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11December

Religious wedding ceremony in the Orthodox Church of St. George of the Greeks

Before the religious ceremony in the Orthodox Church of St. George of the Greeks, then a gondola ride and a sumptuous dinner. It is the wedding fairy tale of Dasha and Seth.

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Love and devotion. From the Big Apple to the lagoon, Dasha and Seth landed in Venice to say “I do” in front of  God, in the Orthodox Church of St. George of the Greeks.

A real romantic getaway.  A romantic getaway that ended in the most gentle, serene and sacred way. Seth and Dasha come to Venice in the summer to introduce themselves to God and marry with a religious ceremony in the Orthodox Church of St. George of the Greeks. It is the early afternoon of the 9th of July when in an elegant suite bride and groom are preparing for their big day. Makeup, hair and manicure for the lady. Smoking like James Bond with a white flower for the gentleman.

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301 orthodox wedding venice italy

They are near and far. Adjacent rooms, but as tradition want no eye contact before the fateful meeting. Dasha and Seth know how they want it. Their journey in the wedding life sets sail together. Seth looks at the lagoon, waiting. Dasha is enchanting, she gives a last look at her engagement ring, she smells the bouquet. Setted in the stone there is a promise. She advances slowly with veil, toward the small pier that connects the hotel to the gondola. Finally, the bride reaches the groom and they can look each other in all their beauty, going together on the gondola, decorated with flowers.

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Venice is increasingly the city of marriages. In spite of the nearby Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet, is the ancient maritime republic to attract the attention of lovers from around the world, lovers that choose it to get married. But behind the beauty of such an event lies a remarkable job by the organizers, that have to deal with the bureaucracies of the countries of origin. Seth is an American citizen, Dasha has Ukrainian origin. They were married civilly in the United States, then they wanted this religious ceremony according to the Orthodox Christian rite of which both are faithful, without any relative or friend. To make this happen, it was necessary to obtain the consent of their church of origin, the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral of New York.

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When there are ten minutes left to 4 pm, the two promised leave the hotel and go on the gondola of the newlyweds: red, with liveried gondoliers and violinist, for a worthy musical accompaniment.

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The boat, symbol of Venice, slides on the water and is a pleasure to see it. It reach the place of the ceremony: Castello, the district more Venetian of the island. A church with one nave the one of  St. George of the Greeks, directly dependent on the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and dating back to the sixteenth century, with frescoes of Giovanni of Cyprus and, among other works, even the hand of the young Venetian sculptor and architect Baldassare Longhena, future deus ex machina of the Basilica Santa Maria della Salute.

The ceremony is celebrated in Greek, English and Russian. There is a singer in the church. There, in addition to the artistic beauty, there is also space for candid floral decorations on the balustrades, on the altar and around. White is also the carpet on which bride and groom walk to reach the altar, and this is not at random nor ornamental. In fact, in this ceremony  man and woman are on it to show the communion of their lives. At this point, the priest begins the coronation of the groom and then of the bride, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It has multiple meanings: royalty, refinement and martyrdom in good and bad luck.

After the ceremony and once outside, waiting for them there are notes of  harp, violin and cello, under a romantic cascade of petals. From the sacred to the profane,  for Seth and Dasha is arrived a more glamorous moment. As a Hollywood stars couple, they are photographed before on a gondola and then on a taxi, around the lagoon and in the most beautiful places of the ancient maritime republic, including Palazzo Ducale, between Piazza San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. After a lot of shots between art and architecture, it's time to satiate the palate.

Returned to the hotel they have a romantic dinner in a private terrace overlooking the basin of San Marco, a terrace decorated with elegant chandeliers, lanterns with white-pink flowers and a floral centerpiece of imposing size. A DJ, who gives proof of his abilities, plays for them even with a performance on the sax when they arrived. Tintoretto menu awaits the palates of the couple. It begins with a delicious aperitif with Bellini and snacks, then some toast of sparkling wine, fruit juices and other drinks. The size of a dinner is also in its originality and delicacy. Waiting the more rich fish dishes, the two lovers taste a small salmon tartare, accompanied by sour sauce, fennel and brioche bread.

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No time to think to what they had just tasted that comes the delicious moment of sinking into the soft delight of ravioli with crab , followed by fillet of sea bass with estuary vegetables. A break and it is dessert time. After a first taste of crunchy parfait with caramel sauce, it comes the wedding cake made ​​with sugar paste and filled with almond. Veneto is one of the most famous land of wine and a sumptuous dinner as this one, can not be without it. Pinot Grigio - Paladin and Prosecco Fortuna Vini were served for the toast. Fitting end with coffee, tea and a final gluttony based on pastries.

Lights go out. Night falls. Seth and Dasha dance between the sky and the Venice lagoon.

Ph: Jules Bower