Freelance designer Sophie, 32, and Giovanni, 34, a private banker chose Lake Como for their dream wedding. Sophie says:

"Our venue was Villa Passalacqua. I came across it by accident and fell in love with it. It was perfect for a white wedding. The huge gardens are very colourful, and inside there are beautiful frescos. The white colour scheme perfectly offset the surroundings. The flowers were mostly white roses with a few peonies, but we chose different shades to add dimension. We put arrangements in the church entrance, on the end of every pew and by the altar, and later put some of the flowers in each of the 30 guest rooms, along with welcome packs for the weekend."

"There were candles everywhere. We had a winding path from the lake up to the villa, which was dotted with candles, and we had tea lights in the trees, in wire displays and on the tables inside. It looked amazing."

"I was inspired by pictures of American weddings when choosing the tablecentres. Italians prefer table pieces to be lower and flatter, but I wanted them to be dramatic floral displays. It was the same with the cake. It's traditional in Italy to have a discreet cake, but I wanted four tiers."

"For the stationery, I designed a logo using our initials that was put on everything, from the order of service, to the welcome packs and the tags on the favours. These were Italian chocolates covered in silver sugaring, in handmade boxes tied with grey ribbon."

"The food was the focus of the day. Italians won't settle for anything less than the best! We had a Michelin-starred chef create the 11-course menu. He also made little cakes and desserts, sweets and biscotti, which were scattered on tables around the room."

"Our first dance was magical. We chose The Way You Look Tonight, sung by Tony Bennett. My advice for brides? Take time with your planning. I tried on every dress I could, as I knew it was the only chance I'd get!"