Sophie & James: fairytale wedding at Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como

Sophie & James: fairytale wedding at Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como

A fairy tale love  and a fairy tale wedding… that between Sophie and James, they are a young and lovely couple who fell in love with Lake Como during their first vacation and decided to celebrate their BIG DAY in the most exclusive wedding venue on Lake Como: Villa Del Balbianello. James contacted me in November 2011 and asked me to guide him in the organization of a unique and special day to surprise his lovely Sophie on July 23rd, 2012.

Martina and Sara travelled to Lake Como and met the couple two days before the wedding, it was nice to meet them and go through all the wedding details.

Then… the most special day arrived, everything was ready and the weather was amazing! We visited Sophie, she was getting ready with her mother and her two sisters and bridesmaids, all the dresses and shoes ready…. We all were so excited and happy!

Sophie, her parents and Sara left first: a private boat took them from Bellagio to Villa del Balbianello in time to check all the ceremony set up on the terrace close to the Church:

Bridal bouquet for Lake Como wedding

All white flowers decorated the ceremony terrace: white orchids, bell of Ireland, Casablanca lilies, vendela roses, baby roses and greenery.

Then the groom, James, all the guests and Martina arrived on a separate motorboat.

The ceremony was intimate and so touching, everybody had the thrills and cried, also the interpreter!

The aperitif buffet was served under the camphor tree while the dinner under the Loggia.

Wedding on Lake Como

Aperitif buffet

Parmesan cheese
Mixed puff pastry
Mixed mini quiches
Little classic pizzas
Selection of chef’s omelette
Kebabs of little tomato, mozzarella and basil
Sit-down meal served in the Loggia

Homemade salmon lightly smoked with millefeuille of wholemeal bread and aromatic butter

First course
Pasta in Amatriciana style with crispy bacon and sheep milk cheese

Main course
Slice of beef limousine with seasoned vegetables

Parfait of amaretti

Wedding cake

The staff had great fun!

…and the most beautiful present was James and Sophie’s feedback:

Hi Laura, Sara and Martina,

We just wanted to let you know how happy we were with our dream wedding in Lake Como! The whole day was planned to perfection and we would both just like to say a huge thank you all for all your help and support.

Our friends and family were absolutely astonished at the beauty of the venue. A few of them burst into tears at the first sight of the stunning table set up and beautiful flower arrangements.

We owe so much to you Laura. You made the process of planning our wedding feel so effortless. You were always so helpful and so quick to answer our concerns and ideas. I think between us we must have sent around 300 emails!

As promised, here is our review of the wedding:

James and I found the Exclusive Italy website online and contacted Laura to explain what we were looking for and thankfully she responded very quickly and professionally. There were lots of other wedding companies, however it was Laura’s professionalism and enthusiasm that appealed to us the most and their website looked very impressive.

We thought that the whole process would be difficult and stressful but having Laura made things so extremely easy – she was able to send pictures of different table arrangements, flowers, advice on hair stylists and makeup artists, legal requirements, hotel options, videographers and photographers. She would always answer our concerns and ideas quickly and it was so easy to communicate via email.

We stayed in Bellagio a few days before the wedding. Laura had arranged Sara and Martina to meet with us a few days before the wedding to go over final arrangements They were both so nice and extremely supportive. It really was a pleasure to have them as part of our wedding. They were both so friendly and we immediately felt confident that we were in good hands!!

The venue on the day was spectacular. We had visited Villa del Balbianello when on holiday 4 years ago and fell in love with the place. We had arranged for 2 separate boats – one for the bride and father and one for the guests. On arriving at the villa we were immediately stunned at how beautiful it was and the smell of fresh flowers and lilies was breathtaking. Sara and Martina co-ordinated the wedding beautifully. There were extremely efficient and ensured everything went to plan which meant that we could relax without having to worry. We had also arranged for a videographer, Andrea, who was amazing and very discrete on the day. We received the video only a few weeks after the wedding and we were thrilled with the results – it really captures the emotion of the day and we get to relive our beautiful day every time we watch it! After the ceremony we all enjoyed a wonderful meal under the loggia, which was provided by the caterers from Lido di Lenno. It was amazing to experience panoramic views of the lake whilst enjoying beautiful Italian food. The day came to a close with dancing to a few of our favourite songs under the stars. It was breathtaking. Thanks to Exclusive Italy we have been able to fulfill our dream wedding and one of the happiest days of our lives. We will be forever grateful.

Lots of Love

Sophie and James xxxxxxx

Thank you James and Sophie for your lovely words!



Dear Mrs Frappa, i’ve read the story about James and Sophie and ofcourse saw the pictures. As my fiance and myself are looking for a weddinglocation in Italy I had no orther option than to contact you right away. The wedding we’d like to have is similar to that of James and Sophie, but only ceremonial, making it a ‘dream wedding’ for us and our patents
Since we will be wedded afterwards in The Netherlands where all of our friend and family can attend and getting married twice is unlawfull and makes things needlesly complex.
Dear Mrs Frappa, would you be interested to help us for our ‘big day’?
Kind regards,
Sven Pook

Years ago, I found in an old book, a black and white picture of this villa. I was entranced.

It looked a bit different then..the stairs went straight down into the sea and as an artist, I imagined it as it once might have been on a summers day 900 years ago,..colorful, and peopled with bathers and friends, so I painted it as I imagined it..

It might have been in that day and age the most beautiful place in the world.

I took a game name on grepolis to reflect this..”COMODESTI”,..because if I ever could..LakeCOMO would be my DESTInation. :)

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