When William Palladino-King proposed to Ying Huang in June 2019, he did so on a vacation to Italy—in front of dozens distant relatives whom he had never even met before (nor did they speak English!). William describes the moment like a scene from The Godfather, revealing that after he got down on one knee, "the entire party roared, cued the music and allowed us to have a dance. They capped off our special moment by giving us champagne and dancing around us in a big circle, playing traditional Italian dance music."
Like the engagement, Ying and William headed back to the Mediterranean country for their destination wedding on October 12, 2019. However, instead of tying the knot in front of several family members and friends like during William's proposal, the pair invited only a handful of guests to their nuptials—less than 10 people to be exact!
Their vision for the day was "sugar plum romance," and hired wedding planner Honour and Blessing Events to execute the destination "I dos." Between the pink-hued décor, watercolor accents and the bride's blush gown, romance was everywhere at their idyllic Lake Como venue, Villa Balbiano. Several nods to William's Italian heritage were included, too!
For more photos of Ying and William's private fairytale wedding taken by photographer Jen Huang, read on.
The pair frequently visits Italy, and since William proposed there, choosing Lake Como as the destination for their small "I dos" was an easy choice. "We wanted to have our wedding in Italy as William is Italian and we love visiting the country," shares the bride.
Calligrapher Veronica Halim designed the couple's invitation suite, which encompassed their "sugar plum romance" theme to a tee. Blush hues, combined with watercolor accents and deckle edge paper, set the tone for the romantic Italian celebration.
Each one of their guests was met with a welcome bag upon arrival at Villa Balbiano. Inside the white zippered pouch was an array of Italian treats, including classic desserts, and a scented candle.
Ying prepared for the big day inside the stunning villa, even posing for some photos in a gorgeous sheer robe.
For the ceremony, the bride opted for a subtle blush ball gown by Italian bridal designer Le Spose Di Gio. The strapless tulle gown was topped off with a sheer off-the-shoulder asymmetrical tulle wrap.
A lilac ribbon secured her bespoke bouquet of pink, white and red florals.
Because of the picturesque landscape at Villa Balbiano and the stunning architecture of the building itself, Ying and William kept their ceremony décor minimal—letting the venue speak for itself.
We chose white flowers to create a dreamy and airy arch to complement the surroundings and archway that surrounds their doorway.
"We chose white flowers to create a dreamy and airy arch to complement the surroundings and archway that surrounds their doorway," explains the bride of the bundles of baby's breath and white and blush roses.
William went with a traditional groom's look: a classic black tuxedo from Hall Madden.
Since their guest list was so small, Ying and William only needed a few seats for their outdoor ceremony. Their family and friends sat on either side of the property's rill, which mimicked an aisle.
The bride and groom admit they trusted most of the planning and design responsibilities with their wedding planner, Honour and Blessing Events. "We wanted a beautiful and elegant wedding and we let our planners design it for us," says Ying.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds were showered with an intimate confetti toss on the villa's steps.
Ying then swapped her blush gown for another colored creation. Her second look featured a strapless V-neckline bodice and layered tulle skirt.
After taking photos in the property's gardens, they met their guests for a drink on the patio before gathering for dinner.
In true Italian fashion, Ying and William's sole reception table was nestled underneath a vine-covered pergola. She adds, "Softening the beautiful stone table, we chose to use a silk runner and plenty of low floral arrangements."
Tapered candles added romance to the minimal place settings, which featured plum place cards and knotted linen napkins.
"With the classic and beautiful setting and décor at Villa Balbiano, we wanted the colors to be elegant and timeless," says Ying of their dreamy pink color scheme.
The newlyweds were welcomed to dinner with a round of applause from their guests.
Over the first course of the meal, the group said "cheers" with glasses of red wine.
Their four-tier cake, albeit petite, was covered in a blush watercolor pattern. Tiny edible flowers, with a few real blooms for added measure, delicately cascaded down the confection, incorporating their reception décor perfectly.
After hosting their dream destination wedding in Lake Como, Ying and William "advise couples to choose a planner who is able to speak your language." She continues, "There are so many vendors and various aspects of the wedding that needs to be coordinated, so to have someone you can communicate comfortably with makes a big difference especially for destination weddings."
Venue Villa Balbiano
Planner Honour and Blessing Events
Bridal Gown Le Spose Di Gio
Jewelry My Golden Age Lab
Hair & Makeup The Glamourist
Groom’s Attire Hall Madden
Floral Design Ratti Flora
Invitations & Paper Products Veronica Halim
Linens & Ribbons Fati Amor
Cake Qualcosa Di Dolce
VideographyJulia Semashko Films
Photography Jen Huang