A WEDDING in VENICE
If you're reading this, then you are probably interested in getting married in Italy. Just like you, we researched getting married in Italy and found ourselves spending hours and hours exploring the possible routes to make this dream come true.
One could read testimonials from all the various companies all day, but our concern was "what about the people that didn't have everything go so perfectly well?" Surely a company wouldn't put up negative testimonials as part of their campaign to attract you to them as a potential customer. Cherie and I were both very concerned about having to "depend" on a third party to make something so important as our wedding come to fruition. After all, if we were planning a wedding here in the United States, we would have absolute control over every single aspect of the wedding. We have never been the types to do anything in a mediocre fashion. With us, it's all or nothing at all. We are firm believers in "if you want it done right, you better do it yourselves." Well if we were going to get married in Italy, it wasn't going to be accomplished by doing it "ourselves". It took just a few minutes of research to learn that we would most certainly have to depend on others. We would surely need help. Enter Regency. After looking at all the websites devoted to getting married in other countries, and reading what past clients had to say about their experiences with said companies, we came to the conclusion that Regency was the best choice for which we should entrust this hugely momentous event. We could not possibly have made a better choice. Our first correspondence was via e-mail. We simply inquired about various possibilities and probable costs. We received an answer back within hours, and so started the beginnings of what turned out to be a wonderful relationship. The person who we would be dealing with was Jinane. She answered every question we could throw at her, and believe me, we had a LOT of questions. With every email, Jinane earned our trust more and more. This was helpful because it's a bit scary faxing copies of your passport and your credit cards and your signature to someone overseas whom you've never met! One morning, I thought it would be nice to call the offices there and put a voice to the emails I had been reading so I called Jinane at Regency. She sounded so nice and polite, I was glad I made the call. Shortly thereafter, we had a question regarding the location of the wedding and because I wasn't near my computer to send an email, I thought I would call over there and leave a message at the Regency office. I say leave a message because although it was 6 p.m. in Los Angeles, it was 3 a.m. in Italy. I was horrified when instead of reaching the answering machine at Regency, a semi-groggy Jinane answered the phone! I explained how sorry I was for calling at such a crazy hour, but that I thought I would just leave a message at the office. She then told me that it was perfectly fine, and that whenever one of the weddings she is coordinating is about to happen, she always forwards the office line to her cell phone after hours in case anyone has a problem....she is ALWAYS on call. That is a perfect example of the dedication Regency has to its customers! So in a short time, we had formed a master plan for the wedding and everything was going according to schedule... Permits and scheduling for the Palazzo Pisani, scheduling for the signing of paperwork in Florence at the U.S. Embassy, scheduling for the signing of paperwork in Venice, reservations and menu choice for thirty people at the restaurant for the wedding reception, two photographers for the day, musicians and song choices for the ceremony, the private boat transportation from the hotels to the Palazzo Pisani, hair, make-up, floral arrangements. That's a lot of things to coordinate, isn't it? Jinane was fabulous and had EVERYTHING under control. We arrived in Florence and met Jinane at the U.S. embassy. It was so nice to meet her. After all the correspondence, it was like meeting a friend we hadn't seen in a long time! With her help, we signed all the appropriate paperwork. We also met our photographer Massimo. I earn my living with cinematography, so I had expressed great concern regarding the photographer. I asked them for the best, and we got it! Massimo is a true artist. He then told us that he was bringing another photographer with him so there would be two photographers. Then Jinane asked us if we would mind if they could send along another photographer to take pictures for Regency. THREE PHOTOGRAPHERS?? YES!! There were all so nice to us! After a few days in the incredibly beautiful city of Florence we headed up to Venice, where the ceremony was to take place. Jinane said goodbye to us and told us we would be very safe in the hands of their Venetian coordinator Domenica. She was right. We met Domenica and it was off to the City Hall to fill out more paperwork. Domenica handled it all. The people at city hall had questions, which they asked in Italian, and Domenica answered everything for us, in Italian. , it all went so smoothly, we signed papers, and that was it!
Everything was going as planned until we were walking back to our hotel the night before the wedding. It was around 9 p.m. and we heading back to our hotel to meet with family and friends when we heard this beautiful voice singing opera. Her voice echoed off the walls of the buildings, across the courtyard, and she was singing "Oh Mio Babbino Caro" which just happened to be the song we had chosen for the strings to play as Cherie walked down the aisle for the wedding! This was fate! So we approached this woman and asked her if she would be willing to sing that song in our wedding. She said yes, and gave us her phone number and we then called Jinane to tell her what had happened. Jinane took her phone number and said don't worry, we'll take care of everything, I'll call this woman and the musicians, and we'll get it all taken care of so that she will be there and sing that song for you. The next day was the big day, and it was flawless. Domenica was with us the whole time, making sure everything was going as planned. It was PERFECT!!!!! Everything was PERFECT!!!! The private taxi boat rides from the hotel to the Palazzo Pisani were absolutely amazing! It truly sets the mood for the entire reason your having your wedding in Italy. The Palazzo Pisani was breathtaking! All of our guests were just amazed!! Cherie came down the aisle and our newly found opera singer filled the room with her beautiful voice, and gave everyone chills!!!! It was unbelievable! The ceremony was beautiful. Everyone was so happy for us, and all of our guest kept telling us it was the most beautiful wedding they have ever seen. And several of them would follow up that comment with "No...we're serious, it REALLY WAS the most beautiful wedding we've ever seen." Immediately following the ceremony, all thirty of us walked in a big procession to the restaurant for our reception. Jinane had recommended Antica Trattoria Poste Vecie, which is actually the oldest restaurant in Venice. It was superb! The best fish and pasta Venice has to offer, in a unique atmosphere that proved to be just the right choice for us. After the reception, and crazy picture taking extravaganza, we headed off to our honeymoon throughout Italy and Austria and Switzerland. That wedding was just the best time of our lives! And if you're wondering if the feelings and the excitement of that day will hold truly close to our hearts as time goes on....we're writing this testimonial almost exactly three years after the wedding! We urge anyone considering getting married in Italy to contact Regency. They are number one for a reason, and if you are working with a modest budget, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that a slightly smaller wedding in Italy will cost the same or LESS than a slightly larger wedding in the U.S.A.!
William and Cherie