Real Wedding: A Beautiful Destination Wedding on Lake Como
The couple chose a clean and simple colour palette to make sure nothing distracted from the breathtaking surroundings of their wedding day.
The groom rocked a laid-back style in a sand coloured suit, accessorised with a super-cool pair of Gucci sunglasses to offset the look. Sarah's strapless Venus Bridal dress was a fantastic choice for their sun-soaked wedding day.
Photographer | Claire Graham
The love story
Sarah and Errol met on their first day at college where they were both studying media. One year later they officially became a couple, however it took 11 years for Errol to pop the question.<br /><br />"I was past ever expecting Errol to propose," says Sarah. "He took me to Rome for my 29th birthday and proposed at night at the Spanish Steps. I was pregnant with our second child at the time."
The Italian venue
"Errol is Italian, so we always knew we would get married in Italy, and I wanted to get married by the water," shares Sarah. <br /><br />"I looked online at Lake Como and found <a href="http://www.villabalbianello.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Villa Balbianello</a>. We had mentally booked it before we even stepped off the boat. We looked at each other and knew it was the place we wanted to get married."<br /><br />"I wanted to be by the water because it has such a calming effect on both of us," she reveals.
Why a destination wedding?
"The typical English wedding never appealed to either of us and Italy is such a special place to us and our family," Sarah says of why they chose to hold an Italian destination wedding.<br /><br />"When planning the wedding, the language barrier was difficult," Sarah admits. "We got a translator in the end who was worth her weight in gold."<br /><br />"The law and documentation is very different over there, so I did a lot of research to ensure everything was perfect."<br /><br />"I found that Italians are very laid back and may not reply to your question for days, sometimes weeks, which halted a few plans. You have to put an element of trust in vendors as they hold weddings most days of the year so they know what they are doing."<br /><br />"I will say though, a destination wedding probably isn't good if you're a control freak!"
The wedding dress
Sarah's wedding dress was by <a href="http://venusbridal.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Venus Bridal</a>, bought at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/TogtherForeverBridalBoutique/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Together Forever</a> in Crayford. <br /><br />"I loved my dress more every time I put it on, and chose it based on the look of the venue," explains Sarah.<br /><br />"It was ivory satin with a mermaid tail, a silver crystal sweetheart neckline and crystal detailing on the train."
Dune wedding shoes
Sarah wore a pair of crystal encrusted shoes, courtesy of <a href="http://www.dunelondon.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Dune</a>.
"I had a full length <a href="http://www.richard-designs.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Richard Designs</a> single tier veil with scalloped edges and diamante detailing," Sarah says.
The bridesmaids' dresses
"My chief bridesmaid's dress was from <a href="http://www.oasis-stores.com/gb/home" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Oasis</a> and had a soft pink heavy pleated skirt with key hole halter neck," says Sarah.<br /><br />"My two nieces wore stunning white dresses. I had the belts changed to a soft pink. My daughter wore a gorgeous Polly Flinder dress; it had a soft pink satin underlay with a sheer white overlay covered in bows."
The groom's suit
Errol wore a light sand suit from <a href="https://www.reiss.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Reiss</a>, paired with a white open collared shirt for a cool relaxed look. <br /><br />His shoes were mahogany leather loafers from <a href="http://www.russellandbromley.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Russel & Bromley</a> with a matching belt. <br /><br />He rocked <a href="https://www.gucci.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Gucci</a> sunglasses to complete the look.
Errol's groomsmen wore the same trousers and shirt as he did, teamed with light blue jackets also from Reiss.<br /><br />They finished the look with soft pink satin pocket squares.
The wedding look
Errol and Sarah kept the decor of their big day simple, leaving the breathtaking natural beauty of the venue to speak for itself.<br /><br />"There was no theme or look for the wedding," admits Sarah. "I wanted it to look pretty and romantic and it all came together naturally."<br /><br />"I am such a colour phone, so we kept it really light and summery with soft pink and white."<br /><br />"Our day was a relaxed family get together. Couples were taking themselves off to the lake for quiet romantic moments; it was like everyone had fallen in love again."
"<a href="http://www.pirovanofiori.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Mario Pirovano</a> from Bellagio was our florist," says Sarah.<br /><br />"I gave him a rough idea of what I wanted and it exceeded my expectations. I had a mix of peonies and roses in my bouquet. The buttonholes were large roses. I chose these flowers because they were fresh and elegant."
The favours and first dance
Sarah and Errol had their first dance to Always and Forever by Luther Vandross, and gave scratch cards as favours to the men, while the ladies in attendance were given Valentina perfume by Valentino.
Advice for other couples
"Plan your wedding with yourself and your fiancé in mind," advises Sarah. "Don't go with what you think others will want."<br /><br />"Also, if you're holding a destination wedding, check <a href="http://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad%20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad</a> to make sure you have the correct documentation."