During the summer of 2012, Tucker Crockett was having dinner with a friend in Montauk and started describing his dream girl. To which his friend replied: "You have to meet Karla Herrera!" “She introduced us, and the rest is history,” Karla herself recalls. The pair then dated for four years, during which they moved to Denver together to pursue their dream of living out West. Fittingly, it was in Colorado that Tucker proposed. “He planned a weekend getaway to Aspen and during a day of hiking and horseback riding, he popped the question at the Maroon Bells,” Karla says.
In fact, Karla and Tucker love to travel, so none of their family and friends were surprised when they decided to host their August 5, 2017, wedding overlooking Lake Como. “We’d been there in 2015, and on our trip Tucker mentioned that Villa d’Este would be an amazing place to get married,” says Karla. “I was shocked because it was a year before we got engaged!” But they didn’t forget the property—or the tour they went on with the events director!—so choosing a venue was easy. From there, the couple worked with the Lake Como Wedding Planner to add an unexpected, modern flair to the venue’s traditional elegance, filling their wedding celebration with fun surprises for their 130 guests.
From showstopping performances to a series of spectacular settings, you don't want to miss this Italian destination wedding, photographed by Holly Clark Photography. Keep reading for more!
The day before the main event, Karla and Tucker had a Catholic ceremony with their immediate families in Varenna. “We took an hour boat ride from Cernobbio, then walked through the town to a beautiful church, where we exchanged traditional vows before having an amazing harbor-side lunch," Karla says. The bride donned a tiered white lace dress from Self Portrait for the occasion, while the groom wore a blue suit from J.Crew.
After the ceremony, the couple sipped champagne on the lake before heading to lunch. “The musician was playing traditional Italian love songs when we arrived, which led to an impromptu dance party,” Karla adds.
The next morning, the bride donned a stunning Mira Zwillinger gown and matching veil. “Mark Ingram Atelier was my last appointment of the day, and to be honest, I was over the entire process,” Karla says of her dress shopping experience. “I was really straightforward about what I wanted, and my consultant immediately brought me the winning dress!” The gown paired a sheer neckline with embroidered flowers and a long, soft train.
For the first look, Tucker got dressed up in a classic Ermenegildo Zegna tuxedo. Karla’s bridesmaids—in long, black dresses of their own choosing—cheered from above as they watched Karla approach her groom.
The couple’s outdoor ceremony took place in Villa d’Este’s spectacular gardens, where arrangements of white delphinium and lush greenery were added to appear as if they were growing around the rows of chairs.
The couple stuck with traditional vows but asked their officiant to incorporate local Italian traditions into the ceremony. “We tucked our vows into a wine box, which was sealed and will be opened on our fifth anniversary,” says the bride.
Guests headed down to the water for cocktail hour but soon noticed a series of boats arriving at the dock. “We all got onto the boats, which took everyone to Villa Gastel in central Cernobbio,” says Karla. “Tucker and I loved the idea of surprising everyone with a change of venue!”
At the villa, guests were greeted with Aperol spritzes and led down a tree-lined road to the dinner reception.
A clear tent covered the villa’s modern courtyard, where lush ivy covered the walls. “Tucker and I got to the courtyard before the rest of our guests had arrived, and famed tenor James Valenti was rehearsing before his dinner performance,” Karla recalls. “It was like a private concert, and we were completely blown away. We both started crying—and so did our wedding planners!”
When guests came into the courtyard for dinner, they found long tables draped in soft gray linens and flanked by natural cross-back chairs. “Because the courtyard was already so green, we mimicked that with the centerpieces,” Karla describes. Branches and soft white flowers were suspended on simple gold frames for an elevated moment, while glass compotes and candles were scattered down below.
Each place setting featured a menu painted by a local artist. As a nod to Karla’s Dominican and Cuban heritage, her cousin also created a custom cigar blend to gift to every male guest. For the women, Karla set custom shoe bags—filled with flip flops in their right sizes—in each chair before dancing got underway.
For dinner, guests enjoyed golden fried scallops with burrata, homemade tagliolini with cheese from Piemonte, and roasted sea bass with pistachios and shellfish fregola. As the main course was served, James Valenti took to the stage and serenaded the crowd with “Non Ti Scordar Di Me” and “Con Te Partirò.”
The large single-tiered red velvet wedding cake was draped with lush greenery to match the centerpieces.
When it was time for dancing, Tucker changed into a white Giorgio Armani dinner jacket, then brought Karla out onto the dance floor to dance to “This Will Be” by Nat King Cole.
In keeping with Latin tradition, Karla and Tucker organized an "La Hora Loca" that was kicked off by a troupe of Brazilian dancers. “I changed into a red Christos Costarellos dress and Dolce & Gabbana shoes, and then the party really began!” says the bride. The surprises throughout the night kept the momentum going, and while the entire evening was an absolute blast, Karla's favorite moment took place between cocktail hour and dinner. “Tucker and I left about 30 minutes before our guests did so we’d have time to take pictures, eat cake, and really take in the moment,” she says. “Then we tried to step away throughout the evening to admire all of the people we love having the time of our lives. Taking that time together was so special!”
Wedding Planner: The Lake Como Wedding Planner || Ceremony Venue: Villa d’Este || Reception Venue: Villa Gastel || Officiant: Fabio Albonico || Bride’s Church Ceremony Dress: Self Portrait || Bride’s Church Ceremony Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Bride’s Church Ceremony Accessories: Edie Parker, Sachin & Babi || Bride's Dress: Mira Zwillinger || Bride's Veil: Mira Zwillinger || Bride's Shoes: Sophia Webster || Bride's Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. || Bride’s Reception Dress: Christos Costarellos || Bride’s Reception Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana || Hair & Makeup: Jennifer Bradburn, from Face to Face Agency || Groom's Church Ceremony Attire: J.Crew || Groom’s Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna || Groom’s Reception Attire: Girogio Armani || Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co. || Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Floral Design: The Lake Como Wedding Planner || Paper Products: Dempsey & Carroll, Joanne Shipp || Catering: Class Eventi || Mixology: Drinkable || Cake: Ramperti || Ceremony Music: Blunotte Eventi || Reception Music: James Valenti, Blunotte Eventi || Rentals: The Lake Como Wedding Planner || Transportation: Cantieria Mostes, Boat Services || Accommodations: Villa d’Este || Videography: Marco Abba || Photography: Holly Clark