blog categories

Sunrise villa elopement on Lake Como

Home » Blog » Sunrise villa elopement on Lake Como
A woman in white wedding dress hold the hand of a man in a dark green tux under a villa terrace during their elopement vows on Lake Como

A sunrise villa elopement on Lake Como is a great alternative to a large, busy wedding day. Many people who host their weddings on Lake Como opt for opulent celebrations with long guest lists. If that doesn’t sound like you, then there is an alternative! You can still have a dream wedding or elopement on Lake Como that doesn’t feel overwhelming, and stays true to your more reserved selves (and budget).

Take R&E’s villa elopement on Lake Como on this moody September day for example. They enjoyed a sunrise ceremony, relaxing breakfast, tour at Villa Carlotta and a boat ride to see all their favorite spots along the lake.

Villa elopement on Lake Como with a sunrise ceremony

Although waking up early isn’t ideal, a sunrise ceremony on Lake Como offers a couple great benefits. One, if you’re the anxious type, you get the emotional part of the day finished first! Then you can truly sit back and enjoy the rest of the activities.

Second, it’s so much quieter in the morning hours and the light is beautiful. The tourists, boats and traffic are not yet out and about, so you have a quiet slot to yourselves before the world wakes up.

Third, you will be able to save a bit of money and take advantage of areas which aren’t available or are very expensive to rent out at sunset.

In R&E’s case, it was all of the above for their ceremony atop Grand Hotel Cadenabbia.

One bit of advice if you want to elope on lake Como with a smaller budget:

Skip having your ceremony in one of the famous villas. They charge a flat rate, regardless of how large your elopement party is, or how much time you need. The cost isn’t necessarily worth it when you can opt for a smaller, more private location like this one above.

Because we chose sunrise, the hotel let use use this space for free! A great florist can design and install arches for an elevated look and it’s just as beautiful as anywhere else on the lake. Then you can reserve a photo permit for one of the larger villas later in the day.

If you want lots more advice on the area, check out this blog: How to elope on Lake Como, Ultimate Guide

After they exchanged rings, they headed back to their lakefront suite to sit down for a small breakfast. I really encourage couples to work in time to eat and relax, since the day can go so quickly before you realize how hungry and weak you feel.

Another benefit to booking a luxurious hotel like Grand Hotel Cadenabbia are the gorgeous areas around the property to take photos. Like the grand staircase or lobby area, decorated in exquisite furniture.

A couple in wedding outfits walk down the red and gold staircase in Grand Hotel Cadenabbia on their elopement day.

Tour of Villa Carlotta for elopement photos

And of course, no villa elopement on Lake Como is complete without touring one of the famous villas. R&E chose Villa Carlotta (more about their photo permits, private ceremony fees, dinners, and other event pricing here).

In 2023, the cost for a photo permit was €500 for 1.5 hours.

We opted for a morning tour of the gardens only, taking advantage of the perfectly manicured grounds.

A couple pose far off in the frame at Villa Carlotta for their lake Como elopement. They are framed by red flowers, fountains, statues and bushes with the lake in the background.

Boat tour of Lake Como on moody elopement day

The final thing we did for this couple’s villa elopement on Lake Como was a boat tour! Honestly — did you even visit Lake Como if you didn’t see it by boat?? Boat tours are a must! The drivers will bring you by the most famous and impressive villas (like Monastero and Balbianello) for a unique perspective. They’ll also dish out the villa gossip from the past. It’s a great way to see the lake and understand the culture and history as well.

Additionally, it’s a great chance to change outfits. These two went with a “lake life glam” look.

A couple in soft glam outfits sits on the back of a boat on Lake Como, framed by Villa Balbianello in the background on an overcast day

During our boat tour, we saw the famous Villa Balbianello and Nesso waterfall. Other great ideas are to have the boat taxi you to the Bellagio Peninsula and explore the narrow cobblestone alleys. You can grab a gelato, some pizza, or a strong espresso and take in the old school architecture and sun beaming across the water.

Looking for a *local* elopement photographer for Lake Como?

Hi! I’m Mariah. I am an elopement photographer based in Austria and Italy. I specialize in intimate destination weddings and adventure elopements all across Europe.

I’m originally from the U.S., so I’m also the perfect bridge between cultures on your elopement day!

I truly want you to have the most relaxing and fun experience possible.

If you and your partner are looking for something low key and non-traditional on Como, then I know the places, the vendors and the areas for you.


View Pricing & Schedule a Call


More images from this villa elopement on Lake Como:

A couple dance on the terrace of a villa in wedding outfits as they celebrate their lake Como elopement.
A couple pose facing one another on the terrace of a villa in wedding outfits as they celebrate their lake Como elopement.
A couple in light toned glam oufits relax on the back of a classic wooden boat on Lake Como near the Nesso waterfall on their moody September elopement day


1:1 time is my love language, so let's find out if we're a good fit!  
Use to form below to
set up a face to face call:

Where to Elope in Germany

Faroe Islands Elopement Photos

THANK YOU for taking the time to fill out my form and contact me. 


What's next?

I'll be in touch ASAP with the next steps.

If you don't hear from me in 48 hours or less, check your spam folder!