I don’t really know where to begin to describe this wedding – the post title was hard enough. The ironic thing is that Steph and Liam had never been to Lake Garda and had never seen the wedding venue before. They placed their trust in Best Wedding Away to organise everything, invited a plane-load of family and friends and off they went! It was …….. amazing. We’d been to Lake Garda previously but never to the south east side where the wedding was to take place. We flew out a couple of days before and met up with Steph and Liam for a tour: the 300 year old renovated monastry (now a 5 star hotel producing famous wine from it’s own vineyards) where Steph was to get ready, the ruined Castello Scaligero towering over the village and marina of Torre del Benaco which was to play host to the wedding ceremony in its very own lemon grove, and the boutique restaurant (La Tenuta Cipressi & Olivi) in the hills overlooking the lake at Bardolino where the Reception was to take place. Gob. Smacked.
It was also a nice change in terms of the weather. The wet UK Summer was replaced by 40+ degree Celsius heat and brilliant sunshine – which in itself posed us a few problems in terms of photography – but hell, who’s complaining!? Before the photos, a special mention and “thank you ” to Carla – the coordinator at Best Wedding Away – who was absolutely brilliant in helping us get the best possible imagery from the day. One of the finest wedding professionals we’ve had the pleasure to meet.
Anyway – onto the day itself – Wednesday 8th August. Steph, her Mum, sister and friends were getting ready at the hotel – Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais. If you’re ever planning a holiday in the area and have a bit of cash to splash, check it out! Needless to say I drove there from our B&B down the road!
Stunning dress from Ava Rose Hamilton
Moshing to Bohemian Rhapsody? You better believe it….
Pre-wedding “Antipasti” is served….elbow room only!
Another first – a human air-conditioning unit!
The hotel made my job very easy. Beautiful colours and architecture everywhere. The only challenge was trying to keep Steph (and me) from melting in the meantime. It sort of went: photo – back in – water – back out – photo – back in – prossecco……
In the meantime, Caroline met Liam with his best men, Brendan & Gary, at an almost (but not quite!) as impressive villa near Torre del Benaco, before heading off to the castle with them for a couple of pre-wedding drinks in the lovely cafes that surround the marina.
A three-piece suit in that heat. This boy is one cool cucumber…. Note the best men chose to forego the waistcoat!
So – the Wedding ceremony in the lemon grove. A small table and a couple of chairs set amidst the trees, the guests gathered around and the local Italian official looking, well, very official. It smelled gorgeous, it looked breathtaking. The perfect setting for Steph and her lovely Mum to arrive down the aisle.
The guests were led out leaving Steph and Liam to take a moment out to let it all sink in. Unaware of course of the photographer in the nearby bush.
After some customary rice-throwing and some family & friends group shots around the castle and on the marina, it was time to take Steph and Liam away for some Prosecco and some couple photos. Now – where an earth could we do those? You see, there wasn’t much in the way of attractive scenary.
If that was fun, the 30 minute drive to the Reception with the aircon blazing and downing a few litres of water came a close second! The restaurant stands in a little village in the hills above Bardolino. The interior is beautifully stylish and the gardens sweep down the hillside with one of those views you just want to sit and stare at. Steph and Liam arrived to rapturous applause and a well-earned drink. Soon it was time for speeches on the lawn in the early evening, yet still scorcing, sun (and still the three-piece suit remained intact!). It was a very intimate wedding and the small group worked really well with the setting, laughing – and crying – at the brilliant speeches.
First dance time, and Steph and Liam showcased a couple of surprising yet very convincing moves (including the water sprinkler and the running man) to their track of choice: Neil Diamond’s “Forever in Blue Jeans”. Even the dancefloor was cool!!! Surprisingly there was quite a bit of dancing to follow, despite the temperature, and still time for some sunset shots out on the lawn.
And that was that. A corker of a wedding, a beautiful location and the friendliest, warmest bunch of people you could hope to spend the day with. Actually – it wasn’t quite all – we were lucky enough to get an invitation to the UK Reception last Friday in Leeds, but with strict instructions to leave cameras at home. So you’ll just have to take our word for it – that was good too!!
Steph & Liam – THANK YOU!!