This Couple and Their 80 Guests Traveled by Boat to Their Breathtaking Wedding on Lake Como
A wedding on the sunny Italian waterfront felt like a natural choice for Kiira and Arthur, who met in 2010, when he saw her perform at the world figure skating championships in Turin (needless to say, he was star-struck). A month after that first encounter, they officially became a couple—and after six years of long-distance dating, Arthur popped the question. "He proposed to me on our rooftop in New York on a Sunday morning," says Kiira. "It was a perfect, romantic surprise."
For their wedding on April 30, 2018, they returned to the site of one of their favorite dates: Lake Como's Villa del Balbianello. "Arthur used to live in Milan and we had our third date there," says Kiira. "It was such a magically beautiful place that we started joking that if we ever got married, we should do it there—and so we did!"
About 80 guests arrived by boat to witness the couple's outdoor ceremony overlooking the water and an intimate reception with dinner and dancing; overall, the bride and groom kept their décor minimal, neutral white color palette and all, allowing the cerulean blue lake to take center stage. Kiira and Arthur refused to let themselves get overwhelmed by planning their event—"We were very laid back with the process," she says, "sometimes maybe even too chill!"—but with the guidance of their wedding planners from Eventoile, they ended up with the day they always imagined, says the bride: "A day so full of love, beauty, and magic, that it was hard to believe it wasn't a dream."
A White Suite
A multi-piece invitation suite from Letterink was printed on Amalfi paper and white translucent vellum as a subtle nod to Kiira's professional ice-skating career; the font used for their names included a swoop on the "A" and "K" that represented an ice swirl.
On the morning of the wedding, the bride took a quiet moment—before the whirlwind of hair and makeup—to write her vows.
A Bridal Updo
Kiira arranged her hair into a loose, curly updo; she accessorized her swept-up style with a pair of drop earrings.
Her Couture Gown
For her wedding dress, Kiira turned to a close friend, Finnish fashion designer Teemu Muurimäki. He designed a double-layered skirt that joined a lace V-neck bodice, accented with an elegant ribbon detail.
Flowers in Their Hair
Fresh florals, affixed to hair pins, were presented to Kiira and her bridesmaids on the morning of the wedding; the bride chose a few blooms to complete her updo.
The bride's lush bouquet from florist Figli dei Fiori included David Austin roses, ranunculus, and peonies. Slim sprigs of olive leaves overflowed from behind the blooms, while the white-and-blush petals coordinated with the bridesmaids' pale pink halter gowns.
Arthur, who works for Tom Ford, wore a custom tuxedo from the designer, with accessories from the same brand. He and his groomsmen, including his brother, got ready at a nearby hotel before boarding a boat to the venue.
Bouts Before Boats
Prior to leaving for the ceremony, the wedding party's gentlemen donned crisp white boutonnières, which were designed to match Kiira's bouquet.
Out of a Fairy Tale
Guests accessed the villa by motorboat, disembarking at a set of stone steps flanked by beribboned poles at a break in the wisteria-covered wall. They walked up the steps and around a winding stone path to reach the upper terraces, where the wedding, dinner, and dancing would soon unfold. "Villa Balbianello is so special to us," says Kiira, "and for all the guests, too, it felt out-of-this-world beautiful."
A Warm Welcome
A hand-crafted scroll sign, complete with romantic calligraphy and floral illustrations, greeted guests upon their arrival to the villa.
The evening ceremony was held under the villa's Loggia Durini, where climbing plants surrounded stone columns and crept along the walls. Heavy garlands strung along white chairs created a center aisle in the covered space.
Maids on the Water
Kiira and her bridesmaids (including her sister, Petra) made their waterfront arrival at the villa, following the groom and his groomsmen.
Eyes on Each Other
The bridesmaid and maid of honor entered the ceremony space to "Clair de Lune" by Debussy; Kiira's father then escorted her down the flower-lined aisle to Pachelbel's "Canon in D."
An Emotional Moment
Kiira and Arthur chose not to see each other before the ceremony, saving their first look for her walk to the altar. "Time literally stopped," says Kiira. "We keep this precious moment forever in our hearts."
So Happy Together
The bride remembers the ceremony as her favorite part of the day. "I walked with my father down the aisle and met Arthur," she says, "and he whispered, 'I've never seen anything so beautiful.'"
The couple faced each other as they exchanged the vows they'd written themselves during a civil ceremony. Behind them, the sweeping vistas of the mountains and the lake created an unforgettable backdrop for their first moments as husband and wife.
After the ceremony, guests moved to a nearby terrace for antipasti and wine as the couple departed for a private boat ride on the lake around the villa. "The lake was calm, the cherry trees were in full bloom across the banks, and the light was simply perfect," says Kiira. "[It was] a magical atmosphere, as if time itself wanted to stop and eternalize the moment."
Outside the reception space, an oversized mirror set in an elaborate gold frame leaned against a traditional wooden table, surrounded by floral arrangements. On the mirror, scripted escort cards helped direct guests to their seats.
Inside the villa's Loggia Segre, creeping vines created an indoor garden that stood out against the neutral color scheme. "Delicate shades were the [foundation of the] palette," says Kiira, "with magical flower arrangements and spanning installations intended to tap into the natural beauty of the elements inside and outside of the villa and its stunning vistas."
On the Table
Figli dei Fiori created low centerpieces of white, peach, and blush flowers, paired with gold-framed table numbers from Letterink; olive leaf garlands ran the span of the tables. Mixed materials—including glass bud vases, votive and taper candles, and white china and linens—allowed the couple to create texture within the limited color scheme. "They created a very romantic scene, in perfect harmony with the wedding palette," says the bride. "A precious setup!"
Personalized menus were slipped into creamy napkins and bound with a gold wax seal, which added a burst of metallic color to each setting.
A Meaningful Dance
For their first dance, Kiira and Arthur chose a song with personal meaning: Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You." Arthur also traded his traditional white tuxedo jacket for a velvet dinner option in a deep red.
The First Slice
After dinner, the couple cut into a two-tier confection with white icing, that was decorated with flowers and leaves to match the rest of the décor. A gold cake topper copied the "A" and "K" from the invitation suite, creating an elegant monogram.
After the cake cutting, "the night continued with wild dancing!" says Kiira. They brought in the bride's favorite Finnish musicians, rappers Cheek and Elastinen, and "we enjoyed our dance party all night long!"
Photography and Videography, The Wedding Tale
Venue, Villa del Balbianello
Event planning, Eventoile Destination Weddings
Catering, Class Eventi
Flowers, Figli dei Fiori
Bride's gown, Teemu Muurimäki
Hair and Makeup, Paola Bianchera
Groom's suit and accessories, Tom Ford