There’s no doubt that your wedding day is one of the most important days of...
As you know I am a big fan of destination weddings here on the blog, I love featuring weddings from all over the world and I really do get to see a whole lot of the world with the weddings I get sent. Today is the turn of Lena and Jeremy with their stunning beach wedding in Croatia. They opted for a super relaxed Boho chic day, filled with simple decor but a whole lot of love. The outdoor ceremony is beautifully simplistic, with the most stunning backdrop. And who doesn’t want to dance underneath the stars on the beach at their wedding reception! Big thanks to Matija and Marina for the lovely photos and video.
Lena and Jeremy were married on 29th June 2019 at Moro Beach Stupe on Stupe island in the Korčula archipelago (Croatia) ‘We wanted to take our guests on an adventure in Lena’s home country, Croatia, and to choose a venue that captured what we love in life: the beach, the sea (especially, the Adriatic sea!), mouth-watering food and bevies and a relaxed chill vibe. We had 90 adults, plus kids. For us, having kids there was important. We planned the wedding over one and half years, on and off.’
How they met
We’ve been together for 8 years, having met in Leiden (the Netherlands) in 2011 when we were both studying. Lena had just started her Masters in International Criminal Law and was determined to be studious and hardworking, and Jeremy had just moved to Europe for a semester of travel and good times – needless to say, we both ruined each other’s plans in the most beautiful way.
We met at a house party in Jeremy’s student halls, and although Jeremy was too busy hosting to pay Lena much attention that night (much to Lena’s frustration), luckily for us, the tiny size of Leiden meant we bumped into each other in a bar a few days later and immediately hit it off. Soon after the first date (which ended with a clumsy kiss on our bikes), Lena flew to Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and casually told Jeremy he should join her. Jeremy bought a last minute ticket so he could join her the following day. What followed was a whirlwind of adventures and homes in Europe, Indonesia and Australia!
Jeremy proposed on a typical Australian day… On the beach! He took Lena and Moose (our Beagle) to the beach on New Year’s Eve and kindly asked a complete stranger to babysit the chilled champagne and diamond ring, while we enjoyed the sun and made sure Moose wasn’t eating anyone’s picnic. Then, while Lena was distracted with Moose, he retrieved the goods from the friendly stranger and managed to get Moose to sit still for just long enough to pop the question (and the bottle!). Of course, it was an immediate ‘yes’ from Lena.
How did you allocate your budget?
With some difficulty! But what we did do well was write a budget early on with our best estimates of what things would cost. As we planned for the wedding and got closer to the big day, we kept an eye on our expenditure to make sure it wasn’t getting out of control. Truly, what made the day so special was not whether the flowers were lilac or lavender, but the people who were there to celebrate with us.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Where we could save money by cutting out unnecessary expenses, we did. But where we felt that an expense was important to our guests and us, we were willing to pay a premium to make it happen. Expensive items included:
Boats to transport people to and from the island. We didn’t want to be cheap on this because if something went wrong with these boats (like they didn’t come on time), then everything else we had spent so long planning would be undermined.
We wanted an open bar, because we wanted to throw a great party. The cost of this added up quickly (but one thing we did do to limit the price was to stop free-flow cocktails as the night got late).
Things that were reasonable:
Flowers, Wedding cake, Hair Frizerski Studio Glenda Cut – local superhero Glenda navigated excitement, demanding bridal requests and bees (!) to create six intricate ‘boho chic’ hairstyles for Lena and the bridesmaids, each one with its unique flower arrangement. Our hair looked great all night long, despite the speedboats, wind and dancing! Makeup – Lisa Jericevich Makeup Artist International – a true artist and the most loveable woman on the island Korčula! Lisa made Lena, her bridesmaids and her mother look and feel simply gorgeous.
How did you choose your photographer?
We stumbled upon Matija and Marina while we were searching for the perfect venue. Matija and Marina had captured beautiful weddings all over the world, including some unique spots in Croatia. We contacted them to see if they could help us find the venue of our dreams, and got immediate advice and tips about all things wedding-related in Croatia. Their breathtaking photos and expert advice was all we needed to get hooked! And boy oh boy, are we happy we found them. The final product was perfect: outstanding photos and videos (including incredible drone footage and still shots) that made us (and our guests) smile, shiver, cry and laugh!
The suit and Bridesmaids
No suit! It was a beach wedding, so chinos, shirt and suit jacket hit the mark, tied together with nice brown leather shoes. None of the items were particularly expensive, perhaps with the exception of the Eton shirt in Off White, which was definitely worth it. Many thanks to Dyonsu Melbourne for dressing Jeremy. The Bridesmaids wore Maxi skirts from Boohoo
Theme or colour scheme
Boho chic beach vibes!
The brilliant Ellys Beale from Frida Flower Crowns was responsible for the customised silk flowers of the bridal party – she created a bridal flower crown, hair accessories for the bridesmaids, the bridal bouquet and floral buttonholes for the groom and groomsmen. Our biodegradable flower petals for our nephews and niece (our ‘Flower Army’) came from Freeze Dried Rose Petals.
We only added some local flowers and a wedding arch to the island, as the beach venue was perfect the way we found it.
We got married on an island, so we focused on the seafood:
Starter: fish ceviche with fennel; octopus salad; prawns; vegetarian platter with olive tapenade and stuffed capsicum.
First course: seafood pasta.
Main meal: swordfish steak.
We also had a cute bar by the water serving cold beer, wine and some great cocktails, including Hugos, Aperol Spritzs and Peach Bellinis. And, of course, a flask of rakija was passed around in true Croatian style.
The wedding cake was made by the incredibly talented Josipa Barčić from Škatula . It was a layered cake made out of different types of chocolate and jam, and to top it all of, it had a figurine of Moose (our beagle) at its side (digging his dirty little paws into the goodness!).
Croatia’s most famous ‘island band’ Ljetno Kino got everyone into the mood for a boogie on the beach, and a local DJ played tunes until the early hours of the morning.
Two of our closest friends also performed: Felicia Bozoky I am Soyuz played the ukulele and sang her version of Calvin Harris’ ‘I feel so close to you right now’ as Lena and her parents walked down the aisle. Kirsten Robinson sung her version of ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ (which she renamed ‘Dancing Keen’) as our first song.
Who supplied the stationery?
We used Paperless Post for our save the dates and invites; Joy for our wedding website and app; TouchNote for our thank you ‘postcards’; and Papier for our thank you photo books for the family.
We tried to make the day as personal as possible, with small touches such as:
Making goodie bags for the children (complete with DIY unicorn and dinosaur masks)
Putting up blackboards with messages for our guests throughout the venue (including ‘Two less fish in the sea’ and ‘Trust me, you can dance – Rakija’)
Filling baskets with flip flops and encouraging our guests to kicks off their shoes and dance
Creating a photo magnet for each guest that captured an earlier chapter that they had shared with us, which we hung up on a fishnet at the venue.
Our families truly stole the show away and we will forever remember their contributions and reactions to our wedding day. As we didn’t have a dress rehearsal, our vision truly came alive once the ceremony started. Moments that stick out are:
Our niece and nephews (the ‘Flower Army’) gleefully skipping down the aisle as they showered the audience with their flowers.
Lena’s one-year-old nephew slowly making his way to his father (Lena’s brother, the celebrant) to cling onto his leg and he proceeded to marry us.
Lena’s grandfather (the ring boy) guarding the wedding bands with his life.
The moving reactions of Lena’s maternal grandmother and our parents when we decided to give them each a piece of the bridal bouquet in honour of our four amazing and inspirational grandmothers.
Advice for other couples
Try to plan as many activities for your guests before the actual wedding day so that your guests are true friends by the time the wedding day comes around. There is nothing better than witnessing your closest friends and family form true friendships (and to see those precious moments captured on camera later on)!
We were fortunate enough to be able to spend a full week with our guests on the island of Korčula before our wedding, watching our guests bond as we explored the island’s gorgeous beaches, wineries and restaurants together.
Our vows! Our vows were kept hidden from the world (including each other) until the ceremony… We couldn’t help but double over in laughter and disbelief as we both attempted to rhyme our way through our vows and when we noticed how remarkably similar our vows were, both touching upon themes such as Moose the beagle and Lena’s ridiculously poor consumption of broccoli.
Matija + Marina Weddings are based in Croatia and specialize in fine art documentary photography and cinematography. We bring small camera kits and blend in so we can capture truly candid shots. We especially love mountain & island weddings and anything with the whiff of adventure about it!
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