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Weddings in Varenna

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Weddings in Varenna

I recently got married in Varenna and skimmed this site so much in our planning that I thought it only right to give some back. Below, I have listed several details and suppliers for our wedding and our opinion of them and am happy to answer any further questions including costs etc if you contact me personally.

Wedding Planner - IC Bellagio were exemplary both leading up to the wedding and on the day. Sara was extremely helpful and efficient in answering our emails and questions and I would thoroughly recommend her services. At the start, we questioned why we would need a wedding planner but I really urge anyone to have one as Sara made everything run so smoothly and easily that all we had to worry about was enjoying our wedding day.

Villa Cipressi - Fantastic friendly and professional staff and really excellent food. We had some excellent canapes and then the most amazing wedding breakfast. Both of us are real foodies and have eaten in some pretty special restaurants around the world but the food here was up there - feel free to email me directly for our food choices and opinions because we really didn't have a bad course.

Fillipo Barindelli Taxi Boat (Bellagio) - Very punctual and gave us a great boat tour around the heart of the lake. Really nice boat and a top bloke with very quick responses to emails.

Mario Pirovano florist - slightly out of town in Bellagio (20 min walk) but really professional and well organised and made us some beautiful bouquets that arrived at our hotel exactly when we requested.

Hotel Metolpole (Bellagio) - we were on Lake Como for a week so stayed in Bellagio as there is a lot more to do here than in Varenna and our hotel was really excellent in accommodating our wedding. Prosecco and a fruit basket were waiting for us when we got back after our wedding without us making too much fuss about getting married. Lovely being right on the lake as well!

Hairdresser - Can't remember the name as we booked it last minute - the hairdresser that we had booked on the back of quite a few recommendations on here did not speak any English and did not have the right equipment to do the job. The hairdressers next to Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio were brilliant and they opened early for us and cleared their other clients as we were desperate at the last minute! Thoroughly recommended...

Things to do - Two musts are Cavaturacciolo wine bar in Bellagio for wine tasting evening and Ristorante Il Caminetto in Varenna for a cookery class (separate reviews already posted).

Hope this might help any prospective brides or grooms looking to get married in Varenna or on Lake Como and please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about how we structured our day, suppliers' email addresses, prices, etc.

Hartlepool, United...
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1. Re: Weddings in Varenna


Congratulations on your wedding, it sounds like you had an amazing time.

Me and my fiance are planning on getting married in Lake Como in August 2012, we really like Villa Cipressi and this is our 1st choice at the moment so I am thrilled to have found someone who can give me first hand details of their experience. It would be great if you could provide me with more details about your wedding like what times you got married, how many were in your wedding party, how you travelled to the venue, did you have any choice in the table decorations and flower arrangements, did you eat inside or out? There are so many questions that I would love answering, so I apologise for bombarding you with them all.

We are also currently looking into wedding planners and have found Sally from the lake como wedding planner website, did you come across them? What did your wedding planner do for you?

We are actually visiting Lake Como in October and would like to meet wedding planners and view venues,any advice?

Really appreciate any help and advice?



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2. Re: Weddings in Varenna

Hi there,

Congrats on your engagement and you have definitely picked a very special and romantic place in Lake Como.

Our wedding was very small with just our immediate family so there was only 10 of us in our party which may be less relevant to you if you are planning a larger wedding.

Our day went as follows:

10:30 flowers arrived at our hotel

11:00 groom travelled with party (-bride/father of bride) from Bellagio to Varenna via public ferry

11:30 bride and father of bride travel via private boat to Varenna

12:00 (ish as bride should be late!) Ceremony at Villa Cipressi

12:30 Prosecco and absolutely fantastic canapes (more like a light lunch!) at Villa Cipressi

14:30 Private boat tour around the lake for approximately 1 hour

15:30 Arrive back at Bellagio for some more photos around the town

16:00 Back to hotel to freshen up

18:00 Private boat ride back to Varenna

18:30 Sit down, 9 course(!) meal at Villa Cipressi

23:30 Private boat ride back to Bellagio

We booked the photographer between 10am and 4pm and this was through our wedding planner. We opted for Luca Rajna who was absolutely awesome and as we have our big party this weekend have already received our disc of photos and they are perfect!

We could have gone to one of the Villas (Carlotta/Melzi/Balbionelli-if open) for photos as part of the boat trip but decided that as we were getting married at Villa Cipressi the phots would have more meaning there. We also scheduled in a couple of hours in the afternoon for a freshen up as it is a long day and can get quite warm and this was great just to allow you to enjoy the evening more.

When we got back to Bellagio in the afternoon we had half an hour left with the photographer so walked round the cobbled streets of Bellagio with him and this was undoubtably one of the highlights. People were cheering and taking photos, shouting out "bella" everywhere, coming out of shops and restaurants to see us, hugging and congratulating us. It was absolutely fantastic and more so because of the spontaneity of it - your guests are expected to be happy for you but for complete strangers to make such a fuss was so so memorable. Also, my wife experienced this before she left Bellagio which explained why she was so calm and on a high when she got to Varenna compared with my apprehension and nerves!

At Villa Cipressi, we used an ipod for our music both down the aisle and during canapes and in the evening. Our table was underneath their pergola and was a simple and elegant white silver service setting. By the time they place a champagne bucket in the middle, the menus, glasses and settings there would not really have been any room for flowers or any other centre pieces. Also, the views and setting are so beautiful that no body will really notice them!

Our wedding planner, Sara, at IC Bellagio was absolutely fantastic. She is very cool and calm which was great on the day and seemed to see and think of things before we could ask her. Before our wedding, she was quick to respond to emails, her English is great and she is very knowledgeable. She stayed with my wife in the morning to make sure that everything was running smoothly there and then one of her colleagues (who was American but spoke fluent Italian) came with my on the ferry to look after our half of the party. We also had a couple of students that were helping out for some experience for them and they were both really nice, English but again fluent Italian, and a great help.

I cannot say enough good things about Villa Cipressi as a wedding venue or IC Bellagio as a wedding planner. Our ceremony was with the town mayor, his assistant and the translator and they made it really relaxing and comfortable for us so that we could simply be free to enjoy it. The latest that you can get married is 12pm but to be honest that was nice as you would not want to be waiting around all day and it can get a bit warm in the afternoon which makes a boat ride perfect.

As far as costs go, Italy is really not a cheap place to get married and Como is more expensive than most places in Italy but then there is so much natural beauty that you do not need to have a lot to make it special. If you contact me directly, I am happy to tell you what we paid for anything but would not feel comfortable advertising them here.

I would also recommend staying in Bellagio as Varenna is quite quiet and there is more choice of accommodation and things to do in Bellagio. It is only a 15 minute boat ride away. Mennagio is also nice and is the largest of the three "mid-lake" towns but is not as charming as Bellagio, but well worth a dy trip. Our hotel (Hotel Metropole) was really good but our families stayed in Il Borgo residence which is better then most hotels and very reasonable (remember, European hotels are not to the same standard us UK) and when we visited in February, we stayed at La Limonera which was also great but did not have any availability for our week. Also, they are both very central and as Bellagio is so small are an excellent choice.

Hope all this helps and please feel free to get in contact with me if you have any other questions as everything's all still very fresh.

Best of luck with it all - you couldn't have picked a better place to get married.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Weddings in Varenna

Hi Sara

I am planning on getting married in Bellagio next year and have contacted IC Bellagio and have had some inital conversations with Sara via email.

I would love to find out more about your wedding day please? The structure of your day, timings etc. What services your wedding planner supplied and what you had to organise yourself. I would also welcome any suggestions on reception venues and what I should expect to pay for the wedding breakfast as some of the quotes I've had are quite steep.

Any help would be great.

I am new to this site and wasn't sure how to mail you direct? Please fell free to email me back.

Thanks very much.

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4. Re: Weddings in Varenna

Hi Sara,

Your wedding day sounds perfect. I am really keen to find out from you more about the ceremony at Villa Cipressi. Was this classed as a legal ceremony or did you still have to do paperwork at the Town Hall? Most of the info on this says that the legal bit is done at the Town Hall. Would be perfect if it is all done at the Villa Cipressi to save hassle.

Another biggie were you able to play your music to late?

Thank you

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5. Re: Weddings in Varenna

Hi Sara

sounds like you had a great wedding! I'm getting married in Villa Cipressi next July and am also using Mario for my flowers and Fillipo Barindelli for the transfers for the bridal party, Great to to hear you liked them all! I was just wondering if you found the construction work across from the hotel noisy? I've been ready a few reviews which said it was a nightmare! My reception doesn't start until 5pm so I'm hoping if the work is still going on next July that it will have stopped by then!

We're going over in May to do a tasting so would really appreciate any advice you have on menu choices!

Thank you!


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6. Re: Weddings in Varenna

Hi Lynn,

Forgot if I pm'd you but if not, really sorry for such a late reply?!?

The construction work was going on when we got married but the wedding planner just notified them that there was a ceremony at 12pm so would they mind taking their lunch around that time, which they kindly did. This meant that it really was not a problem and I think that they are only building a car park so it should be all finished by then.

Food wise, we really could not fault a single course of our 9 (!) course meal. We started with a duck and balsamic salad which would maybe not be to everybody's taste as it is served how it should be, which is quite rare, but we enjoy meat dishes so really appreciated the quality. We then had a vegetable lasagne as this allows those non-foodies to eat something a bit more familiar. This was also really, really good flavourwise and although it seems impossible to make lasagne look elegant, it was at least colourful and neat. We next had the monkfish risotto - quite simply the best risotto I have ever had. Beautiful fresh monkfish and creamy risotto that was faultless. We then had the sea bass which was the most elegant looking dish and would not be out of place in a michelin starred restaurant. Again, tasted fantastic. Our meat dish was the beef fillet - cooked perfectly rare to medium rare with a beautifully rich barollo sauce. No need for steak knives here - could have cut it with a spoon. Our sorbet choice was tangerine which was very refreshing and flavoursome. For dessert, we had the assortment of desserts which was just awesome. Each dessert was better than the last and despite already eating 7 courses, no-body could bear to leave any. An hour or so later, we then cut our freshly made Italian cake which was a very light sponge with cream and topped with strawberries. Unfortunately nobody could even attempt to finish this but it looked fantastic for the photos and on tasting was again delicious. All in all, some of the best food any of us had ever had and that is from a group of people that often frequent top restaurants in London.

For wines, I would recommend going to Enotecha Cava Turacciolo in Bellagio for a wine tasting evening. It was definitely one of our best nights in Bellagio and the owner, Norberto, was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We kept to local wines when we were there and then requested them for our wedding which was again not a problem for Villa Cipressi. Villa Cipressi's wine list was good but their local wines were from the Lombardia region whereas the wines that we had with Norberto were from the hills surrounding Lake Como. Worst case, you get a good night out in Bellagio but make sure you write them down - we had to go back the next day as had drank far too much to remember!

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions at all. We put loads into researching so will be more than happy to pass any tips on to help you have as great a time as we did.

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7. Re: Weddings in Varenna

As far as the legalities of getting married at Villa Cipressi, Villa Cipressi is actually also the town hall. Varenna is a very small town so mayor and his staff have an office within Villa Cipressi, although you would not know it unless you asked. The ceremony is a civil one undertaken by the mayor and a member of his administration and then a translator if you do not speak Italian. It lasts around 20 minutes and is formal enough so that you know you are getting married but not too formal that you feel uncomfortable. The whole way, the three of them were smiling and laughing and if anything they added a fun aspect to it. They then provide you with three copies of your marriage certificate and a scrolled certificate in scripted Italian as a present which looks really beautiful framed on the wall.

For music, we finished around midnight but they were so accommodating that I am sure music could go on as long as you like. Worth checking but Villa Cipressi were that good that I'm sure they will pretty much do anything to make your day perfect.

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8. Re: Weddings in Varenna

Hi Sara, thanks so much for your info on the meal and wine. We're going out for a tasting in May so will definitly add your dishes to the choices. Great tip also on the wine as I assumed we'd have to go with the Villa's wine list.

All my planning seems to be going well but I might need to pick your brains again closer to the event if that's ok!

Thanks again


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9. Re: Weddings in Varenna

I really love Varenna, how wonderful for you, what memories,

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Weddings in Varenna

Hi Sara- I would love to ask you a few questions about your wedding directly if possible, but not sure how to do this here. Can you send me your email address perhaps?



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