As a local native, I’ve been to so many of the gorgeous Lake Como wedding villas the area has to offer. So when I get a couple that says they’re hosting their wedding at a venue I haven’t been to yet?
Well, you can imagine my excitement to photograph a new location!
That was exactly what happened with this incredible wedding at the exclusive Villa Gastel that’s known for its quaint, romantic aesthetic.
Here’s how I captured this Villa Gastel wedding day!
Whenever couples tell me they’re planning to get married here, I always love to adopt the role of the best Lake Como travel guide. There’s so much to do, see, and experience here that I want my couples and their guests to really indulge and soak it up.
So, I was ecstatic when this couple said they were hosting a 3-day celebration for their wedding! It’s becoming somewhat trendy for couples to do this if they’re planning a destination wedding. And I can’t help but think it’s the best wedding planning decision they can make!
On the first day of the wedding extravaganza, the couple and their families hosted guests at the Hotel Imperiale. They asked everyone to dress in resort casual attire, which could not have been more perfect as they shared an arrival aperitif while overlooking the waters of Lake Como.
Aperitifs are ingrained in Italy’s culture, and as you know, I love sharing my culture with everyone who visits here! So it was incredible getting to capture the couple’s family and friends as they bonded over their love for the newlyweds and the amazing destination.
Whenever anyone plans a wedding here, I always recommend they find a way to take in the sights from Lake Como. As in, step on a boat, and see what the area looks like on the water!
It’s no wonder Lake Como is such a popular destination wedding location – you can’t beat the views, no matter where you’re standing!
Although the couple and I did get to step onto a traditional Riva boat for couple’s portraits, they also spent the second day of the wedding extravaganza by renting out one of the Lake Como ferry boats.
Just like the arrival aperitifs, everyone soaked in La Bella Vita by savoring live music, Italian cocktails, and authentic, fine Italian foods.
After spending the afternoon with the couple and their guests the day before, I knew everyone would be a fashionable crowd. But the outfits on the ferry boat were impeccable! The bride and groom requested everyone attend in bright, vibrant cocktail attire. And everyone understood the assignment.
The beautiful bride wore a silky white dress with a matching veil-like hair piece, while the groom complimented her in a neutral-colored suit.
Everyone else took to wearing bold colors and bright patterns for the party, creating a look that was worthy of the glossy pages of a magazine.
The third and final day of the celebration took place at the Lake Como wedding villa, Villa Gastel. It’s a quaint, yet exclusive wedding venue that is known for its hint of whimsy.
With yellow exterior walls, dusty blue window shutters, and ivy growing in between the two, it’s truly a perfect example of historic Italian architecture. The couple brought in massive flower sculptures which added a touch of wonder to their wedding aesthetic.
As the wedding photographer, I always love when my couples trust me to take care of them on their wedding day. And that’s exactly what these two did!
I scouted the grounds of the Villa Gastel wedding venue to find the perfect location for the two to see each other for the first time. After getting ready in separate rooms of the villa, the couple shared their first look together.
But it took me no time at all! Because I quickly found a loggia that couldn’t have made for a better setting for this moment. With the vibrant yellow exterior walls, paired with the romantic archways and ivy growing all along the walls, it captured both the intimate moment and the essence of the venue.
True to the nature of the entire wedding weekend, the fashion between the bride and groom was amazing.
She wore a unique Luisa Beccaria gown that created an ethereal, romantic aesthetic. A sleeveless bodice paired with a full skirt and a cape, it was a masterpiece made of tulle! The best part about it was the fact that the fabric gave just a hint of pinks and purples instead of the traditional solid white.
He wore a sleek, classic Tom Ford tuxedo that created an understated look to give her most of the attention, while also commanding a pinch for himself!
Shortly after the first look, guests began to arrive for the black tie Villa Gastel wedding ceremony. It was an intimate affair set outside on the grounds of the venue.
Baskets of parasols were positioned at the entrance to the seating area to help keep the sun from beating down on everyone. And the flower sculptures that were brought in were an excellent spot for guests to take photos of themselves before the sculptures served as the altar for the ceremony!
Once the ceremony, filled with laughter and tears, concluded, everyone made their way to the sit-down reception in the villa’s courtyard. The tables were lined with low floral centerpieces which made it so easy for everyone to chat over dinner.
For a one-of-a-kind trip, a little indulgence is a necessity! Everyone shared bottles of Dom Perignon and Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades champagne while toasting the happy couple.
Once dinner wrapped up, all of the guests made their way inside Villa Gastel, while the bride slipped away. She made a quick outfit change into a form-fitting, glittering dress that was perfect for the opulence of the villa’s interior.
The couple shared their first dance together before everyone stepped onto the dance floor to continue celebrating. And yes, plenty more champagne was shared throughout the night!
It was such an amazing wedding to get to capture over the span of 3 days. And I loved having the opportunity to experience a new wedding venue in the heart of Lake Como!
Photography: Lilly Red
Event Design and Production: Design Anarchy Studio
Venue: Villa Gastel
Videographer: Waterfall Visuals
Flower Design: Chiara Sperti Floral Events
Flower Sculptures: Oltre Il Giardino and Fiori Giganti Decor
Event Lighting and Musical Entertainment: Blunotte Eventi
Catering: Class Eventi
Bridal Stylist: Dress Guru
Hair and Makeup: Reina Kim
Bridal Gown: Luisa Beccaria
Groom’s Tuxedo: Tom Ford