Carnival is coming! Living it Italy, it’s hard to ignore the building anticipation for the upcoming festival season. This holiday is the final ‘hurrah’ before Christians begin the season of Lent, which is a period of 40 days of fasting and daily moderation leading up to Easter. The climax of the carnevale, as it’s known in Italian, always falls on a Tuesday (since Lent always begins on Ash Wednesday) and is most famously called Mardi Gras, or ‘fat Tuesday.’
Though there are many famous carnival celebrations around the world, from the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras parades to the spectacular Brazilian Carnival in Rio, the longest-standing tradition is the carnevale in Venice, Italy, dating back to the 12th century. Most famous are the gorgeous and intricate Venetian masks that are sold in every kiosk and every store, not just in Venice but all over Italy. Carnival is a time for people of all ages to disguise themselves behind masks and costumes. The tradition is said to date back to a costume worn for anonymity at political conventions, a somewhat grotesque mask with an elongated beak-like nose and mouth (called a bauta), tricorn hat, and black cape, like the one below. The costumes have taken on a fantasy, and often altogether creepy, look over time. Hidden behind masks, carnival-goers take the opportunity to indulge – enjoying all sorts of decadent sweets, fun, and a bit of mischief before the somber 40 days of Lent begins.
Here are a few stunning images from Carnevale in Venice from photographer by Jim Zuckerman Photography, which show you exactly how over-the-top this holiday can be, full of bright colors gilded in gold, feathers, beads – plenty of fantasy and whimsy to spare!
So I got to thinking, “How might a bride be inspired to channel this unique Mediterranean holiday look into a Venetian-inspired, or even better, an Italian destination wedding?” Turns out, I’m not the only one thinking along these lines. The team at The Studio Wedding Lab designed an inspirational photo shoot, using Venetian Carnevale as their point of departure.
Burgundy Carnival theme wedding shoot
The biggest success of this stylized shoot, in my opinion, is their rich, luxurious color palette – sticking with the deep crimson, gold and cream colors most common associated with Venice, adding a few shades of purple and peach. The bride’s ballgown is every bit as dramatic as the amazing carnevale costumes, and with a touch of whimsy from a handmade lace mask and a fur stole, she is absolutely stunning. And I adore the cake from La Tavernatta – perfect rose and burgundy icing flowers, dusted with gold! So elegant. They perfectly captured by Tiziana Surace Photography, the mystique and opulence of the holiday while keeping it elegant and formal! I absolutely love this idea!
Design & Styling : The Studio Wedding Lab
Photography : Tiziana Surace Photography
Location : Villa Quintieri
Makeup Artist : Caterina Corigliano
Hair Stylist : Enrice & Giusy
Flowers & Table Settings : Home e Fiori by Giuliana
Cake : La Tavernatta
Wedding dress provided by Atelier Careri
Carnevale Photos by Jim Zuckerman Photography