Cara and Greg met at a party in college and they have known each other since they were 19. A little over 5 years ago, Greg asked Cara to be his date for his twin brother’s wedding, and they've been together ever since. The couple now live together in Hoboken, NJ, a short commute across the Hudson River to their jobs in NYC, where Greg is a private wealth advisor and Cara works in digital media/publishing. They are opposites in many ways, but are lucky enough to share the same values and make each other laugh.
There are a few different reasons that the couple chose to get married in Italy and at Villa Lario Resort Mandello. They are both from Italian families, and wanted a small wedding - "but honestly, it was the very first idea we blurted out, almost as a joke/fantasy. Then the more we looked into it, the more it seemed doable and perfect for us." Cara didn’t have a dream wedding in her mind growing up, but she did always have an inkling that I would do a destination wedding. "It was simple for us to decide on Lake Como, for it’s close proximity to Milan (where I studied for a semester in college, and easy access to an airport) but more importantly for its stunning views. The water is serene, the mountains are majestic, and the towns have old-world charm. And it almost goes without saying but, we knew the food and wine would be incredible anywhere in Italy - which were the highest priorities on Greg’s list. Lastly, we loved the idea of spending not just one day, but a weekend with our closest friends and family. We are so grateful that our parents made it possible and that so many of our dearest friends were able to make the trip and share this once in a lifetime experience with us."
The couple had 84 guests, "- it was the perfect size. Big enough to feel like a party, but small enough to spend some time with everyone. Greg wore a classic Georgio Armani tux (staying true to our Italian location) but made it more modern by ditching shirt studs and socks, and choosing a covered placket shirt and suede Salvatore Ferragamo loafers instead. He looked so sharp, handsome, and just formal enough." Cara wore a dress by Alon Livné White. "It was so perfectly “me”, I still can’t believe I found it. It wasn’t exactly easy. I searched high and low for a dress that felt cool and modern, but still a bit classic. I love a good slip dress but it didn’t make enough of a statement for my wedding day. When I stumbled upon the dress online, I immediately called the only boutique in New York that carried it (Mark Ingram Atelier) and went to try it on. It was everything I imagined it to be. I loved the clean lines of the skirt, and the balloon sleeves were the fashion statement I had been looking for. There was something about it that just fit the old Italian style of Lake Como perfectly as well. I could have walked down the aisle barefoot and still felt amazing in that dress, but… I found these beautiful jacquard print kitten heels from Tabitha Simmons for my something blue. I’m not usually a floral print girl, but these felt so unique and almost vintage. Because my dress didn’t have a train, I added some drama to my look with a long cathedral veil for my church ceremony, from Sara Gabriel. They were so great to work with - I made some customisations to a style they have and ordered it online, which can feel risky for a big purchase but it worked out!" As for jewelry, Cara borrowed her mother’s diamond studs for the ceremony, then switched to asymmetric gold and pearl earrings at dinner for another fun fashion moment.
Cara and Greg's guiding light throughout the wedding planning process was always to just stay as authentic to themselves and simple as possible. "We didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding… we wanted it to feel really unique to us, but also not over the top. Striking this balance was really important to feeling comfortable and excited about our wedding. Music was a big part of that. We curated every single song on the playlist for our dinner and for our DJ Gabriele Cotte from Blunotte Eventi, so it was a true reflection of us and our taste. We also stumbled upon a guitarist playing Bob Dylan songs outside our restaurant as we ate dinner in Bellagio on our first visit to Lake Como. As a huge Dylan fan, it felt like fate and we asked him to play at our wedding during the aperitivo. I was also a little nervous about being the center of attention and having all eyes on us, so creating an ambience that felt relaxed and intimate was key. For example, by keeping the guest list smaller, we were able to do one big table that just felt like an amazing dinner party. Choosing our photographers was also a big part of feeling comfortable. Instead of being perfectly placed and posed, we loved Irina & Matej's natural, candid style that captured us just as we are."
There were a few wedding traditions that were important to Cara and Greg - beginning with the walk down the aisle. Cara wore a blusher on my veil over her face. "That small detail just felt so classic to me. That was also the first time Greg saw me on our wedding day. I know so many couples do “first looks” before the ceremony, but I just loved the idea of feeling the excitement in that moment. I guess you could say we “broke” some American traditions in favor of some Italian traditions, as we really wanted to embrace the local culture and our heritage. We opted out of a large wedding party, just my Maid of Honor and Greg’s two brothers as Best Men, which we learned was actually the Italian-way. We had so many amazing friends travel to our wedding that we didn’t want to single anyone out, and just let everyone enjoy themselves without the responsibilities."
The couple also chose a traditional Italian berry tart as their wedding cake in place of the white, tiered American version, Confetti for their wedding favours (5 sugar-coated Almonds that represent health, wealth, fertility, happiness and longevity) and they had their guests throw rice as they exited the church! "It’s not something done in the US anymore, but we loved the idea of going really old school with it. We didn’t know how much it would hurt!"
Their advice for other couples getting married? "Get a wedding planner if you can, especially for a destination wedding! All of the decisions can become overwhelming, so having someone that knows the location and can handle all the local vendors is a huge weight off your shoulders. I simply could not have done it without my planner, Angela from Lake Como Wedding Planners. Also, be patient with each other (because of said stress levels) - it will all be SO worth it when the big day comes. And don’t sweat the small stuff - things will most definitely go wrong but just roll with it. I left my bouquet from Imagi Flora back at our villa and didn’t realise it until I arrived at the church. Instead of a major meltdown or delay, I just took my Maid of Honor’s and it didn’t make a difference. That was just one of several unexpected bumps in the road, and yet it was still the best day of our lives."
Ceremony location : Chiesa dei Santi Nazaro e Celso (church in town of Bellano on Lake Como)