While wedding day trends are always lovely to look at, there’s something so magical about photographing a couple who dares to create magic out of details that are uniquely them.
I especially love to capture it on the day of because it’s a sure way to create photos that break the mold. And for bold couples who aren’t afraid to make a statement, those kinds of photos are perfect for them.
You can imagine my excitement as I arrived for this opulent Villa del Balbianello wedding! Here’s how it turned out:
Imagine the sparkling waters of Lake Como, Italy. On the edge of a small, wooded peninsula that is only accessible by classic Italian wooden boats sits a grand villa built in the 18th century.
It’s a historic Lake Como villa that has hosted Hollywood film crews and even members of Italian nobility.
From lush, romantic gardens to the panoramic views of the mountains and the lake itself, it is truly a luxurious wedding venue in Lake Como.
That is Villa del Balbianello, and it served as the incredible Lake Como wedding venue for this amazing wedding.
After getting ready at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, the bride, groom, and their respective wedding parties stepped onto separate wooden boats.
It’s the only way to arrive at Villa del Balbianello, which I love! These classic boats are world-renowned as the quintessential Italian transportation method on Lake Como. So including it in their day allowed them to embrace more of the Italian culture.
Each of the Lake Como wedding villas boasts immense grounds with almost every location worthy of being the ceremony site.
At this wedding venue, everything is picturesque, from manicured gardens to multiple rooftop terraces that give a sweeping view of Lake Como’s rolling hills.
Yet this couple settled on what had to be the most iconic spot in the villa for their ceremony site. The couple gave their vows to one another under a loggia with massive, ivy-strewn archways that framed Lake Como and its trademark mountains.
Often, I see couples who allow the location to take full focus for the entire wedding day. And while I love to see how they embrace their destination, there’s something to be said for the couples who create something unexpected.
That’s exactly what this couple did through their opulent details at Villa del Balbianello! They chose to share the spotlight with the landmark villa. In doing so, they created a visually striking wedding celebration.
Rather than opt for traditional, neutral colors, this couple embraced a magnificent, lush color story.
Rich, deep burgundies were the foundation of the color palette, while muted sandstone-colored and bright red-colored roses created the pops that added visual interest. To round it out, the wedding design infused jewel-tones like gold and emerald green into the decor.
The bridal bouquet to the reception table centerpieces and linens all used the lavish burgundy and jewel-toned wedding color palette. It was something I have rarely seen at a Lake Como wedding villa, and needless to say, it was stunning.
Although I’m now a destination wedding photographer, I still love photographing fashion. Now, I just couple it with fashion on these incredible Lake Como wedding days!
I see many brides select a sleeveless or strapless dress for the celebration. So when this bride stepped out in a long-sleeved gown with a full tulle skirt, I was awestruck.
It was such a unique, fresh take on the classic wedding gowns we’ve seen for so long. And it was completely fitting for the bold statement the couple had already made throughout the day!
Paired with a cathedral veil and a tiara, it was the perfect wedding gown for the majestic Lake Como venue.
It’s one of the many reasons why so many couples choose Lake Como for their destination wedding location. They want the legendary boat photographs on the water!
While the wedding guests enjoyed aperitivo on the terrace, the bride, groom, and I took to the vintage-style wooden boats for beautiful “just married” portraits.
The clouds kissed the tops of the mountains as we toured around the lake, creating a romantic backdrop for the photos. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and lighting!
Everywhere in the Villa del Balbianello wedding venue seems to have a life of its own. Even in the grand hall for the reception, the walls were covered in vining ivy. Rather than adding to it by hanging swaths of greenery, the pair decided to embrace its natural beauty!
They focused their attention on creating gorgeous tablescapes for banquet-style tables. All the while, the ivy-covered walls acted as a romantic, rustic backdrop.
To continue with the statement wedding color palette, all of the details for the reception were red velvet-inspired. From crushed velvet burgundy table linens to the rose-filled centerpieces that coincided, everything fit the theme.
Even the signature cocktail was called the “red velvet!” And best of all, the pair chose a red velvet flavored and frosted wedding cake.
After the sun slipped behind the horizon, this lovely bride stole away to step into a new bridal gown for the reception. She danced the night away in a form-fitted, beaded gown with amazing beaded shoulder straps. It couldn’t have been a better fit for the Villa del Balbianello wedding!
With an extensive history of hosting some of the world’s most exclusive people, this couple created a bold and captivating statement for their Villa del Balbianello wedding day. And I’m so thankful I was there to capture it all!