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Arabic Wedding in Lake Maggiore: Relais Villa Porta

One of the main reasons why Italy is nicknamed the “Beautiful Country” is its extraordinary variety of landscapes. From north to south, you can encounter mountainous panoramas inviting exploration through walks and sports, coastal regions perfect for relaxation in mild climates, pristine nature, and art cities. There are some places that manage to capture and condense the magic of all this variety into a single, marvelous setting: one of these is certainly Lake Maggiore. A location that brings together many facets of our country on its shores, and for this reason, it is chosen not only by tourists from all over the world but also by many lovers to celebrate their weddings.

My work as a videographer takes me all over Italy to tell many love stories in the most scenic and fascinating locations, and indeed, I have been fortunate to visit this lake many times. However, each wedding has its own story and peculiarities, which give these places – and my videos – a different nuance every time I visit. Today, I want to tell you about Maryam and Steve, a couple who managed to create a truly special atmosphere on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and who entrusted me and Artus Lacis, an award-winning Latvian wedding photographer, with the task of witnessing this particularly special day to capture it with our lenses and preserve it forever. Are you ready for this journey?

Read also: The Top 5 Lake Como Wedding Venues

History and Tradition of The Islands of Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore is one of the great Italian lakes along with Lake Como and Lake Garda: all three share a glacial origin and a typical elongated shape, located near the Alpine arc, but each of them has a distinct personality. Specifically, this lake, which extends between Piedmont and Lombardy, bordering Switzerland, is dotted with small inhabited islands rich in history and tradition. The lake shores have been inhabited continuously since the Middle Ages, and it’s no coincidence that nobles and rulers of the time chose to build numerous castles and villages here, fascinated by its lush nature, which still today is a highlight of tourist itineraries in the area.

In addition to visiting villages, monasteries, and islands, including the complex of the Borromean Islands and the Islands of Brissago, visitors can engage in numerous cultural and sporting activities. The lake shores are also rich in museums such as MIDeC (International Museum of Ceramic Design) or the municipal museum of modern art in Ascona, which houses works by artists like Paul Klee and Jawlensky, as well as offering many activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Did you know that this lake is famous not only for walks, trekking, and similar activities but also for sailing and windsurfing? Its shape, combined with the Alps towering above it, creates a unique condition ideal for enthusiasts of these sports!

Read also: 10 Reasons To Get Married In The Heart Of Lake Como

The Adventurous History of Relais Villa Porta

Overlooking the lake waters, specifically on the Gulf of Colmegna, is the chosen location for Maryam and Steve’s dream wedding on Lake Maggiore: Villa Porta. A relais as unique as it is rare, with its 10,000 square meters of centuries-old park offering not only a spectacular view of the lake but also romantic paths for strolling in nature and various facilities ranging from restaurants to areas dedicated to fitness, relaxation, and younger guests: a true corner of paradise (and a perfect setting for a wedding video)!

Aereal view of Relais Villa Porta

Villa Porta’s history dates back to the late 1700s when it was designed and built as a hunting lodge. Its destiny, however, took a different turn, and from 1820 onwards, Leopoldo Casnedi turned it into an inn, later passing ownership to Engineer Porta, whose name it still bears. Indeed, it was the engineer with a passion for botany who began to embellish the villa’s garden with exotic and rare plants collected during his travels, laying the foundations for the huge park, further enhanced over time by unique elements such as the Liberty-style greenhouse and its small port on the lake.

Even today, under the ownership of the Luz family, the Villa continues to create new, magical spaces while preserving the villa’s centuries-old history. The latest addition is the Limonaia, a ballroom characterized by its open-sky skyline that enhances the entire environment and gives it a touch of elegance, creating an atmosphere that is truly hard to compare with other locations on the lake, making it the perfect place to celebrate a special day.

Read also: Love on the Como Lake: A Family Wedding in Bellagio

The Orthodox Ceremony: A Rich Tradition

The day began with the classic preparation of the bride and groom, who got ready for the ceremony in the Villa’s rooms. A very intimate moment, often shared with their closest family members, although in this case, both Steve and Maryam preferred to surround themselves with lifelong friends who had also come to Italy to act as their best men and maids of honor on this occasion, sharing a drink to break the tension. Once ready, the couple moved to the actual ceremony, arriving in grand style: through the streets of the town, a small crowd of onlookers couldn’t help but notice the splendid vintage convertible that accompanied them to the church!

The Orthodox ritual with which the wedding was celebrated was truly unique. This type of celebration is rich in symbolism and traditions that make it unique and deeply spiritual. The ceremony begins with the crowning of the bride and groom, during which golden or flower crowns are placed on their heads, symbolizing the creation of a new family kingdom. Subsequently, the exchange of rings takes place, blessed by the priest, representing the eternity and fidelity of their bond. Then the chalice is blessed, from which the spouses drink wine together.

This act symbolizes the sharing of the joys and sorrows they will face together in their married life. The ceremony is accompanied by prayers and chants, creating a sacred and solemn atmosphere that celebrates the union of the spouses before God and the community. Steve and Maryam were visibly moved, as were their friends, and in the intimacy of the small church they chose, the atmosphere truly became magical.

Read also: Isola Del Garda: A Small Wedding In Lake Garda

Would a Wedding Be Complete Without a Party?

Once the fateful “yes” was pronounced, it was time to return to the villa for a buffet, preceding dinner in the Limonaia, and for the first tender moments as newlyweds for the couple along Villa Porta’s most scenic paths, enjoying a moment of intimacy away from the eyes of the guests. The dinner location was truly unique: we found ourselves right on the water’s edge on the shores of the lake, in an environment that almost seemed completely open-air, with the spectacle of the moon reflecting its light on the calm waters of the lake at night. In this case too, the best men and maids of honor made a scene-stealing entrance, respectively to the tunes of the Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls, immediately setting a lively tone for the celebration!

The couple themselves were not to be outdone, making their entrance in grand style, accompanied by a band towards the Limonaia. The dinner was interspersed, as always, with moving speeches from parents and playful ones from friends, until the moment came for the cake, also under the moonlight and with a breathtaking scenery amidst the shadows of the mountains surrounding the lake and the fireworks that briefly illuminated them. After this truly emotional moment, the party proper began, with guests finally letting loose on the dance floor to conclude a day truly rich in emotions.

The Role of Storytellers in Your Wedding Story

In places naturally imbued with such beauty, one might think that a photograph on our cellphone would suffice to bring our minds back to that day, those scents, those emotions, or that simply closing our eyes would mentally transport us to Lake Maggiore. However, years later, we often discover that this is not the case, because when experiencing such a totalizing experience, the senses prevail, and the photos taken by relatives and friends only offer a partial view of everything we were surrounded by.

This is precisely why location and organization alone are not enough to make a wedding memorable: it becomes essential to turn to professional and specialized videographers and photographers. Our role, in fact, is not just that of witnesses, but of storytellers: we must capture emotions in the most discreet and natural way possible, allowing the spouses the freedom to fully experience them without thinking of anything else, so that they can relive them again and again through videos and photos.

The wedding day is the day when the life stories of two lovers finally intertwine, giving rise to a new, beautiful story, and I like to think that I can contribute to this narrative with my videos: I do not hide the fact that I am moved thinking that in many years, the spouses will reunite with their family and recount that day, becoming emotional thanks to my work!

Read also: 6 Ways An Italian Wedding Videographer Can Make A Difference

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FAQ

Ready to answer to all of your questions and needs

Sure! You can request the price quotation by calling me or filling out the form. If you prefer, you can also send an email to this address: info@thirtyfivestudios.com

Weddings and elopements are confirmed only by contract and first deposit. Usually couples book their event 6-9 months in advance: for this reason, please contact us in time so that we can check our availability immediately.

It’s important to note that a date cannot be reserved until a formal contract is signed with our videoography studio. This policy is in place due to continuous inquiries, as multiple couples might request the same date during the same period.

 

Generally work is divided into two types: weddings and elopements.

For the wedding what is delivered is:

  • Trailer 4K (from 2 to 4 minutes).
  • Film 4K (from 10 to 15 minutes).
  • Extra videos 4K (these are video clips in addition containing full speeches, dances and other things).

 

For the elopement what is delivered is:

  • Instagram Reel (60 seconds).
  • Film 4K (from 5 to 7 minutes).

 

However, nothing prevents you from extending your requests when signing the contract. Request more information and take a look at our pricelist to find out about all the services we offer.

In our packages, travel and stay expenses are included in the cost because we regularly travel throughout Italy to shoot weddings. Being based in different places in Italy, we do not inflate prices for travel because we are close to major and famous wedding locations. Therefore, no matter where in Italy you choose to have your wedding, our costs remain the same.

The payment is divided in three parts:

  • 40% to block the date with signing of the contract.
  • 40% the day of the event.
  • 20% after checking the videos.


As soon as we receive the last payment, you can download the videos from our personal Google Drive.

Please note that VAT is included in our prices. However, our prices are listed in Euros, not in dollars, and any currency conversion fees and taxes from their originating bank are the responsibility of the clients.

 

Generally, no more than 90 days for the complete work, as written in the contract. However, by choosing “fast delivery” you can receive the finished work within 15 days.

The videos are delivered in digital format via our Google Drive. However, upon extra payment, you can request a usb pen box set on which you can keep a copy of the videos.

Our videography studio operates as a cohesive team with a shared vision and methodology. Consequently, we can all ensure the same reliability and style consistency, However, during our acquaintance you will know immediately if I will be free for your event or if my team will be present.

For years so far, we have chosen not to charge for the drone as for a service apart, so it is already included in our basic package and there is no increase in price. This instrument will be used at our discretion, where there is needed. 

In some places drone use is unfortunately not permitted. In that case we will use 4K stock aerial footage of the location.

In a wedding we generally stay from 8 to 10 hours. For an elopement the service time ranges from 4 to 6 hours.

Obviously it is possible to create a tailor-made contract for you in order to cover the entire event (welcome dinner, night party, post and pre wedding experiences).

Yes, you can make some small changes to the video such as scene changes. It is not possible to change the music because the music is always chosen by the couple before starting the assembly phase. 

We always give the couple the choice of two important things:
the music and the parts of the speeches.

The music can be chosen by the couple before or after the wedding day.

For the speeches, however, we send the couple all the videos of the speeches and the couple can tell us the most important minutes they want to have in the video.

In this way we try to create a product that is as close to what the couple would like to receive.

Obviously this is not a requirement. If the couple doesn’t want to do this, they can totally rely on our personal taste.

With our videography studio, we do not directly offer photographic service. However, we do offer the “Film Frames” service, which consists of about 100+ images (vertical and horizontal) in 4k from our clips. This allows you to have one team at your event, one image style and cut the cost in half. Alternatively, we will be happy to recommend some professional photographers with whom we frequently work throughout Italy.

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