How to Elope to Lake Como, featuring Sarah & Carlos’ beautiful sunrise Varenna Elopement Photography and everything you need to know about starting to plan your Lake Como Elopement.
When Sarah first reached out to me about her Italian elopement, there was no doubt in my mind that this one was going to be special. Sarah was so sweet, and so non-plussed about tradition or putting on a show. Instead, she was just beyond excited to explore Europe with her love, and for the two of them to share their vows somewhere along the way.
Their Lake Como Elopement ended up being one of my favourites of 2022 (I know I say this about every elopement but it’s true!), and I’m so excited to share it with you today, as well as all my best tips for How to Elope to Lake Como.
VARENNA ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of How to Elope to Lake Como, I wanted to share a little about Sarah & Carlos’ beautiful Varenna Elopement Photography. Varenna, to me, is one of the lake’s most beautiful towns. I love the way its colourful buildings seem to perch themselves across the bay, stacked up precariously along high hills. The buildings and the open views across the lake to Bellagio and Menaggio make for a beautiful backdrop in and of itself, but also, Varenna is home to Villa Monastero.
Villa Monastero boasts an incredibly beautiful garden and the most charming viewpoint across the Lake, complete with colourful patterned tiles and marble columns. Sarah & Carlos didn’t want much for their Lake Como Elopement – they simply wanted to share their vows against a beautiful backdrop, a sweet little highlight of their Italian travels. Varenna and this viewpoint at Villa Monastero were perfect for that.
We woke up at sunrise, to avoid the August crowds, and made the most of the dawn light and empty streets. We stopped for breakfast at a cute café, and then headed over to Villa Monastero for opening time, where they shared their vows. Finally, we made our way down to a secret beach for a few last portraits, before Carlos went for a swim while Sarah & I chatted away.
It was a beautiful morning, and proof that you can absolutely have a relaxed, romantic elopement at Lake Como (keep reading for more on that!).
HOW TO ELOPE TO LAKE COMO
There is no doubt a reason that Lake Como is famous across the globe – and no, not just because George Clooney owns a villa there! Actually, to me, Lake Como is actually a bit of an enigma. At first glance, it can be easily to dismiss this famous location as just another overrated tourist hotspot. I think this is because so often, guests arrive as far as the town of Como itself and then that’s it.
But if you dig a little deeper, and travel a little further, you’ll find this place is filled with soul and mystery, spectacular light, hidden treasures, and a whole lot of beauty, from secret waterfalls and autumnal hikes to hot pebble beaches, epic vistas, and restaurants you’ll find yourself dreaming of years after you visited… All ingredients that make Lake Como a brilliant place to plan your Italian Elopement.
Want to know more? Then keep reading! I’ve put together this handy little guide to How to Elope to Lake Como, especially for you.
Can You Elope to Lake Como?
While Lake Como is perhaps one of the most well-known destination wedding locations in Italy, it’s less well-known for elopements. This is because there’s a common misconception that Lake Como is only for ritzy celebrations in private villas (and with excessive budgets). I’m here to tell you that this is not at all true, and that the answer to ‘Can You Elope at Lake Como?’ is absolutely yes.
Lake Como is surrounded by beautiful lakeside towns with breathtaking scenery and old villas that have been turned into museums and historic sites where you can easily elope. Sure, some of these Lake Como Elopement Locations come with hefty fees, but many of them are actually reasonably priced. You can elope here with as little as €5000 (not including flights and wedding clothes), and of course, stretching to as much as you’d like. It all depends on you, how you envision your elopement day, and of course, your budget.
Choose Your Lake Como Elopement Photographer
As always, I’d recommend that the first thing you do when you start planning your Lake Como Elopement is to choose your Lake Como Elopement Photographer. And I promise I’m not just saying this because I’ve got an obvious bias!
For most elopements, you really don’t need to engage the services of a wedding planner, especially if you’re planning a romantic elopement just the two of you, or an intimate wedding with up to 10 of your favourite people. Most Wedding Photographers have a preferred list of vendors for the locations they work in, and will be more than happy to connect you with the right people as part of their service.
Wedding and Elopement Photographers should also be able to help you choose the right location for you, including assistance understanding any permits needed. Finally, we’ll help you put together a timeline to not only make the most of your day, but also of the lighting and the photos.
Pick a Date for Your Elopement
Next up on our list of How to Elope to Lake Como, it’s time to pick a date for your Lake Como Elopement! If you can, I’d recommend already defining a rough time period for when you’d like to elope before reaching out to your photographer, and finalizing that date after you’ve talked with them.
A lot of the villas and locations where you might like to share your vows around Lake Como are available for private events or photoshoot bookings only on specific days. Your photographer can help you choose the right location for you, and book them for your chosen date. Being flexible with your elopement date is also a good idea if you have your heart set on a specific vendor or location, because it means you’re more likely to be able to find a date that works for everyone.
As for the Best Time to Elope to Lake Como? Well, anytime between April and September is perfect. And I can’t believe I’m about to say this – but yes, that includes July and August.
If you’ve ever heard me talking about weddings in Italy, you might have heard me say that July and August are the best times to avoid. In 2022 though, I spent the whole of August in Bellagio, with a fully booked calendar of weddings and shoots on the Lake, and it was really so special. The weather was temperate, the water was warm, it was easy to escape the crowds with some clever planning, and my favourite gelato stores were open every day 😉
If you’d like to know more, get in touch! I’d love to help you plan your Lake Como Elopement (and I have a couple of dates left for this year between June and August!).
Best Lake Como Elopement Locations
Without a doubt, the Best Lake Como Elopement Locations are all located in the Central Lake area. This includes the towns of Bellagio, Varenna, Tremezzo, Menaggio and Lenno. Most of these towns have a historic site that makes for a beautiful spot to share your vows, they’re all easily accessible with regular ferries, and each town is just ethereally beautiful in and of itself.
A few of the most popular locations for Lake Como Elopements include:
Of course, you don’t have to share your vows at a historic villa! Each Central Lake town is found at the foot of the hills & mountains that surround the lake, and high above you’ll find beautiful accommodations with rooftop terraces, gorgeous fields with long golden grass or ancient olive groves, all of which boast spectacular views across the lake. You could skip all the usual Lake Como places, and share your vows there instead, with a romantic dinner in the fields or on a rooftop, and a first dance looking over the nighttime lights of the lake.
Book Lake Como Elopement Vendors
Just because you’re eloping, doesn’t mean you can’t make your wedding day special!! Whether that means just having beautiful portraits taken in clothes you’ve owned for years, or splurging on an epic floral backdrop and a couture gown. Once you’ve booked in your Lake Como Elopement Photographer and settled on a location, it’s time to start looking into whichever Lake Como Elopement Vendors you’d like to include.
For many, this means booking a private boat tour across the Lake, either in a little wooden boat or in a more modern speedboat. It’s a beautiful way to see the Lake without bothering with ferry timetables, and the evening light on the lake is always something special.
You could choose to have a Lake Como Wedding Celebrant if you’d like someone to officiate your vows, or not! There are florists and hair & makeup artists, all who live on the Lake and will be happy to help you make the most of your time there.
In the past, I’ve had clients who’ve booked private chefs to cater a spectacular dinner at their accommodation, and clients who’ve preferred to go out for dinner somewhere nice.
Whatever it is you want, I’ll do my best to help you make it happen!
Are you dreaming of your very own Italian Elopement? Are you ready to start planning or you just have some questions about How to Elope to Lake Como? I’d love to help you plan something unique and true to you, and document it beautifully for you. Just get in touch!
Or did you just love Sarah & Carlos’ Varenna Elopement Photography? Then let them know in the comments below!