Wendy Brey and Eric Thompson met while attending a Florida university and once they were engaged, the duo decided to elope in Venice, Italy. Since Eric had previously visited the Italian city, the pair felt it was the perfect place as they desired a destination wedding. Fortunately – though admittedly complicated, they were able to legally wed in Venice.

On the morning of the big day, the pair woke up bright and early for a photo shoot that began at 5:30 a.m. Their photographer captured precious moments of Wendy and Eric strolling through the famous plazas, posing by age-old Venetian architecture, overlooking the canals, and riding in a romantic gondola. The couple sat beneath a lovely arch of greenery and draping florals as the boat gracefully glided along the water. As the clock struck 11:30 a.m., the couple exchanged their vows and were officially married in Italy.

After tying the knot, the newlyweds rode off in a different boat sailing down the canal as the sun shined on them. Since the occasion was an elopement, the couple did not create a guest list, say their I dos in front of their loved ones, or host a reception. In lieu of the traditional post-ceremony festivities, Wendy and Eric enjoyed a sit-down dinner at an intimate alfresco location. They ate, drank, and spent quality time together at a small, yet sophisticated, table amidst a lush rose garden. The lace linen was elegantly paired with blue candles in gold stands and minimal blooms. Lightly hued roses surrounded the new Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, which enhanced the elegant ambience of the setting. The couple would soon embark on their Italian honeymoon and host an official reception with friends and family upon their return to Orlando, Florida.

Reflecting on the details of her wedding, Wendy encourages every engaged couple to remember what the day is all about. “Do what you want!” she affirms. “Make the entire day memorable, too.”