This afternoon we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
We head across to Croatia today to meet Martha and Christian who are sharing their gorgeous wedding with us. The couple are both from Venezuela, they met in Caracas but now live in the UK. They opted for a destination wedding in Croatia as many of their friends live across Europe so they wanted something central and equally stunning. As Martha works in conservation they wanted to make the wedding as eco-friendly as possible and kept the natural green element as their main theme. The results are lots of succulents, moss, foliage and the most gorgeous flowers. A totally splendid wedding, with so much love and sunshine, captured perfectly by Mihoci Studios and planned to perfection by Adriatic Weddings Croatia
Martha and Christian were married on 23rd September 2017 at Ražnjevića Dvori A.D. 1307 agritourism hotel, Polača village, in the ancient agricultural area of Ravni kotari in North Dalmatia, Croatia. ‘Most of our friends live in Europe, so we were looking for a warm, beautiful place with high-quality food, wines, and breathtaking scenarios. Croatia was the perfect spot, plus that a lot of our friends hadn’t been in Dalmatia and it gave them the opportunity to share the memory of being in a new place altogether. Christian and I saw pictures of the venue and fell in love with it, the old feel and the olives field were glorious. Also, we like the concept of agritourism venues that could provide with sustainable locally sourced products. We had 43 guests and it took Seven months to plan.’
How they met
We met on July 2014th in Caracas through close friends, since there we started dating, and a year later we moved in together to the UK.
We were in our apartment in London, packing to move to Sweden while folding clothes Christian passed me a little box immediately I started crying, I didn’t let him kneel nor popped the question when I had already said yes!!
How did you allocate your budget?
We didn’t have a budget, but we didn’t want to go crazy, so we trusted Tamara planning and suggestions. She helped us find a dream location and understood the concept we wanted for the wedding. She looked for vendors that were compatible with our choices and offered us good deals with them.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We splurge on food and drinks; we wanted everyone to be happy and enjoy a fantastic Dalmatian menu with local quality wines, everyone was satisfied! We got a lot of great comments from our friends. We saved in flowers and decorations.
How did you choose your photographer?
Tamara gave us a list and portfolio of recognised Croatian photographers she had previously worked with, we looked at all of them and chose the ones that we felt the most connected. After a couple of Skype interviews, we decided Mihoci Studios; their work is flawless, we were lucky to have them, they knew the venue and made us feel comfortable at all moments.
My dress was Odilia (Pronovias Collection 2017) bought it in Pronovias Madrid store, a beautiful flowy empire cut, evasé dress perfect for the location of the wedding. Shoes were Castañer’s wedding collection. Headpiece and accessories were made by Carmen María Mayz a Spanish headpieces designer based in Madrid.
The suit and bridesmaids
The suit was a Tiger of Sweden, Christian bought it in Sweden. Maid of Honor dress and accessories were made by Carmen María Mayz.
Theme or colour scheme
Greenery, we wanted to emulate a tropical rainforest with natural elements in green, brown and blue.
Flowers and decorations
For the design I wanted to reflect the natural, eco- friendly rustic look. The ceremony was set up next to gorgeous tree and we had an arch decorated with greenry and amaryllis along with dark shaded dahlias and roses as I love black. For the reception we intertwined bark and moss with succulents along the length of the table to form a low, eye-catching centrepiece, and used green agates as place cards – which were also our favours for the guests! To complement the rustic theme we also used natural materials, such as gauza table runners and napkins.
We had a variety of Dalmatian products, starting with Fresh oysters on ice and Dalmatian Prosciutto at the Crostini station. Then we served Fish soup with shrimps and vegetables, followed by Cuttlefish risotto with Grana Padano cheese shavings. For the main course, we had Veal under the lid with Stewed vegetables and Mixed salad. Finally, for the late meal, we served Poached monkfish in champagne and spinach sauce and traditional Pašticada.
A naked cake with fruity filling. Delicious and perfect!!
We hired a Venezuelan classical musician (Paul Sojo) to play cuatro (a traditional instrument in Venezuela) and sign folkloric songs. We cried listening to his beautiful voice, performing traditional songs so far from home. Also, we had a local DJ that understood the Latino-Caribbean concept for music. Everyone danced until they got blisters on their feet!!!
Who supplied the stationery?
Stationary was a close issue to us because I work in the forest conservation field. Therefore we wanted to raise awareness with our invitations and the choice of paper. Together with Letter B designers, we decided to go 100% tree free with certified recycled cotton paper; Letter B created a beautiful print of Roraima Mountain a sacred mountain in the Amazon. Our friends and families were impressed; they hadn’t seen invitations such as ours.
Our ceremony was a handfasting ceremony in Spanish. Ives made a beautiful script in collaboration with us.
As Venezuelans, we wanted to have a Venezuelan wedding with a Latino-Caribbean flavour. We made a special toast with Venezuelan Awarded Rum: Diplomático Extra Reserva, we hired a classical musician to play cuatro. I single hand-picked the structure and part of the music playlist for the reception so it could resemble a Venezuelan wedding and everyone could dance. Finally, we had a table with Venezuelan premium artisanal chocolates: Franceschi for guess to take back home.
Christian: when Martha walked down the aisle. Our first dance together.
Martha: When I saw all my family and friends at the ceremony, the ceremony itself made me cry of happiness. The first toast (there were a lot of them as part of the Venezuelan tradition), the first dance was a Venezuelan folk song that made everyone cried.
Advice for other couples
Hire a wedding planner, Tamara made our lives easier. Don’t panic, if you can’t control it: let go!! Everyone will be there for you, delegate! And most important: ENJOY, it’s your day!!!!
Seeing the fantastic work that Tamara and all the vendors made, We were breathtaking looking at the decorations. Also, How sunny and warm it was! We were blessed with a glorious summer day by the end of September!!
We are based in Croatia and we do both Croatian and international weddings! Our style of work is a mixture of documentary and artistic approach. It’s extremely important to us that you are portrayed exactly as you are like an individual, but in the most beautiful way. With our style we emphasise ambient light, and while photographing we don’t like to stand out and attract too much attention. That way moments occur spontaneously and on their own.