Palazzo dreams become reality on Italy’s magical Lake Como, where a modern woman is instantly transformed into the princess or queen she’s always deserved to be. Historic villas perched on cliffs overlooking a vast, sparkling lake as boats whizz by feel like a fantasy. Legend has it that at Villa Pliniana, a majestic property subtly situated across the water from Como’s bustle, night watchers can still see Emilio and Anne, passionate lovers who escaped to the villa in the late 1800’s, diving into the loggia in the dark of night, wrapped in a white bed sheet. The newly re-opened villa’s secret passageways, otherwordly garden, two grand ballrooms and a courtyard overlooking the lake inspire a regal take on wedding dressing and effortless opulence. In the spirit of true love and ultimate grandeur, our bella sposa dons 16 fairytale gowns–and spectacular jewels–for the undeniably modern bride.
Pair edgy elements like subtly sheer skirts and jet black details with super-luxe extras. Above: Ines di Santo “Cheer” ball gown and capelet, $13,379, bridalreflections.com. Left: Vera Wang “Nigella” gown and corset, $25,650, verawang.com; Forevermark Black Label Diamond cushion empress drop earrings, forevermark.com; Stephen Russell antique tiara circa 1850, price upon request, 212-570-6900. Right: Carolina Herrera dress, $5,990, carolinaherrera.com; Suzanne Couture Millinery crystal studded veil, price upon request, suzannehats.com; Forevermark Black Label Diamond cushion empress drop earrings, Black Label Diamond square classic stud earrings, cushion empress engagement ring and Riviera necklace, forevermark.com.
Separates elevate a look, adding rich texture and depth. Don’t shy away from add-ons you can shed as the night wears on. Caroline Hayden blouse, $1,995, cape, $2,400, vest, $2,295, skirt, $5,995, carolinehayden.com; Forevermark Black Label Diamond square classic stud earrings, cushion empress drop earrings and engagement ring, forevermark.com.
Garden settings call for whimsical laces–like Guipure and point d’esprit–or full-on floral motifs. Left: Marchesa embellished tulle gown, $8,995, by custom order at 212-463-8135. Right: Christos Costarellos gown, $3,333, costarellos.com; Forevermark Black Label Diamond square classic stud earrings, cushion empress drop earrings and Riviera necklace, forevermark.com.