It was in 2017 when Dinah-Vera Moll and Kevin Yu’s love story began with a “swipe right.” After a first date with endless conversations over a foot massage and Italian food, things took an unexpected turn. Dinah fell ill to a rare autoimmune disease that paralyzed her legs. Being stuck in the hospital, Kevin came to visit her every day for weeks in a row; and slowly but surely, they fell in love.
After two years filled with medical treatments and a challenging, yet successful recovery process, Kevin presented Dinah with a ring, while the family cooked Grandpa Josef’s famous meat patties on SideChef, with grandpa and family in Dinah’s hometown in Austria.
“I designed this ring in my attempt to capture a bit of the love and journey we’ve been on thus far,” Kevin shares. “The diamond’s setting is an east-west setting, representing beyond our obvious east-west appearance, capturing our shared values of exploration and adventure.”
“I designed this ring in my attempt to capture a bit of the love and journey we’ve been on thus far.”
The couple originally planned to get married in 2020, but the pandemic changed everything.
“A friend told us about an online ‘courthouse’ wedding via Zoom,” says Dinah. “We wanted to choose a special location for it, so we decided to summit Mount Everest Base Camp together.”
Since Dinah’s legs have recovered so much, what before seemed impossible, now turned into an adventurous reality and they finally tied the knot.
The newlyweds still wanted a wedding celebration with both families from California and Austria. After a two-year delay, Dinah reached out to Distinctive Italy Weddings once more and it was finally happening – August 19th, 2022 would be the big day. The charm of Lake Como and the town of Bellagio captured the couple, and both Dinah and Kevin knew it would be the perfect place for an epic celebration. Both sides of the family were equally excited for a destination wedding, experiencing first hand La Dolce Vita and Lake Como’s stunning beauty. And of course, delicious Italian food.
“We couldn’t wait to finally have the ceremony with family and friends and to celebrate love and something #foreverest with our families,” Kevin adds.
The team at Distinctive Italy Weddings was excited to finally make the couple’s James Bond inspired Lake Como dream wedding come true. Living in different time zones made it challenging at times, but things came together.
“Choosing a wedding planner who is knowledgeable of the location and speaks the local language was a must for this destination wedding,” says Dinah. “Their detailed wedding schedule and presence at the venue throughout the whole event enabled us to enjoy a truly stress-free celebration and ensured quality time with our guests.”
As the bride and groom arrived in Bellagio, “it felt like out of a movie and only when we welcomed all our family and friends that travelled from all over, it started to feel real.” The four-day celebration included a private sailing trip, a photoshoot at Villa Del Balbianello (known from James Bond and Star Wars), a warm welcome dinner with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, and brunch at a beach club with a private boat trip for all guests, giving them the opportunity to enjoy more dips into Lake Como’s crystal-clear waters.
“It was very special to see our friends and families from different backgrounds and cultures come together and bond during the first two days,” Kevin recounts.
As the guests gathered in the gardens of Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and Dinah’s father walked her down the aisle, she recalls being “quite nervous, but seeing Kevin just filled me with pure joy and excitement and I couldn’t wait to confess my love to him once more.”
The Aperitivo Hour was held in the Villa’s private gardens, where guests enjoyed Michelin star finger foods and sipped on classic Italian drinks. The banquet was held in the Royal Hall, a genuine monument to art, adorned with beautifully frescoed ceilings and lit by bronze and crystal chandeliers.
“All the details were perfect,” says the couple. “We designed the place holders in Shanghai and also printed photos of us with each guest that served as both a wedding favor and a fun ice-breaker.”
During the banquet, two bridesmaids each performed a special song, and everyone got goosebumps and was in awe while the Royal Hall – with its magical colored lights – turned into a pumping dance floor. The guests partied the night away, and even Dinah’s 84-year-old grandpa Josef couldn’t resist dancing his socks off.
Throughout the celebrations, the wedding photography legend himself, Cristiano Ostinelli and his talented team, perfectly captured the bride and groom and their special moments.
“We could not have imagined a more talented photographer to work with,” the couple shares. “He was iconic and fun, making us feel at ease while directing us perfectly. The results are stunning and exceeded our expectations.”
Even though a location can be very beautiful, Dinah and Kevin believe that it is the people that make it truly special. “Love and happiness are the only things that multiply when shared with others.” They did not go for a traditional honeymoon, but instead went for a ‘partymoon’ with their friends and continued the celebrations on the island of Ibiza.
Location: Grand Hotel Vilal Serbelloni, Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy; Photography: Cristiano Ostinelli Studio, Lake Como, Italy