Venice wedding photographer at Ca’ Zenobio – Le Bal Oriental


      Being a Venice wedding photographer at Ca’ Zenobio has been one of the most incredible experience I ever had in Venice.

      Have you ever been dreaming of Venice as your ideal destination wedding? Can you think of a perfect extravagant wedding venue, possibly facing the Venetian Grand Canal? Just imagine:

      • A warm welcome party at Palazzo Loredan dell’Ambasciatore
      • A touching wedding ceremony at Chiesa dei Carmini
      • An extravagant Le Bal Oriental inspired wedding party at Ca’ Zenobio
      • An artistically romantic post wedding Venice photoshoot at Santa Maria della Salute

      In the light of this, choosing to tie the knot in Venice is the right answer! Indeed, this could be the recipe for a truly unforgettable wedding in Venice. What’s more, with a wedding venue such as Ca’ Zenobio palace, you would make your Venice photographer particularly happy ?

      A stunning ballroom, “Hall of Mirrors” decorated not only with scenes from the life of Empress Zenobia, but embellished particularly with extravagant floral decorations and candle lightings. Let yourself be enchanted by this real masquerade wedding inspired by Le Bal Oriental.

      venice extravagant wedding ca zenobio le bal oriental


      Renting a luxury palace in the most romantic city worldwide, is certainly a unique experience. Just think, walking the same floors as some important history’s individuals… Such an insane impression! Together with many majestic palaces such as Hotel Danieli, as well as Sina Centurion, Palazzo Loredan still stands impressively on the Grand Canal. Built in the late 1400’s, Palazzo Loredan  is unquestionably a fine example of Venetian Gothic architecture.

      Another key point is that this beautiful palazzo is the birthplace of two Doges. Moreover, it also became the home of the Austrian Empire ambassadors so, consequently the palace was called ”dell’ambasciatore”. It must be remembered that, at the time Palazzo Loredan was built, the Serenissima was at the height of its power.

      Palaces were not only homes, but business headquarters for personalities such as Venetian nobility, traders or merchants. With attention to this, Venetian palaces were designed to impress. They were considered icons that represented not only Venetian’s commercial and political but also cultural superiority.

      It is well known that, in 1749. Giacomo Durazzo becomes ambassador in Austria, to the court in Vienna. Once appointed as director of the imperial theaters, he started a reform not only of the ballet but also of the opera. Of course, he gained a certain reputation for sentimental relations. On his list there were several actresses and ballerinas. As a result of this, in 1764. he was forced to resign. This is the reason why he moved into Palazzo Loredan dell’Ambasciatore with Ernestine, his wife. She was lady of bedchamber and maid of honor to Empress Maria Theresa.

      In March 1771. a young Mozart passed with his father through Venice. Count Durazzo knew them from his past days in Vienna so, he invited them over for dinner. As a result of this meeting, Durazzo arranged a private concert of Wolfgang. Another interesting anecdote is that, centuries later it will come to light that Durazzo was the first to get his hands on Vivaldi soundtracks. Scores which disappeared for two centuries!

      In 30’s, Palazzo Loredan dell’Ambasciatore was a wedding gift from Achille Gaggia to this daughter. Filippo, his great – grandson has restored the palace preserving its ancient charm. The Piano Nobile della Loggia, where Emily got ready, is the piano nobile where Filippo’s grandmother use to entertain.

      Venice wedding PHOTOGRAPHER at Ca’ Zenobio – Le bal oriental

      The church ceremony took place at the majestic Santa Maria dei Carmini. A large Roman Catholic church. It nestles against the well known Scuola Grande dei Carmini.


      The perfect location for luxurious weddings, sumptuous parties and even music spots! Do you know that Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” music video was shot in Ca’ Zenobio?

      The majestic ballroom is definitely the main reason not only to choose it as main location for celebrations but also to visit it! It represents a typical Venetian monumental environment. Indeed, the outstanding “Hall of mirrors” will make you feel like you have stepped into an unalike dimension. Ca’ Zenobio is definitely among the most important examples of Venetian late Baroque style due to its pictoral and stucco decorations. The most brilliant artists in Venice, Louis Dorigny, Luca Carlevaris and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo did the interior decorations. Abbondio Stazio was responsible for the whole comples stucco decoration. The palace is interesting not only architecturally, but also for the interior decorations. The before mentioned Hall of mirrors, depicts mythologic scenes and the life of Queen Zenobia.

      Palazzo Ca’ Zenobio initially was constructed in 1690. by the Zenobio family, rich landowners originally from Verona. They had lived there since the mid 15th century. It must be remembered that, in the first fifty years of the 17th century, they wealth improved a lot. Increased so enormously, that it reached a degree that when the Republic of Venice offered accession to the Venetian nobility in exchange for appropriate sum of money. For example, in order to finance the war of Crete. In 1645. Pietro Zenobio was quick to pay the necessary hundred thousand ducats so, a year later he became patrician of St. Mark “con posteri in perpetuo”. However, they kept staying in Verona. After the marriage of Margherita, one of the Pietro’s granddaughters, the Zenobios purchased also Palazzo Morosini.

      In 1850 Zenobio became the home of the Collegio dei Padri Armeni Mechitaristi di San Lazzaro.

      Venice extravagant wedding at Ca’ Zenobio – Le bal oriental

      Next to romantic gondola rides, the lagoon city is famous for its era of extravagant masquerade balls and parties. What made this wedding so extravagant and unique was the masquerade feature. Breathtaking settings, ornate décor, wigs, lady guests in extravagant ball gowns, bejewelled masks… This is what Alexandre and Emily had in mind for their Venice wedding. As a result, they chose an extremely interesting and intriguing theme to focus their wedding day on.

      “Le Bal Oriental” also known as the “Party of the century” was the theme of this wedding in Venice. The idea emerged from the so-called “Party of the 20th century”.


      Before dedicating a few words to Le Bal Oriental itself, it is necessary to mention Carlos de Beistegui. This eccentric French-born Spanish multi-millionaire personality, not only was an art collector but also an interior designer. He was one of the most flamboyant characters of the past century European life. In 1948. he decided to acquire a palace just off the Grand Canal, Palazzo Labia. Consequently, he bought furnishing from Palazzo Libia’s less fortunate neighbours. Works of art such as frescoes by Raffaello, Guido Reni and Annibale Carracci.

      On 3rd September 1951. a masked costume ball took place at Palazzo Labia, called Le Bal Oriental.


      A simply extravagant masked ball hosted by Charles de Beistegui, very often referred to as “Il Conte di Monte Cristo”. Le Bal Oriental is considered to be the most lavish and extravagant, masked, costume ball that took place after the Second World War. Undoubtadly, it was the largest and most lavish social events of the 20th century. It was the last truly spectacular  event in the famous ballroom.

      It must be remembered that, a thousand guests attended. With a long guests list of course, it comprised of the elite of the European society. From Salvador Dali to Christian Dior and many more Counts, Countesses, Price and Princesses…  Even Winston Churchill and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were invited but did not attend. Many personalities not invited arrived by yacht. Anchoring at the Venice Lido, with big hopes to get an invitation or a way to get in. An interesting anecdote is that, Salvador Dali and Christian Dior designed each other’s costumes.

      Venice extravagant wedding at Ca’ Zenobio – Le bal oriental

      Venice is not really on the top of the list as your wedding destination? There are still endless options: you might consider an engagement, honeymoon, anniversary, pre or post wedding Venice photoshoot. Opting for a photoshoot in Venice, especially wearing your wedding dress and roaming among the most attractive spots… Your photos will embrace the whole Venetian magic! Word of a Venice wedding photographer! ?

      Venice extravagant wedding at Ca’ Zenobio – Le bal oriental

      In conclusion, this is what Emily and Alexandre did. A warm welcome party for the bridal party at Palazzo Loredan dell’Ambasciatore. It was ideal to spend some time with guests before the big day, welcoming them with delicious appetizers and sweets. A solemn wedding ceremony at Chiesa dei Carmini and an extravagant wedding party at Ca’ Zenobio. Last but not least, concluding their Venetian adventure waking up early in the morning. The perfect time to enjoy the hidden gems of Venice stress free, with no people around.




      pamela kurdoglian

      Dear Samantha,

      I hope you are well!

      I saw pictures of the Ca Zenobio wedding and thought it was very beautiful. We are looking to have our wedding next year in Venice and I was wondering if you planned the wedding?

      Hi Pamela, I’m a photographer, not a wedding planner.