Inside George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's Wedding Weekend Party Central

Inside George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's Wedding Weekend Party Central
Belmond Hotel Cipriani; George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin (inset)
Pierre Teyssot/Splash News Online

09/27/2014 AT 08:50 AM EDT

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To insiders, the famed Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice is known as "the Cip" (pronounced "chip").

This weekend, it may as well go by another name: George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's Party Central.

A starry group of guests have already been spotted at the luxe resort as the couple's wedding festivities kick off, including Matt Damon, John Krasinski and more.



The bride's sister, Tala, enjoyed drinks with fellow revelers at the bar Thursday night, and Damon was seen nursing a Bellini with his wife Luciana at the pool.

A bar hall was set aside for a welcome celebration on Friday evening, and on Thursday gardeners freshened up the grounds with hundreds of white and pink Cyclamen blooms.

The groom has a history with the hotel: He's been a regular there for years while in town for the Venice Film Festival – and he's even helped create some of the libations on the hotel's Gabbiano Bar's cocktail menu.

Inside George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's Wedding Weekend Party Central| Couples, Weddings, Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney

Belmond Hotel Cipriani

Courtesy Belmond

Located on the island of Giudecca – away from the hustle and bustle of the floating city's central islands and across the lagoon from the historic Saint Mark's Square – the Belmond Cipriani was founded by Bellini cocktail inventor Giuseppe Cipriani in 1958. The swank hotel and restaurant chain's roots actually lie in Venice: The original Cipriani establishment was Harry's Bar in Venice, opened in 1931, which still sits today as a historical site in Saint Mark's Square.

The prestigious locale exudes Venetian flair: The 15th-century palazzo features local Murano glass and other handmade artifacts, antique furnishings and works from local artisans.



When they aren't tied up with the nuptials, guests are free to indulge in the resort's many upscale amenities, including the only pool in central Venice. And the hotel even offers private boat tours on the "Shirley" to explore neighboring islands, which are known for their artisanal culture of glassmaking and fishing.

With reporting by PETER MIKELBANK



Inside George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's Wedding Weekend Party Central| Couples, Weddings, Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney

PEOPLE.com Illustration By Debra Cartwright



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