This afternoon we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend? Welcome to another fun packed week on the blog, we have a whole host of amazing weddings and informative articles for you this week and we are kicking things off with this totally stunning wedding in Croatia. Alice and Matt fell in love with Croatia after visiting it in 2014, as they are keen travelers, they decided that a destination wedding suited their personalities and lifestyle, and wanted to treat their guest to an amazing holiday as well as the most beautiful of weddings. They went for a loose ‘Rustic Bohemeian’ theme, with pretty decoration, beautiful flowers and the most wonderful backdrop. Nina Anic did the honours with the photos and the results are superb!
Alice and Matt were married on the 2nd September 2016 in a ceremony and reception in the town of Bol, Island Brac, Croatia. The ceremony was held in the Dominican Monastery Garden and after a drinks reception the party moved to the reception at the Mali Raj restaurant. ‘We visited Croatia on holiday in 2014 and absolutely loved all the islands we visited. We decided on a destination wedding in Bol as we felt it had something to offer all of our guests and it’s such a lovely relaxed town. Our youngest guest had just turned one and the eldest were in their 80’s so it was really important that we could imagine everyone there, enjoying a fun holiday! The monastery gardens are absolutely beautiful and set over the ocean, and the Mali Raj (which means Little Paradise) offered us a very private reception venue surrounded by olive trees. We wanted a really relaxed, informal atmosphere with an amazing party afterwards. We had 73 guests. We were really pleased so many people were able to attend. We took exactly 12 months to plan!’
How they met
We met during a group interview for a travel company and both had very different first impressions of each other…. Matt thought I was very shy and I thought he was too loud! We quickly became friends and have been together almost seven years.
Matt was working in Singapore during August 2015 and I flew out to visit him, I was flying standby so the proposal almost didn’t happen as the flights were very busy! We stayed in a beautiful hotel and Matt had secretly arranged a romantic private dinner, we then walked to the beach where he had set up a picnic rug surrounded by candles and a bottle of champagne was on ice. After the proposal we spent hours on the beach laughing together and were completely overwhelmed with happiness!
How did you allocate your budget?
The majority of our budget was spent on food and drink which we anticipated, we decided to spend more on photography than we budgeted too once we’d found our amazing photographer.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We spent more on flowers and decoration than we had initially thought but we were very pleased with the end result, as we got married on an island this increased costs of most items too due to transportation etc. We saved on wedding stationary, my dress, Matt’s suit and bridesmaid’s dresses and choosing several cakes instead of one traditional wedding cake.
Why did you choose your photographer?
I used to work as Cabin Crew and shortly after booking our wedding met a couple who had just got married on Hvar, another Croatian island. They were travelling to America on their honeymoon and recommended Nina. We are so pleased they did, we love our photos and Nina and her husband were fantastic on the day. She has an amazing, natural documentary style and we felt completely comfortable with her. We quickly realised our initial photography budget was unrealistic and understood that we would forever want to look back on our photos to remember the day, our decision to go with Nina is one we definitely don’t regret!
My dress was by Eliza Jane Howell, I loved that her art deco dresses can transfer to boho style so easily. I was certain that I didn’t want a very traditional bridal dress and was very lucky that the bridal shop in the village where my parents live was an Eliza Jane Howell stockist and they had a sample
dress in my size of the Lucille design I loved so much. It was the first dress I tried on and nothing else made me feel as relaxed, I knew it was the one for me. Buying a sample dress meant we came in under budget for my dress so I was able to spend more on my beautiful nude Rachel Simpson shoes! I kept my accessories very simple with diamond earrings given to me by my parent’s for my 21st birthday and a diamond necklace that my mum lent me for the day. Our florist also made me a flower crown with roses, lavender and gypsophila.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Matt’s suit was from Ted Baker and we bought this from their outlet store at Gunwharf Quay, his white shirt was from Reiss. The best men and usher were in slightly lighter suits. I had my three sisters as bridesmaids and as they are very different from one another I wanted to give them dresses in different colours, their pastel colour dresses were from House of Fraser, again we didn’t want them to be too traditional and knew the weather would be warm so they were perfect. My mum wore a cream outfit from Jaques Vert.
Theme or Colour Scheme
We wanted the wedding to have a bohemian rustic feel but not be too ‘themed’. In terms of colour, we love the lavender that grows in Croatia so pastel purple and pinks were used, along with creams and green.
We had roses, gypsophila, lavender along with dusty miller and greenery which filled out the bouquets and table decorations.
We had jars and pots of lavender on the back of the chairs at the ceremony and more lavender, roses and gypsophila on the reception tables, along with white lace tablecloths and tealights. It was really important nothing felt too formal. We filled the outdoor dance floor space at the Mali Raj with fairy lights and hung lots of pastel coloured pom poms and lanterns from the olive trees (thank you to Matt’s family for spending hours making these!) The space was naturally very beautiful so we didn’t want to over do the decoration.
We chose a local Dalmatian menu and it was served on large sharing plates which added to the relaxed atmosphere. Starter; Dalmatian prosciutto, with local cheese, olives, organic tomatoes, tuna pate and homemade bread First course; Black cuttlefish risotto & vegetable risotto Main Course: Sea bream or grilled chicken breast served with roast potatoes and vegetables
We chose to have four locally made tortes instead of one flavour of wedding cake, which again suited the laid back style of the day. The flavours we chose were; Ferrero rocher, lime cheesecake, berry yogurt, chocolate and coconut Our friends Allan and Sarah had a Lego cake topper made using our faces as Matt loves Lego, this was a lovely surprise!
We had a DJ and asked our guests to provide some song suggestions before the day.
Matt enjoys illustrating and drew the Dominican Monastery for our invitation, our close friend Jenny Dore is an Art Director and she worked incredibly hard with us to make us our perfect invite and save the date magnets!
The invitations were very personal as Matt provided the drawing, we also designed our wedding menus. Our friend Alice makes beautiful flower crowns and did these for my two nieces who were flower girls. In terms of decoration, we took lots of fairy lights and pom poms out to Croatia with us. Our table names were countries of places we had visited and our friend Guy did some very creative lettering for these and our name tags, we used a world map as our table plan. We feel very lucky to have such talented and helpful friends and family who helped us so much.
Special Moments or Highlights
During the ceremony a boat passed by and sounded it’s horn just as we were about to begin our vows! This broke the tension and we have lovely memories of laughing along with our guests. The Croatian wedding vows feel more modern than in the UK and really meant a lot to us. The speeches by my dad, Matt and his two best men, Anthony and Adam were incredible and our guests seemed to love these.
Advice for other couples
If anyone is thinking of a destination wedding, our advice would be ‘go for it!’ Just be aware that if you are not looking for a typical package wedding then lots of planning is involved, we got caught out a bit by exchange rates so budget for this too . We were so honoured so many people could come and seeing our family and friends have such a wonderful time together was a very special feeling.
How much we laughed!
A husband and wife photographer team, based in Croatia with a photo journalistic style