Every couple has their own tastes and expectations when it comes to a destination wedding. For those looking for a European touch, look no further than an Italian dream wedding on the gorgeous Lake Garda. Lake Garda is the biggest of the Italian lakes, offering various sights and experiences as you move along the shores.
In 2021 and beyond, European Castle weddings will be a big trend for destination weddings, and we want to give you guys the inside scoop on one of the most beautiful locations in Italy for your own European Castle Wedding on Lake Garda!!
On the Northern side of the lake, mountains surround the lake creating a charming and intimate atmosphere conducive to ultimate romance. In this area of Lake Garda you’ll find villages carved from ancient stone walls intertwined with picturesque lemon grooves. If you are looking for a destination that will wow larger parties, Southern Lake Garda features traditional Italian villages that capture true Italian flair.
If you want more information on Lake Garda, check out our post Lake Garda – Everything You Need To Know!
A wedding on Lake Garda can capture vastly different tastes based on the venue and region you pick! To bring the Italian wedding of your dreams to life, we’ve partnered with an expert to give us some insight into her experience with destination weddings at Lake Garda.
Ginny Bevan is the owner of Weddings at Lake Garda and is an English Ex-Pat who now calls the Italian Lake region home! We recently sat down with her (virtually, of course) to get the inside scoop on planning a wedding in this gorgeous bucket list destination!
I came to Italy and more specifically Lake Garda 24 years ago with my now husband. We both worked in travel but once I was pregnant with our first child I didn’t want to return to full time work and my employer at the time wouldn’t give me a part time position.
After a couple of years of working for them with some outsourced projects, the opportunity came up to collaborate with a close friend who was wedding planning on the Eastern shores of Lake Garda. We added some locations from ‘my’ side of the lake and things have taken off from there over the last 12 years.
The beauty of Lake Garda is hard to beat and I find that whenever we travel and come back home it’s with a sigh of happiness. Wherever you go in this beautiful world this is still a place that brings calm to the soul with its majestic mountains, lush greenery, and blue lake so you already can guarantee your guests will be so happy that you brought them here and there is an endless source of amazing backdrops for the photos.
Then there is the simply exceptional food. Even the humble pizza here tastes like nothing you have had before. Lake Garda is also an important wine region, but then the whole of Italy has delicious wines to offer.
When you add to this, the history and culture that fills every corner of Italy just being here and wandering the streets of one of the small lakeside villages, stopping for lunch and some people-watching is an absolute treat.
It is a wedding in a unique and historic location with incredible views, and I don’t know what else you could dream of. It’s also easy to reach from Milan Malpensa, which is a 2hr journey away, but there are good train connections to the south of the lake and no windy country roads, or scary cliff tops to negotiate.
The wedding location is what sets the scene and atmosphere for the day and so every wedding starts with the choice of location. It has to be a place that speaks to you, that calls you in a profound way because this is going to be the setting for one of the most emotional (in a good way) days of your lives and it has to be a place that, even if it’s new to you, means something to you.
Of course, we all have dream locations, but we don’t all have dream budgets, so there is a balance to be found between the two that is the sweet spot you want to aim for. I never encourage my brides to overspend on the location because there’s no joy in then having to filter every choice after that because the budget won’t stretch much further. So those first 2 key elements are really intertwined.
The third then is the style of the wedding. Style doesn’t even need to be something really overpowering. You are already in a beautiful location, in Italy, and that in itself is a style choice. So it doesn’t have to be a theme. But it’s essential to think about the atmosphere that you want for the day. And how you want it to feel for both yourselves and your guests.
It’s also important to keep a clear picture in your head of what you want. And not to get distracted by the latest trends. If they don’t feel like something really represents who the two of you are.
And remember that less is often more. Done really well with a breathtaking location and show-stopping food. And really great quality suppliers for the flowers, music, and photos you don’t always need to add more.
Can I choose 2?
There is one simply magical combination of locations. That is to have the wedding ceremony on the Isola del Garda, a private island with a fairy tale villa. There is no place like it. As showstoppers go, this is the number one; there’s no doubt.
This can then be followed by a short boat trip back to a beautiful lakeside garden on the side of a stunning stone tower, which is the setting for your Wedding Reception and festivities afterward.
Under the Italian sky, looking out across the lake and towards the Isola where the ceremony happened. Magical.
So my second choice is a hilltop castle that dominates the surrounding countryside. And offers views over to the lake. This is a brilliant choice for couples who want exclusivity till the early hours of the morning.
Also, for those who are looking for a location for both the ceremony and reception. But need space for both to give each moment its own atmosphere, style, and time to shine. The ancient castle walls at night lit with candles create an extraordinary atmosphere.
Not having been to the Caribbean it’s not really fair for me to make wide and sweeping statements. I think that Italy as a whole has so much history and culture.
You have an added layer of value to your wedding just by being here. In the atmosphere of the place. The beautiful old buildings and stylish Italians walking the streets.
I think that it would totally change everyone’s perception and expectation of the entire event.
There are a couple.
The Italians don’t throw confetti or petals after the wedding; they throw rice. Sometimes whole kilo bags of it at a time. More eco-friendly but sometimes quite painful for the couple if thrown too hard! The rice symbolizes fertility.
Throughout the evening they start yelling and demanding of the couple ‘Bacio, bacio’ which means kiss, kiss.
Cutting the grooms tie. The tie cut into pieces. Then those pieces are auctioned off to guests helping to contribute to the honeymoon spending money.
Practical jokes are a big thing for the Italians. It is common for someone to sneak off and set a joke for the couple in their car, hotel room, or house.
Confetti – in Italy this doesn’t mean colored bits of paper. But 5 (or sometimes 7) sugared almonds that are given as part of a gift to each guest.
Dancing the Tarantula. Often chosen as the first dance, this traditional music is played getting faster and faster. Then guests, all holding hands, surround the couple and circle them first right, and then left.
Lake Garda is an Italian destination that has a lot to offer! Esprit Errant can suggest amazing venues, depending on your vision of where you want your wedding. We can work together to find the picture-perfect restaurant or villa to host your reception as well as the most lovely views for your ceremony.
Whether you dream of a castle wedding, a lakeshore wedding, or gorgeous mountain views, we can craft your perfect wedding on Lake Garda.
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