Today we are heading to Italy for this sweet elopement along the lake – filled with rich colors and the sweetest backstory of how this couple planned their destination elopement …

What inspired you to choose to do a destination Elopement?

Before we were even engaged, Casey and I agreed neither of us wanted a big wedding with all the lead up events. Traditional engagement parties, showers and bachelor/ette weekends didn’t feel right to us. We both have a passion for travel and exploring new things and places together. A destination elopement felt perfect. Also as a meetings and events manager for a major corporation, I plan a lot of large-scale events. I didn’t want to plan another one for our wedding day, but I loved planning our destination elopement trip…which Casey took a major lead on! In what ways did you personalize your wedding day? The entire day felt very much us. We did all the things we normally do together. The laid back, casualness made our day so relaxed. We started the morning with breakfast together just the two of us. Bonus: it was a cold and rainy morning so the property caretaker lit one of the fireplaces at the villa. It was just the two of us sipping coffee in front of the fire, looking at the lake and talking about the day. We got ready in the same room (until I kicked him out for my final prep!), ate cheese and a charcuterie board and sipped champagne. We did everything together. For my wedding jewelry, I wore an opal ring on my right hand borrowed from my maternal grandmother. We are incredibly close and share the same birth month so having a piece of her there with me felt so special. I also wore pearl earrings from my paternal grandmother who passed away when I was 18.

What were your favorite wedding day details?

The overall experience we created. Coffee together in the morning around the fireplace. The ease of getting ready together. Sipping Champagne we bought from the previous week we spent in France. Spending the morning with our parents. We also love being on the water. I recently taught Casey how to drive a boat so arranging a private, classic Como boat to take us around the lake for pictures was a dream. It was just us on the water–our happy place. The evening ended with a fabulous dinner at Tigli in Theoria. We shared amazing wine and food with my parents followed up drinks and our own dancing upstairs in their bar area (which they kept open just for the four of us).

What was the inspiration/theme behind your elopement?

Casey grew up traveling the world with his family. I grew up spending summer at my family’s lake house and love to travel. I easily converted Casey to a lake-lover. We both love sharing good food and wine. What location could be more perfect? Lake Como combined our love of travel, water, food and wine. It was also a location neither one of us had been to so we could explore it for the first time together.

Tell us a little bit about how you chose your flowers, venue, and dress:

Flowers — I didn’t want to preplan a lot of the smaller details. Once we arrived to Lake Como, the villa recommend a local florist. We drove to the next town over, ordered our flowers on Tuesday for our Thursday wedding. It was local, authentic and perfect. Venue — Casey found the venue! He has an incredible talent for finding wonderful hotels for our travels. He showed me photos of the venue during a date night. I instantly fell in love. It photographed beautifully, felt small and authentically Italian. Dress — I knew I wanted something a bit untraditional while still fitting into a romantic, fall Italian setting. A high-low skirt paired with a bodysuit and lace overlay (that I wore backward) felt like an appropriate mix of traditional, classic and modern. I was actually on a last minute trip to LA for work and made an appointment at the dress store which happened to be close to my hotel. I tried on the skirt I found online with two top options and ordered on the spot.

Overall, do you have any special advice you would like to share with other brides to help prepare them for their destination elopement?

1) Pick your important details. For us it was an amazing photographer, venue and good food and wine. We purposely didn’t plan other smaller details and found local vendor once we arrived…like our florist or bakery for our traditional cream wedding dessert. It took a lot of pressure off having every detail planned out in a foreign country. 2) Hire a good team that you trust and shares your vision. We were legally married in Italy which meant we had a lot of bureaucracy to work through. Because of timing for appointments, we didn’t know 100% our legal civil ceremony would happen until two weeks before we left for Italy. We couldn’t have done it without Victoria our translator and advocate with local government officials. We instantly click with our photographer Rochelle. We loved her style and she really understood what we wanted to capture during the day. We felt completely at ease with her which came across in our photos. At one point when I was getting ready, I looked out the villa window. Victoria and Rochelle were arranging chairs (best for photos!) and working with the local officiant. I trusted them implicitly and just had to walk down the stairs to the ceremony. 3) Go with the flow. It was raining for days and up to 30 minutes before our ceremony. Luckily we were able to hold the ceremony outside but we had backup plans that would have been wonderful. The rain also changed our photography locations. I think they turned out better than planned. We picked our dinner venue with our parents that day. We didn’t stress about small things evolving because the things that were important to us were consistent–each other, our parents there, great photography and food and wine.

We would love to hear how you met? Or, How did you get engaged?

How we met….We met on a dating app. After talking for a few days via the app he asked for drinks and dinner. I told him let’s start with drinks and we’d see how that went before I committed to dinner. We met for drinks…followed by dinner. We talked every day since that first date. How we got engaged..We had only been dating for a couple months but already discussed marriage. We didn’t know when but we knew we’d know when it would feel right. While in the midst of planning a joint birthday trip to Europe, we were discussing what countries and cities we had both been two and where we wanted to explore together. It was a Monday night sitting on the couch in active wear. I looked at him and said, “Should we just get married when we’re in Como?” He instantly agreed it was perfect. We opened a bottle of wine—or two. After discussing plans (wedding style, just us, what kinds of rings we wanted, etc.), he used the word engaged. I froze. Although we had talked wedding plans, it didn’t occur to me we were now engaged. He lovingly laughed at me and told me that’s why he loved me. I asked if that meant I proposed? He still hasn’t answered. We were in Miami two weeks later on vacation; we Ubered to Cartier to look at the Trinity rings which were Casey’s suggestion. We both loved they were classic but non-traditional standing for love, fidelity and friendship. We jointly picked out our rings, planned the entire elopement…then told our family and friends.

Photography: Rochelle Cheever | Ceremony Venue: Villa Regina Teodolinda | Event Planning: Victoria Lutterdot | Floral: Barbara Botta | Catering: I Tigli in Theoria | Beauty: Samantha Pretto | Other Services: Published + Pretty | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: J.Hilburn | Ties: Eton Tie | Cufflinks: Burberry | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry: Cartier | Groom’s Belt: Gucci | Submitted via: Matchology

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