There is something about small weddings. Especially the elopement ones, with only the Bride and Groom, eloping in their love somewhere new or somewhere special to them, without any hassle a traditional wedding would embrace and with all the romance of a wedding indeed. For some reason, every single of our weddings seasons so far has started with an elopement wedding. It is a best way to start a very busy season to be and such a romantic introduction to months of love ahead of us.
Most of the time Marin and myself are honored to be the witnesses for the couple and witness such amazing moments you cannot feel but blessed in those times. Yet again, do you feel lonely at a time when you feel the closest ones need to be next to you? I really believe it is like beauty, in the eye of a beholder and whatever suits one best. Some like it big, some not so much. And some like it this way- easy, romantic, natural. No guests to think about, no reception thoughts or menu choices. Just getting married to a person you love. Dubrovnik luckily enough has some amazing locations for elopement weddings – small seaside forts, amazing viewpoint terraces and incredibly romantic boats… just to name a few.
Obviously prices of venue rentals are less expensive than those for larger weddings and this proves to be one of the first reasons why a lot of couples elope to Dubrovnik- reduced cost and the value of the money gotten for how much you spend. The cost is reduced to a couple of thousands including travels and accommodation compared to tens of thousands to marry on a larger scale.Then there’s a thought that you will spend less time on the whole wedding planning process, which to tell you the truth is a great misconception as you have to plan to buy your dress, the rings, the travel, the hotel, paperwork, flowers, venues, and it often happens that Brides spend more time wedding planning, researching and inspiriation seeking for smaller than for larger weddings to make up for the “smaller scale wedding”. There are no however seating planning miseries and choosing bridesmaids, which can prove to be quite a challenging task when planning a wedding.Finally, one of the greatest reasons couples come to marry alone abroad is the fact they avoid any family arguments, pleasing everyone and anyone and obssessing over who will think what and this is proven to be a greatest stress factor for most couples planning their wedding. Elopement wedding solves all of these, nonetheless you end up most of the time throwing at least a party back home to celebrate the union. Much less of a scale than a traditional wedding though.
The choice is all yours and good news is that Dubrovnik has it all- whichever size or ambiance you had in mind and we will truly be there for you every step along the way, whether we are honored to witness your eternal love getting crowned in marriage or in a party with a big bang. A wedding is a wedding, always one of a kind, always a reflection of the couple. Do what you two feel best to do. And if it is just the two of you- why not?
Happy planning and don’t forget to contact us to start your Dubrovnik Wedding story at email@example.com
I know I usually write this blog about real weddings but after speaking to many of our clients it turns out they would love to see bestseller Dubrovnik wedding locations in one blog. So here it is. A list of top Dubrovnik wedding ceremony venues. Each one writes its own story and captures hearts of those for whom they’re meant to be. Which one will be yours?
1. SPONZA PALACE, DUBROVNIK
In the end of Placa (Stradun) street, beside Luža, on the left side of the square centered with Orlando column the monumental Gothic-Renaissance Sponza Palace found its rightful place. Sponza is one of the most beautiful palaces in the City, which has preserved its original form. Built 1516-1522, its form suggests possible appearance of the majority of public and private palaces in Dubrovnik before the earthquake of 1667. Members of the Academia dei Concordi founded at the close of 16th century by the group of poets, met in the large hall of the first floor. That was Dubrovnik’s first institution of literary life.
Sponza palace derived it’s name from the word for the spot where rainwater was collected (Spongia-”alluvium”) according to the former use of the spot it was built on.In the time of the Republic this palace housed the custom office and bonded warehouse, hence it was often referred to as Divona (from dogana – ”customs”).The Sponza Palace was the seat of a number of state offices. The palace also housed the mint, the bank, the treasury, and the armoury.This complex palace was designed by protomagister (chief architect) Paskoje Miličević. The project was completed in 1522. It is a large rectangular building with an inner courtyard. An open porch communicates with the square in front; another porch opens on the first floor in front.
The building is a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles, which was typical for the conservative Dubrovnik Republic of those times.
The fact that the city measures were true is captured on the inscription on the arch: FALLERE NOSTRA VETANT; ET FALLI PONDERA: MEQUE PONDERO CVM MERCES: PONDERAT IPSE DEVS(Our weights do not permit cheating or being cheated. When I measure the commodities the Lord measures with me.)
Nowadays the Sponza Palace is the home of the most important cultural institution of Dubrovnik – the archive. The archive found its home on the first floor.
Sponza palace has a unique role during the special opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Actors inpersonating the Rector and the members of the Council Minor sit on the upper porch of the Sponza palace and greet the actors that have come to the City to entertain and amuse the public with their music shows and theatre plays. After many skill demonstrations by the actors and a long discussion from the side of the council, the ceremony always ends as the Rector grants the actors free access to the City and gives them the keys of the City in order for them to put up their shows and entertain the public.
When it comes to weddings, Sponza Palace really is one of the most popular choices, and seeing the photos, it is self explanatory why- it truly has it all- monumental feel, classic, romance and elegance. It’s open roof top is a perfect touch of fresh air and blue skies and it’s walls speak a story that deserves to be a part of your special Story. It can be used both for ceremony and for wedding receptions and it’s a perfect option for you if you are looking for Dubrovnik’s trademark with a touch of history, tradition and abundance of class and elegance.
2. LOKRUM ISLAND, DUBROVNIK
The first mention of Lokrum in writing came in 1023, in connection with the founding of the Benedictine abbey and monastery.According to legend Richard the Lion-Heart was cast ashore here after being shipwrecked in 1192 while returning from the Crusades. The vow he made to build a church on the spot where he came ashore should he be saved was kept at least in part. Although he came ashore in Lokrum, at the request of the people of Dubrovnik, he agreed to have the church built in the city itself.
In 1859 Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg, then the owner of the island, came to Lokrum. He had a mansion built in the shape of a tower and a marvelous garden laid out, crisscrossed with pathways.The very name of the island of Lokrum shows that even in ancient times there were plants from the far corners of the world growing here (Lokrum comes from the Latin acrumen, sour fruit). The tradition of bringing in exotic plants and gardening that existed from the time of the Benedictines to that of Maximilian Ferdinand was continued in 1959 with the foundation of the Botanical Garden. Most of the plant varieties derive from Australia and South America; of particular interest is the collection of eucalyptuses, cactuses and succulents. In 1964 the island of Lokrum was declared a Managed Nature Reserve, and in 1976 a Special Forest Vegetation Reserve. There is a little lake called the Mrtvo more, Dead Sea, on the island, linked with the open sea, and suitableforchildren and non-swimmers to bathe in. On the Lokrum hills there is a fortress called Fort Royal, built in the shape of a star by the French in 1806; it gives marvelous views of Dubrovnik, Cavtat and the islands. From the port of Dubrovnik it is just a pleasant ten minute voyage to Lokrum; an armis stretch away from the city, this favorite excursion spot is also set far back in the middle ages.
Lokrum island is literally a 10 minute boat ride away from Dubrovnik’s old town harbour. It’s perfectly shaded and all you can see is nature around you and all you can hear are crickets and the sound of the waved bouncing off the surrounding rocks.It’s a perfectly beautiful and a perfectly serene wedding ceremony venue.
Great thing about Lokrum is that is has so many potential ceremony locations. The one on the upper couple of photos is definitely the most popular as it gives you the best of all worlds. It’s just a short walk away from the boat dock , covered by the palm tree shade and enchanted with peacocks walking around, adding more color and even more fairy tale touch to your wedding.
hen there is the olive tree garden, slightly bigger but just so magical. We used it for different events- from ceremonies to blanket picnics.It’s slightly more informal than the palm garden and gives more space in set up imagination…
If you choose Lokrum as your wedding ceremony venue, you will not fail in any segment. It is simply perfect.
3. THE PALACE VIEWPOINT, DUBROVNIK
This was my very first ceremony venue I organized a wedding at. 8 years ago. Ever since, it has had a special place in my heart and I just love doing weddings there. Since it’s like a small fortress just above the sea, perfect in its shape and location, it is suitable for weddings up to 15 people. Small, intimate and romantic. Just ideal.
4. VALA BEACH CLUB – HOTEL DUBROVNIK PALACE, DUBROVNIK
Celebrated as Europe’s finest five-star resort, the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace has it all: great premises for wedding and other special event, luxurious wellness and spa center, high-tech conference rooms, superb gastronomy and spectacular sea views from every room. Situated on the beautiful peninsula of Lapad, the hotel’s dramatic Cliffside location, below the aromatic, pine-covered Petka woods, affords spectacular views in every direction. From afar, the hotel resembles a huge ship, and the architects have made every effort to ensure that it blends harmoniously with its surrounds, with carefully selected wood and natural stone accents.
Vala beach club is I would say most dramatic venue of them all. The rocky beach surrounded by sea and greenery makes you feel like you have your own little peace of paradise. It’s a great reception venue as well, and just wait for the moonlight glistening off the night waves…
5. EAST WEST BEACH, DUBROVNIK
A trendy Saint Tropez-style beachfront club where friends meet and friends are made is the hottest beach in Dubrovnik that takes decadence to another level. Set at the beachfront overlooking the most spectacular view of the Old City of Dubrovnik it offers all the luxuries a visitor could ever dream of: private sandy beach, trendy bar and stylish restaurant lounging the afternoon or night club for partying night away.
I always say beach weddings are urban legends 🙂 as they truly do require a whole different logistics to any other wedding ceremony. Dubrovnik’s weakest link are beach venues but if you are looking for an off season wedding and are ready to make a ceremony a bit later than usual, don’t think any longer. Just look at it! So much fun!
6. CHURCH OF ST BLAISE, DUBROVNIK
In the honour of the patron saint, the Church of St. Blasius was erected in the City. The present day church of St. Blasius was constructed by Venetian architect Marino Gropelli in in 1715 on the commission by the city authorities. The church was built on the place of an old Romanesque church from 1368 that was significantly damaged in the Great earthquake of 1667 and finally destroyed in the fire that struck it in 1706.
The new Church of St Blasius was built in Baroque style according to the prototype of St. Mauritius church in Venice. A large staircase leads to the ornamented main portal and a large dome decorates the roof of the church. The interior of the church is furnished in great detail, and the marble altars are particularly impressive. The centre piece of the main altar is a gothic statue of St. Blasius in gold-plated silver from the 15th century that holds in his hand a model of the City as it looked before the earthquake. The statue is a work of an unknown artist of Dubrovnik gild school and it is the most valuable work of art in the long history of Dubrovnik. Historically the statue is quite important as the model of Dubrovnik in St Blasius hands distinctly depicts how the buildings before the Great earthquake looked like. It is interesting to notice that the statue, including some other valuables, was undamaged in the great earthquake and later in the fire that destroyed the old church which was interpreted as a sign and a miracle.
Among many great venues for a wedding in Dubrovnik, St Blasius church is one of the favourite wedding ceremony churches in Dubrovnik. The rich Baroque decoration inside the church provides for the amazing photo shoot and the location of the church amidst Dubrovnik is perfect, befitting even a royal wedding.
7. CHURCH OF ST IGNATIUS, DUBROVNIK
The baroque stairs connecting Gundulić Square with another square named after the great Dubrovnik physicist Ruđer Bošković are reminiscent of some etymologists who believe that the word baroque originated from the word shell. The one time venue of Shakespeares play Romeo and Juliet, the beautiful stairs very much resemble the ones leading to the Trinit? dei Monti Church in Rome from the Piazza di Spagna. Designed by the Roman architect Pietro Passalacque in 1738, the stairs lead to St Ignatius Church adjacent to the famous Jesuit school Collegium Ragusinum. The Church of St Ignatius – or the Jesuits, as the people of Dubrovnik call it – is the work of the famed Jesuit architect and painter Ignazio Pozzo, who worked on the church from 1699 to 1703.
This complex is considered to be the finest Baroque set of buildings in Dubrovnik, and – according to many – in all of Dalmatia. It is thus not surprising that theatre directors at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival often use this venue as an open-air stage.
We have great news and this is that as of today most measures have been released and all events will be allowed for up to 120 people who have either been vaccinated, had COVID in the past 6 (it will soon be likely 8 months!) months or have a negative PCR test.
Last few months taught us to be more patient and kind, to be grateful for everything we have, and grateful for our incredible clients who had to postpone and wait to see how the situation will unwrap. Time for events finally came, and we never ever thought that love will be cancelled. Remember why you choose Dubrovnik and why you put your heart here. We’re in this together, and the whole Dubrovnik Event team is excited to be by your side on your big day. Your Dubrovnik love story is waiting to be portrayed in a unique way, just as your love is – pure, charming and genuine.
Dubrovnik is the city of love stories – from hidden loves, loves that are full of passion, unbreakable ones and loves that makes you cry – our city walls keep stories that are beyond the wildest dreams, old almost as the city itself and by strolling in, you can feel love carved in every pore of the town. Let Dubrovnik breathe in everything you hold in your heart and let it be an inspiration for all the future couples who are looking for that special place where their story will be cherished.
Dubrovnik Event will be by your side, making sure that, as every love deserves it, your story will be told in a special way as you are. We’re waiting for you!
Luxury. That attractive word that has slipped into every pore of our lives – and found a way to slip into weddings as well. At the last year’s congress where about two hundred exclusive event planners from all over the world gathered, every workshop and every panel had a common phrase – luxury. There was so much talk about luxury in weddings that I was a little tired of that word if you will be honest. On the other hand, I’ve met colleagues who don’t talk to clients at all if their wedding budget is under a million dollars. And that’s what they say without blink of an eye. One of these same colleagues recently organized a wedding for the sister of a Qatari sheikh, and although we were unable to find out the budget itself (this is highly confidential information at these levels), we saw a five-minute video showing the lapse of building a 15,000-square-foot village that lasted six months and the results of that project was a wedding dinner on the glass floor while a cold river flowed beneath the guests- which in hot sandy Qatar was an inconceivable challenge for the planner and an absolute attraction for guests who are incredibly hard to impress. The walls were surrounded by jewels and with literally tens of thousands white orchids while guests were served filtered gold water with gold particles. Well, we could definitely call that a luxury wedding!
After all – what does a luxury wedding mean and what does it have to have in order to be considered as a luxury? There are as many answers to this question as there are people in the world – because for each of us, luxury is something different and just like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder. This definitely does not simplify things for us, but we are going to think the most general we can, Truth or Lie, and try to figure out the characteristics of luxury weddings.
Truth or Lie?
For a wedding to be luxurious, it must also be extremely expensive. To be honest -true. By some international standards, if we are not talking about hundreds of thousands of euros, a wedding is not categorized as a luxury. With this, we close the topic of the expected. Let’s go into a little detail now ….
At luxury weddings flowers must be at every corner, to say it in the simplest way. I dare to say – a lie. Although, if you type “luxury wedding” into Pinterest, you will get hundreds of pictures with floral installations that give you a headache, but a bunch of flowers does not necessarily mean luxury. Of course, at most lavish weddings you will have incredible amounts of flowers at every corner, including toilet décor to emphasize luxury, but I would say more attention is paid to details in the décor, such as silk, hand-drawn tablecloths specially ordered and designed by Japan conceptual artist from which Donatella Versace orders silk for her brand. That’s the luxury at a wedding. The point is not that it costs unimaginable lot that is for us, ordinary human beings, out of the budget, but the point is that it is difficult to obtain and has a story to tell.
A luxury wedding is mostly held in unusual, exclusive and preferably unique location. A hundred times true! By default, such locations cost a lot, but the point is that it is “hard-to-get” – by no means hotel, possibly a palace where no one has managed to get married so far (I’m just waiting to see when we will have our first space wedding and how that wedding dress will look!) and preferably a private island where each guest has their own villa with a butler. The trend of weddings, which has been popular for the last few years where newlyweds rent a whole cruise ship where each guest has two cabins – one for sleeping and staying and the other for luggage is now a slight passé, not to say shabby because it is a wedding which you will have to set aside several million euros. The point is to be first and original. This is, in the circles of the real rich, the definition of luxury.
At luxury weddings, guests are provided with an experience or service that they would not normally imagine at a wedding. Absolutely true! Anyone can have fireworks or lobster on the menu. I will also give you an example. Recently, one of my former clients was at a five-day wedding in Mallorca, where every morning, together with the breakfast of a king, they had a pagoda in which nurses from a private clinic gave a cocktail infusion of electrolytes and vitamins that eliminate hangovers in 15 minutes so guests may continue to party. I’m telling you most seriously. Well, it’s a luxury at a wedding.
At celebrities and other luxury weddings, privacy is valued above everything else. Absolutely true! The trend of taking a mobile phone at the entrance to a wedding ceremony and returning it only on departure has become more and more present at luxury weddings. Yes, there will be a time when the newlyweds will post pictures of their special day, but on the wedding day itself they want their guests to relax and have fun without scrolling and posting. And do you know who will be most grateful for 10 hours without a cell phone? Those same guests. It’s a luxury.
I could write to you about luxury at weddings until tomorrow. But the point is that luxury is a very relative term, so those from high society will consider, for example, a menu with organically grown meat and home-grown vegetables very luxurious because it is “hard to get” for them, while for us it is completely normal. So, don’t bother too much with the definitions of luxury in wedding – you can bring a touch of luxury with personalized gifts, top Croatian wines and a slightly different menu. And I don’t mean grilled steak or shrimp – few years ago, for one of my richest clients with the very exclusive venue we served – a hamburger and French fries for a dinner. All the food was homemade and organic, that was the only requirement. So now you say- who’s crazy here?
I know I know, you’ll say – I am getting married for the first time, how do you expect me to do everything perfectly right away?
I don’t know about you, but Pinterest doesn’t help. It’s just all over the place. And all those gazillion options. It’s easy to forget why we’re doing this at all! Ah, yes! Love, the crown of a relationship between two people. But even the most organized among us get lost someday. There are too many choices, too many expectations. Things are actually very simple and don’t forget the important thing – you’re marrying the man of your life. The One. Everything else is like a bow on the gift box. They may be used, but not necessarily.
So, let’s start! Read this through and learn on other people’s mistakes.
1. You don’t put your and your fiancé’s priorities first. Wait, whose wedding is it anyway? So, who should decide then? And don’t let yourself get lost right away, set a guiding thought that will be your main wedding planning direction. When you have a direction, it’s easy to go forward.
2. You forget about your guests. Not literally, but if you expect your dear wedding guests to walk around the grass gardens or sand in suits and heels at 35 degrees Celsius in the shade just for the sake of that perfect photo you saw at someone else’s wedding, you are not being a very considerate host, are you? Or that they will walk from location to location all day because you couldn’t decide between the three options, so you opted to spend part of the day with the whole wedding party at all three locations. Think about the comfort of your guests – they are there for you and they have invested both time and money to share your wonderful day with you in the best possible way.
3. Buying a wedding dress before choosing a date. Need I say more? A light silk dress at -15°C or a luxurious multi layered crinoline with a bolero at plus 40°C? Not ideal, is it? Plan! That’s why it’s called wedding planning. A wedding dress is one of the most essential elements of your wedding. You will be in it all day, walking, dancing, sitting and eating. Trust me, you better be comfortable with it. Otherwise, you’ll curse it and the day you chose it before the main course is presented on the table.
4. You forget planning /ordering food for the people working on your wedding. What are you like when you are hungry? Guess what? Your photographer, who’s been with you since dawn and hasn’t had a bite since is like that as well. And that singer too that has been rehearsing and doing sound checks all day. Nobody is happy when they’re hungry. That’s why a word Hangry came in, perfectly suited! And if you want to be happy that day, trust me they have to be happy too. Feed them for God’s sakes! Arrange in advance a table for the people working at your wedding – the planner if you have one, the band / DJ, the photographer and the cameraman are usually at the “staff” table. Musicians from a ceremony, for example, or a florist are not standard on that team.
5. You have all your single friends at one table. You are not fair, point. Sort people according to common interests, hobbies, similar jobs, but forget on relationship status and table for ‘singles’.
6. Power of paper is always underrated. Yes, paper. I know everything is digital these days, but a handwritten thank you note, guest names or a menu that you can frame in super cool picture frames and put on the table as a decoration are priceless. You don’t have to go so far to scribble something with an ordinary pen, consult with professional calligraphers, include your design and theme and enjoy. Old school never goes out of fashion! Especially when it comes to personalized details. And if you use recycled materials, you’re being natured friendly too 🙂 .
7. You go OTT with the decoration. I know I know, there is so much around and so much of it is just pure beautiful! Trust me I know! But that doesn’t mean you have to have all- both metal lanterns and those hanging Chinese paper and old school bulbs and Edison bulbs and shabby chic picture frame and modern photo booth- I’ll say it again- set a theme and stick to it- the golden rule of wedding planning- it saves not only time but also money. And for God’s sake, make sure that the people at the table see each other from that splendor of flowers. There is nothing worse than when you spend all that huge money on a table decoration and good old Uncle Frank, visibly annoyed because he can’t talk to his neighbor Joe, puts your magnificent decoration on the floor. Or worse, under the table.
8. DIY takes you over. I know it’s a tempting idea to make flowers with friends and ask a cousin who handles his Iphone camera well to do some shots, but hey – it’s not a random birthday or a house party, it’s probably the most important day of your life so far when a) you want to be relaxed and know that you have booked professionals to do the job properly and b) you do not have time to tie the laces and buy additional ribbons for bouquets / vases and so on. A good florist can be paid, your precious time and a calm head do not.
9. Exaggerate with spray tan and / or makeup. I have seen this too many times. Yes, you definitely want to be at your best on your wedding day, but you also want to stay true to yourself and want your future husband standing at the end of the altar when you enter the church recognize you. And you don’t want to laugh at yourself 20 years from today when you look at the pictures and say to yourself – good God, what did I mean when I even walked out of a room like this! Beige lipstick is not the happiest solution, in the pictures especially, but don’t overdo it with tribal colors on your face either.
10. You leave the “small things” to do on your wedding day. For example, printing guest names on cards. Or typing menus. Or assembling a cake box. You need to get married on your wedding day. Wake up, smile and tell yourself- today is my day! Do all the work before the wedding day, the day before go through all the details once again with your godfather / mother / sister to make sure that everything is under control, and on the day you get married – enjoy, you deserve it!
The third question I ask all my new wedding clients, after I ask them where they met and how they got engaged, is the one related to their wedding priorities. Everyone has their own – for some it is décor and flowers, for some it is cars in which the bride will come, for some it is music and for others it is lighting. I remember exactly when I got married and made a list of priorities for our wedding, food and wine automatically took first place unquestionably, a couple of spears ahead of everything else. For my wedding bouquet, for example, the florist was horrified when I told her to just grab everything from that bucket with the rest of the daisies and wrap it with rope. And the bouquet was perfect!
But for food, eh it was already another pair of sleeves. The owner of the restaurant in a rural household where our wedding dinner was held, said that only after our wedding he can take his vacation! And he took our wedding menu extremely seriously 😊, which we tried four times! Yes, you read that right, four times, and we don’t even live in the city where we got married. Even today, many years after that very happy day, when I remember food, there’s not the slightest detail I would change.
Given that my two passions are weddings and food, today we’re going to chat about a few tips on how to create an ideal wedding menu. So, let’s go!
1. TIMING – It is never too early to start organizing a wedding. Do you have a date? Make sure that even your most important suppliers, those at the top of your wedding priorities list, are booked a maximum of one month after the engagement, even if you plan to have a wedding in the next two years. The location and catering company must be determined at this stage. As well as (of course) a photographer, band / DJ and decorator and definitely additional locations if you are planning to have a day before and/or day after the wedding. It didn’t happen once that we changed the wedding date because the priority supplier was busy. Therefore, get to work – the sooner the better! When vendors are confirmed, then you have some time to relax. 😊
2. LOCATION – with the location, things get complicated immediately, but still at solvable levels. You love a restaurant but not their food, or vice versa – a place with your favorite food also looks like a slightly better fire station? There is a possibility to have the best of both worlds and it is to have a wedding in a location where you’ll be allowed to bring your own catering or at least, chef per your choice. In Croatia, these concepts are still in their infancy, but they are developing slowly and safely. Good chefs are more and more willing to work with restaurants where they are not employed and restaurants are flexible to bring a part of the team, so they together make a menu from your vision. And if none of that is really feasible and the location is fixed with your team, do it like me – try the menu until you bring it to perfection, but always stay realistic! Don’t expect or force a team of chefs in a rural household to make emulsions and foams. The wedding should be harmonious, and here the balance of food and location is extremely important.
3. BUDGET– a good old, ever-present issue of money. Do your homework and gather as many offers as possible from various locations to have a clear picture of the market and the prices of wedding menus. Be realistic, how much can you set aside from the wedding budget for food? And calculate that you will spend on average at least 10% more on everything related to weddings, including food. Almost never less. If food is your priority, and the menu you like costs more than you can afford with the current guest list, reduce the number of guests! The perfect excuse for your wedding to be exactly as you have always dreamed of it – with really your loved ones (ok, and mother-in-law, you can’t help but invite her to the wedding 😉 ).
4. SERVICE STYLE– everyone has a ready answer to this question- served menu or buffet option? What is your choice? Why not a combination? People love dynamics in food. For example, a buffet with homemade prosciutto, Pag cheese, vegetable fritters and a lot of condiments such as olives, spreads and sauces, various cakes and crackers while guests mingle and enjoy the evening in front of the restaurant, then 2 served courses (ideally warm) and finally dessert at the buffet. Midnight buffet with mini burgers and barbecue sausages with warm bread also at a couple of stations. And you covered everything! Unless, of course, you have imagined a wedding very formal, without too much dancing, then treat your guests with seven course menu . This is ideal for smaller weddings, say up to 30 people, when the emphasis is on hanging out at the table rather than having fun. There is a solution for everyone 😊
5. SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY – even if your chosen menu is one with a few buffet stations or with seven courses, believe me when I tell you that simplicity is the key and for a very simple reason- people are very sensitive when it comes to food. So, shoot to the simple, universal and diverse. Don’t complicate but also don’t repeat the foods on the menu. Choose the battles that matter to you! If you really want the most perfect macaron cake in seventy-three colors instead of the standard chocolate with whipped cream, then compromise with your parents and let it be prosciutto and cheese as an appetizer. After all, it is both simple and universal and very acceptable to most. Just let the food be top quality and you’ve scored!
6. YOU WILL NEVER PLEASE EVERYONE WITH YOUR CHOICE – related to item number 5, know that you will never, but never, delight everyone. You may think you would, but it is simply impossible. Unless you’re just the two of you at dinner (which, now that you’re reading all this, you probably think it’s not a bad option 😀 ), there will always be someone who won’t be pleased, and that’s just fine! Accept it from the beginning as something that goes “by default” and don’t get provoked.
7. KEEP VEGETARIANS AND OTHER ‘TEAMS’ IN MIND – good old saying says- everyone knows best for themselves! Don’t judge, be those cool friends who will make sure that people with special dietary requirements are well taken care of, so much so that (and believe me when I tell you this!), after your wedding, they will walk around and talk about how well you have taken care of them. And that’s such a cool thing.
8. CHOOSE LOCALLY AND SEASONALLY– especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables- you don’t want to be served a Caprese salad at your January wedding, do you? Talk to the chef of your catering company or restaurant and don’t be afraid to ask where they get fresh groceries from, including meat. After all, it’s about your wedding, which is very likely only once in a lifetime and you absolutely want to know not only what you will pay for, but exactly what you and your guests will eat. To the last detail. And then include that in the written menu on the tables – for example Drniš prosciutto, Pag cheese or Baranja kulen – people love such things and at the same time you promote the most delicious delicacies of Croatia. Food experience guaranteed!
9. HEALTH IN FRONT OF EVERYTHING– yes, we know that sushi station with a Japanese master who throws knives is a big hit at events, but are you sure you want to serve raw fish at your summer wedding? Leave those extravagances for a hen or stag party, and for your wedding menu think carefully about food preparation techniques and whether there is any and the slightest possibility of poisoning. Remember that wedding when two hundred people became infected with salmonella? You remember. Me too. And everyone else probably. You don’t want to be a part of that statistic.
10. TRY YOUR MENU until you are completely satisfied. And don’t settle for mediocrity or excuses that something is now unavailable or out of season- there are ways to make things right if you try, we all know that. You are their clients and you have the right to try your wedding menu to the last detail. If you choose the buffet option, have them show you pictures of their previous performances and ask them to make the presentation as authentic as possible to what you liked about the pictures. Also if you have chosen the served menu, there is absolutely no reason why the presentation of each of the plates would be any different from the one at the wedding itself. Make sure that the menu tasting setup is identical to the one that will be set up for you and your guests at the wedding reception itself. And don’t be afraid to try more things – that’s what tastings are for- to find the best option that you will be satisfied with, the guests will be delighted and the restaurant is sure that it can execute with perfection.
I rarely write such general posts but I really felt it was time to do one… Trends, what a big words, isn’t it? But whether we want it or not, we follow them, some of them of course and perhaps we set some too! In weddings however, you can see same paatterns and trends taking place worldwide! So let me tell you some of them that are expecting us in 2020- and by all means do write more if you think of them or know of them 🙂
1. Let’s start with an official one and quite big on the chart of wedding priorities- color of the year! After last year’s vivid living coal (which wasnt an easy one on floral choices let me tell you that!), this year Pantone went for- wait for it…. CLASSIC BLUE! You may find it dull for a wedding, but there is a lot you can do with this color when it comes to matching and pairing. Think gold (like in below photos of a stunning wedding we did in Dubrovnik’s Art Gallery a couple of years ago), magenta or simply white. And let’s not forget using it in fabrics such as groom’s and his ushers’ suits or even bridesmaids dresses!
2. Sustainability- that’s a tough one but definitely one we have been seen much more awareness for in the past few years. Couples are more and more thinking of the carbon footprint vendors are leaving in creating their events and usage of plastic at weddings as well as where all the food and ingredients are coming from! Think flowers too- reusing and recycling is the way to go- many couples are asking what happens to all the decor after the lights are turned off or take the flowers from the wedding to decorate their day after venue. The truth is- many local vendors don’t have proper sustainability practices in place, but the awareness is rising, make sure of that. And keep in mind that Croatia and its people value their nature above all so it’s a place where environmentally friendly has always been in trend!
3. Special food stations with an accent on local and personalized- ok this has really always been a trend, more or less! But we have seen more and more couples wanting to do something different and personalize to the best extent possible so their guests recognize them in the little things throughout the wedding. A few years ago we had a bride who ate popcorn every night she’d come home from work. Of course we brought a popcorn machine to her fortress wedding (the guy who had to bring it up 200 steps wasn’t so thrilled about it :D) and served popcorn in personalized carton boxes. Everyone LOVED LOVED LOVED it! Moreso, think prosciutto carving stations, local cake making station, grappas or olive oil as favors and local fish sushi making stations. Yup, we got them all!
4. Specialty Liquor Bars- ok this is a big one! We have seen weddings where clients asked for cocktail barmen but mixology is a whole new level lately! And cigars of course- last year we did an event with Cuban theme and had a station with a uban guy rolling cigars for the guests in front of their very eyes. Pretty cool, huh? Proper glassware and garnishes are a must too! Most popular in our experience have shown to be whiskey and tequila bars but cocktails are still trending. Basically, whatever does it for you! And your guests, of course 🙂
5. Videography. Yes, the time of your uncle videoing with his shaky hands is done and so is the time where your friend film the most important moments of your life to date by their very good Iphone camera. It’s become a part of any decent wedding, video that is and the only job you have to do is find the right team to film your special day. And please don’t mention those times when videographers stood with a camera in your face- yes those times are past tense as well- video teams are nowadays equipped with state of art tehnology, drones, tinies mics you can imagine and very artistic talents. So don’t wait up, email us about the video options! You’ll be sorry later if you don’t!
6. Destination weddings in locations that are still hidden gems :)- and yes, this is where Dubrovnik and whole of Croatia comes in! Don’t wait up! Email us for more info!
Let’s face it- we all want to make sure we get the best value for the money. Be it in home decor, shoe shopping or wedding planning.
When it comes to wedding budgeting, all of us, including us as wedding planners, first think of the big items- food and beverage, wedding administration costs, music, photo and video and similar big items. But we also all know the devil is in the detail 🙂 Here are the most commonly forgotten wedding costs, and honestly- most of you will have most of these, so be prepared and don’t say I didn’t tell you 🙂
1. BEAUTY TREATMENTS– yes, you’re thinking of your own hair and makeup, maybe even same for your bridesmaids, but did you forget your mum or even worse- your mother in law to be? Make no mistake, in my experience, in 99% of the cases they expect to be a part of the bridal party. But these are not the only costs I am referring to- how about spray tan? Manicure and pedicure? A massage to relax the day before the wedding? When you’re planning a wedding in initial stages these seem needless, but I assure you in a lot of occasions at least some of these will be booked in final stages of your wedding planning.
2. OUTFITS FOR THE DAY BEFORE AND DAY AFTER EVENTS– of course her Majesty Wedding Dress holds a pedestal, but have you forgotten you will be a Bride on all of these events? I suggest you go with white on all of the events, after all you are the Bride! A cocktail dress for the night before and a casual beach dress for the brunch/BBQ day after. Don’t go overboard, but do plan on this cost. And don’t forget the shoes!
3. WEDDING STATIONERY (not thinking of invites here! 🙂– when you think of paper stuff needed for your wedding, invites first come to mind along with maybe save the date cards and RSVPs. Though technology has taken over a lot of wedding segments and more and more couples are opting for wedding websites and wedding apps, I do have a feeling stationery will never go out of fashion. Especially the non planned items such as place cards, seating plans, welcome signs, menus and different signs you want to place throughout the wedding in the same theme. I suggest you use the same designer for all of your planned stationery and I suggest s/he does it all! This is one of the prettiest personalization wedding segments and it is definitely noticeable, I can assure you of this. Then simply email it to your planner for print locally or have it printed at home if you want to make sure the print and paper is exactly what you had in mind.
4. CEREMONY SOUND SYSTEM– yes, your planner booked a lovely string duo to play for your charming garden wedding in Dubrovnik. You love the fact there is a hushing sound of the waves in the background too. And the humming sound of the trees, with a few birds singing only for you. If you have over 30 people I strongly suggest you rent the PA for the outdoor wedding ceremonies. Yes, the officiate is likely to be loud enough, but do you really want to yell out your vows while so gracious and elegant, on the most special moment in your life? And your cousin who you selected to do a reading is not all that open to public speaking and without a mic is probably going to be heard solely by the two of you. Take my advice, those couple of hundred Euros will be well worth it, I guarantee you that!
5. HOTEL ROOM FOR THE NIGHT BEFORE– you are so proud of yourself as you are so well organized- you booked your hotel for your wedding, before the wedding and honeymoon too months in advance. Did you think about the fact that you and your soon to be husband will want to spend the night before the wedding separately and that it makes sense he stays in the accommodation that is booked for the wedding week while you book a room in a hotel where you’ll be getting ready in to make things easier on yourself? You didn’t? No worries, most brides don’t. Book this room now, and don’t forget to ask from your wedding planner to put a note in the reservation system not to move you from this room or to have a late check out. Details like this can save the day, trust me on this one!
6. FEEDING YOUR VENDORS– being one of those vendors myself, I am obviously subjective when it comes to this subject. Providing a small meal that rarely costs more than 20€ per person in most venues is a token of appreciation for the wedding staff that spent most of their day with you. And yes, they are working and getting paid, but supplying them with a small meal is the least you can do. I assure you it goes a long way! P.S. Don’t raise the subject of covering a meal for the band or the DJ, these guys are setting up in the direct sun in the peak of the summer since early afternoon and doing sound checks and most of the time take a shower in the hotel changing rooms. Do feed them, you don’t want hungry /read cranky/ vendors at your wedding, do you? 🙂
7. GIFTS FOR YOUR PARENTS– you think you thought of everything? There’s always something left, I guarantee you that :). Of all the items ever in wedding planning, I would say this one gets forgotten the most. Only God knows how many times I called our florist to create two bouquets for mothers in less than 10 minutes as the speech is starting and this little detail went forgotten. I even had cases where the couple had presents for parents but never gave them out during the speech and left them in reception room under the table. Housekeepers found some lovely gifts ;)To keep it short- DO NOT forget your parents. Yes, they are happiest for you on that day and they don’t need a present but a small memorabilia from this most special day will be more than welcome. And do go with something more lasting than flowers. Ask your wedding planner for local present ideas, I have no doubts they will be happy to help!
8. BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DRINKS FOR YOUR WEDDING PARTY– you’d be surprised at the importance of this. I refer to the above in feeding vendors, same goes with bridal party- have them fed and well hydrated, sparked up with some champagne or prosecco at least. It’s a morning you will never forget, make it memorable for your ladies of honor too, it’s your choice they are there with you, don’t have them running to the bakery minutes before ceremony. I have seen it happen and nobody’s happy. And it’s so easily prevented! If you’re in a hotel, email in advance so it’s one thing less to think on the wedding day, and order some fruit platters and non bloating breakfast items in the morning (eggs and bacon work too!) with some fizz and about 1 hour before the time you put the dress on order some fries, they wont bloat you but will comfort you when you will need it. And everyone else around you too: )
9. EXTRA DECOR– nobody plans for this from the beginning. Not because it is omitted on purpose but because the extra decor such as lighting, balloons, charger plates, chandeliers, different chairs than what the venue has, festoons over the dance floor, lanterns dotted around the venue, fairy lights around the trees and similar items are something that is added once the whole concept of the wedding is finalized. And trust me, it can be a significant cost. I suggest you plan on extra money for decor just in case. It is quite likely you will have one of these beautiful mood setters. And if you ask me- they’re worth every penny!
10. INCLUDING YOURSELF IN THE FINAL HEAD COUNT– it is utterly unbelievable how many couples (including me at the time of my wedding!) forget to count themselves in the final head count. It adds up easily trust me, a canape here, a glass of champagne there….My suggestion- put yourselves first in all of the lists. As a positive RSVP of course 🙂
That’s it folks! I am sure there is more, but these are in my 12 year long experience 10 items most often forgotten to be planned for. And the costs do add up, we all know that. What we also know is that it’s not about the cost but the feeling, the emotion and the memory. Still, it feels good not to save on your honeymoon because you forget items 3,7 and 9 🙂 Happy Planning!
Dubrovnik Event is one of top 5 selected nominees in the category ‘most helpful wedding advice’ chosen among thousands of accounts in the wedding industry.
This nomination not only motivates us to always strive and be better at what we do while helping all future newlyweds in making their dream come true, but also inspires us to stay proactive even in these challenging times that we found ourselves in.
We all know that as soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’ anywhere and in any context, people’s pupils turn into money. And don’t worry, that’s the way it is all over the world – people probably think that when you’re get married they can charge you a higher price tag. While you won’t be able to avoid these situations completely, we bring you eight tips on how to wisely save on your wedding expenses without seeming stingy.
1. LOOK OUT FOR THE SALE SIGN – they are really everywhere if you look closely- from lingerie to designer wedding dress shops, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. Especially nowadays! And you know what else? You just need to ask! And you will be surprised to see that the answer is very often „Yes“ – you’ll get 10% in almost all stores upon first request. Even in those high fashion stores! My husband actually taught me this little sneaky trick and since then, I’ve been a real sales huntress and a proud owner of several fantastic designer pieces that I bought at amazing prices, including my designer wedding shoes that I still wear (a decade later ;)). Timing is crucial here, so ask your maid of honor to keep you company in in this scavenger hunt. Even if you don’t find anything, at least you’ll have a good time! Just be careful not to spend more than planned, then all of our efforts go down the drain!
2. Buy second-hand! I know, second hand and weddings should not be in the same sentence. But it’s possible – lots of you rent a wedding dress and a wedding suit, right? And how about a wedding dress from Amazon? I have a few friends who not only bought fantastic dresses at fantastic prices, but also gained new friends who gave them some advice on organizing a wedding after trying on the dress. Two flies in one hit! Smart isn’t it?
3. Take advantage of your talented friends! Don’t ever hesitate to ask for help, advice or good quality vendor contac. Personally, I have experienced this countless times and I am always happy to help – not only that, but I am even a little offended when I realize that my friends organized everything and didn’t ask a single question! We are here to help each other! Of course, you want to look for the help of friends who understand your style and who can direct you to the right address(es), saving you time and money. If a friend’s mom makes great cakes and is retired – ask if she is interested in jumping in with her talent and earning some extra cash. But remember, if you’re inviting a friend to a wedding and she’s a wedding photographer by profession, don’t expect her to take professional pictures of your wedding. He or she is either a guest or a photographer. As much as we don’t like it when you don’t ask us for some help, we especially don’t like when you invite us as guests and expect us to work.
4. Buy now and sell later! Today, a lot of local companies rent a variety of inventory for weddings, from glasses, plates and chairs to small details for decorations. You may not believe it, but sometimes you can benefit from buying in bulk and reselling it later. Believe me, I don’t advertise Amazon, but on that page you can get rid of all the purchased stuff that are in good condition in the blink of an eye – who knows, maybe even make money! Even better, if you know someone who is getting married and has a similar vision, you can share the cost. Get involved in local forums and interact with brides from your region, you will be amazed how much you can learn from each other and save together.
5. DIY, but be smart while doing it! I always struggle with this advice. I have seen so many times that the “DIY” project went wrong and almost ended in wedding disasters. But! If you are careful and choose smartly what you’ll do and with whom, your wedding can get a new personalized dimension that you will be especially proud of! I don’t recommend DIY makeup and hair on the wedding day (some things are better left to professionals on such an important day) or relying on your cousin’s new Iphone which has insanely good camera, the only and greatest physical memory of the most important day in the life. But you can make invitations, thank you cards and gifts, buttonholes, seating plan and menus, and maybe even cute little candlesticks. Here, choose assistants wisely and carefully and in return cook for them something delicious and open a bottle of good, chilled champagne. It’s celebration time, isn’t it?
6. Say your I DO’s and dance until dawn at the same place! If you are not getting married in a church, you know that the location’s, the costs of the registrar outside of the registry office, the chairs, the decorations and other big little things for the wedding ceremony have reached serious heights. Why don’t you think of a location that can accommodate both your ceremony and dinner? Or maybe they have a garden in front of the restaurant that can be beautifully arranged and then you can reuse all that decoration from the ceremony again for dinner (make sure you communicate it all well and know the point of who does what between the ceremony and dinner so this part is done flawlessly). This way, you will not only save bucks, but also time, because the guests will not bother to drive between several locations, and you know, we all prefer that once we come, we don’t move much.
7. Skip the cake! Or some other traditional wedding item that most of the newlyweds have because they’ve always been there. Who says you have to have a wedding cake at your wedding? Choose what really matters to you and focus your budget on those items. Items that are not too important may be on hold and finally, who can take them out if not you! Whose wedding is it, after all?
8. Plan! I can’t stress this enough. Maybe because it’s my profession, but trust me, planning can make the biggest difference in the whole process. Cleverly planned expenses (let Excel become your best friend!) can help you see where you’re spending more than you should / like / want and bring you closer to the idea of total cost and all those little expenses you didn’t think of. Think underwear. Or his belt. Or petals that guests will throw away after the ceremony (and you’ll need about 50 roses for that for sure!). And so on, and so on. Plan and leave nothing to chance.
And finally, when it’s all over – burn the budget. Not a computer, just a budget! No use in crying over spilled milk, right? After the wedding, you want to have memories of the most wonderful moments. Yes, creating those memories will cost you a real fortune in the most cases, but when it’s all over, don’t think about the cost anymore. What you planned, you planned. It’s time to start with the new budget, the marriage-home budget. In another blog, I will write about ways to save in that department. For now, enjoy locating as cost effective eco-friendly confetti as possible – how about those garden roses from grandma’s garden?