A flotilla of water taxis on the Grand Canal, a ceremony in a 16th-century palazzo: George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin pulled off a picture-perfect wedding in Venice, Italy.
But their road to Venice has been marked with many romantic milestones around the world, with stops everywhere from the White House to Tanzania to Clooney’s beloved Lake Como.
Clooney, 53, has said he and Alamuddin, 36, first met in Italy, as he recently revealed at a charity dinner. But they weren’t spotted in public together until last October in London, where they were photographed after sharing a bite at Berners Tavern. The two were discussing a satellite program over Syria, Clooney’s rep said at the time. (Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project monitors human rights abuses.)
By the holidays, according to a source, Alamuddin was a guest of Clooney’s on a vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico, along with longtime friend and Casamigos Tequila business partner Rande Gerber and his wife, Cindy Crawford.
The two kept a low profile until after Valentine’s Day, when Alamuddin joined Clooney for a special White House screening on Feb. 18 of his film The Monuments Men. The couple held hands at the event, which President Obama attended. Later, the duo joined Clooney’s costars Matt Damon and Bill Murray at Willard Hotel’s Round Robin & Scotch Bar, where, an onlooker told PEOPLE, they were stuck like glue.
Revealing their Romance
Then it was vacation time again: In March, they first spent some beach time in the Seychelles, then jetted to Tanzania for a short, but sweet, four-day safari. Clooney was photographed with his arm around Alamuddin – finally confirming the two were a romantic item.
Days later, the couple landed in N.Y.C., where they stayed at Manhattan’s Carlyle Hotel and dined at French restaurant Rotisserie Georgette with Gerber and another of Clooney’s Casamigos business partners, real estate developer Mike Meldman.
In March, they turned up on the West Coast at another dinner table with friends. This time, they feasted on Japanese cuisine with Clooney’s friends John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt at Kazu Sushi in Studio City, California.
George Pops the Question
Almost a month later, they were ready to show off their big news. On April 23, they were spotted at L.A. restaurant Craig’s with friends, and Alamuddin wearing a huge ring, and the following night they met up with Gerber and Crawford to celebrate the engagement at Nobu in Malibu, California. “They want the people they love to know that this is real, that they plan on being together forever,” a source told PEOPLE at the time.
With their own wedding planning underway, the couple jetted to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to celebrate the nuptials of Clooney’s longtime pal, actor Thom Mathews.
Next stop? Venice – foreshadowing alert! – where the pair joined friends in the Floating City at Da Ivo restaurant, departing by motorboat in classic Venetian style.
The pair then spent much of the summer in Italy at Clooney’s Lake Como estate, often making it a family affair with visits from Alamuddin’s mother, Baria, and Clooney’s parents, Nick and Nina.
(Later, the future mothers-in-law even took a turn at some arm-in-arm bonding!)
Glamorous Wedding Guests
Then in July the soon-to-be bride and groom got some more wedding practice at the nuptials of Alamuddin’s cousin, Bahrain-based businessman Tarke Miknas. Alamuddin pulled double duty, officiating the ceremony at a 15th-century villa in Florence, Italy.
By the time the couple obtained their marriage license – listing the wedding’s location as Italy – in London in early August, it was clear their own wedding was fast approaching.
Following another PDA-packed dinner near Lake Como, the couple enjoyed a high-profile date night at the Sept. 7 Celebrity Fight Night charity benefit in Tuscany, Italy, where Clooney shared the news that the wedding would unfold in Venice.
“I would just like to say to my bride-to-be, Amal, that I love you very much,” he told his fiancée from the stage, “and I can’t wait to be your husband.”
Of course, the big question now is: Where in the world will they honeymoon?
Fan Reaction Around the Globe
Fans around the globe have reacted quite positively to Clooney and Alamuddin’s wedding. Social networking sites such as twitter and facebook are abuzz with this news and prayers and congratulations are pouring in.
India where George Clooney enjoys a widespread fan following has taken up this wedding like a fairy tale. Indian fans are all praise and love for the couple for their wonderful love story and the beautiful wedding at Venice.
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