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Our wedding in Lake Como

wedding ring cushion

Over the years I have been to plenty of weddings, and have pretty much covered everything from being a bridesmaid 5 times, to a best man, florist, gift list person, hen weekend rep and of course the ribbon person…called in to do cars and pews.  This time I was going to be a bride.

Italian wedding prosecco

Normally I don’t shout out too much about my personal life, but I’ve had endless requests for an insight in to the wedding, and many of you have asked what ribbon did I use, to what dress did I wear, what flowers, food and colours and who is the new husband? Take a look at these wood mens wedding bands you can order for your special day.

Italian wedding canapes

We do have a pretty unique story. I was working for Dior in Milan and met David in Malpensa airport after he threw his passport at me to keep his place in the queue, when our flight was cancelled because of snow a few years ago. Several months later we got together and met for a coffee and the rest is history.

Jane Means and husband David

To be honest getting married has never really bothered me, it’s more about being with the right person.  We got engaged en route to India and had a week to talk about our wedding plans  We wanted a total mixture of mountains, water, something cosmopolitan yet informal, special details and very intimate with only our close circle of friends and immediate family.

lake como wedding

As we met in Milan, we decided to marry there, and chose the stunning Villa del Balbianello in Lake Como as our venue (The James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ was filmed here as well as other films).

villa del balbianello wedding

With busy careers and only 6 months to plan our wedding we enlisted the help of Lake Como Wedding planner Rachel Birthwistle who did a fantastic job.

Intimate wedding

Getting married in Italy is certainly a challenge.  We did the notice of Impediment at Marylebone Town Hall (in the exact room where Paul McCartney married Linda!), and the documents then had to be sent to the Immigration Service in Milton Keynes, before being sent to Lenno Town Hall in Italy (this is when we let Rachel take over!)

Jane Means with her father

Getting married for the first time later in life, the thought of a big fat white meringue and a dribble of bridesmaids filled me with horror, so I decided to go for 1950’s glamour with a  twist of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. Here my dad is eagerly awaiting to walk me up the aisle at long last.

Stephanie Shine Pillbox hat powder blue

By pure fluke, I ran in to Karen Millen after a quick lunch in Soho and there was my dress… A chic powder blue satin fitted dress. I loved the bow detail at the back and knew it was a great detail as so many wedding photographs are behind the bride and groom.  The best thing is that it was in a sale! I added an Ostrich Feather Cape from Monsoon for the chilly evening and dressed it with quilted shoes and my favourite nude clutch bag from Dior.

powder blue felt pillbox hat

My very good friend Stephanie Shine is a  talented milliner (you will have seen her hats at Ascot and Royal Weddings to name a few) and I was lucky enough to have one made for a wedding present.  She created it in days with help of some sketches and I was over the moon with it.  My hairdresser Yvonne Bell from Bailgate Hair  also came out to Lake Como and did a great job of my hair, giving it a fun and natural look.

rustic wedding pew flowers italian

Having been a florist previously in life and the rip off price of wedding flowers, I decided to do all of my own flowers including my bouquet, and with Rachels help, I popped along to the florist wholesaler in Como and did everything in a day.

wedding flowers by Jane Means

We were lucky enough to use beautiful candle holders and vases from a big American society wedding several days before (that Stevie Wonder had played the piano at!).

wedding velvet ribbon

I designed my own ribbon, a baby blue and off white Stripe that I called ‘Como stripe’ and decided that this was a complete one off design for my own wedding. I also love the luxury element of velvet, so added in powder blue velvet to decorate the chairs and vases.

wedding place settings

I have always loved cameo brooches and designed a silhouette logo with the help of the talented designer Abigail Warner who put it all together from my amateur photos.

villa del balbianello wedding

With only 20 guests at our ceremony in Italy, we certainly had a really special celebration.  We wrote some of the vows ourselves and everyone had a little job or honour to do which made it even more personal.

lake como intimate wedding

With both of us having such demanding careers, we wanted to have some time alone during the day to take everything in.  Not only were we blessed with the view of the lake, mountains and surroundings, but the weather was perfect!

Lakeside wedding

One of my favourite moments was enjoying quality time with friends and family.  Here we are joined by good friends Artist Suzi Morris and film director Tristan Loraine, catching up on lost time whilst overlooking the lake during sundown.  It was heaven.jane means wedding ceremony Italy

I have always loved Lake Como.  On my first school skiing trip aged 14, I remember seeing the lake in moonlight whilst driving through the mountains to the resort.  I’ve never forgotten that tranquil picture, and to me it is one of the most special places I have visited in the world.  Little did I know that I would be married there.

jane means wedding dress

Despite working harder than ever before, I have had the most incredible year with my career.  Although we enjoyed getting married in Italy, it was straight back to work.  The last 3 months have been fully booked with private clients, luxury brands, Harrods gift wrapping training, radio and television appearances, demonstrations in Liberty’s windows and gift wrapping for the likes of Chanel, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Jack Wills and Selfridges.


I am working right through until Christmas eve, and we will finally get away for our honeymoon in Tahiti (and a well earned rest) on Christmas Day!


  1. Kat Weatherill on December 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your wedding photos and story, it must have been a truly magical day! Congratulations!
    Wishing you both years filled with love and laughter.
    Kat x

  2. FunkySteph on December 18, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Congratulations!!! Everything seems so beautiful (including your dress!) and it looks like the day was perfect! Wishing you all the best.

  3. Lyndsey James on December 18, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Absolutely beautiful my lovely, this is exactly what a wedding should be, romantic & personal. I hope I can achieve the same for mine! Have a wonderful honeymoon and I’ll see you soon, big love LJ xx

  4. Trinske Driscoll-Antonides on December 18, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Came across this post through Twitter and just had a peak. Absolutely beautiful – beautiful pictures and beautiful dress too. Enjoy your honeymoon next week!

  5. Alison Rackley on December 18, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Wonderful pictures of the wedding Jane, I will be in touch in the new year for some ribbons for my corsages…
    Have a wonderful honeymoon

  6. Jane Foster on December 18, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Lovely to see you at Burghley this year and I enjoyed reading the story of your wedding! It looks heaven. Enjoy your Christmas in Tahiti! We are in Melbourne for ours! X

  7. Jenny Creasey/Welbourn on December 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing the photos Jane! Everything looked beautiful and it’s great to hear about your big day.

  8. Abigail on December 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Beautiful couple and gorgeous pictures – have a wonderful honeymoon darling lady! xo

  9. Siobhan Wolton on December 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Congratulations Jane – your wedding looked gorgeous and you looked stunning! Lovely to have met you in the summer at the Papergirls festival … Siobhan x

  10. Mandy Bradley on December 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Jane, So good to see it all again, It was one HUGE fairytale just like the storybooks, and so much enjoyed by all.

  11. Rona on December 19, 2013 at 7:13 am

    So lovely to see your stunning wedding photos Jane! Thank you very much for sharing them. Hope you have a wonderful time on your honeymoon. Rona x

  12. Gaye Mackie on January 1, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Just developing my skills in wrapping and your site was recommended to me. Wow, what a beautiful wedding and yes I agree Lake Como is the most beautiful place. We visited 2 yrs ago and loved it. Thank you for sharing this occasion with us.
    Gaye Mackie New Zealand

  13. Karen Davies-James on January 2, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    congratulations … beautiful …

  14. Julie (Jools) Stevenson on January 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Health, wealth and happiness to you both, always. Lovely to share such a special moment, the setting was truly magical. Congratulations. 🙂

  15. Georgina Andreou on January 9, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I would like to congratulate you on your wedding which looked so romantic with the colours you involved around you. I dont know if u remember me in which i came from cyprus to a private course and of course, i always remember your home made tomato soup yummy!! you really inspired me in your course using so many different designs i wish you all the best for 2014.

  16. Nimi Bhandari on January 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Many congratulations. Thanks for sharing pictures of what seems to be a truly magical day. You look abs stunning! Wishing you a lifetime of true happiness. Lv and God bless

  17. biubwa sabri on January 23, 2014 at 7:14 am

    I would like to learn wrapping gifts iam from sultanate of oman

  18. […] Designs 2. Marisa Holme via Style Me Pretty 3. Docuvitae Photography via Style Me Pretty 4. Jane Means Blog 5. Ashley Ludaescher Wedding Photography via Bo-Berlin 6. Warm Pears 7. Jayme Perelli Photography […]

  19. Heather Salisbury on February 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    You have just recently appeared on my ‘radar’ and I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog and reading this small wedding portfolio which has been a really nice personal insight. Love everything that you create.

  20. tatiana salcedo on February 5, 2016 at 3:47 am

    love your wedding blog. I too am getting married at Villa Balbianello and am having a very difficult time with all the red tape. I can only choose from one compay for musical acts and am also restrained to the florist i can work with….How did you work around this? can you recommend any florist that wont charge me an arm and a leg?

    • jane on February 7, 2016 at 4:35 am

      HI Tatiana We had the same problem and enlisted the help of a wedding planner which was money well spent. I did the flowers myself but Rachel was able to direct me to local wholesalers. Good luck with the planning Jx

  21. Samantha on July 17, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Your wedding blog is absolutely stunning! I came across it when googling Lake Como for my wedding. Can I ask if you have the address for the local wholesalers you got your flowers from? They are beautiful, thank you

    • jane on August 8, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Sorry our wedding planner told us about them. It was a large florist in Como and I no longer have their details
      Many thanks Jane

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