As I get older, and older, I’m going to more extravagant weddings. Some of my friends are getting remarried, or just marrying later. I got married young (early 20’s) and had no money. Our wedding ceremony was a dry event at my wife’s family church, organized and paid for by our parents.
Last week, I went to an impressive destination wedding in Lake Como, Italy. It wasn’t a place on my travel radar, but what a fairytale setting for a romantic event! The lake, which is shaped like a wishbone, is strikingly beautiful. Even more impressive is the architecture of the towns built along the coastline against the mountains. The buildings are of the rationalist style by Italian architect Giuseppe Terragni. One of my favorite towns there, Bellagio, was the inspiration for its namesake in Las Vegas. So, you get the picture. If you make it there, try the restaurant, Bilacrus. The service was top notch and the food memorable. Bilacrus attracted a very good-looking crowd taking lots of pictures… eh, selfies.
The welcome reception was at Villa del Balbianello. This estate is on the tip of the peninsula that splits the lake into two legs, offering panoramic views. It was first built as a monastery by a Franciscan monk in the early 1700s. Later, it was passed on to different owners, who all took turns expanding and preserving the site. Today it is run by FAI, a non-profit foundation with the aim of protecting and enhancing Italy’s historical artistic and landscape heritage. It really would be hard to find a more picturesque place in the world to help celebrate a wedding.
I’ve now been to destination weddings in Mexico, France, Romania and Italy over the past 10 years. Interestingly, many of the same friends were in attendance in all those weddings. We are the destination wedding party entourage! Or maybe “destination wedding groupies” may be more appropriate. This must be a developing phenomenon amongst other groups of friends, where couples are pressured to host spectacular destination weddings for their groupie friends.
So, where’s the next trip… I mean wedding? Who is next?!