If Nonoo appeared unduly calm, her ease owed something to the finesse of the couple’s wedding planner, Count Riccardo Lanza. As a cofounder of Lanza & Baucina, he had produced Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault’s marriage in Venice in 2009 and transported Ferran Adrià, el Bulli’s chef, to the Qatari desert for another fete. This time around, his coup was to secure the Forte di Sant’Andrea, a 16th-century island fort that had once guarded Venice and had never been used for a private event. “We had to get permission from the mayor of Venice,” explained Nonoo, who was born in Bahrain and moved to London at age 10. “We wanted it to feel like Miss Havisham’s garden: a grand old place that’s kind of falling apart.” To get there, guests headed up the Grand Canal in a flotilla of water taxis whose choreographed precision Esther Williams might have envied. Accompanied by a rowdy retro-jazz combo on a barge, the taxis slowed to let passengers take in tunes like “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and then raced one another just as the sun was setting. “The boats to the island,” said Princess Beatrice, who knows a thing or two about pageantry, “were the most spectacular thing.”
Not that the glass house erected at Forte di Sant’Andrea for the occasion didn’t exert its own magical pull. Framed by oak trees and lit only by candles, the pavilion was filled with long tables decorated with silver candelabra and pale roses. Toasting the bride in his speech (“Misha, l’chaim”), Gilkes made sure to lampoon himself by showing a video of his bachelor weekend in Seville, Spain, where his chums had surprised him with a matador’s outfit and a rendezvous in the ring with a bull. Moments later, the screen went up to reveal indie sensation Lana Del Rey, who arrived direct from the Cannes Film Festival to perform a six-song set.
As in marriage, not everything went as planned. Late into the night, several guests dove headfirst into the freshly-spun-cream wedding cake, then, covered in icing, slid around the dance floor; moments later, at 4 a.m., an earthquake shook Venice—the region’s first since the 14th century. By then, however, the revelers were more than ready to tumble into bed.