Sam & Chris’ Romantically Epic Tudor-esque Italian Wedding

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Remember that Venician wedding featured last week? Here’s the full scoop!


The Offbeat Bride: Sam, alternative model

My Offbeat Partner: Chris, postdoctoral researcher

Location & Date of wedding: Palazzo Zenobio, Venice, Italy — 25th February 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We wanted something that just felt right to us. Chris and I had visited Venice for the first time in 2008 during Carnivale. We were already secretly engaged, but found a gorgeous ring on the Rialto and announced the engagement when we returned to the UK.


When deciding where to get wed, there was no question really. Venice is such a beautiful and magical city, not really in just a romantic way for us, but because it’s full of mystery. We didn’t want a white wedding that cost thousands — as it is we saved a lot of money doing it this way. We invited only the precious few guests we really wanted there and didn’t include family who would ruin the day — I wasn’t budging on that one.

Sam, Chris & their precious few guests surrounded by the beauty that is the Hall of Mirrors.
Sam, Chris & their precious few guests surrounded by the beauty that is the Hall of Mirrors.

We chose our own outfits (I was adamant that I wouldn’t wear white, it doesn’t flatter me at all), a dramatic venue (we were married in the Hall of Mirrors), music that was special to us (a violin and cello due playing excerpts from ‘The Fountain‘ soundtrack), and an understated yet beautiful civil ceremony.


Our biggest challenge: Making the wedding not look too Ren faire and predictable. My husband in particular was concerned he might look like an amateur LARPer! We chose everything very carefully to make sure this didn’t happen (he was still worried though of course).


My favorite moment: I remember arriving outside the Hall of Mirrors and hearing the violinist and cellist tuning up and playing a rehearsal version of our music. It made my heart skip a beat.

Violins, cellos, weddings, Venice-freaking-Italy!? Does it get anymore romantic?

The only thing that may have made the wedding greater was if my father had been there (he passed away in 2007), but we were all thinking of him.

My advice for other offbeat brides: Try not to control everything too much — it only leads to a headache. Just make sure everything feels right to you. I tried not to obsess over the little details which was difficult because I’d never seen our venue before the wedding day, etc!


Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • My dress was by Yosa of Silks and Velvets with a few alterations to the original design.
  • My jewelery was by Sapphire and Sage.
  • Chris’ outfit was by Pearson’s Renaissance Shoppe.
  • My wedding could not have happened without Regency Weddings, my wedding planners in Italy. Special thank yous to: Our wedding organizer, Federica. Our assistant, Domenica. My hair stylist/makeup artist, Blair. Our photographer, Wladimiro.

Enough with the thank-you’s already — Show me more wedding porn!:

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