Did you know you can rent an entire island in Venice for your wedding? Imagine your family & friends celebrating your nuptials on a stunning, exclusive piece of Venice’s history.
You don’t need to imagine this beautiful event because we share a real fairytale wedding today at the exclusive St. Clemente Palace Kempinski. Barbara and Klemens had spent time on the Island years ago (while she shot a film in Venice!) Once they got engaged, the couple knew there was no other place for their wedding.
You can expect a regal effect when you reserve an entire island within a historical Italian city. The opulence and grandeur of the city streets and palace hotel rooms might inspire one to “go all out” with their fashion or decor. Enter Galia Lahav. Last year, we worked with an Israeli designer to create How to Dress Like a Royal on Your Wedding Day. It’s no wonder that Barbara looks like royalty in her Galia Lahav custom wedding dress.
We watched the opening film at the Cannes Film Festival. After the opening ceremony, we had a late dinner at one of the most beautiful hotels on the Croisette. A harpist was playing in front of a packed room in the middle of the restaurant. After the main course, my husband said we always have so much stress and not enough alone time. Then he clinked the glass with his knife, and everyone left the room without saying a word.
We were alone in the hotel room for a minute. The hotel manager approached us and lifted a cloche before presenting the ring. My future husband Klemens knelt on his knees to ask me if I wanted to marry him. I was shocked and filled with emotion. Naturally, I said yes immediately!
Custom Galia Lahav Dress
After that, I visited the Galia Lahav store in Hamburg, Germany. I was familiar with the brand because of some Red Carpet stylings. My maid of honor and I then visited other boutiques of different brands. In every store, my maid of honor and I agreed that the Galia Lahav dresses looked better. So, it was easy for me to choose Galia Lahav.
We then started working on the dress. I wanted a dress that was custom-made with a long train. I did some fittings in Hamburg and then had a Skype session with Sharon Sever, who created the first sketch for my dress. I also had a fitting in Tel Aviv because I wanted to meet Sharon in person. It was a magical journey to find my dream dress.
Everything felt personal and unique. Galia Lahav takes excellent care of their brides and will not give up until they have the perfect dress. I could not imagine working with a brand better to create a dress. Although I had a few concrete ideas about my dress, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. Both situations were handled with patience, creativity, and love. I felt welcomed, and we found myself a second dress to dance all night.
The Bridesmaid Dresses
I am a Fair Fashion Ambassador for the German Ministry of Development. I’m passionate about saving the environment and have made it a personal goal to do so. I wore fair fashion on the wedding day and wanted all my bridesmaids to wear golden dresses at the ceremony. My close friend Sasha Gaugel started doing some research. We discovered peace silk, which doesn’t require caterpillars to die to produce. Organic color was used to dye the fabric. And sequins made from recycled plastic bottles.
I shot a film in Venice in the last year and a quarter. It was a 19th-century historical drama. After the shoot, I spent another two days with Klemens in St. Clemente Palace Kempinski. This island has an extraordinary atmosphere. We were enchanted. As soon as you step onto the island, you will forget about all your stress and busy life.
We both agreed almost instantly when we saw the chapel on the island: what a wonderful place to be married! Even though we were not engaged, we knew this would be the perfect location. We thought of many places to go after our engagement. From the South of France to Vienna, to a lonely island, but always returned to this little island in Venice.
First, we had to choose the correct location. We knew that we wanted to be in a particular place. As we had visited Venice and enjoyed it so much, we decided to rent an entire island with a hotel (the St. Clemente Palace Kempinski) within the lagoon of Venice. We also limited the number of people to be accommodated by the location. We thought 300 rooms would be perfect for us as we had so many family and friends around the globe, but we wanted to maintain a feeling of privacy.
We then looked for a wedding planner that we could trust. We chose our friend Sabine Konigsberger from Eventboutique in Venice. Then, after these two significant decisions, there were 1000 more. After these two big decisions, there were 1000 more.
The moment we said yes. The wedding isn’t about the food, the dancing, or the decoration. It’s all about your promise to your husband that you will be there in the good and bad times. The bad times are not a concern because I have found a man I can love forever. It’s liberating and comforting to know I have someone by my side no matter what happens.
We also had many other memorable moments during our wedding, including the second dance I did with Dad when my dad led me into the church, I saw my husband in front of an altar, and the moment when the choir sang “Hallelujah” after I said “Yes,” and the morning I woke up knowing that I was now a wife. We and our guests will cherish these magical days in Venice forever.
Galia Lahav was a key player in making me feel beautiful, comfortable, and confident on my wedding day. You made me the happiest wedding bride in the world, or at least in Venice.