Step Into Beauty and History for a Grand Experience
One of the most revered locations in Italy, planning an elopement in Lake Como is a magical solution for any couple wanting a location that is both stunningly beautiful, steeped in history, and full of adventurous opportunities.
As more and more couples bid adieu to the stress of larger weddings, elopements and micro-weddings are becoming more popular. And with that, the opportunity to plan a destination ceremony becomes more feasible and less daunting.
As you plan your destination elopement, I invite you to consider an elopement in Lake Como for an experience you will not soon forget.
Why a Lake Como Elopement?
Maybe the better question is, why not an elopement in Lake Como?
With stately villas, stunning water, and mountainscapes that are truly out of a movie, Lake Como is romantic and beautiful — all you really need for the dream elopement.
And from a logistical standpoint, Lake Como is really easy to get to but can feel super remote (if you are staying in one of the smaller villages, especially). An easy hour and a half drive from Milan (or 2 hours by train), Lake Como is accessible but is spread out enough to give you tranquility and peace.
The area has plenty of lodging options, from ornate hotels (think the Grand Tremezzo in Tremezzina) to boutique bed and breakfasts to renting entire villas (which are especially great if you are having a micro-wedding). And, no matter where you are in the area, there is no shortage of great dining experiences.
Where to Host an Elopement in Lake Como
When you are having an elopement in Lake Como, one of the most popular things to do is to rent a villa for a few hours. Villas are a staple of Italian society and the ones in Lake Como are uniquely unforgettable.
Here are a few of my favorite villas for hosting an elopement in Lake Como. While some villas do offer overnight stays, most are only museums and gardens that are rented for events. Consider renting one or two for a few hours in order to maximize your experience and get a wide array of images.
Known as a jewel on Lake Como, Villa Monasterio is a massive, eclectic presence on the lake. Ornate and stunning, Villa Monasterio was initially, as the name suggests, a monastery for women in the 12th century. Over the centuries, it has evolved into its current state and is home to gardens, a museum, a convention center, and rooms for overnight stays.
Villa Pizzo is a prime example of a noble’s villa from the 17th century. It offers a refined and sophisticated backdrop for your elopement in Lake Como, as well as the views and gardens that you would expect.
Built during the 1600s, Villa Carlotta offers an influential merging of nature and art that exists to educate people and preserve Lake Como’s unique history. And, lucky for you, it is open for private events and elopements. With meticulous gardens and water views, it is the perfect place for a romantic elopement (and for divine images as well).
Part of your elopement experience in Lake Como is staying in a place that both pampers you and makes you feel like you are living 400 years ago. With no shortage of boutique and luxury hotels, narrowing this list down was daunting but here are a few of my favorite area hotels. But just know, there are many more options out there.
Relais Villa Vittoria
Relais Villa Vittoria is a great option for those looking to stay where they have their elopement ceremony. This lodging from the 19th century overlooks the lake and offers a quaint, captivating experience in the small town of Laglio. With an infinity pool, house kayaks, and a delicious restaurant, your stay is sure to be memorable.
This hotel also offers cooking classes, romantic dinners (perfect for after your elopement ceremony and photography session), and boat tours. When it comes to your ceremony, the hotel offers elopement-specific packages that will make planning seamless.
Hotel Villa Cipressi
More than just a hotel, Hotel Villa Cipressi offers beautiful botanical gardens, a delicious restaurant, and an opportunity to use the grounds for your elopement in Lake Como. With meticulously decorated rooms and fascinating history, staying here is sure to be memorable.
Grand Hotel Tremezzo
One of the most well-known hotels in the region, Grand Hotel Tremezzo is ornate and unforgettable. Situated directly on the water, this palace, with its ivy-covered facade, is an ode to elegance and extravagance. With unlimited photographic opportunities, you could spend days on the property celebrating your marriage.
One of the great parts about Lake Como is the wide array of experiences that are open to you. Yes, you can easily plan a villa-based elopement that will be beautiful and unforgettable but why not think outside the box a bit and plan an elopement that is both personal and fun?
While this list is not in any way conclusive, here are a few ideas for activities that could be a great addition to your itinerary.
You can’t experience Lake Como without taking a boat ride.
More than just an experience, boats are a common mode of transportation on the lake. Many locals take boats from village to village instead of cars. So while this can be a fun, touristy experience, it can easily be combined as a useful way to get to different places.
Take some time during your elopement to explore a small village or two with your photographer. Not only does this add a nice element to your image gallery, but it is also a relaxing, fulfilling experience as well.
Varenna and Lenno are my top picks for the most picturesque Lake Como villages. I could (and do) spend hours wandering these hamlets with my couples.
If hiking and adventuring are among your favorite pastimes, consider adding a hike to your itinerary and, if it is possible, have your photographer come along to document the experience.
One of my favorite easy day hikes in the area is to the Abbey of San Benedetto in Val Pereno. For a more detailed explanation of how to find the hike, you can follow this site. The abbey has an interesting history and is a great way to spend a day peacefully and quietly meditating on your marriage together.
For another day hike, consider taking the cable car from Argegno to Pigra. Once in this relatively unknown village, spend some time exploring and then take the easy, but still beautiful hike from Pigra to Alpe di Blessagro. It’s a fairly short hike, around an hour, but the views are worth it.
Advice From a Photographer for an Epic Experience
As you begin planning your elopement in Lake Como, here is some advice to get you moving forward.
When to Elope
Plan to elope between April and September. You have the best chance at great weather with less rain. Other seasons can be less expensive and less crowded but you may have to contend with some inclement weather.
Hire a Planner
Even for elopements and micro-weddings, consider hiring a planner to handle all of the details. Yes, elopements are easier to plan but having someone local who can make sure everything is set for you (and to take care of all of the little things you may have forgotten) is invaluable.
Reserve in Advance
Make sure you book your photographer, hotel, and any important dinner reservations as soon as you are able. Late spring, summer, and early fall are busy months in Lake Como and places (and services) fill up quickly).
Consider Your Ceremony
You have two options when planning a wedding in Lake Como.
You can have a legal (civil) ceremony or a symbolic one. Generally, you have to start working on getting a license for a legal ceremony months in advance and there are different rules if you are coming from a foreign country.
The other option is to have a symbolic ceremony. This option is easier and requires little-to-no paperwork and fuss. Rather, you would have the legal ceremony where you live and then have a symbolic ceremony in Lake Como.
Either way is fine, but definitely consider hiring a planner if you want to legally get married in Italy.
When hiring a photographer for your wedding, make sure you hire someone familiar with the area who knows all of the secret, unexpected places to take photos.
I also highly recommend hiring someone for the majority of the day (4-6 hours) in order to fully document your day from getting ready to all of your adventures. Even for elopements, getting ready images can be an intimate and emotive addition to your gallery. As well, having a photographer come along to different locations will add a nice depth to your collection that you may be lacking if you just hire someone for a few hours.
I’d love to talk to you about your elopement in Lake Como and see how we can work together to create the images of your dreams. Contact me today.
Planning & Organization: Love On Lake Como