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Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Lake Como 2024

LAST UPDATED December 5, 2023


Why You Should Elope in Lake Como

Lake Como, nestled in the Italian Alps, is famous for its stunning scenery, charming villages, and romantic ambiance. Elopements here offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, culture, and luxury. The picturesque lake, surrounded by lush hills and elegant villas, provides an idyllic backdrop for an unforgettable wedding celebration.

And if your elopement dreams are more likely to include hiking boots than gilded Villas, you’re in luck! While many think of Lake Como as a destination for the rich and famous, your elopement doesn’t have to be fancy (or expensive)! Lake Como is a fantastic destination for outdoor lovers, and you can find hotels and AirBnbs at nearly any budget.

Couple hikes at their Lake Como elopement

In this Ultimate Guide to Eloping in Lake Como, I’ll share my tips and best advice for planning your dream Lake Como elopement. As an adventure elopement photographer, I know how important it is that your day fully represents you as.a couple, and this guide will tell you everything you need to know to decide if Lake Como is the right elopement destination for you!

Elope in Lake Como, my Packages

I tailor all my elopement packages exactly to a couple’s unique interests – no cookie cutter experiences here! No matter which of my Lake Como elopement packages you choose, this is what’s included:

  • Starting at 6 hours of coverage for your elopement package
  • Personalized questionnaire to understand exactly how to craft your day.
  • Full planning assistance
  • Unlimited free consultations to help you craft your perfect day.
  • TRAVEL FEES ALL INCLUDED. NO EXTRA OR HIDDEN FEES.
  • Fully edited hi-res photos available for you to download for free
  • Sneak peek photos 

Packages Start at $6100

Reach out for a free chat to see how we can put together the best Lake Como elopement package experience for you!

Want A Free Consultation?

Couple at their Lago di Braies Dolomites elopement

Where to Elope in Lake Como

At 56 square miles, Lake Como is the 3rd largest lake in Italy, and arguably the most popular. All along its shores, you’ll find charming lakefront towns, stunning villas, and dramatic mountain landscapes.

Here are a few of my favorite spots:

Bellagio

Often referred to as the “Pearl of Lake Como,” Bellagio is a picturesque town located at the intersection of the lake’s three branches. Known for its elegant villas, vibrant gardens, and cypress-lined streets, Bellagio exudes romance. The Villa Melzi Gardens and the narrow stairways of Salita Serbelloni are must-visit attractions.

Como

Como is the largest town on Lake Como and serves as a gateway to the region. The charming historic center features narrow cobblestone streets, a beautiful cathedral (Cattedrale di Como), and lively piazzas. The lakeside promenade offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. 

Varenna

Varenna is a charming and quieter village on the eastern shore of Lake Como. Its colorful houses, lakeside promenade, and the medieval Vezio Castle create a romantic atmosphere. Varenna is perfect for those seeking a more relaxed and intimate setting.

Tremezzo

Tremezzo is known for its opulent villas, including the iconic Villa Carlotta with its stunning gardens. The town offers a mix of historic architecture and upscale resorts. The picturesque setting and proximity to attractions like the Greenway del Lago hiking trail make it an attractive destination.

Couple walks at their Dolomites elopement

How to Elope in lake Como

So, you’re sold on Lake Como as the perfect elopement location. Fantastic! Now for the logistics. Getting married in Italy is a little bit different than getting married in the States, so it’s important to know all the options and rules upfront.

The 3 Types of Italian Weddings

The first thing you need to know is that there are 3 options for your Italian wedding, and each has different rules and steps:

1.) Civil Ceremony

2.) Religious Ceremony

3.) Symbolic Ceremony

Civil and Religious Ceremonies in Italy

Religious or civil ceremonies in Italy require multiple steps. If you are considering a civil or religious ceremony, I recommend you contact an Italian Consulate office as far in advance of your trip as possible. That way, you’ll fully understand all the requirements and timelines as you’re planning.

Generally, you’ll need to do the following for a civil ceremony:

  • An affidavit, Nulla Osta or Dichiarazione Giurata. This is a document sworn before a consular office of your home country stating that there’s no legal impediment to your marriage in your home country.
  • An Atto Notorio signed by two witnesses, attesting that there is no legal barrier to your marriage.
  • A declaration of intent to marry. This will go to the civil registrar.

There is also a waiting period of up to 2 weeks from when affidavits are signed before you can get married. If you are a non-Italian citizen, this waiting period can usually be waived, this depends on the locality. Be sure to check with the local officials and the consulate as far in advance as possible to make sure you understand the timeline and requirements.

Religious ceremonies must be performed in a Catholic church, and require both the steps for a civil ceremony and requirements from the church. Typical church requirements include proof that both participants have been baptized, at least one participant is Catholic, and documentation from your home church. If you are considering a religious ceremony, be sure to consult with the church well in advance of your wedding to ensure you have time to gather all the necessary paperwork.

Symbolic Ceremonies in Italy

The easiest way to get married

The requirements for a legal wedding in Italy can be a bit much for a lot of couples, which is why I recommend having a symbolic ceremony (also known as a commitment ceremony). Rather than dealing with all of the legalities during your trip, you’ll just do all the legal paperwork back home.

A symbolic ceremony is a legit wedding ceremony that isn’t legally recognized. You can still do everything in a regular ceremony – exchange vows, rings, intentions – you just won’t sign legal paperwork on your ceremony day.

Saving the legal paperwork for back home makes the day easier and relaxed, and gives you the space to truly enjoy yourself in the moment. I highly recommend considering a symbolic ceremony for your Lake Como elopement.

Learn more about commitment ceremonies.

Couple at their Lake Braies Dolomites elopement

Do You Need a Permit to Elope in Lake Como?

If you are planning to elope in an outdoor space like a park or trail, you will likely not need a permit for your ceremony or photography.

If you dream of eloping at a Villa or other private location, depending on the location and number of guests, you may need to pay a fee or purchase a wedding package from the venue. I can help you find the right venue for your vision and budget!

If you do plan to be outdoors, it’s important to follow Leave No Trace Principles to ensure that Lake Como remains beautiful for years to come.

These Are the 7 Leave No Trace Principles

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare: It’s always a good idea to research your location beforehand so you know how best to prepare.
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Always stay on marked trails. The ecosystem in Garden of the Gods is extremely fragile. Even one footstep outside of designated areas can cause damage that will last for decades. Note: You are not allowed to camp anywhere within the park.
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly: “Pack it in, Pack it out.” Dispose of all waste appropriately or carry it out of the park with you.
  4. Leave What You Find: Always leave plants, animals, rocks and other objects exactly as you find them. Never mark or carve any of the rocks.
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts: Fires are not permitted in the park. If you are camping elsewhere, always keep your campfire small, use an existing campfire ring wherever available, and burn only dead or downed wood.
  6. Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from afar and avoid disturbing them with loud noises or quick movements. Do not feed wildlife and be sure to store any food securely.
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Help everyone enjoy their experience by keeping noise to a minimum and respecting others’ privacy.

Learn more about Leave No Trace at LNT.org.

Couple Kisses at their Italy Elopement

Ideas for Your Lake Como Elopement

After you find the perfect location, the question most couples ask is, what should we do at our elopement? The best thing about an elopement is that there are no rules, so there are also no limits on what you can do! Here are just a few of the most popular activities for Lake Como elopements:

  • Hike
  • Swim
  • Charter a Boat
  • Wine Tasting
  • Visit a Villa
  • Have a Picnic
  • Take a Scenic Drive
  • Eat Gelato
  • Explore Lakeside Towns

Again, this list is just a starting point! There are so many other options for your elopement. If the activity you are dreaming of isn’t on this list, reach out and we’ll start planning!

Sample Lake Como Elopement Timeline

Each elopement is different, but here’s an idea of what a full-day elopement timeline might look like:

6:00 AM: Sunrise hike 

10:00 AM: Breakfast

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Rest or have lunch in a charming seaside town 

2:00 PM: Explore the Lake in a Chartered Boat

5:00 PM: Lakeside Ceremony

6:00 PM: Dinner

6:00 PM: Sunset

8:00 PM: Star Photos 

How Much Does it Cost to Elope in Lake Como?

You may be surprised to find that a Lake Como elopement can save a great deal of money when compared to a traditional wedding. Even with travel costs factored in, you could save anywhere from 15-20k just by eloping!

To see how this is possible, let’s consider the cost of a traditional wedding. According to theknot.com, a traditional wedding with 100 guests (which is not even that large for a typical wedding!) is estimated to cost between $26,820 – $31,600.

Now, let’s look at the costs of a typical Lake Como adventure elopement. Of course, you have the option to go as big or as small as you want, but this is generally the what my Amores spend: 

Travel: $2000 – $5,000

Photographer: $6100-$8000

Attire: $200 – $2,000

Bouquet: $100

Hair and makeup: $250

Officiant: $250

Activities: $0-$500

Food and drink: $100 – $500

Total for a Lake Como elopement: $9000 – $16,600

As you can see, it’s possible to have an epic Italian adventure AND the elopement you’ve been dreaming about for less than 1/2 of what you might spend on a traditional wedding! 

Couple on a boat ride at their Lake Como elopement

How to Get to Your Lake Como Elopement

Unless you already live in Europe, you’ll be arriving by plane. The two closest airports are:

  • Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
  • Milan Linate Airport (LIN)

It is about a 2 hour drive from Milan to Lake Como. There is also regular train service from Milan to Como.

When to Elope in Lake Como

  1. Spring (April to June): In the Spring, you’ll find mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and fewer tourists. This is right up there with Fall as the best time to visit Lake Como.
  2. Fall (September to October): Fall is the time to enjoy the stunning foliage and comfortable temperatures. This time of year is also less crowded compared to the summer months.
  3. Summer (July-August): This is the busiest time of year, so expect bustling towns and large crowds. If you are going to visit during the summer months, plan ahead since hotels and venues tend to book up quickly.
  4. Winter (November-March): As a seasonal tourist destination, this is definitely the off-season. That said, there are reasons to visit during the winter! The snow-capped Alps provide a stunning and unique view, and you won’t have to deal with any crowds. Just be aware that some restaurants, hotels, and attractions may be closed for the season.
Couple at thier lake braies elopement

Where to Stay When You Elope in Lake como

There are many lodging options in Lake Como, so whatever type of accommodations you are looking for, you can probably find it! If Villas and large resorts are your thing, you’ll find plenty of options in Bellagio, Como, and Tremezzo.

One thing to consider is that where you stay is a big part of your overall experience. The lodging you choose should feel comfortable and authentic to you. Because of this, I generally recommend that couples find an Airbnb that fits your vibe as a couple.

The right Airbnb will not only be the perfect home base for relaxing, but can be a gorgeous backdrop for your getting ready or intimate photos. You can find Airbnb’s in a variety of price ranges to fit just about any budget.

Here are just a few amazing Airbnb options for your Lake Como elopement:

Finding the Right Vendors For Your Lake Como Elopement

Depending on what you desire for your elopement, you may want to bring in some other wedding professionals to help during you day. This could include florists, hair and makeup artists, guides, or musicians. Each of my elopement packages includes list of my trusted local vendors who will ensure that every detail is perfect!

Meet Your Lake Como Elopement Photographer

Colorado Elopement Photographer stands next to a Jeep

Hi there! I’m Adam and I live for helping couples just like you make their elopement dreams come true. If you want to learn more about how to elope in Italy I’m your guy! I can help you find the best Lake Como elopement package and share all the best tips for your Lake Como elopement.

If you’re ready to start planning or just have some questions to decide if a Lake Como elopement is right for you, I’d love to hear from you.

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