A Joyful and Colorful Summertime Wedding in Lake Como, Italy
Mauro waited seven years to propose to Julia so the longtime couple could avoid the "darned seventh year," a belief in Swiss culture that most couples begin to fight—or break up—in the seventh year of dating. (Mauro and Julia live in Basel, Switzerland.) Clearly, they made it—because two years after he popped the question, the couple tied the knot during a destination wedding on Lake Como, Italy, a place that is special to both Mauro and Julia: The groom's father lives near the lake and the couple, together, enjoyed their first-ever romantic weekend away on its shores.
Plus, the location "is pretty much exactly half of the distance between Mauro's family that lives mostly in [Southern] Italy and my family that lives mostly in Switzerland," says Julia, making it easier for couple's 150 guests to make the August 18, 2018, wedding. With the location set, the couple began to plan what Julia describes as a "joyful and colorful Mediterranean summer party," one so focused on food and fun that they didn't even select a formal color palette—though blues and peaches are prevalent. The Lake Como Wedding Planner made sure the fête felt refined and elegant.
"I guess it was one of the very few destination weddings for most of our friends and family—especially the Swiss [group]—and they all enjoyed spending a weekend in beautiful Italy so much," says Julia. "The fact that they had to travel and sleep at the location [Villa Erba] made our wedding very special, because of the commitment of our guests: Nobody was in a hurry to take the last train, bus, or taxi home—or to get their children to bed."
A Classic Engagement Ring
When Mauro proposed, he did so with a classic ring: Cartier's Solitaire 1895.
A Venue with a View
Villa Erba offered an epic background for the couple's wedding. Not only was the villa a stunning, ivy-covered castle-like structure, but the grounds offered multiple gardens and lawns for the couple to utilize on the big day.
Shhh My Darling designed an invitation suite inspired by the frescoed walls of Villa Erba. "The inside of the envelopes was inspired by a pattern painted on the walls of the dining room," Julia shares.
A Bespoke Wedding Dress
Julia's Galia Lahav wedding dress was custom-made, "because I wanted a different kind of décolleté," Julia explains. (The neckline features lace dipping into a subtle sweetheart bodice.) But her favorite part of the dress? "The thousands of layers of tulle," Julia says. "I've never imagined that tulle can be so delicate and soft!"
For the Groom
Mauro kept his look classic: He donned a midnight-blue tuxedo and black shoes.
Julia and Mauro didn't have a bridal party, but they did have two flowers girls who wore rose-hued tulle dresses and faux floral crowns.
The little attendants carried white wicker baskets filled with ivory rose petals, which they scattered down the aisle.
Filled with Flowers
Florist Rattiflora used delphiniums, roses, spray roses, and dahlias in hues of peach, pink, and cream to decorate the ceremony site—a garden on Villa Erba's grounds.
Last Row of Ceremony Chairs
The ceremony's floral arrangements looped around the top mouth of the aisle, hugging the last row of guests' chairs.
Walking Down the Aisle
Julia was escorted down the aisle by her father, while Christina Perry's "Thousand Years" played.
Ceremony Seats for Two
The couple sat during a portion of the ceremony, which included readings by Julia's mother and sister and Mauro's brother. The couple also wrote their own vows.
During cocktail hour—held within view of Lake Como—guests could enjoy a classic Italian Aperol spritz.
Guests also enjoyed a selection of appetizers during cocktail hour, including cheeses, cured meats, and canapes.
Fish served with a light sauce and slivered nuts was just one colorful food option.
Famous Table Names
The couple didn't have escort cards. Instead, they asked Shhh My Darling to draw table plans with their chosen table names—named for famous couples, including Barbie and Ken and Tarzan and Jane.
Julia and Mauro's reception was held inside one of Villa Erba's dining rooms. To complement the room's bright and bold walls, the couple opted for gray table cloths and gold chairs.
For the centerpieces, the couple wanted their florals to reflect "the colors found in the villa," Julia says, which made for bright arrangements of peach, pink, purple, and yellow blooms.
Julia and Mauro gave their guests a sweet treat as favors: boxes of Swiss pralines customized with the couple's logo.
Photography, Oliver Fly
Location, Villa Erba
Event planning, The Lake Como Wedding Planner
Catering, Class Eventi
Stationery, Shhh My Darling
Cake, Ramperti Pasticceria
Music and lighting, Blunotte Eventi
Bride's gown and veil, Galia Lahav