A Taste of Italy: Day 1 - Venice

8th of March 2023

Welcome to the romantic capital of Italy, Venice, built on over 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Filled with ancient architecture and mysterious passageways, we were entranced by the waterways, bridges, boutiques, museums and restaurants that met us around every corner. We had the pleasure of visiting some of the top luxury destination wedding hotels during our stay, and we can't wait to share them with you. Read on to find out more about some of our new handpicked Italian collection.

Sina Centurion Palace

Awash in neo-Gothic features from the 19th century, the Sina Centurion Palace is so distinctive from its position at the entrance to the Grand Canal, overlooking the iconic Gritti Palace. With bold colours throughout, dramatic high ceilings and balconies over the water, this boutique hotel puts a modern twist on Venetian style. Many guests choose to come back year after year, so they advise to book at least a year in advance if you are planning a wedding during their peak months of May, June or September. Choose from a reception in the pretty courtyard garden, the White Restaurant with its private waterside deck, or one of the two dining rooms with tall arched windows looking across the Canal. The hotel offers great flexibility for wedding parties, with a range of grand and cosy rooms available, as well as two junior suites interlinked with a large private dining and entertaining area between. We loved the quieter location, on the opposite banks from the bustle of St Mark's Square and with the convenience of gondolas and the water shuttle bus very close by.

JW Marriott Venice

Only accessible by water taxi, we had the pleasure of arriving at the JW Marriott Hotel as only James Bond would. The venue is decorated with a light and bright interior throughout with sweeping views across the lagoon from the rooftop terrace. This was the most suitable venue for larger outdoor weddings, with space in the extensive grounds for marquees for up to 1600 guests.

Jewels in the crown of this private island include an olive grove for outdoor weddings, a rooftop terrace with panoramic views and a non-consecrated church with no sound restrictions, allowing your guests to party until dawn.

Belmond Hotel Cipriani

Sat on the Giudecca Island a 5 minute water taxi ride from St Mark's Square, accessible by private launch, the glamorous Belmond Hotel Cipriani is complete with spectacular lagoon views providing the perfect backdrop for a fairytale wedding, whether a small intimate celebration or a grander affair. Exclusive hire offers the ultimate in flexibility and total privacy, with the Longhi or Tiziani Ballrooms being suitable for up to 220 guests. The hotel has a resort feel with a large swimming pool and beautiful gardens and is perfect for couples planning several different reception locations for a wedding lasting all weekend. It was recently chosen for the Engage! wedding planners conference in 2017 to showcase the best of Venice hospitality.

Aman Venice

A spacious architectural triumph in the centre of the Floating City, this 16th century palazzo features Italian artwork by some of the greats, alongside contemporary furnishings, sparkling chandeliers and a huge courtyard garden for outdoor weddings.

Arrive by boat at the private dock on the Grand Canal, a stone's throw from St Mark's Square. Inside the cool lobby a grand stone staircase with stained glass windows and inlaid marble floors and walls leads up to the first floor. A reception lobby at the top of the staircase boasts a a grand piano and wooden panelled walls with impressive double doors leading into the dining room. For those seeking the ultimate in Venetian decor, this dining room is hard to beat. Beautifully painted wall panels, intricately detailed mirrors, huge decorative chandeliers and breathtaking ceilings. For large groups the central room links symmetrically to dining rooms on either side, all overlooking the Grand Canal with a stone balcony for guests to enjoy the view below.
However impressive the dining room is, the jewel in the Aman's crown has to be the extensive private gardens, with a large grass courtyard garden over looking the Canal with vines and mature trees giving natural shelter from the sun. The perfect location for an impressive outdoor Venetian wedding - romantic and welcoming with a grandeur your guests will love.

Palazzo Venart

As a Venetian location of high society in its time, and newly opened in 2016 as the Palazzo Venart, this boutique hotel has a special appeal for intimate ceremonies with a grand style. The front garden has had an aisle of white flowers planted which bloom from April to October, making ceremonies in the garden a popular choice. For indoor weddings the "Noble Floor" has a cosy piano lounge and library with space for an Imperial style dining table for 40 guests, or for larger groups the pretty courtyard leading off the ground floor restaurant is perfect. This boutique hotel has just 18 rooms so has a really personal feel. The rooms and suites are all completely different with original chandeliers, exposed beams and frescoes, some with balconies or tiny roof top terraces. It is a perfect choice for indoor or outdoor small exclusive-use weddings.

The Westin Europa & Regina

Our top choice if you are looking for a really central location for a large wedding. The Westin Europa & Regina hosts around 100 weddings a year, with couples and wedding planners all loving its prime location. It's hard to get closer to St Mark's Square and as it's at the very end of the Canal it doesn't have the same restrictions on boats as many other hotels. Instead of 12 person water taxis, boats for up to 100 guests can land straight onto the hotels private dock from the airport. The Westin is suitable for weddings for up to 400 guests on a large terrace overlooking the Grand Canal.

Gritti Palace

A favourite amongst the elite during international city events such as the Carnival and the Venice Film Festival, the Gritti Palace showcases Italy's historical past, with original entrance flooring and wooden ceilings as well as 18th century wall lamps, all matching the incredible view across the Grand Canal. Imagine having your wedding breakfast with this as your backdrop!

There are two large dining areas both overlooking the Canal, each suitable for up to 40 guests, one with bespoke nautical themed furniture for a casual experience and the other more formal restaurant for fine dining. The hotel also has a roof terrace split over three levels which is the most suitable space for weddings for 80 guests with a Venetian ballroom inside the hotel as the wet weather alternative. For a fun rehearsal dinner, there is a casual "chef's table" suitable for 12 guests in a private dining room where the chef will theatrically prepare your meal in front of your guests.
If you are planning to stay overnight, there is a choice of 82 guest rooms, all completely refurbished in 2013. The bedrooms and bathrooms feature lots of marble from around the world, original features and intricate authentic Venetian decor. Only nine of the rooms overlook the Grand Canal, including the stunning corner suites each named after a celebrity and each designed around the interests and personality of that celebrity.

Come back tomorrow to check out Day 2 of our Taste of Italy collection.

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