Boats ferry guests to the nuptials along Venice's Grand Canal

By Michelle Tauber
September 27, 2014 12:35 PM
Stefano Rellandini/Reuters/Landov

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He’s ready to wed!

At sunset in Venice on Saturday, guests and the groom began departing the famed Belmond Hotel Cipriani – unofficial wedding weekend headquarters for George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin‘s nuptials – en route to the main event.

The destination: the historic Aman Canal Grande Venice, where a ladies-only wedding eve party was held Friday night. When guests arrived, they entered the hotel through an entryway tented with gold-trimmed curtains.

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Father of the groom Nick Clooney was spotted with a glass of Champagne as he and wife Nina prepared to board one of a flotilla of water taxis flying the bride and groom’s “AG” monogram flag lined up outside the Cipriani.

Wedding guests Matt Damon, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt step onto a water taxi in Venice

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Among the guests in black ties and long gowns: U2 singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson, Cindy Crawford and her husband, Clooney’s business partner Rande Gerber, Matt Damon and his wife Luciana, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, Bill Murray, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Clooney’s parents Nick and Nina, Alamuddin’s parents Ramzi and Baria, Clooney’s cousin Miguel Ferrer, actor Richard Kind, actress Ellen Barkin, Lisa Shields of the Council on Foreign Relations, actor Thom Mathews, CAA partner Bryan Lourd, businessman Bruce Bozzi, and producer Grant Heslov and his wife Lysa.

Bill Murray waves to fans and photographers on the way to the wedding

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The groom himself boarded the last water taxi to head to the Aman hotel, where Alamuddin had spent the night. Clooney and his guests waved to throngs of cheering fans who lined the historic Rialto and Accademia bridges over the Grand Canal, balconies and walkways. “I’ve never seen anything like this in Venice before!” exclaimed one local.

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Among those who rode in the vintage wooden water taxi with the groom: his parents and Alamuddin’s father; George’s sister Adelia; his close friend, director Ben Weiss; Amal’s brother Ziad; and several of her other relatives. His longtime Venetian driver and friend, Alessandro Greco, was at the helm – and is also a wedding guest.

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George Clooney arrives at the Aman Canal Grande Venice to marry Amal Alamuddin
Andrew Medichini/AP

Preparations have been well under way at the Aman, a 16th-century palazzo-turned-hotel. A large barge of flowers was spotted arriving Saturday morning, with workers delivering white bud roses and centerpieces of various white blooms into the venue.

With reporting by PETER MIKELBANK and PHILIP BOUCHER Illustration By Debra Cartwright

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