Real Life Wedding: Annabel & Joshua – Italy

Annabel & Joshua Falco married on 10 July 2013 at the old town Library of Bellagio in Lake Como, Italy. This was followed by a reception at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. Their wedding was an ode to heritage as Joshua’s family history in Italy made Lake Como a sentimental choice.

Why did you choose a destination wedding?

Josh and I never wanted a big wedding but still wanted something beautiful and meaningful. We loved the idea of escaping somewhere foreign with our nearest and dearest and, due to Josh’s Italian heritage, we decided on Italy. If it’s good enough for George Clooney it’s good enough for us!

Why did you select the venue?

We wanted a location that was romantic and a little secluded, so Lake Como perfectly fit the bill. After much research and deliberation, we settled on Villa Serbelloni which is a 17th century palace located on the lake overlooking the border of Italy and Switzerland.

Did you have guests attend, and if so, what was their reaction to you having a destination wedding?

There were only 12 guests – our immediate families, as well as my Grandmother and Josh’s Nonna. Both families were excited for the chance to explore Italy and Europe. It was particularly special for Nonna who had not visited her Italian relatives for 50 years.

Did you arrange any pre-wedding entertainment or activities?

All guests spent a few weeks travelling before meeting in Milan for a beautiful dinner and swapping of stories. Once we arrived at Lake Como there were plenty of delicious meals and wines to be had in the lead up to the actual day. No gelati was left unturned!

What theme or style did you base your decorations on?

With such a spectacular background we kept the decorations very simple. Local fresh flowers in shades of red adorned the ceremony and reception venue, as well as simple white candles scattered over the dinner table.

Describe your reception style, food and entertainment.

Very Italian! After the ceremony we enjoyed a private boat ride around the lake. A Michelin-star chef catered our five-course meal, which featured fish that was freshly caught from the lake. We finished the night off dancing to the hotel’s three-piece band who played classic Italian songs.

What is your favourite memory of the day?

After the ceremony, we walked with our family through the town of Lake Como and all of the locals came out to wish us well. It was a beautiful and unplanned moment.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We indulged ourselves with a ‘pre-wedding honeymoon’ in Positano (we highly recommend it!) and after the ceremony, we holidayed in Nice in the south of France before venturing up to Paris. We then finished off with a few days in London.

What was the best thing about having a destination wedding?

Travelling with our families. We have a whole month’s worth of memories, stories and treasured moments in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations.

How did your wedding coordinator assist you?

Due to the language and time barrier, we hired Sara Portello of Exclusive Weddings Italy to plan our ceremony and reception. We couldn’t have done it without her!

What’s your best piece of advice for a couple planning their own destination wedding?

Incorporate local traditions as much as possible and ensure your paperwork is up to date.

For more information about a waterfront wedding in Lake Como, check out http://www.villaserbelloni.com/Bellagio/en/weddings.html

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Wedding Gown: Zimmermann 

Shoes: Louboutin

Photographer: Luca Rajna & Les Cox