This is the Palazzo Dandola where we were married on the rooftop terrace overlooking the Grand Canal. The palazzo dates back to the 14th century and is just steps from Piazza San Marco. It is now the magnificent Hotel Danieli.
Sorry about the poor quality of these scanned pictures. These were taken before digital cameras were popular.
The view of the Grand Canal and the island of San Giorgia was magnificent.
After the ceremony we stepped out the door of the Danieli to pose for more pictures. All of a sudden there were dozens of people surrounding us. Several sweet Italian ladies came up to touch my dress and say congratulations. One even gave me a kiss on the cheek. They were applauding and cheering for us and by the time we walked to the gondola we had a quite a crowd following us and tourist running to take our picture. One poor lady almost fell off the pier trying to take our picture.
It is a tradition in Venice for the bride and groom to ride a gondola through the canals after the ceremony.I can't tell you how nervous I was about stepping into the gondola in my wedding gown and heels. I had this vision of landing in the water and my gown floating above my head!
As we rode through the Venice canals hundreds of people gathered on the bridges and sidewalks and yelled their best wishes in many different languages. When we replied to thank them you could hear shouts of "Americana's". I guess people thought they had encountered an Italian wedding. Boy, were they surprised when they heard my heavy southern accent!
How did we put a wedding together in Italy when neither of us are Italian nor know anyone in Italy? I found this wonderful lady in Texas that planned weddings around the world. We were able to plan the entire wedding by email and phone calls. She arranged for us to go to the American Embassy in Milan and complete the necessary paper work. She would email me pictures of different wedding locations, hotels, flowers ect. . She arranged for a photographer and minister which turned out to be the most difficult. Try finding a officiant that is not Catholic in the town of Venice! We were met in Venice by an interpreter that accompanied us to to complete the paper work and handle any last minute details. Unfortunately the company Weddings Around The World is no longer in business.
There was only one glitch in all the planning. The wedding planner neglected to tell us that we would be required to have a civil ceremony prior to the actual ceremony that evening.. We showed up at the government office to complete paper work and we were told we were having our ceremony now. I was married in a navy blue knit skirt and white t-shirt and Hubby wore khakis. We were married by the Mayor of Venice wearing a ribbon of the Italian colors and then he presented me with a dozen peach roses from the city of Venice. The Mayor told us he thought we were the first American couple to ever be married in Venice.
Steve and I have been very fortunate to travel around the world but Venice will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Thank you Stephanie at Angelic Accents for hosting the To Have And To Hold Wedding Blog Party and giving me the opportunity to share this special day again.