Luxury Italy Wedding at Villa Balbiano
Dreamy destination weddings are just one of the many things we love about what we see every day here at Wedding Sparrow... The amazing vendors who pull together all the details in the most romantic and elegant ways are our heroes. Today's romantic and whimsical wedding on Lake Como, planned and designed by Cento Rose Un Tulipano, will take you to the shores of Italy, to Villa Balbiano. From there, we'll let the images from Donny Zavala tell the rest of the story!
The first step in wedding planning for us was to find a location. We had some logistical issues because my husband's family lives in Europe and the East Coast while mine live in the Middle East and West Coast. We ultimately decided to get married in Italy. From there my mother - in - law’s friends knew a wonderful wedding planning company named Centro Rose Un Tulipano that is ran by two chic architects who helped us pull of a three day wedding celebration in Lake Como at the gorgeous Villa Balbiano! I wanted my wedding to be an ethereal and whimsical garden soiree.
After deciding on Italy as our destination, we started really diving into the venues and areas. I knew that I wanted to have my wedding by water so that left me with the coast line and lakes. We also wanted somewhere pretty accessible within a three hour radius of a major airport. We decided on Lake Como because it is so stunningly beautiful that I fell in love with the town instantly. My wedding planner showed me Villa Balbiano and I honestly do not have words for how breathtaking the grounds are there. The villa has a modern feel while still keeping true to its 16th century roots. There are so many antiques inside it felt like a glamorous museum.
Bridesmaid styling kept me up at night. I didn't make a solid decision on bridesmaid dresses until the very last minute. There were so many options yet nothing that really spoke to me. I knew I wanted to have a compilation of different dresses that flowed well with each other in a similar color pattern as I wanted each of my bridesmaids to feel special. After searching for months I finally found my dresses. My two maids of honor wore different yet complementary dresses that had a bit of a sexy edge to them while my three bridesmaids wore the same sequin plunge neckline dress that was universally beautiful on everyones body type (one of them was pregnant and she looked stunning). All the dresses were in rose gold and they played up the blush colors I had throughout my Alba overskirt.
I went dress shopping all over NYC and LA and I still couldn't find my perfect dress. After chatting to a girlfriend about my dress struggles she referred me to Galia Lahav’s Flagship store. She was raving that I would find exactly what I wanted there and she was right! I tried on my Alba dress and I was flooded with all the feel good / oh my god I am getting married feelings that everyone expects to get when they find their one true dress!
After going to what seemed like thousands of bridal salons across the nation, I can honestly say Galia Lahav’s gowns and stylists are the best. At Galia Lahav’s I was treated like absolute royalty. My Stylist Anthony really listened and gave me good honest advice while picking out which one of the many gorgeous gowns to call mine. After picking out my custom sweetheart neckline Alba gown I was escorted back to the dressing room where three consultants took every measurement possible on my body ...TWICE! They double checked everything along with photos to make sure my dress fit me like a glove. I was so impressed with the attention to detail! When my dress arrived 3 months later it fit me like a glove. There were very minimal alterations needed. The tailors at Galia were phenomenal, they were so knowledgeable and sweet that I didn't want my fitting appointments to end. I loved every minute of being a GL bride.
We really wanted the wedding to feel intimate. It was very important and it was something that we always came back to when making decisions about the celebration. It's very easy to get caught up in planning mode and forget the reason everyone is coming together. We wanted to spend time with our guest and let them know how important they were to us and how thankful we were to have so many people come to Lake Como for our wedding weekend.
I enjoyed seeing everything come together. All the hard work we did for 9 months finally coming to fruition was so rewarding. Its crazy how a blush skirt over your dress can spark ideas for flowers in the ceremony and table settings for the receptions and then seeing it all look so effortlessly put together was a sign that everyone involved made a contribution to something magical.
The best advice I can give to brides is to go with their gut feelings. There are a lot of decisions to make and so many options that it really does get overwhelming. When I found myself getting stuck I always went with my gut.
In Lake Como there is always the possibility of rain. On my wedding day it was beautiful outside. The whole day was sunny up until 30 minutes before our ceremony was about to start. The clouds came rushing in out of nowhere and it was looking more and more like it was going to rain. Everyone was rushing around and still moving things along according to plan. Our guests were seated, our officiant was at the podium and the groom and his groomsmen were all outside ready for me to walk out when it starts to pour down rain. My father - in - law runs to the door and yells for all the guests to come inside where I was standing. In a rush not to be seen before the ceremony I ran into a walk in closet sized chapel and closed the door. The chapel was being used to house all the patio cushions from the villas outdoor furniture. Not knowing exactly when the rain would stop or if it would stop I decided to make myself comfortable on the royal velvet blue chair amongst the cushions. At this point in time I was devastated thinking my whole wedding was ruined. Thankfully I had the best bridesmaids who came to my rescue and all toppled into the little chapel with me. We ended up having a little photoshoot to pass the time and they are the photos with my bridesmaids I will cherish the most. Luckily, about twenty minutes later the rain stopped, the sun came out and my wedding was more beautiful than I could imagine. However, I will never forget the mini chapel or my amazing friends who cheered me up.
Planning and Production: Cento Rose Un Tulipano | Hosted by: Timor Rodriguez | Photographer: Donny Zavala | Photo Assistant: Tanja Kibogo | Catering: Federico Salza Catering | Lighting and Sound: GB Audio | Music and entertainment: Shine Live Band | Flowers: Rattiflora | Gown: Galia Lahav | Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana | MUAH: Anna Kalytyak | Venue: Villa Balbiano | Videographer: Sergei Andreev