild greenery from the local landscape.
And to soften the drama by adding more romance, the florist also used desaturated pinks, violets, and soft yellows. It created the most beautiful contrast in the wedding photos!
I always love when couples decide to have their ceremony and reception in two Lake Como wedding venues (when they’re close by, of course). It gives them an even more unique experience and more of an opportunity to see all that this incredible area has to offer!
The bride and groom for this wedding chose to have their ceremony at Villa del Balbianello, which is one of my favorite places to photograph. The landscape behind the loggia, where many wedding ceremonies take place, is just so epic.
And the ceremony decor for this wedding did an amazing job of balancing the two. Instead of fully taking the spotlight, the floral arrangements at the ceremony complemented the scenery in the background.
Instead of a complete archway at the altar, which demands all of the attention from the guests, the ceremony site was set up with two semi-arches. So the gorgeous, sloping mountains and the sparkling lake could be seen right behind the couple as they said their vows!
Just before the Villa del Balbianello wedding ceremony, the bride and her bridesmaids spent the morning at Villa Lario to get ready.
And once she stepped out in her Berta bridal gown, I knew that their wedding photo gallery was going to be stunning. Her gown was a form-fitting, romantic dress filled with impeccable beading and lace detail. It fit her perfectly, and with loose curls and a sparkling hairpiece, she truly matched the romantic, autumnal aesthetic of the entire wedding day.
After getting ready at Villa Lario, the bride and her bridesmaids made their way to Villa del Balbianello for the ceremony. It’s one of my favorite ways for my couples to experience the area because it’s so effortlessly Italian.
And there’s really nothing like the photos I’m able to capture while on these classic Italian Riva boats!
After their ceremony, the bride, groom, and all of their closest friends and family made their way back to Villa Lario for their wedding reception.
If you noticed from this couple’s San Francisco engagement photos, the two of them have so much fun together – and that truly shines through in their photos. Their reception was no different!
They shared a lively Villa Lario wedding reception experience full of dancing and laughter with all of their favorite people.
What’s a fashionable Lake Como wedding without a quick change of dress? The bride sneaked away for just a moment to change into a beautiful, tea-length, sparkling Berta dress to dance the night away in.
Usually, I love spending several minutes before the sun fades behind the horizon with the couple for those glowy “just married” portraits. But with an autumn wedding, the sun sets much earlier.
That just meant I got to be more creative for the couple’s session after the ceremony! So, we climbed aboard another classic Italian Riva boat for a quick boat ride around Lake Como. And I played with spectacular dramatic lighting to create gorgeous photos that fit so perfectly with the dramatically romantic wedding aesthetic.
The couple loved this boutique hotel so much that they chose to create a Villa Lario wedding reception right in the heart of it. To make everything intimate and cozy, they chose a banquet-style table so everyone could feel like family at this beautiful wedding celebration.
And, of course, the styling was perfect. With chandeliers casting ambient lighting across every table setting and stunning floral arrangements in dramatic jewel-toned colors, the reception couldn’t have been set up any better.
Maybe one of my favorite parts of the event was the flair of America they brought to their otherwise effortlessly Italian wedding!
Rather than a cake, the couple chose to have their favorite American dessert – s’mores! It was a perfect touch to honor where they are from while celebrating in one of their favorite places.
After photographing the pair in San Francisco for their engagement, followed by this incredible Villa del Balbianello and Villa Lario wedding celebration, it’s safe to say I could be anywhere with them and their photos would still look amazing!
Photographer: Lilly Red Photography
Planner: Italian Lakes Weddings
Ceremony Venue: Villa del Balbianello
Getting Ready and Reception Venue: Villa Lario
Floral Designer: White Pepper Studio
Wedding Gowns: Berta
Hair and Makeup: The Studio Como, Serinelli Federica, Sabrine Makeup