Bride and groom on the Riva boat in Lake Como

Lake Como wedding photography- Villa Giuseppina, Villa Erba and Sant’Abbondio church

Lake Como Wedding: The Ultimate Guide for Planning the Perfect 3-day wedding

Lake Como is a scenic lake city in Italy’s Central-North region. Nestled among the Alps, this picturesque destination offers the perfect backdrop for your wedding ceremony! Coupled with its charming local culture and beautiful setting, Lake Como will be an unforgettable experience for both of you on your big day.

Lace Como summer wedding

With its many enchanting estates, charming villas, and idyllic hidden coves, you’ll find that the lake is the perfect backdrop for a romantic ceremony. The perfect setting for your own fairytale wedding. Read on for our ultimate guide to planning the perfect Lake Como wedding.

Welcome to beautiful Italy. I’m pleased to share this wonderful lake Como wedding I did earlier this summer. It was three amazing days spent together with an amazing couple from Paris – Catherine and Christophe. It was three days of pure joy and happiness. Being a wedding photographer has never been so rewarding.

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When to Have Your Wedding in Lake Como?

The most popular months for a wedding in Lake Como are May, June, September, and October.

You will have a better chance of booking a weekend if you are getting married in the fall. It is also the most beautiful time of the year to get married in Lake Como. Another great time to get married in Lake Como is during the shoulder season. It is typically during the last week of October through the second week of November. You will have the best weather, but you will also have the best rate. Hotels and vendors lower their rates during this time, giving you the best value for your money.

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How to Choose the Best Location for Your Lake Como Wedding?

Lake Como is known for its Italianate architecture, stunning views, and of course its breathtaking scenery. There are plenty of amazing locations around Lake Como that will make your wedding day special. The most popular choices include:

Hotel Villa Carlotta- is a hotel with a grand location on the lakeshore. It also offers an equally beautiful garden for use in outdoor ceremonies.

Hotel Villa Maria in Laglio – This hotel is another gorgeous historical building that was originally built in 1892. If you’re looking for something a little different, this hotel also has its own private beach!

Villa Olmo- was built in 1769 and has been used for various purposes, such as silk factories and orphanages. It’s now a very popular wedding venue because it can accommodate large parties in addition to its beautiful grounds.

Villa Erba– Villa Erba, an architectural jewel built in the late nineteenth century, was the holiday residence of the Erba family. Here, the great film director Luchino Visconti spent many summers, and the rooms of the villa inspired the scenery of some of his famous masterpieces. The villa, with its frescoes, preciously carved ceilings, and mannerist-inspired rooms, is nowadays the perfect venue to host unique events.

Villa Balbianello– Beautiful terraced gardens and a picturesque structure will leave you speechless at Villa del Balbianello.

The villa is located at the tip of Lavedo headland, in the locality of Lenno (part of Tremezzina), with a stunning view of Isola Comacina and the western shore of Lake Como.

Lake Como is also known for its beautiful lakeside villas that can be rented out for weddings. You can also choose to have your wedding at one of the many outdoor locations around Lake Como such as gardens, vineyards, and more. If you are considering an outdoor wedding, it’s best to check with your hotel to ensure that they have permission from the local authorities to host an outdoor ceremony.

The most important thing is to make sure you take the time to plan your Lake Como wedding carefully and ensure that everything runs smoothly on your big day. If you choose a location with stunning views and beautiful surroundings, you will easily create memories that will last a lifetime!

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Church of Sant’Abbondio wedding ceremony near lake Como
Church of Sant’Abbondio is the best church to have a Christian wedding near Lake Como due to its location near the lake

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Three-day wedding at Lake Como

So let me tell you about this particular wedding of Catherina and Christophe. So, as I said – it’s a three-day wedding. Day one is a Christian ceremony. Also, day two is a Persian ceremony and day three is a late brunch with a post-wedding photoshoot. So let’s go through the event step by step.

 Seems like Lake Como is a wonderful part of the world where to celebrate your big wedding. So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Lake Como then look no further, you’ve found me- Janis Ratnieks.

for destination weddings, I usually arrive a day before to scout the surroundings- Janis Ratnieks

The shots above are taken on the day of my arrival. For destination weddings, I usually arrive a day before to scout the surroundings, look for locations, and check the light so that I know what to expect on the main day. Photos below are the wedding day revealed, starting out at a villa in Cernobbio, that’s the town where we were based for all three days. For bridal hair and make-up, Catherine had booked two guys from Paris. The wedding dress and all bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by a Parisian fashion designer.bridal party photography next to the Church of Sant’Abbondio lake Como wedding reception 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III decorated with white orchids Church of Sant’Abbondio wedding ceremony1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III wedding photography 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III bride and groom photography 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III groom posing for the wedding photographer in lake Como 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III photography bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como best wedding photographer in Italybride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III photographer bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como bride and groom wedding photography near the lake Como

 

Day- 1

Church of Sant’Abbondio wedding ceremony

The church is located about 40 minutes drive from Cernobbio, it’s in Mezzegra – up in the mountain, called Chiesa di Sant’Abbondio – it was a very hot day outside so the church gave us all a nice cool shelter.

 This church is a marvel of architecture. It was built in 1724 next to the previous Romanesque one and has various Rococo influences on its style. The dome fresco painted by Giulio Quaglio and the stuccos decorating the black marble altars is all remarkable works of art that make this church stand out from others.

From the churchyard, you can admire the wonderful landscape, from the Bellagio promontory to the Lenno gulf, framed by San Primo and Grigna mountains.

Upon arriving at the church the bride arrived in a luxurious 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. Wearing her stunning bridal dress, the bride greeted family and friends. Nervously, the groom awaited her at the altar.

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full moon wedding
They say that a marriage under a Full Moon is a sign of balance, equality, and unity in the relationship. Furthermore, you will experience a lifetime of passion and closeness with your partner.

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Villa Giuseppina Lake Como wedding reception venue

After the wedding ceremony, we got into a vintage white Rolls Royce and headed to the villa for the reception. Venue for that – Villa Giuseppina. On our way to Giuseppina, we had a few stops for photos. Locals were kind enough to help us out with the veil, so thank you kind man Tiziano. Images below show us how being a wedding photographer in Lake Como is so rewarding – the light is amazing and the scenery is amazing, even the kid with the fishing rod fits in well.

Built in Liberty style at the end of the 19th century, this Villa Giuseppina is considered one of the most fascinating properties on Como Lake. It’s located near Bellagio, an adorable village perched a short boat ride away from Villa Lake Como with quaint little shops and lovely waterfront promenades dotted with cafés.

The 7-bedroom villa stands surrounded by a magnificent garden where ginkgo Biloba, acacias, beech trees, and centennial olive trees live together in perfect harmony as motionless spectators to such beautiful scenery. Villa Giuseppina can sleep up to 14 people in its contemporary-classical chic bedrooms but the capacity for seated dinner is as much as 100 persons. There is also a private dock and a boat service with a boat operator and a Private helipad to access the airports in just 15-20 minutes.

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Day- 2

Persian wedding ceremony at Villa Erba

Villa Erba is a neoclassical villa on the shores of Lake Como, Northern Italy. The villa was built by Luigi Erba, son of the marquis Ludovico Erba, one of the richest men in Lombardy in the late 18th century.

The villa became the property of the Borromeo family when Luigi Erba married Carolina, daughter of count Giovanni Carlo III Borromeo. In 1919 it was sold to its final private owner and became a prestigious hotel with a world-class golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones for members only. The history of the Villa is telling about how stunning and luxurious the architecture is. The Villa Erba can accommodate up to 300 guests for a wedding ceremony and dinner, and up to 400 guests if needed.

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Catherine and Christophe held their Persian wedding ceremony in front of Villa Erba in the beautiful garden with a stunning view of Lake Como. Traditionally, one of the most notable parts of a Persian wedding ceremony is the “sofreh aghd”, where the couple sits in front of an elaborately decorated spread that represents their symbolic connection to each other and to their families and so did Catherine and Christophe. A sofreh “aghd” is typically a spread of fruits, nuts, and traditional foods from each of the couple’s families arranged in a pattern with a particular meaning. It might be a family tree or a carpet with a pattern representing the couple’s love (often with a heart shape). It is also traditional for the bride and groom to each have a special stone on the “sofreh aghd”, to represent their individual connection to the other person. After the ceremony, all the couple and the wedding guests had an amazing wedding party at the same venue.

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The reception was packed with fun activities and delicious food. Everyone danced the night away with their favorite songs and celebrated this incredible moment together.

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Seams that only one guest was ready for Hora Locca:)

Villa Giuseppina night photo wedding party

Day- 3

Wedding photography at Lake Como

One of the highlights of the Como wedding was definitely riding around Lake Como on the Riva boat. As a result, we were able to take some beautiful wedding photos in one of the most scenic locations in Europe.

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Civera bridge wedding photography in Riva boat Lake Como
This is the beautiful Civera bridge

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We highly recommend booking a cruise for your wedding day as there’s no better way to see Lake Como than from the water. You can choose from a variety of routes and boats, ranging from small motorboats to luxury yachts. The majority of cruise companies allow you to bring your own drinks and food, so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with expensive catering.

That’s it for this wedding. Meanwhile here are some credits – some of the people who made this day behind the scenes:

wedding photographer – Janis Ratnieks – www.janisratnieks.com

wedding videographer – Cedric Bolluset – www.heroin.fr

wedding planner – Sabina Domenici – www.foreveramoreweddings.com

florist – Clement Deymani

wedding venue – Villa Giuseppina

wedding venue- Villa Erba- https://www.villaerba.it/en/

We wish this happy couple all the best and may their love grow stronger with each passing year.

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Lake Como wedding photographer in Italy

And if you are looking for a Lake Como wedding photographer in Italy or anywhere else around Italy, please contact me at [email protected] or call me at +44 7979974527.

The Top 14 of the best places to take wedding, engagement, and pre-wedding photography in Lake Como.

In my more than 10 years of experience as a Lake Como wedding photographer, I can certainly recommend 14 of the top locations for engagement, pre-wedding, and wedding photography in Lake Como.

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Here are my top 14 of the most Instagramable places around Lake Como

  1. Café Rossi (Bellagio)The old-world watering hole in Bellagio is an elegant oasis. A cozy atmosphere is created by the rich woods and glittering mirrors inside; outside, tables under the arcade look out over the lake and create a sense of peace. Whether you decide to enjoy a cocktail or a coffee at the historic cafe, it is a special “Must” when you visit Bellagio.
  2. The Civera Bridge The picturesque old Civera Bridge in Nesso, originally constructed in Roman times, was reconstructed in the Middle Ages to maintain its shape and can be seen from the lake, or a short walk down the cobbled path from the main road. This is my favorite photo location around Como.
  3. Bellano- Bellano has a wonderful old town, with its narrow alleys, pretty piazzas, and charming buildings. You can walk the whole town in about 20 minutes and see the most important sights. In my opinion, it’s a must-see for anyone who is visiting Lake Como.
  4. Giardini di Villa Melzi (Bellagio)- This magnificent villa, built in 1808 for the Duke Francesco Melzi d’Eril, assistant to General Napoleon is one of the most emblematic examples of neo-classicism in Lombardy. The gardens are visitable from March to October every day from 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
  5. Fanicolare Como Brunate- The original funicular railway has linked Como and Brunate since 1894, but it’s also a chance to enjoy the enchanting views over Lake Como and the Alps.
  6. Villa Carlota Botanical garden- Villa Carlotta is both a villa and botanical garden in Tremezzo near the Italian Alps. Today, the house serves as a museum.
  7. Spina Verde Park- Spina Verde Park is a forest that covers an area of 1000 hectares. The park includes the municipalities of Como, San Fermo Della Battaglia, Cavallasca, and Colverde with 13 trails recognized by the park authority.
  8. Varenna- Located along the eastern shore of Lake Como, Varenna is a picturesque and traditional village. Those who wish to see one of the most typical towns on the lake must stop at Varenna.
  9. Orrido di Nesso- A beautiful waterfall can be found next to the Civera Bridge (Nesso). It is accessible by taking a boat or walking down the cobbled road from Nesso.
  10. Como waterfront- There are picturesque views of Lake Como from any coast or location you reach it from.
  11. Anywhere from a boat- Renting a retro Riva boat with a driver will give you the most fabulous photos of Lake Como.
  12. Lecco- The main focus in Lecco is to take a promenade around the waterfront area – this southern fork of Lake Como offers beautiful views, and you should allow enough time for strolling before heading into town.
  13. Bellagio- this town is one of the most beautiful places in the region of Lombardy, Italy. Bellagio sits halfway between the two southernmost branches of Lake Como and is well-known for its beautiful villas overlooking the water.
  14. Nesso- Nesso’s historical center is situated at the confluence of the Tuf and Nosè streams, which emerge from the Pian del Tivano and form at their confluence a ravine with a waterfall that falls into a rocky gorge.

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I have written an article on planning a wedding in Italy that you can explore here:

Planning the Perfect Wedding in Italy

best wedding photographer in Lake Como

Or if you’d like to see more of my weddings in Italy, you can browse here:

Stunning Wedding At Villa Cordevigo Lake Garda Italy

Pre-wedding photoshoot in Venice, Burano, and Dolomites, Italy

Delightful Wedding in Portofino, Italy – Villa Durazzo, Hotel Splendido and Hotel Imperiale

A Vibrant Venice Wedding in Palazzo Pisani Moretta

Lake Como wedding photographer, Villa Carlotta, Grand Hotel Tremezzo

Fantastic Portofino pre-wedding photoshoot

Florence Four Seasons Hotel Wedding In Tuscany

A colorful wedding in Salina, Sicily: the Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia, a great wedding venue

The Dream Wedding in Positano, Italy: Your Guide to Planning a Wedding in One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

 

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1 thought on “Lake Como wedding photography- Villa Giuseppina, Villa Erba and Sant’Abbondio church”

  1. Dear Janis,
    We are getting married at villa regina teodolinda, Lake Como, next june (13th) and are looking for a wedding photographer to catch our special day. We think your photography is beautiful!
    Kindly, get back to us if you are available and the cost for your service.
    Many thanks!

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela and Steven

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