A five day italian wedding adventure
LOOK. AT. THIS.
(Full highlights below)
Where The Story Began
Stuart & Katie were kind enough to ask me to join them for their destination wedding in Malcesine Castle on Lake Garda, Italy. I first met this lovely couple whilst shooting a beautiful wedding up in Scotland where they were guests, which gave us a chance to chat through their plans during the same trip! I immediately knew that this wedding would be one to remember after hearing Stuart & Katie's enthusiasm and excitement for their super detailed and unique plans, despite having partied until late the night before at Rhodri & Laura's wedding on Loch Lomond (have a look at that wedding here).
In the lead up, Stuart & Katie were an absolute dream to work with, we met up a few times to chat through things and have a catch up, and arranging travel and accommodation was an absolute breeze, so I must say my first thank you to them for that!
Heading to Italy
As a UK and overseas destination wedding photographer, I love to travel to new places early, so my trip to Italy began two days before the wedding. I met up with some guests on my flight from Bristol, including Rhodri & Laura from the Loch Lomond wedding, as well as James the best man and Jenna who joined me to navigate the trains from Venice to Lake Garda, where Stuart & Katie were kind enough to pick us up from to complete the journey - thank you number 2 belongs here!
First Impressions of Lake Garda Weddings
When we arrived on the lake it was night time, and so the view which awaited me the following morning was as unexpected as it was spectacular. It was simply out of this world. I spent this day before the wedding walking around Malcesine, checking out the preparation location and Malcesine Castle itself, as well as taking a boat trip over to beautiful town of Limone.
I joined the couple and their lovely family and friends that evening for some drinks right on the lakeside, which was a lovely chance to meet everyone.
The morning of the wedding began with a 30 minute walk along the lake, which was just the most incredible way to wake up. The weather was set to be hot and clear, which wasn't necessarily the case for the whole day, but more on this later.
Katie & Stuart had photographs of both Bridal preparations and Groom preparations at Hotel Du Luc, Malcesine. I went to see Stuart and the boys first, which was a chance to get some super relaxed groom prep photos on the balcony overlooking the lake. Once Katie and the girls returned from getting their hair and makeup done in the town, I met them downstairs for some fun bridal prep photos. The morning was busy and full of excitement, with the view of Malcesine castle in the distance waiting for us.
The Wedding Ceremony
After preparations, myself along with the guests took taxis towards the town, where we walked through the beautifully Italian narrow, cobbled streets to meet together for a drink before the ceremony began. Stuart was really relaxed and all guests shared the same comfortable, happy feeling being in such an authentic and unique environment. Bellissimo.
We all walked up the wide steps and into the castle entrance, where as we climbed higher, the views over the lake became more and more breath-taking. We climbed higher and higher, coming onto the terrace where the ceremony was laid out, with views of the mountains disappearing high into the clouds on one side, complimented with a sea of terracotta roofs which ended abruptly, before the seemingly endless stretch of Lake Garda itself and the mountains across the lake which faded into the distance. I'll let the photographs sum up this view better than I could ever accurately describe it.
Once guests had taken their seats after plenty of selfies with the view, I headed back down to the town to meet Katie who turned up with her dad in a Tuk Tuk as it weaved through people in the street. Once Katie met her bridesmaids and walked up onto the terrace the ceremony began. It was a lovely blend of Italian translated into English, something else which makes Lake Garda Weddings beautiful.
The Thunderstorm & The Boat
Following the beautiful ceremony, we had a chance to get some group shots, as well as having a wander around the castle with just Stuart and Katie, which was so wonderful. We slowed things down and had a chance to take in the day alone whilst guests went to cash in their Italian ice cream tokens the couple has provided! What an awesome idea!
Katie and Stuart jumped into the Tuk Tuk and I walked with guests to meet at the harbour in Malcesine, before everyone got onto the private boat that was hired for a trip across the lake. Now, this is where I will mention the weather again. Most nights whilst out on Lake Garda, thunderstorms would roll in quickly over the mountains, but one decided to show up just as we boarded the boat! Umbrellas at the ready and with plenty of laughs, everyone boarded and we set off before everyone was soaked. I must admit, the rain was nice to cool down a bit and felt so refreshing with the breeze on the boat ride. We went right over to the far side of the lake, with amazing views of the other side of Malcesine castle and the waterfalls.
Wedding Reception at La Voglia
Just as we were getting off the boat back on the original side of the lake, we had another almighty downpour bigger than the first. As everyone ran for cover, poor Katie and a few others were the last to get off the jetty. Big shout out to Laura for saving Katie with her umbrella and having a great laugh about it, and to her husband Rhodri for shipping guests under his umbrella one by one from the sheltered area over to where the tables were laid out.
Speeches at La Voglia were both emotional and absolutely hilarious in equal measures, involving stories of run over cats and George Bush face masks. Don't ask.
Food was simply to die for. We enjoyed 6 courses of Italian cuisine, with shots of Limoncello and plenty of wine.
The band and wedding dance floor at La Voglia for the rest of the evening got everybody up dancing, including myself (as you can clearly see from the photographs). We partied right up until the curfew, with a Prosecco bar and wonderful Italian wedding cake.
I genuinely feel as though I came away from this incredible adventure in Lake Garda having made new friends for life, I can't thank Stuart, Katie and their lovely family and friends for treating me as one of their own throughout my time there, from the beginning to the end, sharing both journeys to and from the lake with guests which were the loveliest of company to have.
I even joined everyone the day after the wedding to watch Stuart and Katie paraglide off the cliff over the lake, which looked like an adrenaline Junkie’s dream!
I hope you enjoy some personal photography highlights below which will sum up this wonderfully unique destination Lake Garda wedding!