Every February, The Carnival of Venice–or Carnevale di Venezia–overtakes the famous Italian city for two weeks and fills it with costumes, masks, and mischief. Carnival is a celebration of all things indulgent in an epic lead-up to the observance of Lent. The festival dates all the way back to the 12th or 13th century, (though today’s iconic Carnival costumes mostly reflect the way the celebration must have looked in the 1700’s). And still today, come Carnival season, Venice’s picturesque bridges and canals are packed with partygoers in period clothing all in the name of tradition, silliness, and celebration.
Filmmakers Laura + John fell in love with the frivolity of Carnival on a New Year’s Eve trip to Venice a few years ago. The two met in film school in 1999 and, after 23 years together, made the choice to tie the knot in beautiful Venezia. Destination weddings are already a big production, so the two leaned in and went full Venetian Carnival theme with their vibe, making for an unforgettable and utterly unique day. If you’re gonna do it, why not really do it, right?!
As the bride + groom put it, “Venice has historically been a sanctuary for artists, creatives, and misfits.” What better place to gather all of their talented, imaginative friends and family to celebrate their love?
Federica Crasnich and the team at Wedding Italy headed up the planning and brought Laura + John’s Carnival dreams to life.
Thank goodness photographers from Tassotto&Max caught all the magic so we can take a peek!
Laura + John’s guests were encouraged to embrace the wedding’s Venetian carnival spirit. The bride and groom supplied their friends and family with masks and capes at their welcome dinner as well as a list of recommended costume and mask atliers where they could rent full authentic Carnival costumes, and they went ALL OUT!
When the ceremony’s just a quick water taxi ride away.
Now that’s how you do a bridesmaid dress.
The groom’s dashing 18th century silhouette came courtesy of Atelier La Bauta.
Laura’s epic, regal bridal costume came from renowned Venetian carnival atelier Antonia Sautter.
Laura + John’s creative instincts enhanced every element of the day. “We wanted the entire ceremony and wedding evening to feel like a massive, immersive, experiential show.”
They even made the most of a part of the ceremony couples usually hope to skip: “At every wedding we’ve ever been to, no one ever says anything when the officiant asks “Does anyone object to this union?”… so we scripted an objection! First an actor playing the ghost of Casanova objected on the grounds that our marriage was making him too emotional… then an actor playing the ghost of legendary Venetian poet and courtesan Veronica Franco objected to Casanova’s objection… then an actor playing the ghost of Casanova’s mother arrived and chased him off as Yakety Sax played. One of our guests fell out of their seat laughing.”
Another unique twist? Laura + John brought some fun and heartfelt surprise to the ceremony by writing each other’s vows. They read what the other had written for the first time surrounded by their loved ones on the day.
Aqualta Wedding and GP Eventi helped pack the day with entertainment and excitement. Throughout the reception, guests enjoyed the talents of magicians, dancers, jugglers, fortunetellers, stilt walkers, string quartets, brass bands, opera singers, and two DJs.
What a gorgeous bunch of time travelers!
La Dogaressa Catering created an Italian feast fit for Venetian royalty. And these gold flatware place settings are bringing high drama.
Pretty Flowers by Fioreria San Rocco filled the banquet table with these stunning, textured, compote arrangements. The red dahlias and eucalyptus paired with that gorgeous, old-world crystal stemware create an antique and elegant feel.
You’d never know this October wedding didn’t take place at the height of February’s Carnival season!
Is there anything more romantic than catching a twilight moment alone on a palazzo balcony overlooking the canal?!
Cheers to this creative couple!! Congratulations, Laura + John! GWS wishes you all the best!
photography: Tassotto&Max // venue name: Palazzo Zeno, Venezia, Veneto, Italy // planning: WeddingItaly // florals: Pretty Flowers by Fioreria San Rocco // wedding dress: Antonia Sautter // hair stylist: Luigi Marchiori // makeup artist: Roberta Marchiori // groom attire: Atelier La Bauta // videography: Tassotto&Max // catering: La Dogaressa Catering // music: GP Eventi // lighting: GP Eventi // cocktails: Bartenders