An Over-the-Top Romantic Wedding on the Shores of Lake Como

Planned by Design Anarchy Studio

romantic lake como wedding, bride and groom holding hands

 Photo by David Salim

Growing up, Felicia Kawilarang and Kevin Aluwi had always known of each other, largely thanks to their mothers, who were college BFFs. “We bumped into each other socially and were casual acquaintances,” the bride says of their longstanding relationship. That all changed after college when Felicia and Kevin both ended up working in Jakarta. At the time, the groom had just built a dating start-up and needed to find someone to replace his role. Lo and behold, he reached out to his future bride via Facebook, thinking she would be the perfect fit. But, when the pair eventually met for coffee to discuss the details, their instant connection got in the way of any business decisions. “Instead of hiring me, he decided I was a better fit as his girlfriend!” says Felicia with a laugh. 

Four years after Kevin asked Felicia to be his girlfriend (on her birthday!), he got down on one knee to propose another important question—and even incorporated the bride's closest friends. Basically, what was meant to be a girls' trip to Hong Kong turned into the ultimate surprise, with Kevin flying in to crash the group’s dinner. “I was so surprised when the lights in the restaurant went off and my friends started getting up,” the unsuspecting bride recalls. “Before I started freaking out thinking there was an emergency, in came Kevin with a bouquet of flowers getting down on one knee and proposing in front of my girlfriends.”

The couple struck gold with their stunning ceremony venue—Church of Saints Nazaro and Celso in Lake Como, Italy—for their destination wedding on October 20, 2018. “We were lucky enough to be the last foreign couple allowed to celebrate our wedding on the premises,” says Felicia of the locale. To complement the breathtaking Italian countryside, the duo commemorated the special occasion with a romantic, rustic-meets-elegant allure, complete with a blush color palette and natural décor. Highlighting their loves of food and music was also a must—so much so that Felicia and Kevin tried every restaurant in the area before deciding on Villa Pliniana, which features catering by Il Sereno Hotel, for their wedding reception.

Keep reading to see this beautiful destination wedding, planned by Design Anarchy Studio and photographed by David Salim.

romantic lake como wedding, bride with bridesmaids
Photo by David Salim 
romantic lake como wedding, bridesmaids helping bride
Photo by David Salim 

To thank her bridesmaids, Felicia wrote each of them a handwritten letter, highlighting their friendships and taking a walk down memory lane. And, keeping in line with the soft, simple vibe, the bridal party sported blush dresses made by an Indonesian designer and close friend of the bride’s, Paulina Katarina. “We wanted to show off local Indonesian talent, so we had all our wedding party attire designed by local designers,” says the bride.

romantic lake como wedding, bride with maid of honor
 Photo by David Salim
romantic lake como wedding, bride with mother
 Photo by David Salim

In terms of her own attire, the bride walked down the aisle in a delicate lace, A-line gown by Romona Keveža. It happened to be one of the first gowns she saw while dress shopping, but she wanted to scope out other options before pulling the trigger. After more try-on sessions, she couldn’t get the original dress out of her head and immediately knew it was "the one." Felica asked her family members, including her mother, to wear deep blue gowns that coordinated with the rest of the day's color palette.

romantic lake como wedding, bride with bouquet
 Photo by David Salim

Felicia paired the look with a matching veil by the same designer, a Jennifer Behr hairpiece, and a lush, silk ribbon-adorned floral arrangement by Tuscany Flowers

romantic lake como wedding, basket of flower petals
Photo by David Salim 
romantic lake como wedding, bride and father entering church
 Photo by David Salim

A similar blend of blooms accented the church during the ceremony, along with an assortment of candles. 

romantic lake como wedding, church interior
 Photo by David Salim
romantic lake como wedding, ceremony church
 Photo by David Salim

Kevin and Felicia decided to write their own vows in order to make their commitments to one another more personal. “I’m a huge fan of Disneyland and Kevin isn’t, but in his vows, he made sure to mention that he promises to take me to Disneyland every few years, which I absolutely adored,” says the bride. 

romantic lake como wedding, bride kissing groom
Photo by David Salim 
romantic lake como wedding, bride and groom ceremony exit
Photo by David Salim 

Friends and family, who had flown in from all over the world, showered the newlyweds with flower petals after their vows. After exiting the church, the newlyweds took a sunset boat ride to the reception venue: Villa Pliniana. "The sun was beautifully setting over the lake and it was such a clear day, but the waters were still misty, which made the whole scene so dreamy I had to pinch myself," says Felicia.

romantic lake como wedding, outdoor cocktail hour
 Photo by David Salim
romantic lake como wedding, cocktail hour bar
 Photo by David Salim

The outdoor cocktail hour at Villa Pliniana featured special signature beverages inspired by the bride and groom—"The Kevin" and "The Felicia," which mirrored a whiskey sour and a cosmopolitan, respectively. 

romantic lake como wedding, neutral reception seating
 Photo by David Salim
romantic lake como wedding, blue table settings
 Photo by David Salim

Pops of blue and gold tones, tall candelabras, and soft drapery topped off the couple’s dreamy décor vision. Covered by a lantern-infused tent, guests enjoyed traditional recipes from Il Sereno catering—aubergine terrine with tomato and mozzarella, scallops, ravioli, grilled lake fish of the day, and tiramisu. 

romantic lake como wedding, groom embracing bride reception
 Photo by David Salim
romantic lake como wedding, bride sequin dress and hair pin
 Photo by David Salim

During the reception, Felicia swapped her ceremony ensemble for a fitted blush frock and cape, both lined with Swarovski crystal beads and custom-made by Indonesian couture designer Adrian Gan. 

romantic lake como wedding, bride and groom dancing afterparty
Photo by David Salim 
romantic lake como wedding, bride and groom dancing afterparty
 Photo by David Salim

"We wanted to dance 'til dawn, as our friends are all party animals," explains the bride. So, to kick the after-party into high gear, the newlyweds wowed the crowd with a first dance they had been practicing with dance lessons. “It was so memorable because we got to dance in front of our closest friends and family as a saxophonist and electric violinist played ‘Shut Up and Dance,'” says Felicia of one her favorite moments. A close friend of the couple, who is also one of the leading DJs in Indonesia, also played during the celebration.

romantic lake como wedding, bride and groom cutting cake
Photo by David Salim 

The stellar music performances continued for the cake cutting, as well, during which Kevin and Felicia capped off the night with their first bites of a traditional Italian millefeuille with berries and cream—a sweet finish to their beautiful destination wedding in Italy!

Wedding Team

Ceremony Venue Church of Saints Nazaro and Celso in Bellano

Reception Venue Villa Pliniana

Wedding Planning & Design Design Anarchy Studio

Bride's Dresses Romona Keveža, Adrian Gan

Bride's Veil Romona Keveža

Bride's Jewelry Tulola Bridal

Bride's Shoes Jimmy Choo

Hair & Makeup Lala Barbie, Marcela Bantea

Bridesmaids' Dresses Paulina Katarina

Mother of the Bride Dress Stella Lunardy

Groom's Attire Dior Homme

Groomsmen's Attire Agus Lim

Music ALR Music, DISQUE Music, Blunotte Eventi

Floral Design Tuscany Flowers

Invitations & Paper Products Veronica Halim

Catering & Cake Il Sereno Hotel

Rentals Smacrent

Accommodations Il Sereno Hotel, Hilton Como

Videography & Photography David Salim

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