Weddings on the Italian Lakes are set in a dreamy, romantic atmosphere, in this case emphasized by the fact that for this couple the word “symbolic” doesn’t just mean “with a symbolic value” but also “full of symbols, full of meaning” expressing love, spirituality, creativity…
John and Stephanie are a couple based in New York with an intense creativity and a strong spiritual life: he is a filmmaker who won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002, she is a multimedia producer and content strategy professional with a passion for creative writing and transformational storytelling. They contacted me to plan their symbolic wedding on Lake Como at the elegant Villa Pizzo and together we planned the following program for their three-day event.
Day 1 – Welcome Dinner at Isola Comacina
The day before the wedding the bridal couple and their guests visited the mysterious Isola Comacina, a small stripe of land that is the setting of many local legends. According to one of these legends, the isle was cursed by the bishop of Como during the middle ages and was uninhabited for centuries.
In the 1940’s three local entrepreneurs projected to open a restaurant on the island, but when two of them suddenly died, the third was so discouraged that he was nearly abandoning the project. The English writer Francis Dale suggested to perform an ancient rite: the exorcism of the fire. Since then there were no more mysterious deaths, and until today this ritual has been performed every time someone visits the island.
The Locanda dell’Isola Comacina is the only restaurant on this island. The welcome dinner with local dishes ended with the exorcism of the fire. At the sound of the bell the host entered into the room, burned brandy in the “pot” and told the history of the island. Then sugar and coffee were added to the brandy and served to the guests.
Day 2 – Wedding Day
The symbolic ceremony was performed at the Darsena (dock) of Villa Pizzo in front of the lake. Together with floral designer Vincenzo Dascanio we organized gorgeous floral decorations in the color theme chosen by the bride: pastel colors, cream and blush, pink and peach: the garden terrace was full of flowers with a natural and organic look combined with green leaves and olive leaves.
For her entrance the bride chose a special song: Vivaldi’s Spring Recomposed by Max Richter, an ethereal and dreamy rewriting of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons which added to the natural setting of Lake Como a magic atmosphere.
The ceremony was performed by a shaman woman and was full of symbolic meanings. The bride prepared for all the guests an infusion of Damiana, an American herb with aphrodisiac properties that encourages the embrace of the soul with the universe. All of a sudden the bell towers of the villages surrounding the lake started ringing simultaneously, resounding on the waters with a touching echo. This was truly a magic moment for all the participants.
The wedding cocktail followed in the Italian Garden of the Villa. Stephanie’s father is Chinese and the couple chose to incorporate the ceremony of tea as part of the wedding day. This is a traditional moment of Chinese weddings, when the couple prepares and pours tea for their parents and close relatives. This is the instant when the bride is formally introduced to the groom’s family, a touching moment of the wedding day when the two families are united.
The wedding reception was organized outdoors in the gardens by the main staircase leading to the Villa. The round tables were decorated with centerpieces in the same colors of the ceremony theme. The gardens and trees were decorated with plenty of fairy lights and lanterns, a magical setting for the wedding banquet which was accompanied by a live band.
Starter: Vegetables salad, marinated and seared sea scallops, black truffle sauce
First Course: Ravioli filled with burrata in tomato and basil sauce with Parmesan cheese
Main Course: Chianti Style beef, roasted potatoes with rosemary and spinach sauteed with raisins and pine nuts
Dessert: Coffee and petit fours
Wedding Cake: Sponge cake filled with Chantilly cream, whipped cream around the base and fresh fruit on the top.
The after party followed inside the Villa with dances in Bollywood style. The inner halls of the Villa were decorated with vintage furniture and fancy lighting. The couple and guests had so much fun! The party continued until 2 am.
Day 3 – Farewell Brunch
On the third day a farewell brunch was organized on the Terrace with lake view.
Traditional Italian breakfast Buffet
- ’Cut by yourself’ your preferred bread among: white, bran, whole-wheat flour breads
- Home-made fruit jams, linden and chestnut honeys
- Assorted cereals
- Mignon croissants, home-made apple tart
- Fresh fruit of the season: apricots, strawberries, red & yellow plums, green, white and red apples, pineapple and watermelon
- Hot buffet: sausages and bacon, soft ’crocchette’ potatoes, scrambled eggs, toasted cherry tomatoes
- Cold buffet: wooden trays with the best Italian cheese: Casera Valtellina, Taleggio della Valsassina, Gorgonzola di Pasturo, “Scimuda” Intelvese Local ham, salami and assorted cold meats, home-made breadsticks and Parmesan flavour crackers
- Classic Brunch buffet: Caprese salad, hot ”panzerotto” (soft mozzarella cheese & tomato), salmon marinated with lime and local herbs, fresh green and red salads
I hope you enjoy this photo gallery with fantastic photos by Carlo Carletti!
If you are thinking about an unforgettable wedding on Lake Como, our expert wedding planners will be glad to assist you, contact us through our enquiry form.
Image Credits: Carlo Carletti ©.