I’ve had the pleasure of writing about lots of wedding celebrations in Italy, but this is the first one to date which took place on the dreamily romantic shores of Lake Como.
What I particularly love about this day are the beautiful Middle Eastern influences threaded throughout, paying homage to the bride’s culture and heritage. This is the wedding of Hannah and Ian, who both work in IT, and they were married on the 27 April 2019 at the magnificent Relais Villa Vittoria, Laglio, overlooking Lake Como, Italy.
Images by Katie Rogers Photography
“We chose Lake Como because Ian is an avid mountain climber, and so we loved the area, with the backdrop of the Alps. We also visited Venice a month before we got engaged and had some amazing food and wine, so we figured that Italy was a safe bet when it came to those two important features of a wedding – we love Italian food.”
Daniela Guanziroli from The Studio Como took care of Hannah’s hair and make-up, with a radiantly glamorous look that complemented her outfit, including Chanel lipstick in a lovely, dusky pink shade, and her wedding day fragrance, which was Chanel Gabrielle.
Hannah discovered her crystal embellished tulle and lace jacket – the ‘Kacey’ by Enzoani, before she found the perfect gown to go with it, but felt immediately right wearing it.
“I’m mixed race, and so wanted a touch of Middle Eastern influence in our modern wedding to represent that cultural influence in my family and life. This was reflected in the jacket I wore. When I tried on the ‘Kacey’ jacket (which was a wildcard option) I fell in love with it, and felt it suited me, was classy, and reflected my heritage. As we were having an outdoor wedding in April, I liked the idea of having sleeves, and also that I could create a day and night look by taking the jacket off in the evening when we moved indoors.”
Both the jacket and the elegant Stephanie Allin dress Hannah chose (the ‘Skye’) were from The Secret Dress House in Reigate, Surrey, which is unfortunately no longer operating. ‘Skye’ went beautifully with the jacket, constructed from luxurious, shimmering silk with a sexy neckline and detailing at the waist.
“I set out on a hunt to find a chic dress to wear, that I would also feel confident in as a standalone outfit when I took the jacket off. When I tried on the Stephanie Allin ‘Skye’ dress, I really liked the shape and fit, and I didn’t want to take it off in the shop. So much so, I had to call my mum and she drove to the shop to see it before I bought it.”
“My alterations were done by Sass Tetzlaff in Ninfield, East Sussex. Sass is awesome and I would highly recommend her. She is so skilled and experienced, and helped me with every consideration for my wedding dress; how the dress would fall, underwear, how to walk with a train, as well as undertaking all the changes I wanted for a really reasonable price.”
The bridesmaids wore sky blue satin dresses from Little Mistress, with shoes from Amazon, and necklaces from Bloom Boutique via Not On The High Street, gifted to them by Hannah as a thank you for their support.
On her feet, Hannah wore a pair of vibrant Sophia Webster ‘Chiara’ shoes with pretty butterflies on the heels.
There are lots of wedding venues on Lake Como, but we wanted a small and intimate wedding. Relais Villa Vittoria was the perfect size for us, as it has a maximum capacity of 68 people, so we could keep the wedding small, whilst also filling the place out. It also has a licence to hold legal wedding ceremonies, and we could have the ceremony and reception all in the one venue, which we preferred. The style of the venue is stunning, very chic and modern with all the charm of a traditional Italian villa.”
Loved ones gathered outside on Villa Vittoria’s terrace overlooking the lake as Ian waited for Hannah’s arrival, looking smart in a blue three piece suit from Moss Bros., which he wore with a sky blue tie and pocket square from Swagger & Swoon.
“We met on Tinder and went on our first date in Lymm, Cheshire. Just over a year later Ian proposed, following us having moved to London together, at the end of Gabriel’s Pier, on the River Thames. We planned the wedding for 12 months later, on the same weekend we got engaged the year before.”
Hannah carried a romantic, petite bouquet of ivory roses and gypsophila, and her bridesmaids had cloud-like posies of gypsophila, made for them by florist Annalaura of Flower Designers.
To Louis Armstong’s song, What a Wonderful World, Hannah and her brother walked together down the aisle scattered with rose petals. For Ian, seeing Hannah walk down the aisle in her beautiful dress was his favourite part of the day, and likewise for Hannah, her favourite moment came as she took her first steps on the aisle and saw Ian, surrounded by their family and friends.
“We were married by Italian law, so that added a fun and romantic twist to the ceremony as the legal portion of the ceremony had to be conducted in Italian!”
The couple’s vows were said as they stood between two pretty spring blossom trees overlooking the water, and they chose their rings at Sinclair Jewellers in Wimbledon.
“We chose them on a recommendation from one of my bridesmaids. They made my engagement ring as well as both wedding bands, provided great advice, went above and beyond in their service, polishing and re-sizing my engagement ring before the wedding, had everything ready on time and made sure we were 100% happy before we took them away.”
As Hannah and Ian signed the register inside the villa, guests were entertained with live harp and violin music from Quartetto Genovese.
It’s great to be able to share the work of talented photographers for the first time on our pages, and these heartfelt images full of elegant detail and colour come to us courtesy of Katie Rogers Photography.
“Katie captured our special day perfectly. She was completely unobtrusive, and captured the essence of the day through totally natural photography. Ian didn’t feel comfortable being photographed, so we did a very short shoot (5 minutes!) so that we have a mantelpiece-worthy photograph, but weren’t removed from the party and our guests for long, so that we got to thoroughly enjoy our day, which comes across in the photographs. We love the action shots so much as they remind us how we felt in those moments.”
“Katie managed to capture all our guests throughout the day, so we have memories of everyone and the moments we shared with them. You didn’t even notice she was there, but if you wanted a photo with someone, she was never far away. We love our photos, and still can’t choose which is our favourite!”
Drinks, canapes and those breathtaking views were all enjoyed post-ceremony, as Hannah and Ian mingled with their guests, as well as taking some time for a few special group shots with their wedding party.
There was one long banqueting table (complete with wrought iron love heart chairs!), laid with crisp white tablecloths, and sparkly silver and blue mountain motif place cards made by Hannah.
“As the wedding was in such a beautiful location, with bold colours from the lake and garden, we kept the decoration simple and went with a white and silver theme so as not to distract away from the natural beauty.”
“Rather than flowers, we opted for a range of different Moroccan inspired lanterns and candleholders on the table.”
Before sitting down to dinner, Hannah and Ian cut their impressive three-tier tiramisu cake, made by their caterers, Class Eventi, which would later be served as a delicious dessert course.
“They are the exclusive caterer of the venue and they were brilliant! At our trial they brought out all of the canapes, and even more options that weren’t on the original menu in case we found something we liked more. They adjusted the menu to fit our vision and budget, creating the tiramisu cake, serving pizzas in the evening, and anything we wanted, they were happy to accommodate.”
“On the day they actually served even more canapes than we were expecting, with a whole table of sushi set up. The staff were exceptional, and really engaged with all the guests and made sure we were both well looked after, too. They also provided the bar and were exceptionally generous in the amount of cocktails, shots and other drinks they were providing. They certainly did everything they could have done to make our day perfect.”
Speeches and toasting brought the wonderful wedding meal to a close, and as the sun went down over Lake Como, Hannah and Ian spent the evening making merry with their loved ones, with music from Blunotte Eventi.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“There are so many things and small details you could think about and buy, and as soon as you do, there are still more. On the day, it’s the big things that matter; how you feel, having all your loved ones there, and having fun. Concentrate on the things that are really important to you.”
“I was planning on doing my own hair and make-up as I wasn’t going to get to do a trial in Italy, and was nervous about having someone do it on the day, not knowing if I would like it or not.”
“However, I took the risk and am so glad I did, because the whole morning was stress free and I could have fun and relax with my bridesmaids. They are professionals who do weddings day in and day out, so any look you could possibly want to go for they can create.”
“Ian and I picked one non-negotiable at the start at of the planning process, so that we made sure we both got the most important things right. His was that all plus ones were invited, and mine was having a free bar.”
Hannah and Ian, thank you so much, and of course, many congratulations and best wishes. What a spectacular setting filled with lovely, personal details. Many thanks to Katie Rogers for capturing everything so enchantingly.
Until next time!