Fairy-Tale Destination Wedding in Venice, Italy
'Venice is a city built on water. It is preposterous. If you couldn't see it with your own eyes and touch it with your fingers, you would think it was some poetic fancy. It really shouldn't be there at all. But it is. And it is beautiful beyond words.' – Russell Norman.
It's hard to find a more romantic place to get married or engaged than Venice.
Indeed, its' endless canals filled with green water and gliding gondolas, picturesque palaces overlooking them, incredible laguna views, and intricate lace facades create an incredible atmosphere.
Let's follow in the steps of our beautiful couple, Giulia and Jack, and see how their wedding day evolved on a sunny April day in the heart of Venice!
It started relatively early at the majestic Hotel Danieli, celebrating its 200 years this year! Danieli, formerly known as "Palazzo Dandolo," was built at the end of the 14th century by the Venetian noble Dandolo family.
Venice, lagoon view from Danieli
Many notable artists, writers, and musicians stayed here: Goethe, Wagner, Charles Dickens, Byron, Peggy Guggenheim, Coco Chanel, Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten, Harrison Ford, and Steven Spielberg.
In 2010, extensive footage was shot at the hotel for The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
And now – it's Giulia & Jack's turn!
The couple began getting ready in beautiful suites overlooking the city.
The hair and makeup were done by the talented wedding MUA Lisa Semenzato, who took care of the bride and her maid of honor.
During the morning hours, the groom had some time to relax and sip an excellent espresso.
He then put on his bespoke tux by Cad & The Dandy, NYC – a boutique branch of London's tailors from the famous Savile Row in London.
While the happy couple gets ready, let's look at the stunning accessories! The couple used a custom-made watercolor invitation depicting Danieli's façade. It was designed by Ellen Paul, a calligraphy and watercolor artist based in Massachusetts.
To add some local flavor, our couple chose wedding bands and bridal jewelry at Gioielli Leonardo. I loved the earrings the most, though Giulia's engagement ring and Damiani collier were exquisite. Jack sported a wristwatch by Girard-Perregaux.
Giulia decided to wear the Rosa Moceniga perfume by Merchant of Venice.
...But how can we discuss accessories without mentioning shoes!?
Giulia chose Bella Belle heels for the ceremony and Sergio Rossi for the party, while Jack sported trendy BV Milano shoes.
And now, it's time to put on the wedding gown! Giulia's gown was by Justin Alexander's Signature, the Julie dress. It was an honor to help Giulia into the gown, attach the gorgeous veil (also by Justin Alexander), and make sure everything was perfect for her walk down the aisle.
Her Maid of Honor was quite helpful as well. She wore an Adele dress by Jenny Yoo in cinnamon rose, selected by Beth Chapman Styling, and Edera Jewelry accessories.
Edera Jewelry bracelet
Once the preparations were done, everyone was ready for the First Look.
It took place by the famous stairs of Danieli!
These moments were filled with emotions; the talented, Venice-born and raised photographer, Michael Zennaro, captured them expertly.
The couple then walked into the opulent Dandolo Bar. They took a few pictures with an essential Venetian attribute: the intricate Venetian masks.
There are still a few prominent artisans in Venice who have spent centuries perfecting the mask-making craft. The couple selected masks from the Leon Doro boutique, located on Ponte Rialto.
But now it's time to get serious and depart for the ceremony! How do we get there? Obviously, by water taxi! And off we go, towards the ceremony site: just opened after restoration, the gorgeous 5-star luxury location – Palazzo Garzoni!
The ride was exciting and pleasant, and the couple took plenty of photos.
The palazzo holds a unique position compared to the other palazzos on the Grand Canal. It has a majestic, luminous late-Gothic facade and 216 windows, creating a remarkable continuum between the building and the city's lagoons.
Everything is ready here for the couple. An iconic floral shop, Munaretto flowers, delivered exquisite ceremony flowers.
Munaretto creates the most amazing floral installations for various celebrations in the city.
For Giulia and Jack's ceremony, the floral designer selected a lush composition representative of the spring, featuring some seasonal flowers, which perfectly blend with the palace's interiors: tulips, peonies, ranunculus, delphiniums, and hellebores were mixed with garden roses, carnations, and delicate greenery. As a gardening enthusiast, I fell in love with this delicate and fragrant combination.
Munaretto Flowers's floral composition
The ceremony takes place in the well-lit, emotion-filled hall. Simple, joyful, and meaningful, it feels hearts with great happiness.
Gorgeous Veil by Justin Alexander
Wedding bands by Leonardo Gioielli
The couple, the best man and the maid of honor can finally fully relax! And then take a few pictures from the balcony with the most amazing views of Ponte Rialto!
Next, it's time for the wedding party to return to Danieli and continue the celebration. But first, why don't the newlyweds enjoy a gondola ride? After all, as the famous local saying goes, ' If a couple in a gondola kiss as they pass under each bridge, they will remain in love forever.'
Do you know that there are special wedding gondolas in Venice? They have a richly appointed décor and are steered by not one but two gondoliers! Our gondola was called the "Queen of Venice."
Wedding Gondola, Queen of Venice
The gondoliers, wearing special wedding outfits