A fairytale villa in Lake Como, a romantic post-ceremony boat ride and a stunning Galia Lahav dress… um can you say yes, yes, YES?! Oliver Fly Photography captured this magical day teeming with lush blooms by Figli Dei Fiori and intimate details planned to perfection by Le Mariage Made in Italy. Trust us folks, this is one for the storybooks.
What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning? Why did you choose Lake Como?
From the bride… Prior to planning, my fiancé and I discussed what we both envisioned our wedding to be. I wanted flowers with lots of natural light; George wanted great food and a live band to amp up our guests, and we both expressed that we wanted a body of water, whether it was a sea or a lake, to be in the background as we got married. That helped us narrow down some choices as we were inquiring various venues. We wanted a location that would be easy for our guests to fly into and to enjoy the weekend as they celebrated with us. It was an easy choice for us to finalize our decision and choose Lake Como!
What was your color palette and your style vision?
The flowers in the Villa’s garden and the decorative golden gates inspired me to incorporate blush, ivory, and gold into my color palette. I envisioned a timeless and elegant wedding where I incorporated much of the natural splendor of the Villa and Lake Como. I was going for a classy and sophisticated, using as many local vendors as possible so that our guests who flew literally half way around the world from New York to Korea could have a taste of the local food and ambience. We used a local flower vendor, Figli dei Fiori, and incorporated many of the local flowers from the Como region and added classic touches like metallic candles on the tables and on the stairs to create a warm, glowing effect. Additionally, the main parlor is ornately decorated with Italian frescos, beautiful antiques and furniture, so I felt like I did not have to add much to the décor.
Why did you choose this wedding venue?
We decided to get married at Villa Sola Cabiati in Lake Como, Italy because it was exactly what we were looking for – timeless, elegant, and classy. The Villa is like a walking museum: it was Charles II’s and the Duke of Serbelloni’s summerhouse and even houses Napoleon’s and Josephine’s beds and their personal items including Napoleon’s hat! Through a recent partnership with Grand Hotel Tremezzo, it has been recently open to the public for private events, and we knew it would be perfect for our wedding venue since we would have exclusive use of the property and it would be an incredibly special weekend for our guests as they celebrated our wedding with us. We had a three day wedding celebration: the first night was at Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s T-Beach, right on Lake Como, and the other two days were at the Villa. Since we had the Villa to ourselves for the whole weekend, it was amazing to be immersed in history and also to create our own history in the Villa!
What unique elements or DIY details did you include?
One thing my fiancé and I wanted was to have our guests enjoy their weekend at Lake Como. We decided to go with a live band, which was the best choice we made regarding music. The wedding singer was incredible and she knew exactly when to liven up the mood and was so heartfelt during the emotional times like our first dance. We still get comments from our friends about where we hired such an amazing wedding singer, so thank you Blunotte Events! Additionally, my mother, who is the Creative Director of Nora Noh – our family business, made unique dresses for everyone in the wedding. She designed and made my second dress, all 7 bridesmaid dresses, her dress, my mother-in-law’s dress, and my aunt’s dress. It was so special for me that she gifted me this timeless and precious dress, especially all while designing for her collection. I am forever grateful for this unique gift she gave me for my wedding day!
What was your favorite moment? Your favorite detail?
My favorite part was after the ceremony, where we walked down the aisle as husband and wife and realizing that all our family and friends were in beautiful Lake Como to help celebrate our marriage. We have a candid picture of us hugging at the end of the aisle because we were just so elated that all the time and effort we put into planning our wedding was unfolding beautifully. One of my favorite details is including our dog in our wedding invitations. Since we had a destination wedding, it did not seem feasible to bring our dog all the way to Italy. Momental Designs really captured Lily in our wedding invitation, and I am so glad she was there with us in spirit. George’s brother also lent him cufflinks that looked like our dog, so that was really special and meaningful to us, as well. Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favors for your guests, your cake, etc…
Since we were having a destination wedding and we love the Italian culture and food, we incorporated as many local vendors as possible. We got a recommendation from Grand Hotel Tremezzo for our caterer, a second-generation family run business. We incorporated many Italian dishes and included many of the wines from our caterer’s own vineyard! We also incorporated local and seasonal flowers like lisianthus and peonies. We had a flower arch and incorporated more greenery on our imperial tables. We also wanted our cake to be filled with Italian wild berries and cream, which is our favorite dessert. The cake was also adorned with the local flowers that we used in my wedding bouquet. My wedding planner, Oana from Le Mariage Made In Italy, helped me source the olive oil favors from Tuscany directly from the olive oil. The flowers from the beautifully curated gardens of the Villa inspired my first dress. I wanted a dress that would make me feel elegant and classy yet showed a fitted bodice. As for my second dress, my mother designed and created my dress to have a more slim-fitting silhouette. I changed my dress before my father-daughter dance since it meant a lot to me to wear my mother’s creation with my dad.
What is one piece of advice that you could give brides-to-be?
Some advice I received and would give to future brides will be to breathe and enjoy your wedding. This is one of the greatest times in your life and there will be times when it does not go as planned (We had many logistical issues leading up to the wedding since there was a huge Dolce & Gabanna event all over Lake Como during the same weekend, which lead to a lot of chaos for us!), but take a breath and remember that in the end, all of your family and loved ones are there to celebrate YOU. You are surrounded by those who have traveled so far to be with you on your special day. So, even if it does not go as planned, take a breath and enjoy your wedding! Also, make sure you eat throughout the day/weekend. I was so nervous and anxious that I physically couldn’t keep my food down a day before my wedding festivities. I had pieces of bread and also had electrolyte chews that help replenish me !
From the planner, Le Mariage Made in Italy… Jean and George’s wedding was created to represent them in every detail. They chose Villa Sola Cabiati, one of the most romantic wedding venues on Lake Como and the mission was not to overdo it. Elegant table setting and organic flower arrangements with hues of pink and peach decorated the magnificent imperial table positioned at the Villa’s doorstep, overlooking the breathtaking lake and timeless garden. The entire planning process with them was a delight and D day felt like a dream – poetic, flawless and unforgettable.
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Photographer: Oliver Fly Photography | Videographer: Studio 80 | Wedding Planning: Le Mariage Made in Italy | Floral Design: Figli Dei Fiori | Cake: Pasticceria Ramperti | Stationery: Momental Designs | Catering: Visini | Venue: Grand Hotel Tremezzo | Bride's Dress 1: Galia Lahav | Bride's Dress 2: Nora Noh | Bride's Rings: David S. Diamonds | Brideâ€™s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groom's Band: Cartier | Groom's Tuxedo: Ermeneglildo Zegna | Hair & Make Up: Samantha Pretto | Lighting & Entertainment: Blunotte Events | Photography Assistant: Arnaud Mallez | Riva Boat : Grand Hotel Tremezzo | Villa: Grand Hotel Tremezzo