Any Italian Lakes brides?

It looks like we've finally settled on the Italian Lakes, I want the Villa Carlotta in Lake Como I think but until we fly out later this year it could be either Lake Como or Lake Garda. 

I''m so excited but not sure what I can start to plan yet, we're looking at July 2015, is it silly starting so soon?



  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20

    Hi NicNac

    I'm planning on getting married in Lake Garda next May. 

    I don't think it's sillly to start planning so soon but it might be too early to book anything yet. But at least you'll have plenty of time to do loads of research! Are you using a planner? If not you could contact the castle to find out when they'll start taking bookings for 2015:

    I emailed them on New Years Day to enquire about booking next year but I haven't heard back from them yet. image I have heard they can take a while to reply though. Am going to try giving them a call next week so fingers crossed I can finally feel like I'm getting somewhere!!


  • NicNacNicNac Posts: 41

    Hi x-K-x

    Aw the castle in Malcesine is stunning, we had a look there but some of our guests would struggle to get up there, have you ever been to Lake Garda before? It looks amazing, so picturesque! 

    I emailed Villa Carlotta on Friday because I read that they have a waiting list and even if we don't decide to book there I want to be prepared really, but I read that they don't open til March so they might not reply, I wonder if Malcesine Castle is the same? Does it close for the winter season? 

    Are you using an agent or a planner? I'm so excited lol sorry for the questions! xx

  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20


    No, I haven't been to Lake Garda before but we've booked to go there in April this year so we can have a look around and check out the restaurants etc. How about you?

    It did occur to me that Malcesine Castle might be closed for the winter and now you've said that about your villa it's put my mind at rest a little! Lol. Hopefully that's why it's taking so long for them to get back to me! I'm so impatient - once I've decided on something I just want it to happen! Lol. 

    I've decided to not use a planner and go it alone in the hope to save some money! What about you? 

    I'm really excited too!!! It's nice to talk to another Italian Lake bride! image


  • NicNacNicNac Posts: 41

    Ooo not long then and you can see everything in the flesh so to speak, you'll have to keep me posted, I think our trip is more than likely going to be July time image  I think that's the hardest thing isn't it, once you set your heart on the ceremony venue you have to find a reception venue! Its such a gorgeous area though and I love that the Italians are so family and food focused so you know you'll get excellent service!

    I think we might be going through an agent just because they did my mums wedding in Cyprus last year and were lovely, they went the extra mile for her getting her the date she wanted etc but again, depends on the price really :-/

    It really is great to talk to you, a lot of the threads have been dormant for a while now with Italian Lakes and I always like someone who's in the same boat to chat to! xx

  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20

    Yeah I'll definitely let you know what it's like. I originally wanted to go over in May as that's the time of year I want to get married and we could get an idea of the weather. But we couldn't get booked anywhere! Well, nowhere reasonably priced anyway! I'm guessing May onwards must book up fast so bear that in mind if you want to go in July.

    From what I've read it sounds like the Italians go all out to cater for you so I feel confident we'll get looked after and have some great food pretty much anywhere. Italian food is so yummy! image

    What agent is that then? It's great you've got an agent your mum has already used, so at least you know what they're like. 

    I know what you mean, I was starting to wonder if there were any more Italian Lakes brides on this forum at all! There is a great Lake Garda Brides thread that has brilliant advice on it. It dates back a few years now so may be a bit challenging to find (I stumbled across it doing a Google search) but I'd think the advice is still relevant. If you decide to go for Lake Garda in the end then it's worth a read if you have time (both to search for it and read it - it's very, very long! Lol).


  • NicNacNicNac Posts: 41

    Yeah that's one of my biggest worries, the weather! Can you imagine leaving the UK for sunnier climates only for it to be freezing and grey when you get there haha

    Have you ever been to Italy before? We went to Venice and the food was amazing! Well, we stayed on Lido and mainly ate there, it's just over the water from Venice, Venice was extortion haha 

    It was the Cooperative travel in Halifax, they were genuinely happy to help with everything, when Olympic were rude to my mum on the phone they stepped in, when the best man lost his passport the day before we flew out they tried to help get him new flights for when the emergency one was issued, and they even sent them congratualtions cards. I've heard some serious horror stories about Thomsons and Thomas Cook were rude when my mum was getting quotes so if I didn't use Coop I'd go it alone or use a planner image

    Haha I bet come next year when we're all sorted and don't necessarily need loads of help there'll be an influx of lakes brides!! Hows your planning going at the moment, have you started with your themes etc? My step brother gets married Aug 2014 and his fiancee has been sending me pics of dresses shes going to try on tonight. I feel like a child at Christmas!! xx

  • Hi future brides, if you are looking for a nice and not expensive wedding planner , look at this website, she's nice and organized mine image

    i hope you'l find the location of your dreams....


  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20

    I just typed my reply and the whole lot was deleted!  Grrr!

    I know what you mean! Although I can’t deal with too much heat. I’m fair skinned so I burn really easily. My H2B knows a guy at work whose daughter got married in Lake Garda a year or so ago in August and it was 100 degrees! Phew!!

    Oooh I’d love to go to Venice! I’ve been to Rome and absolutely loved it. It’s such a gorgeous city with amazing food and lovely people!

    OMG I can’t believe the best man lost his passport! Bet he felt awful! Sounds like they did a great job for your mum. Let me know if you decide to use them.

    Ha, yeah I bet! Although by then we’ll be the wise brides handing out all the great advice (hopefully!!)

    I’ve haven’t done that much planning yet. To be honest I’ve mainly been making to-do lists, budget spreadsheets and pretty much any other list you can think of. I’m a bit of an organisational freak! Lol. I haven’t started looking at dresses yet. I’m so excited about that bit, it’s definitely going to be the best part! We’ve been to view a venue for the back home party and we loved it so we’re going to go ahead and book that. Haven’t decided on any themes or anything yet. How about you? What stage are you at with planning? Are you having a party back home? How many people are you going to invite to Italy?


  • Hi there NicNac - Villa Carlotta is truly beautiful and the views from the terrace are amazing. However, unless you want a reception in a hotel there are very few restaurants. The restaurants which are in Tremezzo (location of Villa Carlotta) tend to have the lake, then road and then the restaurant - in all honesty it's not great to have cars and coaches of elderly people (Lake Como is big with Saga coach tours) run by while you're in your beautiful dress! For a wedding reception I would advise Bellagio as there are so many more options for restuarants (along the lake edge) and also there are loads of accommodation options and plenty to keep your guests occupied before and after the wedding. Regarding travel the itinerary could run:

    accommodation in Bellagio

    boat trip to Villa Carlotta

    ceremony at Villa Carlotta (it's also possible to organise aperitifs here as well!)

    boat trip with Prosecco

    return to Bellagio for the reception.

    I know that being by the lake (this is also for you x-K-x) is every bride's dream but some of the better restaurants with amazing service don't have lake views so I strongly advise you to go with one of those. The problem with many of the lake view restaurants is that people will choose them regardless of quality so that means they don't try as hard to impress. There are of course exceptions. 

    Also NicNac, keep an eye on the British Consulate website for changes to the new document procdures which will come into effect in the following months. It may be that you need a wedding planner if you can't find a vendor in Italy willing to help with paperwork.

    Hope this helps


  • NicNacNicNac Posts: 41

    Wow, 100 degrees is not good!! I'm like you, fair, and I don't really tan, just go a bit pink haha mum had her wedding in August in Cyprus and lets just say, hairspray from the UK did NOT stop my hair from frizzing, and that was at 6pm!!

    Yeah, the best man's also my step brother, it didn't go down well haha his fiancee still came up (she's from Peterborough where they both live now) and we flew out together as planned but he had to follow us out 2 days later! He made it in time for the cruise with free food and drink thoughimage

    I can't wait to go out to Italy again, there's just something about it isn't there, no matter where you go they're all so lovely and accomodating....God I need a holiday asap!! Lake Garda is only about 1 hour 30mins away from Venice I think, maybe you'd be able to have a day trip out there image

    Wow, I wish I was so organised with our budget, I'm aiming for 12,000 as our absolute MAX inc all clothing, rings etc, 9000 for the wedding and reception hopefully! I'm useless with spreadsheets so any hints and tips would be great image H2B wants to invite all of his friends, "they're all close I can't invite just a few", I'm stressed, I added up the numbers and invite wise we'll be inviting *GULP* 46 adults and 11 children, freaking out doesn't even come close. Saving grace is that we went to an engagement party of one of his close friends on Saturday and they're looking at Dec 2014 for their wedding so doubt they'll come, and one of his other friends are June 2014, my step brother is August 2014 so there could be less yet. 

    Other than that I'm up in the air, I wanted black for my bridesmaids and a lace and pearl theme but I love the pastel/vintage styles so I'm torn, it's awful. I think the only thing I have a definite clue on is the style of dress I want so Pinterest has been my saviour, somewhere to store all of my chaotic thoughts haha 


  • Hi NicNac

    Based on your budget I would recommend a wedding on Lake Orta or Lake Garda. Lake Como is the most expensive lake and is in the top most expensive wedding destination in Italy. With the same amount of money you can do so much more and have a real 'wow' factor at Lake Orta or Lake Garda.

    Hope that helps!

  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20

    I'd love a day trip to Venice while we're there! We won't be able to afford to go on honeymoon for a while after the wedding so maybe I can pursuade H2B to have a Venice mini-moon!image 

    Yeah, I do love a good spreadsheet! I actually Googled "wedding budget spreadsheets" and found a really good one which I just modified to suit our situation. It's great having it all listed out in front of me but it's still not helping me stay on budget! Ooops! We decided on a £10,000 budget so fingers crossed!

    Woah, that's a lot of people! We've made a "no children" rule which I think all our friends are fine with. We're going to invite about 35 people so will just have to see who can make it. My H2B is the same way. He's actually having three best men because he can't bear the thought of picking between them! Lol. 

    I love the vintage style too! I think I've decided on sage green for my main colour with hints of a very pale blush pink. I'm still finding that the castle are being very, very slow in getting back to me. They asked me what dates I preferred so I sent them my choices and not heard back since. That was about a week and a half ago. But on the plus side, the venue for my back home party is almost sorted and we've narrowed down some photographers! Whoop!

    Wedding Planner Italy - thanks for your advice, especially regarding the new documents procedures. I will make sure to keep an eye on the British Consulate website. 


  • Hi x-K-x

    try calling Malcesine castle and speak to Luisa (who speaks English). Get her to tell you the dates which are available over the phone and then send them an email asking to confirm your date. If you're getting married in 2013 I would advise you to pay a deposit immediately so as not to lose out on the place. If it's 2014 then I'd recommend you get an email confirming that the date and time has been registered in their calender.

    I would really recommend that you go to restaurants in Torri del Benaco for your reception and to avoid Malcesine - unfortunately many restaurants write their own reviews in Malcesine to compete for the wedding business! Don't trust trip advisor for restaurants in Malcesine!!


  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20

    Hi Wedding Planner Italy

    I actually spoke to Luisa a few weeks ago. She explained to me the original email I sent wasn't acted on by her colleague and informed me to email a different address which I did. She replied really quickly and said there is a fair amount of availability in May 2014 so asked me to tell her what dates I preferred. I did and haven't heard back from her since! That was almost two weeks ago but I'm wondering if the delay in replying is due to it being off peak season?

    I'm not getting married until 2014. She explained that I wouldn't need to pay a deposit until the new prices are confirmed in September/October. I'll be sure to get confirmation of the date in writing though.


  • NicNacNicNac Posts: 41

    Hi x-K-x

    How are your plans going? My little head is allover the place at the moment, I've been around the world and back again haha not long until your trip out to Garda now is it? How exciting!!! 


  • I live in Como and I married a few years ago, the cerimony was at San Giorgio church and the wedding reception at Villa Olmo.

    Lake Como is definitely more romantic than Lake Garda!

    I suggest you three books about our lake:

    Travel guides:

    The Italian Lakes by Damien Simonis , Belinda Dixon

    Top 10 Milan & The Lakes by Reid Bramblett

    A romantic novel with a lot of hints about hidden place on the lake and Lake Como cuisine:

    A Dinner in Bellagio by Carlotta Melzi d'Este

    Enjoy you stay!



  • MariazziMariazzi Posts: 18

    Hi girls,

    It's such a shame that nobody knows the beautiful lake of lake Iseo and the island in the middle of it Monte Isola. Lake.

    Lake Iseo is definately cheaper than lake Como or lake Garda or any other lakes because is not as touristic!

    I'm Italian and I got married last June to my English husband in Monte Isola, lake Iseo. The location is only an hour from Milan, 40 minutes to Verona and 20 from Bergamo so surrounded by airports and easy to reach!

    I have now decided to organise weddings in this lovely place so if you are interested and want more information have a look at my facebook page. The pics are from my wedding:

  • laurenVClaurenVC Posts: 82

    hi!! im getting married next june 2014 in malcesine! excited!! going to visit this may to book reception venue! hows everyone doing with their planning... i have to admit im not enjoying it much...not sure why! is that normal?! lol x

  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20

    Hi ladies!

    I'm at work today struggling to keep my eyes open after getting back from my trip to Malcesine at about 1.30 this morning!!

    But it was an amazing trip and so productive! Malcesine is beautiful and I'm so happy that's where we decided to get married! We've sorted our reception venue, florist, hairdressser, transport, boat trip and champage toast/canapes. We checked out some hotels and think we've decided which one we're going to stay in for the wedding. We visited town hall and had a chat with Luisa who organises the castle bookings. She was so friendly and helpful and explained really well how our day will work and what part they will play in helping us to arrange things.

    LaurenVC, sorry to hear you're not enjoying your planning much at the moment. Are you using a planner or doing it yourself? Have you ever been to Malcesine? I've really enjoyed planning so far but I generally enjoy this type of thing anyway (any excuse to use spreadsheets, colour codes and folders lol!) Maybe once you've been out there to pick your reception venue you'll start enjoying things more. I have to admit, I couldn't quite picture what my wedding would be like before going out there and seeing everything. It all just seemed imaginary and unreal. But now I've seen it and the plans are falling into place and are no longer a mish-mash in my head I'm feeling really excited!

    Let us know how you get on after your trip out there in May!


  • laurenVClaurenVC Posts: 82

    thank you! i will definitely let you know how we get on, only a few weeks left to wait! do you mind me asking what hotel you are thinking of staying in? xxx

  • x-K-xx-K-x Posts: 20

    Hi Lauren

    We were debating between Hotel Castello and Exclesior Bay but think we've decided on Exclesior Bay. Both hotels were lovely and they were kind enough to show us round. Hotel Castello is right near the castle and its views from the suite are just stunning, plus it's got it's own little private beach. But Exclesior Bay just tipped it for us because they were just that little bit more accomodating and friendly, plus it is bigger than Hotel Castello and offer group bookings at a discount which Hotel Castello didn't - in fact they don't allow group bookings at all!

    Good luck with your trip! xx

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