I had the great privilege to shoot the wedding of Anastasia and Mike.
This Canadian couple was married on sunny Lake Como.
The bridal parties got ready at the sublime Grand Hotel Tremezzo and arrived by boat at the unforgettable Villa del Balbianello. After an intimate ceremony and cocktail hour, the reception was held at the very exclusive lower lakeside terrace ending in a stupendous firework show and an awesome dance party.
How we met – My husband and I met through mutual friends but with him in Vancouver and myself in Los Angeles, we started our relationship as long-distance pen (Blackberry!) pals. After a year of daily phone calls and messages, he booked a spontaneous trip to San Francisco for a music festival and we fell for each other on a road trip up the coast. By the time we made it to San Francisco we were together and six years later we re-enacted that that same drive from Los Angeles up the coast – only this time he ended it with a proposal by the water in Big Sur. We bounced from LA to London and now reside in NYC. I am currently at Columbia Business School and Mike is a mobile consultant.
What makes our wedding special – Coming from opposite coasts (Vancouver and Toronto) yet having lived in LA, NYC, and London – we were torn on picking a city to celebrate in Canada. Mike and I both love the water and always wanted to get married with a view of the ocean but never envisioned a beach ceremony. With the Caribbean off the table, we started our search in the US but when we ran into problems with our venues in Miami and Malibu – we decided to start looking in Europe. We never dreamt we’d have our wedding in Italy but after seeing a few photos of Villa del Balbianello we were convinced. We were so convinced that we booked every venue for the weekend without even seeing it in person!
We wanted the natural beauty and magic of the lake to shine through so didn’t want to overcomplicate any design elements. I worked from NYC with the Lake Como Wedding Planners who envision and execute beautiful celebrations with style. They helped me plan a relaxed and fun lakeside weekend – guests were met with an Aperol-Spritz themed welcome bag before heading to the welcome beach party (complete with a Como thunderstorm and power outage!), a post-rehearsal pizza party lunch at Grand Hotel Tremezzo, and boat tour of the lake on Saturday. On Sunday, the guests, groomsmen, and bridesmaids arrived by boat at Villa Balbianello and after a beautiful ceremony, toast-led cocktail hour, and lakeside reception – we ended the night with our first dance (Sunday kind of love thanks to our getting married on a Sunday), fireworks and an unforgettable party until the morning hours.
Wedding style – I wanted something dramatic and timeless and was looking for a dress without lace or embellishments that was both modern and minimalist. I finally decided to try Moda Operandi where some of my favorite ready-to-wear designers sell. After seeing the Elizabeth Kennedy bridal collection, I knew I had found a designer I loved. I couldn’t decide between the dramatic cape and dramatic sleeves so decided to wear both Elizabeth Kennedy dresses for both my ceremony and then the reception. I absolutely loved both dresses and am in awe of Elizabeth’s talent as a young, female made-in-NYC designer.