Featured in MunaLuchi Bride Issue 25, this romantic villa engagement session along Lake Como, Italy, boasts stunning vista views and ancient architecture.
Chloe & Rashad traveled to Italy for their beautiful engagement session! Seeking a venue for their upcoming 2022 wedding, the travel-loving couple booked an Italian getaway. Photographer, Matteo Cuzzola, and their wedding planner, Brian Green, tagged along with the lovebirds to capture their engagement photos – and the result is pure magic!
Set along Lake Como and before the towering architecture of Villa Erba, their incredible photos are simply breathtaking. Keep reading below for more details on their love story and to view their incredible destination engagement shoot!
- Couple: Chloe Ingram & Rashad Robertson
- Occupations: Both are Attorneys
- Wedding date: September 4, 2022
- Wedding location: Villa Erba, Lake Como, Italy
- Location of Engagement shoot: Lake Como, Italy
How they met…
I actually met Rashad while I was visiting an HBCU located in Fort Valley, Georgia named Fort Valley State University for homecoming back in 2012.
Our mutual best friend, Chelsea Murray, was crowned Miss Fort Valley and asked me to join her for all the festivities that weekend. I had never been to Fort Valley and as Chelsea gave me the grand tour around campus she introduced me to a very charismatic, and polite young man named Rashad.
At first, I am not going to lie I thought he was a little young to be in college. But I soon found out he was well into his junior year of college as a political science major. Upon our first encounter, I knew I “caught his eye” because when he went to greet me for the first time he held my hand a little longer than usual. I knew he was interested at that moment, but I definitely thought he was way too young and didn’t pay him any mind for the rest of the trip.
3 years later…
Fast forward 3 years later, my best friend Chelsea called me the summer prior to me beginning law school at Florida A&M University’s College of Law and told me her friend Rashad would also be starting there as a first-year law student just like me. Immediately, I felt like I could breathe a little easier because I would “kind of know” someone at orientation. She gave me his cell phone number and told me to give him a call.
We stayed friends throughout our first year, mainly because we were so focused on our studies, however, it wasn’t until our second year of law school that I made the first move. My exact words were, “I like you and what are you going to do about it.” Rashad immediately told me he had to “call me back.” Later, I found out he needed some time to process everything because he had never had a woman bold enough to tell him they liked him.
Long story short, we are 6 years strong into our relationship and getting married this September. I guess my boldness worked out for me in the long run!
Their first date…
For our first official date, we went mini-golfing and we had a great time. One of Rashad’s favorite hobbies is golfing, so mini-golfing was a great way to teach me a few of the things he has learned over the years.
Their proposal story…
Well, Rashad is not the best at keeping secrets and during our 6-year relationship, he would always spoil surprises and tell me what he had planned. However, this time I was in town for his birthday celebrating him.
On the day of the engagement, he attempted to take me to the mall and buy me new shoes for his birthday dinner. Immediately, I knew something was up because we were having a quiet dinner with family and typically dressed pretty casual for these things. However, I went along with it but I still really did not have a clue what was happening.
Dressed and ready to go to dinner, I walk into a restaurant where I saw no one really seated. I asked Rashad, “where is everyone?” We were not there that early, but I proceeded to walk towards a private room in a restaurant and I was handed 4 dozen roses by the waitress. When I walked into the room I immediately saw some of my closest friends. I also found out that my parents had driven in earlier the day before! I was in utter shock that this fiance of mine was able to pull off having my closest friends and family in town, without me knowing.
Rashad proceeded to take my hand, gave a beautiful speech about the love he had for me, and asked me the most important questions he had ever asked: “will you marry me?” In utter shock all I could do was nod my head “yes.”
When they knew they found “the one”…
I knew Rashad was the one when he came to my home during a rough time for me while I was studying for the bar exam. I had just taken a practice exam and I did poorly on it. Believing I was meant to fail the exam, Rashad rushed over with my favorite candy and just held me. He told me practice exams are just that, for practice and that I had already passed the exam.
He knew how much I wanted to become a lawyer. In that moment he stopped what he was doing and drove to my apartment to comfort me. I think that is what I love most about Rashad. He always makes it a point to make me feel like I am a priority to him, regardless of what is going on in his world. If I am sad or upset, he will do everything in his power to make me happy. I love him so much for it.
Engagement session & theme…
Our engagement session took place on my 30th birthday in Lake Como, Italy. I wanted it to be fun, vibrant, and classy. The theme of the photoshoot was “La Dolce Vita,” or “the good life.” I wanted to showcase all of our hard work and dedication to one another and capture it in the beauty of Lake Como’s mountainous landscape. I wanted to normalize black luxury and let others know that you can have it all; we can travel the world, be in love, and enjoy the good life if we choose it.
The first location for the photoshoot took place at the beautiful Villa Del Balbianello. The 18th-century villa is known for its beautiful garden and unique landscape. Films like Star Wars and James Bond were captured there as well. Our photographer took us to the most picturesque spots on the Villas ground.
From there, we had a vintage Italian boat pick us up from Villa Del Balbianello, and take us on a ride across the beautiful lake. Our captain took us in front of all of the notable locations around the lake to get the best photos. My mother, Jeanne Morile, and my aunt, Chantal Maurile, got to accompany me on this trip. They served as creative directors and ‘hype women’ to help get our creative poses going! We had a great time and made lasting memories on the lake.
Favorite thing to do as a couple…
Our favorite thing to do as a couple is travel. I have been traveling since I began college and it has always been a pastime we both enjoy. Rashad’s first time in Europe was on our spring break during law school. We traveled to London, Spain, and even got to experience Iceland briefly. It was only right that we decided on a destination wedding since we enjoy traveling the world together. And as a couple, we wanted our loved ones to experience it as well.
Wedding planning so far…
Initially, I thought wedding planning in Europe would be extremely difficult, but my wedding planner Brian Green is phenomenal. I tell him all that time that he is “worth every penny!” He is just that phenomenal. He goes out of his way to make things happen even when I am not sure that they can. When I told him about my dream to get married in Lake Como he did not hesitate, and he immediately said, “Let’s do it!” He has kept me on track and I am so grateful for his guidance throughout this process.
What they’re looking forward to most on their wedding day…
I am looking forward to sharing my love for travel with my close friends and family. Since I am big on experiences, I love that my family and friends will have the opportunity to share this exciting time with me in another country.
Looking for more destination engagements like this Lake Como shoot?
- Photographer: Matteo Cuzzola Photography @MatteoCuzzolaPhotography
- Wedding Planner: Brian Green of By BrianGreen @bybriangreen
- Photoshoot Venue: Villa Del Balbianello @Villadelbalbianello
- Boat Rental: Lake Como Boat @LakeComo_Boat
- Bride’s Formal Attire: Desiree Newkirk @Thedesireeofficial
- Casual Attire: Ofuure @ofuure
- Shoes: Dolce & Gabanna @Dolcegabbana
- Groom’s Formal Attire: Men’s Warehouse
- Shoes: Magnanni @Magnanni
- Casual Attire: Ralph Lauren Polo @RalphLauren