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A “Timeless With a Touch of Modern Flair” Destination Wedding at Relais Villa Vittoria in Lake Como

By Sara Dial | Photography by 

Kristin Piteo

|Planning by 

Confetti a Calzione

“It’s a twofold story,” Paige Qua says of her happenstance meeting with Eric Smith. Even though the pair lived next door to each other in college, Eric and Paige never formally met until they both swiped right on each other’s profiles on Bumble.

Four years later, the two were on the way to dinner with Eric’s business partner in Cleveland—or so Paige thought—when Eric asked to take a walk down by the water to spy the setup for the upcoming NFL draft, “very typical of him,” she laughs. “It was really windy and ice cold outside, so I was eager to get back to the car, until he turned me around, grabbed my hands, and it was at that moment I knew. After getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him, it was the start of one of the happiest weekends of my life.” 

Once engaged, the two decided on an intimate wedding. The couple decided to visit Lake Como on a whim, as it uniquely reminded them of Northern Michigan and Vermillion, Ohio, two especially meaningful destinations for the both of them. Once they arrived in Italy, and toured Relais Villa Vittoria, they simply felt at home and knew it was meant to be their venue.

“We are both old souls at heart so finding a small, old Italian villa on the lake to host our day was a no-brainer, and leaning into that further came naturally for me when it came to deciding on the wedding aesthetic: classy and timeless with a touch of modern flair,” she notes. Confetti a Calzione took to all of the planning, while Kristin Piteo positioned herself behind the lens all weekend. 

“Handwritten letters to one another have always been a special aspect of our relationship over the years, and my vision to represent that through our wedding invitations beautifully came to life, thanks to our talented stationery designer,” Paige says of Bee in Love Wedding Stationery.

The bride-to-be collaborated with Fyodor Atelier to bring her wedding dress vision to life. She wanted the look to be elegant while maintaining a contemporary shape—“and Fyodor was able to do just that,” Paige explains. The look was complete with a Clio Peppiatt “Till Death Do Us Part” beaded handbag, Chan Luu pearl earrings and vintage sunglasses. Eric matched the classic aesthetic in a black tuxedo.

To kick off the weekend, the couple hosted a poolside welcome party at Villa Mojana, where Paige, Eric, and their immediate family stayed all weekend. “The afternoon was filled with delicious food, endless Aperol Spritzes, and lots of jumps into the pool,” the bride remembers. 

On June 14, 2023, Paige and Eric spent the morning together, getting dressed and truly taking it all in. “Spending as much time together as possible was our number one priority for our wedding day, which meant breaking away from normal wedding traditions and thinking outside the box to ensure that could happen,” she explains. “The simple idea of getting ready together, one of the many details we thoughtfully reimagined to make sure we were by each other’s side all day, ended up being one of the most peaceful and present moments of our wedding day.”

As guests traveled to the ceremony space via a scenic cocktail cruise, the pair boarded their own mahogany vessel and popped Champagne—a toast to the two of them. In the ceremony space, hand-painted paper fans detailed each seat and white florals, by Il Profumo Dei Fiori, added to the lakeside wonderland. 

“The ceremony was exactly how I had always envisioned it to be: intimate, slow, and romantic,” Paige shares. The bride walked down the aisle arm-in-arm with her father before her stepfather officiated a beautiful ceremony. “One of my favorite moments was when he asked for our guests to all stand, while Eric and I faced them for a community vow. It truly was such a special moment getting to look out at all of our close family and friends, and hearing them say ‘we will’ as a vow to us.”

The bride and groom exchanged personal, heartfelt words and sealed it all with a kiss. “My boldest memory was holding Eric’s hands for all 30 minutes while looking into his eyes,” Paige recalls. “It almost felt as though looking at him made time slow down, while the nerves disappeared, allowing us to truly be in the moment the entire ceremony.”

The newlyweds exited the ceremony surrounded by tossed flower petals and everyone cheered. When guests headed to the terrace for aperitifs and cocktails, Paige and Eric shared a moment alone. Then, amidst a garden of greenery, dinner was served atop an fresh orange-accented tablescape.

Paige and Eric danced to Leon Bridges’s “River,” and the bride featured a second look to cut the cake—a white, sleeveless jumpsuit. Blunotte Eventi’s Guitar Duo had everyone dancing all night, celebrating The Smiths under the stars.

When the night came to a close, everyone capped off the evening with an unexpected pool party, jumping in with all of their formalwear on. “Absolutely priceless,” Paige remembers.

“I’ve always been told your wedding day will feel like a blur, but ours did not,” Paige shares. “It felt slow, in the best way possible. Our memories are raw and vivid because we kept it about us. I wouldn’t change a single thing about that entire day.”