Wedding in Venice

by Jose Santos (Portugal)

A decision that pushed me to the edge Italy


We were in 1995. I was 35 years old and my girlfriend was 30. We had been dating for 15 years (with a break in between) and we lived together for 5 years. We were very passionate and happy. But we needed an adventure to maintain a healthy relantionship. And what better adventure than to marry ... in Venice !? I looked at Zé (my girlfriend) and said: What if we married? She: Marry!? For what? Are not we well? Me: We are! But what if, we went to Venice ... to marry? She: Venice!? Ok, let’s do it! But how is this done? Me: I have no idea. I do not know anyone from Portugal who has done this, nor do I know of any history. But I'll try to find out. 3 months later, after much work in arranging the necessary documents, and with the help of the consul of Portugal in Milan, we arrived, alone, in Venice on 10 August 1995, two days before the wedding day. Meanwhile, the portugueses couple friend who should have gone with us as witnesses had to cancel the trip at the last hour. So, meanwhile, we had to find new witnesses there. Until the night before the wedding day, we tried to find someone but we were not able to, until in St. Mark's Square on the esplanade of Quadri caffee, on the table next to us was a French couple laughing and drinking champagne. Zé looked at me and said: I'll talk to them and tell our story, and I'm sure they'll agree to be witnesses to the wedding. And she was right. They were surprised by the story and accepted the invitation right away. In that moment we began to celebrate, precisely with champagne. The next day we had a meeting on the place and went for the wedding that was scheduled for mid-day. Zé was the bride, I was the fiance, the photo reporter and videographer (all at the same time) and the French couple as witnesses (whose name I'd rather omit because they were not really a couple because they were in Venice in a "sin" weekend). It was a unique moment and also a little crazy because I had to ask the several times to stop the ceremony so I could shoot the video. But they were all very friendly and understood the situation because it is not every day that someone goes from Portugal to marry in Venice. It's been 22 years and we are still together and inlove, now with two children, and it is promised that soon we will return. Although we tried several times, we never heard from the French "couple" again. Maybe one day!