Destination Weddings/Real Weddings

Iconic Venice Wedding With Our Dream Dress Of 2020

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Inspired by the paintings of Botticelli, this destination wedding features not only incredible views of Venice’s art & architecture but the bride’s own masterpiece – our dream wedding dress of 2020.

As we do often here at Bridal Musings, we must skip straight to gabbing about this incredible gown. Imagined by artist & bride Pauline, the dress worn last summer pre-trends NYBFW’s Fall runways that were filled with pouf sleeves (puff sleeves, blouson sleeves, puffy sleeves – whatever you want to say!). For months we’ve been ogling all the dreamy, voluminous sleeves – paired with modern silhouettes, a contemporary ode to the 80s – wondering which fearless brides would don the latest trend, and here we have bride Pauline, ahead of the curve.

But her trendsetting silhouette wasn’t the only detail of this masterpiece gown that has us ‘gaga’. The full-time artist made use of her own palette, painting gorgeous florals on the dramatic train of her gown. The result is a memorable piece of artwork we’re sure brides will be requesting for their own gowns for years to come.

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Our Love Story

Pauline: I am a sculptor and I often organize parties at my studio. Friends of friends are always welcomed and a friend of ours came with Olivier on that evening. We saw each other again a few months later and it was the first time I had the feeling of being with a real man – kind, true, loving and strong – who would protect me. We started dating some time later.

Olivier has the purest heart and is a real knight-servant coming out of a fairytale with whom everything is possible.

Olivier: I remember exactly the day I met Pauline for the first time. I can visualize the scene with details, Pauline standing in her artist studio in the middle of the crowd and her art pieces. She was glowing, smiling and full of passion guiding the crowd through her personal work, I was immediately charmed. I wanted her to notice me. It took some time…but today, I am happy she did.

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The Destination

We chose to get married in Venice for our religious ceremony because for our civil wedding we got married in Vegas with close friends. So for the church, we wanted a formal place that would fulfill our romantic aspirations as opposed to the never-ending party that had been going on in Las Vegas.

The entire wedding was conceived for the joy of our guests, to make them happy and we wanted it to be dreamy. So each hour of the day was thought as a moving painting on waters envisioned by Pauline.

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The Venues

We chose Santa Maria dei Miracoli for our church because it is showered with a miraculous light during the afternoon. We also loved its Renaissance architecture and simplicity and we thought that the symbolism of rebirth was nice for the wedding.

We loved the sharp contrast between the ancient architecture of our reception venue Ca’ Rezzonico and the avant-garde style of our after-party space Teatrino. It well represented us as a couple: rooted in cultural traditions and art but looking towards the future and open to modernity and change. We also wanted to convey our attachment to nature also during that day.

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Favorite Moments

A detail that we liked in particular during the ceremony was ‘the coronation of the spouses’ with flower crowns. The ritual has been lost for decades, but ask your priest to include it. It really gave a poetic touch and an even more rooted-to-the-traditions touch to our ceremony.

Our favorite moment was mass! A violinist and a cello player performed an amazing selection of melodies, from Mozart to the Ave Maria. It helped to create an elevation of the souls and a moment of grace.

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The Ride to the Reception

From the church, our guests were brought to the reception with boats that we had reserved. The two of us traveled through the little canals with a gondola to Palazzo Ca’ Rezzonico.

When we found on the bank of the Grand Canale, this majestic Palace and its stunning ballroom covered in frescos, we knew this was the place. But dancing isn’t allowed in most palaces in Venice because of their fragility, so we found right in front of our palace in the other bank of the canal Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi which is specifically designed for parties with its very contemporary lines and materials! After dinner, our guests just had to jump onto the boats we had rented to go from one bank to another bank and arrive at Teatrino.

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The Dress & Attire

I had a vivid vision of the dress I wanted: a fluid design with puffy sleeves falling off my shoulders, and paintings of flowers on my cape (inspired by the Boticelli painting of Spring) which I painted. It took 140 hours to finish the 16 bouquets that I copied from the character of Flora from the painting.

I had never painted on fabric and was nervous about dropping paint on the white fabric and stain it. It was a surprise to me when I finished it without ruining it. It was also a big surprise to Olivier on the big day as I had kept it a secret until the very last minute!

For the shoes, I had a very clear idea of the triangular line – the pearl satin fabric and the low heels. I found the House Chamberlan which does custom-tailored shoes and agreed to create the pair I had envisioned.

Concerning Olivier’s attire, I knew he should wear the traditional jacket we pull out in our old families. But I wanted it to be in a very light grey pearl color in order to reflect the marvelous and very unique light of Venice that comes from the light reflections on the Mediterranean Sea.

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The Photography

We didn’t choose a photographer, we chose an artist, as only an artist could render the complexity of a wedding with spirit and soul.

But we also liked that Simon was Slovenian. Pauline is Colombian and has Jewish and Polish roots. We love everything ‘melting-pot’ as we had a lot of friends from abroad that came to our wedding also: France of course, but also China, Colombia, England, Greece, Germany, United-states, Sweden, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and also from Rome, Naples, Florence, Sienna, etc. We both wanted to bring diversity and different cultures together for our wedding day.

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The Florals & Details

Our florist Dogaressa Flowers was a real artist who immediately understood our desire for organic almost wild compositions, with wild fruits still attached to their branches and leaves.

Together we imagined the garlands for the church based on the painting of the Victory of the Virgin Mary by Renaissance painter Mantegna. The compositions for the dinner tables were inspired by several paintings of flowers and fruits still-lives. The bouquet of the bride was made of olive branches – an homage to the groom, Olivier who’s name means “olive tree” in French.

We baptized the tables with love poems instead of nicknames. A poem decorated each table. It brought a meaningful and romantic touch to each table, while a butler service was arranged to guide the guests to their seats.

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The After-Party

Finally, the party at Teatrino was made unforgettable thanks to our amazing DJ and the saxophonist who give so much energy and such a positive vibe to any party they come to. The musician plays over the DJ sets; it creates a vibrant and playful atmosphere between the game of the saxophone and the DJ’s mix of songs!

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The Honeymoon

After the wedding, we went to the Château du Grand Lucé in France for a mini-honeymoon. The architecture of the building is a breathtaking castle of the 18th century immersed in a peaceful heaven of green gardens flourished with peonies, pink apples, blue raisins, rhubarb and boxwoods perforated with windows, and inhabited by stone putties and statues of all kinds.

The more extensive honeymoon will come later. But after two crazy years where we’ve gotten married in Las Vegas on June 2018 and in Venice on September 2019 (it was 2 years of non-stop wedding planning and traveling), we just wanted to cuddle together at home in Paris for months close to the fireplace in our new apartment during the wintertime, with less travel plans.

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