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DWP Congress in Greece: Wedding trends of 2022

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Kalimera !, from Rhodes, Greece, where the seventh congress of destination wedding organizers recently took place – the largest B2B networking platform of the global wedding industry, where finally, after a break of almost two years – gathered over 350 participants from almost 50 countries. Croatia was one of them.

This is my fifth participation in a congress like this and I will tell you that this is a gathering that really everyone from the wedding world wants to go to and not just now in COVID time when we are so desperate for socializing and traveling that we are able sit in the car and drive to Neum (at least in our case in Dubrovnik) just to get a personal or even better at the border, bring a passport and come home with the stamp of another country, even if it was BIH.

The motto of the Wedding Planners Congress is “Work hard, play harder”, so we just hung out on the first day. It started with a noon party at the hotel pool by the beach (hotels that are a kind of host of this congress are always on your bucket list if you travel to these locations, believe me- this time the host was Mitsis Alila exclusive all-inclusive resort located at miles long sandy beach of sunny Rhodes – see us walking barefoot and frescoing in the Aegean Sea before the lecture?), continued with a tour of the old town of Rhodes and just sailed into the first party of the congress.

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Photo by Dimitris Giouvris

It is a congress where we meet new people and connect in ways the Internet will never be able to connect us, on the other hand, it is a place where we learn minute by minute from colleagues from different countries, connect cultures in the most beautiful ways and not just exchange experiences and talk about trends- here we create trends. This is going to be our topic of the day 🙂

Wedding trends of 2022!

So the first panel of the second day of the congress was held on The Future of Weddings in Times of Instability where speakers were people we don’t need to represent much in our ranks-  like Bob Conti, JoAnn Gregoli and Koby Bar Yehuda, and we expressed the future through trends.

As my dear colleague and world-famous event designer, Eddie Zaratsian, said: “I don’t like the word trend because it gives the design a time limit and it’s really not necessary, especially for personalized events we deal with”, let’s go through what the big players from the world of weddings predict are upcoming, let’s call them- popular practices.

1. COLOR.

How long have we been waiting for that trend to come back to life! Let me hear you, who got tired of the terms “blush” and “white wedding”? I would like some green and white… Well let’s spice up a few things! Finally, that carousel spun and I can’t hide my enthusiasm for this announced trend! We’ll see what Pantone will choose for us as a color in 2022, but as long as we speak the language of bright colors through weddings and express our characters through color and dynamic concepts, I am an advocate of this trend. Colors can not only show how fashionable you are, but also elevate the whole design, location, speak a language that has been forgotten – the language of love!
Come on white, green and pink, go get some sleep! Red, yellow and coral – welcome!

2. EXCLUSIVITY.

I do not mean the obvious luxury that the word exclusive imposes. I think that the trend of exclusive rentals, ie the privatization of hotels, villas, B&B, farms – whatever the newlyweds find a way to make their guests feel safe and protected. COVID has brought us that awkward (not to say damn) sense of insecurity when moving in our own lives. Believe me, in the world of destination weddings it is more than noticeable – for example, the weddings of most of our American clients, which were supposed to be a hundred people, and were postponed to 2022, by default were reduced to at least half fewer guests who decided to travel despite the chaos we find ourselves in. And yes, I’m not mistaken, we are talking about 2022 – many people believe that weddings will recover only there around 2025 when we hope that this whole story will be behind us and travel will again become a completely normal and integral part of life. So for those who decided to get married next year, and according to the announcements we are talking about the largest number of weddings since the early 80’s, many are considering exclusive leases of hotels, complexes, more villas in one place and islands where somehow by default people they feel more detached, and so in the new age, unfortunately, more secure. In any case, the more private and exclusive, the more interesting, at least that’s what the announcements for next year say …

3. SUSTAINABILITY.

I can’t tell you my enthusiasm for this finally current trend in the world of weddings and events in general. Paying tribute to Mother Nature and thinking about what we use when planning our wedding – from materials, choosing locations and suppliers to recycling flowers, has finally taken the deserved and necessary throne we have been waiting for forever – ignoring is never cool and especially ignoring the alarming world “Trends” that concern us all, such as global warming, a drastic reduction in the number of bees and air pollution, which we are witnessing on a daily basis reading world reports. It was high time that this worrying reality was addressed in the world of weddings as well. So we, for example, held an entire three-day event for 350 people in wonderful, chic, organic tents. Yes, you read that right, organic tents. Feel free to Google “Organic Concepts”, a company from Belgium that was one of the congress partners and set up 4 tents handmade by nautical tailoring companies from proven, sustainable and organic materials. Waterproof, windproof up to 170km / h, extremely aesthetically attractive and absolutely in sync with all the postulates of sustainability. That is the future of events. This is a trend that we do not want to have a time limit. Ask yourself- how can I make my wedding more sustainable? Some of the ideas are reusing flowers, using live flowers in bunches (think rosemary, lavender, etc.), but add a little color to the world), renting a flower truck with additional florists who will make your guests a bouquet of the remaining flowers and give a bouquet on your behalf. What they like- the idea is a million, you just need to see how best to incorporate them into your wedding. And don’t hesitate to talk about it out loud – it’s a voice that needs to be heard far away!

In the end, I will agree with my colleague Eddie about the practical dislike of trends, but at the same time I will tell you- some new kids have arrived in the world of wedding design and thank God they did! Sustainability and respect for nature are more than welcome!

Wine charity auction at MIVA wine gallery

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Dubrovnik Event planned & organized a wine auction to raise funds for the purchase of musical instruments needed for students of the Luka Sorkočević Art High School last Thursday at the Miva Wine Gallery. The initiators of this praiseworthy action are the owner of the wine shop Tin Sentić and the Dubrovnik pianist Ivana Marija Vidović. This idea came through a friendship with the Vidović family, with Mrs. Franica Krampus Vidović and her daughter Ivana Marija Vidović.

An appropriate music program was prepared for the guests, performed by the winners of this year’s national music competition, also students of the Luka Sorkočević Art High School. Violinist Paula Ćatić, cellist Lena Eva Crnjak and pianist Sara Crnjak performed a program featuring compositions by P.I. Tchaikovsky’s ‘March – Song of the Lark’, C. Scott’s ‘Cornish Boat Song’ and W. Monty (arr. D. Kamber) ‘Czardas.

The auction was led by the best Croatian sommelier Siniša Lasan, and 15 unique wine labels were on biding such as Bibich Bas de Bas Jeroboam, Roxanich Cavarbet Sauvignon 2007. and Korta Katarina Reubens’ private resererve 2009.

Top 10 reasons why get married in Dubrovnik

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1.      Dubrovnik’s beauty has long been inspirationally known and world renowned, even the famous poet Bernard Shaw said it himself: “Those who seek Paradise on Earth, must come to Dubrovnik”. This says it all and surely you will know what he meant once you visit and experience the picturesque sites this amazing city has to offer. You will be enchanted by its clear blue sea, pristine beaches, hospitality of the locals and that familiar feeling like you are at home, at a first glance. You will always want to come back to it.

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2.   Dubrovnik is also known under its alias “Pearl of the Adriatic”, as it truly offers you and your wedding guests absolutely anything you may need and want while leaving you without breath with its natural beauties, rich history, culture and romantic alleys. It has been a vacation getaway location for many celebrities including Beyonce, Paris Hilton, Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke, Nick Nolte, Steve Buschemi and Roger Moore, to name a few.

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3.   Today, you can directly fly to Dubrovnik for your wedding from most European and world cities, including New York from 2011! You can also fly to Dubrovnik’s local airport from England, Ireland, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland and Austria, to name a few. This definitely saves a lot of time and money for your guests, making it convenient, easy and even more desirable as a destination wedding location.

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4.   UNESCO has placed Dubrovnik and its famous city walls in 1979 as a city under their protection due to its incredibly rich cultural and historical heritage and the preservation of the mentioned. You will surely have lots to do around here- from learning about our rich history and culture, to, for some more fun stuff, such as paragliding, water sports, diving, kayaking, or simply sun bathing with an occasional swim in the clear blue sea. And you wont even have to look very closely to see the fish swimming around you- the sea is just that clear!

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5.   While walking through streets of Dubrovnik, you will be able to pick a lemon for your morning freshly squeezed lemonade, a tangerine to have for breakfast, some pomegranate for snacking fresh and healthy at the beach; and pretty much wherever you go- to a local tavern or your private accommodation Bed and Breakfast, you are most likely to be served mostly homemade and home grown produce. Croatians take pride in this so enjoy the organic fruit and vegetables at your hand’s reach.

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6.  Dubrovnik has 2554 sunny hours per year in average. looking for a sunny destination wedding location? You can’t beat that!

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7. Dubrovnik has been a host to Dubrovnik Summer Festival for over 60 years- concerts under the stary skies, theatrical plays in most amazing lcoations you can imagine and medieval costumed festival on each cobbed corner! Your guests will have loads of options to choose from on their list of “what to do while in Dubrovnik”.

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8. Dubrovnik’s accommodation and restaurant/bar offer reached an enviable assortment of all different kinds and categories of the properties, so you can stay and offer your guests to indulge at a 5 star hotel overlooking the famous Dubrovnik’s city walls while enjoying a relaxing massage with a glass of champagne, or enjoy the authenticity in one of the local B&Bs in the Old Town up in the cobbled streets. Or maybe a Villa with a pool for your guests, there are loads to choose from! Whatever their budget and preferences are, we assure you Dubrovnik has it all. And when it comes to dining and wining in Dubrovnik, you are in for a treat! We will happily send you a list of must visit places to taste the very best of Dubrovnik.

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9. Your guests will be happy to visit a place for your wedding week where they will be able to make a vacation out of it- there is a bit for everyone’s tastes in this beautiful city. Also, Montenegro is half hour away and Medjugorje is only 2 hours away if your family wishes to do a pilgrimage trip.

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10. After a couple of days walking through Dubrovnik streets and visiting local bars, you will feel like home, already getting exciting at the thought of coming back, and you will leave with so many beautiful memories and locals’ contacts who will truly be in touch with you for years to come.
Indeed, Dubrovnik is a very special place for Your very special day.


***for your personalized wedding offer in Dubrovnik , please email us at info@dubrovnikevent.com.

We look forward to hearing from you and making your dreams come true!

Proposal: Pranv & Kristi

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Even tough Covid-19 has changed lots of plans for all of us, this lovely couple decided to travel to Croatia all the way from the US and celebrate love in one of the most romantic cities – Dubrovnik.

Some of you may wonder– is it safe to travel to Dubrovnik? Is it safe to have an event now?

Our answer is absolutely yes – health and safety are our priority, and we take it very seriously, but with all necessary measures, we can still do events that will be just as amazing and as breathtaking as this fabulous proposal was…

The surprise factor, the tears, the incredible backdrop. God we missed this all!

Thank you Pranv & Kristi, you will always hold a special place in our hearts!

Elopement weddings in Dubrovnik

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KARINA & LOU, from the US, married 2010 in Dubrovnik

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. 

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Vildan & Dagny, from Sweden, married May 15th 2009 in Dubrovnik…. 
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Sonia & Benoit, from Canada
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Sarah and Bryan, married April 12, 2012 in Dubrovnik. Just the two of them….. 

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.

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Nastasja & Anatoliy, from Russia, married August 2006
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Caragh & Darryl, from Australia, married September 2012
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Kisha and Kamau, from the US. a surprise wedding organized by the Groom. June 2011.

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.

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Bracera Lady of the Seas, presented to us only recently and absolutely perfect for weddings up to 10 people.

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 info@dubrovnikevent.com

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM DUBROVNIK EVENT!!!

Dubrovnik Wedding Ceremony Venues

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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There is much more Dubrovnik offers, and here are some photos to prove it. The above venues are true bestsellers but why not think outside of the box?

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Small chappel terrace makes it possible to do a humanist or a civil wedding with a sacral touch.
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Boat wedding! Why not?
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Top of the Srdj mountain amphitheatre. As special as it gets. And you can get your guests up here by  a cable car!
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Lovrijenac fortress ceremony. It will be worth every step you take up there. Game of Thrones scene used over and over again you will never get bored of. Just spectacular. 

That’s it folks :)For now at least. Enjoy the inspiration and happy planning!
*** please contact us at info@dubrovnikevent.com for your perfect wedding scenario 🙂

Ines

Love, weddings & events in time of COVID-19 with Dubrovnik Event

Dubrovnik Event Love weddings events in time of COVID 19 with Dubrovnik Event ink

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 IN WEDDINGS

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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!

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Photo by Librecommel’ Art, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Librecommel’ Art, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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.

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Photos by Librecommel’ Art, all rights reserved
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Photos by Librecommel’ Art, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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?

10 MISTAKES THAT BRIDES MAKE REGULARLY AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

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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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by FotoAdria, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by  Jure Vukadin, all rights reserved

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’.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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 🙂 .

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Katija Zivkovic & Fabijan Drnas, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Katija Zivkovic, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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!

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Photo by Veronica Arevalo, all rights reserved

WEDDING MENU TIPS & TRICKS

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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!

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Photo by Librecommel’ Art, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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 😊

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Photo by Librecommel’ Art, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

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!

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Photo by Librecommel’ Art, all rights reserved

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.

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Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved