Read the Emotional Speech George Clooney's Dad Gave at His Wedding

George Clooney Wedding: Dad Nick Clooney's Emotional Speech
Nick and George Clooney
Dave Allocca/Starpix/AP

10/02/2014 AT 08:00 PM EDT

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Charming. Witty. Gracious.

Three words commonly used to describe George Clooney could just as easily describe his father Nick, who delivered a heartfelt speech at George's wedding to Amal Alamuddin on Saturday at the Aman Canal Grande in Venice.

One of four speakers at the ceremony, the journalist and former TV news anchor kicked things off by going over a checklist for the evening: "The loveliest, most intriguing city on the planet. CHECK. A glittering assembly of accomplished people. CHECK. A beautiful bride. CHECK. A nervous groom. CHECK."



As the bride and groom looked on, surrounded by family and friends, including famous pals Matt Damon and John Krasinski, the elder Clooney continued, "We are deep in the age of irony. ... We cherish our guilty pleasure of skepticism."

"Then here comes George, the crown prince of irony, getting down on one basketball-battered knee and asking the savvy Amal to marry him. And if you think that's crazy, Amal said 'YES!' "

"In their tidal wave of generosity," the proud dad continued, "Amal and George present us with one more gift. Hope. No, it's more than hope. Hope is too ephemeral. ... It is belief that in this place and at this moment, love is alive and well."

• Reporting by ELIZABETH LEONARD

For George and Amal's wedding album, all the details of their intimate ceremony and more of the exclusive interview, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands starting Wednesday.

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Read the Emotional Speech George Clooney's Dad Gave at His Wedding| Marriage, Wedding, George Clooney Cover, Amal Alamuddin, George Clooney

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