Ruby, owner of organic, vegan hair salon, Ruby B and Greg, a broker at super yacht company Yacht Zoo (just head-on over there and dream my friends) tied the knot on 29th August 2022 with the most beautiful and romantic Lake Como wedding.
The couple held their day across two spectacular villas, Villa Del Balbianello and Aura Del Lago, and hired Italian wedding planners, I do In Lake Como & Sicily. The bride wore the most spectacular gown by Marchesa for Pronovias, and one of the best things they did was hire the incredibly talented Sandra of Divine Day Photography. Enjoy Sandra’s simply divine images.
Venue & Location
A key driver for choosing the locations was that we both like unique experiences. Different to the norm.
Greg moved to Monaco in the summer of 2017. We wanted a ‘local’ break away and looked around. Bellagio, Lake Como was chosen by chance and every year since we go to Lake Como. Same weekend, same hotel, and even the same room at Hotel Florence, Bellagio.
We had visited Villa Del Balbianello the year prior and fell in love with the location. It has been the venue for several iconic films over the years, from Star Wars to James Bond, and that was just a bonus. It wasn’t discussed much at the time, but I think we both knew it was location number one should that time come.
A Marchesa for Pronovias Wedding Dress
My dress was the Yiya design, from the Marchesa for Pronovias collaboration. Pronovias were incredible, and started off my experience with lots of champagne and a lovely conversation between a bridal dress specialist for about 10min.
She then went and pulled about 6-8 dresses from the rack in styles and shapes she thought I would like from the conversation and after seeing my style as well.
I actually ended up choosing the first wedding dress I had ever tried on with them, and the whole experience was flawless. They were not pushy, and every question they answered in the best detail possible.
Even when I asked if it would be possible to change things to dresses I had tried on they were most accommodating.
I had four dress fittings with them once I had chosen the dress, which after trying it on I decided around a week later after trying on various others from other shops.
They were my best wedding dress experience BY A MILE! The fittings were very professional and the dress alterers were exceptional and were so helpful in every step. Highly recommend.
I just fell in love with the romantic feel of my dress. We got married in Lake Como, which itself is very beautiful and romantic so I felt it just fit the scene perfectly. I knew I wanted a dress that I not only felt amazing in but also would be a style of a dress I would never get to wear again which made it even more special.
I believe after trying on so many shoes and styles of dresses that A-Line dresses are so complimentary on most figure types.
I have a small waist, which it accentuated, but this dress was something I knew I would feel so comfortable in all day, as well as having the special elements to it as well. I did not want a very traditional dress, but I liked that my dress had some simple traditions like a little bit of lace, but doing it in a modern bride way as I felt that was very me.
It was a heavy dress with lots of layers, but I feel like that was something regardless of hot weather I didn’t want to factor in my decision.
Jewellery & Scent
I wore Greg’s late grandmothers emerald broach under her dress.
Shoes, Veil & Accessories
I wore the India veil from Pronovias. It really complimented the dress perfectly, and for me made it even more statement.
I got a small clip to go in to the side of my knotted bun from an online website called Liberty in love – it was very good quality.
My bridesmaids dress were from Birdy Grey. I chose black as my bridesmaid colour, as it photographs perfectly, everyone figure wise always feels good in black, and a lot of our stationary was also black and white theme so went well.
How They Met
We met by being set up by our respective house mates at a House party in September 2013.
We got engaged on 8th January 2021 in the Maldives, after managing to get out of the country prior to further lockdowns.
It was at an underwater room (“Aqua Villa”) in the Pullman Maldives Maamutaa resort.
Hiring an Italian Wedding Planner
We had a planner who was instrumental in everything we wanted., Zaira Lo Piccolo of, I do In Lake Como & Sicily.
We originally didn’t think we’d need one. But when we tried booking venues, we were ignored. We Googled local planners in Bellagio, Lake Como. Zaira promptly got back to our enquiry, and we soon met over zoom. Requested the initial things we knew we wanted, and within two weeks, deposits were paid, and bookings were made.
A Lake Como Wedding Ceremony
My father, Anthony Byrne, walked me down the aisle. On the way to the Villa Del Balbianello, I left the hotel (Grand Hotel Serbilloni) with my bridal party, parents and hair and make up team.
We had a beautiful bridal boat where we could all take in the amazing scenery through our moments of nerves and excitement.
There is a short up hill walk you must take up to the arches in Villa Balbianello so my flower girl and bridesmaids got in to the correct positions and all walked up before me. This gave me the opportunity to have the walk and one on one time with my father who accompanied me on the walk where he consoled me and made me feel calm. Something very important, and moments either of them will never forget.
We had one reading, but a close relative, Peter Field (Greg’s late grandmother’s brother in-law). It was called ‘This is a Story About Love‘ – an extract from Corinthians.
Our rings were Tiffany.
Divine Day Photography
Sandra of Divine Day Photography, was a recommendation to us and upon seeing her work, was a no brainer. Amazing style. On the day she was superb. She knew what she wanted from the images and didn’t stop ’till she got it. She had full control!
We used Marco Abba for our wedding videos – he was a recommendation from one of my salon clients. Due to back logs in the wedding calendar, we are expecting the video in early 2023.
Transport by Boat
Being on the lake, it was a must to have boats transport guests and the bridal party. Working in the yachting industry, the groom was adamant to have a classic Riva Tritone to take the bride and groom from the ceremony to the reception.
Arriving by boat for ourselves in a Riva was one moment we will never forget and having that 20-30min between venues on a boat just the two of us alone in a time where everyone wants to talk to you was ideal.
We purposely planned everything in secret and did not tell any guests or relatives anything about our day. We didn’t even tell them the venue. I think this added to the spectacle of the day, and we loved how surprised and excited everyone was. This heightened our emotions of feeling even happier on our day and made every moment and special thing we had planned even better. The bride
We always wanted to let the beautiful venues we had speak for themselves so didn’t want to add too much or take away from how they original are. So we opted for all white roses and flowers which dark green stems.
Lake Como properties are beautiful all year round. Most already with superb gardens already in place. We worked closely with our florist to add some extra details in the form of white and green flowers. Large white roses were the main choice. Our ceremony aisle was lined with greenery and roses, along with cascading decorations from the veranda at Villa Aura.
We had a white and black theme in our stationary so wanted to compliment that as we chose for flowers to be decorated on things like our table plan and welcome signs. White roses are our favourite, and is something Greg has always bought me every week whilst we have lived together these past 9 years.
Our flowers were by Barbara Botta.
During our reception at Aura Del Lago, we had The Function Band, who were incredible. They were definitely the most expensive part of our wedding, but worth every penny. We have always thought that entertainment (music) is so important at a wedding, along with a complimentary bar.
Our caterer was Class Eventi and they made our cake too. It was a simple design, with floral decortion. We have a cat, Chester, and obviously couldn’t bring to the wedding day, so we had a small sculpture made of him, and had the caterers made it look like he was eating some of the cake.
Louise Ralphs, Owner of Lou Paper to produce everything from our Save the dates, to our fans/order of service. Everything personalised, was all curated through Lou Paper.
Donating to Charities instead of Favours
We didn’t go down the conventional route for favour, since they tend to get left behind, or lost during the evening, instead we had something different. We worked closely with our stationer, Louise. Each table had a placemat. On said placemat we had details of a charity that we had donated to, on the guests’ behalf.
Charities chosen for each table had helped, or is helping a close relative of a guest, or the guest themself on that table. x10 tables in total so x10 charities, including British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer Research foundation, Shelter, NSPCC, Tenovus Cancer Care, Little Princess Trust, Royal National Institute of Blind People, RSPCA, MyAware and Red Cross.
Evening & Dancing
Our first dance was to ‘Sometimes you can’t make it on your own’, by U2.
A song either of us didn’t know too well before we started the process of planning a wedding, but the words were so poignant and special as it talks about how its ok to lean on someone and all your troubles and fears you can rely on someone to help you through.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
Take every moment in, even the stressful parts.
Plan, plan, plan! The best thing we did was get a planner, even if you think you can do everything on your own, it’s their job to fill in any gaps you may forget (which you will). A planner is worth it purely on the coordination of your day. We did not have to worry about a thing on our day which made the day even better for us.
Remember if there are things that may not go to plan, none of your guests know that, so don’t let it upset you.
Take moments through your day, where it is either just you, or you and your partner and take everything in. Seeing your guests happy faces really brightens up your day.
Where possible, make sure you put your bar on the dancefloor, as then that means there is always someone on the dancefloor.
We had a Cuban Cigar and Whisky corner, with outdoor lounge seating which was a big hit with guests. Those who didn’t fancy using the dance floor could be found there.
Along with a 360-photo booth which went down a treat. The booth was provided by Over The Box Italia. We were the first to ever use one in Lake Como and as a result was very hard to track down someone local.
We were a little clueless with wedding costs prior to organising, and its safe to say our budget was exceeded. A few times over! But worth it.
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Divine Day Photography
- Videography - Marco Abba
- Planner/Stylist - I do In Lake Como & Sicily
- Ceremony Venue - Villa Del Balbianello
- Reception Venue - Aura Del Lago
- Dress - YIYA, via the Marchesa for Pronovias Collection
- Veil - India veil from Pronovias
- Hair Accessory - Liberty in love
- Shoes - Jimmy Choo, Aveline 100
- Perfume - Byredo Gypsie Water + Byredo Blanche
- Groom - Jacket + Shirt + Trousers + Shoes, all via Suit Supply
- Bridesmaids - Birdy Grey
- Flowergirl Dresses - JJs House
- Florist - Barbara Botta
- Cake & Catering - Class Eventi
- Transport - Bellagio boat Service & Como Classic Boats
- Lighting - Franco Pozzi
- Entertainment - Blunotte
- Rings - Tiffany
- Stationery - Lou Paper
- Hair Stylist - Ruby B