Christian and Danielle’s celebration began in a small town on the western portion of Lake Como, known as Argegno. From all over the United States, their friends and family funneled to this quaint town to enjoy delectable gelato, breathtaking views, and marvel at the sites of Bellagio, Tremezzo and Varenna. The morning of the wedding came with a shockingly nerve wracking thunder storm. With a stroke of luck and a blessings from above, the clouds began to clear just as New York wedding photographer FRANCESCA DOMINIQUE was preparing to head to their getting ready location. "After capturing a few moments of Christian preparing with his groomsmen and eight month old son, we began the trek to VILLA REGINA TEODOLINDA for the remaining preparations. Once there, Danielle, with the help of her bridesmaids got into her WATTERS gown and MANOLO BLAHNIK shoes and soaked in a few moments of her own with their son, CJ, before the First Look."

VILLA REGINA TEODOLINDA is a quaint and intimate setting, nestled in the town of Laglio and overlooks the beautiful lake down below. Fully equipped with its own private dock and patio layers that each housed a different portion of their celebration. The dock itself became the sight of Christian and Danielle’s intimate first look and where they hopped on a darling vintage boat for a sunset sail on the lake. The grassy lawn below, adorned with florals designed by The Garden of Love, held their ceremony and the moments that started their beautiful marriage. The patio closest to the villa was where their party really began! Dinner was designed and served by Sunlake Catering at two long imperial tables, each hosting 20 of their nearest and dearest. From there, Christian, Danielle and their guests moved to the foyer inside for after dinner dancing and to really get the party started! 

Francesca shares, "From dawn to dusk, their day was absolutely immaculate. With a love as strong as theirs and a beautiful vision brought to life on Lake Como, it was a dream to capture."

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS LOCATION? Christian and I fell in love at a peaceful little lake during a very chaotic time. I had seen so many beautiful photos of couples on boats on Lake Como. One day I told Christian, when the day comes and we’re planning our wedding, I want a small intimate wedding with our closest love ones to celebrate our love on Lake Como. With just one glance at a photo, Christian was sold; no further convincing was necessary. 

HOW DID YOU MEET? At Equinox gym! Christian was a personal trainer and I recently joined the gym. With my membership came a free personal trainer intake & session. I was randomly assigned to Christian! The stars truly were aligned. 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Christian proposed in Scottsdale, Arizona. Prior to our trip I thought of the possibility of getting engaged out there; however, we had a European cruise booked for that summer. From all of our conversations of an Italian destination wedding I had put my eggs in the basket that he was proposing in Italy. I was certainly wrong! Christian and I had planned an excursion with ATVs and prior to leaving our hotel he asked me to go take some photos. Of course, I said yes. Christian gently kept suggesting that I change my outfit for our mini photoshoot, and I kept saying No we’re going on ATVs we’re going to get dirty… lo and behold, we went outside to take photos and he proposed… Christian knew very well that I would have loved a different outfit for our engagement photos! 

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS/ATTIRE: I was eyeing a few similar style gowns. I found a gown that I was absolutely in love with, but the cost was equivalent to our entire wedding! I ended up finding my dress at a small little boutique. With a twist of my own fashion style, I altered my dress to what became my wedding gown!

DID YOU HAVE ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Yes! I made almost all of our stationery items! I shipped mini cork bottles over to my Airbnb and made the seating arrangements with limoncello. Everyone’s menu was personalised with their name and entrée choice (a little symbol on the menu). Additionally, I created wedding programs and activity books for the kids. 

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Our wedding flowers were elegant, timeless, modern-day. We went with simple. White roses and white gypsophila. My bridesmaids had two long stem white roses. My bouquet was a bundle of long stem white roses. We greeted our ceremony space with small arrangements of white gypsophila.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: There are so many! From the backdrop of Lake Como to the property and aesthetics of Villa Regina Teodolinda, to the vintage looking ice cream truck, to the beautiful wooden boat. Everything was in the details!!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Do what YOU and YOUR spouse want. Some people will share their opinions… in the end, it’s what you two want

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Laying on the back of the wooden boat. The thrill and adrenaline leading up to the most relaxing surreal moment as husband and wife. 

WHAT ASPECT OF THE WEDDING WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU BOTH? The intimacy of being with our love ones in Italy!

ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? From midnight, the night before, until about 12pm on our wedding day, it was pouring. I could not sleep. The thunder and lightening was loud and persistent. I was so worried that my dream of a lake side wedding wasn’t going to happen! Once the rain stopped, I was so relieved!  It did end up drizzling a little during our ceremony and right after cake. The timing of the weather was really something else. 

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR HONEYMOON: We went to Sardinia for a quick honeymoon! We stayed at La Villa del Re, which was superb. 

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE OR DO DIFFERENTLY? Christian and I reflect on our wedding. We said we have a few things we would have changed. Throughout the wedding planning, Christian said he trusted my direction and vision. He said the only thing he cared about was the music. We had a lot of trust in the process that our playlist would play at our wedding. Unfortunately, it did not happen. We should have virtually met our DJ to review this. Hindsight’s 20/20. 

Our wedding night, Christian and I found ourselves trying to put our 8 month old son to sleep, we lost about 45 minutes of the party. Looking back, why did we care that his schedule would be thrown off?

A big thank you to New York wedding photographer FRANCESCA DOMINIQUE for sharing this beautiful wedding with us. Francesca strives to create meaningful and effortless experiences for her couples, from the planning of the engagement session to the curation of an heirloom and bespoke wedding album. She tells us, "My purest inspiration is found through the love that you and your fiancé share, only strengthened by the backdrop of your favourite location around the globe. By finding a balance between the gracefully editorial and playfully candid moments, I am able to showcase the essence of your most remarkable love. My goal is to create and inspire connection through art, lustful locations around the world and the documentation of your most treasured moments." See more of her portfolio here and also check out this Quintessential & Timeless New York City Elopement.