Thursday, February 16, 2017

Spectacular Lokrum island wedding fairy tale of Reem and Amru

For two days we walked around Dubrovnik's best wedding venues and nothing. There was no magic. There was no heart capture. No true Love between the Bride and her perfect wedding venue. Reem just wasn't impressed with the usual we got to offer.
I remember coming home that day after our 12 hour site inspecting completely drained, not so physically but more so mentally. How can this be true? How come nothing fits, is it possible we will have such amazing people look at such amazing place for their wedding and not find a match?
I could barely sleep that night.

The next morning it took some organization to get a boat in winter time in Dubrovnik and show Reem, her mother and her mother in law the enchanting island of Lokrum. It was merely an option for the day after BBQ or brunch.
The second we set foot on the island that cloudy day, you could feel the new love potential. But what was in for us I couldn't even have in my wildest dreams!
On our way to the olive garden we were passing by the monastery ruins, tall medieval walls surrounding us and peacocks on their tops proudly guarding them.
Reem walked in, looked around and smiled. Magic happened. Love happened.
That was it!
Exactly her words. My heart jumped a beat (literally!) as nobody has ever hosted a wedding reception here. A wedding planner's dream come true....

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios
The rest is history they'd say :)
But for us, it was just the beginning of potentially the most challenging wedding project in the history of Dubrovnik.
So let's go from the beginning....
Lokrum island is a nature reserve island, uninhabited apart from dozens of peacocks and rabbits. Yes, you read that right, peacocks and rabbits. We literally had all predispositions for a true fairy tale. Alice in Wonderland :)
It is used as an activity point for many Dubrovnik tourists, being only 10 minute boat ride from Dubrovnik's old town, but this was a first time anyone has used it for a wedding reception. Imagine, having your own nature reserve island at the reach of Dubrovnik old town for your wedding. Pretty spectacular isn't it?
Logistics wasn't so spectacular but with the amazing team that we had on board it was all made possible.
Main issue was the fact that the venue was a construction site when we first visited it, less than 6 months to the wedding day. Needless to say all of the construction workers knew us by name shortly after the site visit and knew us well by the time of the wedding. So did the peacocks and rabbits :)

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios
But let's skip that planning part and bring you to the fairy tale scene the day of the wedding. The Wedding.
Around 150 guests were all accommodated in a local 5 star hotel so all events were easily commuted to. Events leading up to the wedding took place in old town restaurants, fortresses and closeby islands and were a huge hit and intro to one incredible wedding.
All the menu tastings, hair and makeup trials and running over event agenda were done. It was time to make it all happen.

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios
I was commuting in between Reem and Amru's suites from early morning. Keeping the spirits up and loving the energy that everyone had. Flowers arrived perfectly timed and everyone, including Reem my lovely Bride just loved them.
Hair and makeup team from Salon "UP" were doing their magic (we actually improvised a hair/makeup salon in one of the conference rooms in the hotel to accommodate all ladies without having to leave the comfort of the day), music was playing, girls were chatting and it was just a perfect day.
Amru left a bit earlier to wait for Reem in old town, where we organized first look photo session in Dubrovnik's famous Rector's Palace. As Reem entered the pitch black Mercedes limo to go to the old town, when she arrived she realized she forgot her bridal bouquet in her hotel room. Hiccup like this can easily shake up the tranquility of the day but it was solved in no time and her bouquet arrived with another limo to the old town :)
The Day has for real just begun!

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios
This may be one of the most emotional moments one can witness. Amru and Reem have such pure, unconditional love for each other that we had the honor to be a part of in this period I am eternally grateful for. People like them and their love are nothing but pure inspiration.
So after the entire team of photographers, videographers and wedding planners shed a tear in this special moment, it was time to go to the wedding scene. Set out for the very first time in its history....
This truly was a biggest professional moment of truth... Countless hours of work, sleepless nights worrying whether the venue will be done in time, if the weather will serve us and will my dear Reem love it as much as I want her to love it.
Unlike my usual style, I didn't allow Amru or Reem to enter the reception venue. I wanted them to grasp it with it's full energy of people, thousands of lights and flowers, with the sounds of ceering of their most loved ones.
Thankfully, they obeyed :)

As last tourists left island of Lokrum, wedding guests docked and walked to the ceremony venue. Every foot of Lokrum's paths were covered in white carpet. Won't bother you with numbers and square footage but let's say we could cover a football stadium with carpet we had. Exclusivity at its finest.

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios
The ceremony, oh the ceremony! It was set in the palm garden next to the sea while the sun was setting. It really doesn't get more magical than that. Just before Reem and her father entered ceremony, we played an audio speech held by Reem's loving father as a surprise for the bride and  the guests. Not a dry eye on the entire island!
Short and sweet, hosted by their friends and marked by their incredibly touching vows to each other for a lifetime of love and happiness, mutual support, in sickness and in health, it was time to open the curtains and let the guests in the venue....

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios
DJ played funky beats with the saxophone player in the background. A truck of flowers that were brought to the island by small fisherman's boats shone at its best. And when guests started pouring in, there was a queue due to everyone taking photos and videos. It was one of those moments in your life when you have to stop and pinch yourself to make sure you are not dreaming. Definitely a moment of goosebumps. But still not time for relaxing, not just yet :)

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios
 
Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios

Photo credit Mihoci studios
Photos speak for themselves don't they? I could rave about this setting for ages guys but I assure you photos don't do justice even believe it or not, however we are eternally grateful for the fantastic capture of the setting and these moments by incredibly talented Ena and David Mihoci and their team. 
And let's not forget the floral team! The job they did was more than impressive, thank you so much for you incredible support Pat Rea team!

As Amru and Reem entered the venue, greeted by applause and cheers of their family and friends, fake fire exploded from roof tops of the monastery while their favorite song played. Reem's reaction was priceless and one of those you have to be there to experience but I will surely never forget it.
Just before dinner was served with over 50 dishes of international menu created by our dear caterers from company called nonetheless than Lokrum :), Amru held a short spontaneous speech that literally made me cry. Made ME cry! That says it all. As thankful as they were, I will never be able to thank them for the enormous leap of faith they took with us in making this huge dream a spectacular reality.
The rest of the evening I was still pinching myself. It was too good to be true. One of those days that lifts you up to the sky.
Wedding party partied till morning hours and after we took them back to the hotel our staff went for a party of our own. We totally deserved it :)

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios

Photo credit: Mihoci studios
Upon arrival back to Dubrovnik, Reem and Amru were taken by the red Balila oldtimer to their hotel while guests each lit a sparkler to their life!
May you sparkle on dear people!
It was an experience of a lifetime for us too :)

I know this is not a standard blog post I make and just tell a story. I hope you don't mind the personal touch it has, it just has such a huge impression on me that I couldn't speak of it any other way. And I hope it only serves as inspiration :)

Final thank you goes to Mama Reem, Amru's mother who has been there from moment one and who had a major input in entire wedding. It's the first Mother of a Groom ever that I today see as a friend :)

******
For the start of your own fairy tale wedding, contact us at info@dubrovnikevent.com
We can't wait to make your dreams come true!

Ines

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dubrovnik countryside wedding- Nataly & Stuart and their fairy-tale wedding

Photography by Yann Audic
This wedding truy speaks a story of Dubrovnik being a perfect destination wedding location, where one day you can have a beach party overlooking fireworks, another day a countryside wedding and a third day island barbecue far from the city crowds.
This is a story of a stunningly beautiful and absolute fairy-tale wedding of Nataly & Stuart...

Photography by Yann Audic
Day 1. Meet and greet event, which we so warmly recommend to all of our clients as it's a perfect opportunity for people to meet, mingle and create an even better vibe for the wedding to come. Nataly and Stuart chose their venue far in advance and there was no question about it. It was a Dubrovnik Summer Festival opening day and the Banje beach club was a perfect place for this. After initial drinks fireworks cracked up and announced a perfect start of a perfect weekend. May the celebrations begin!
Of course our bride made it an early night only to be as fresh as it gets for what's to come....

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved.
Nataly and her bridesmaids were getting ready in a lovely old town apartment, breakfast and champagne were delivered at the just right time and the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic! Photographer Yann Audic captured these special moments just ideally and I was thrown away by the beauty of the photography.

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved.
Hair and makeup team of Zrinka's Hair Salon did a superb job and it was just the right time to put on The Dress, one of the most beautiful, if not the throne one I have ever seen, made by Inbal Dror , one of the most amazing wedding dress designers.

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
Flowers were a gentle combinations of creams, pastels made in a rustic and charming style. Impeccable prepared by our florists Pat Rea.

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
Stuart and his entourage got to the old town after the initial getting ready in stunning and most luxrious local hotel- Villa Dubrovnik but first stopped for a drink with friends and family in a lovely and more importantly shaded Revelin restaurant and bar.

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
 And before we knew it, it was ceremony time! Nataly and Stuart chose the most magnificent ceremony venue in Dubrovnik, medieval Sponza Palace which has hosted so many I do's in her history and holds so many special moments of so many special people.

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
It was time for that final walk, just before the ceremony, one of my favorite times in all weddings, of the bride, her father and her bridesmaids. Such a special excitement you are rarely to experience in your life- a perfect blend of positive nervousness, adrenaline and utter true excitement.

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
Ceremony was neither too long nor too short, just the right timing. With just the right readings and special vows. This is always the most stressful part of the day, both for the couple and the planner, and after the ceremony a whole new vibe is in- that amazing, wedding relaxed vibe that makes us addicted of it!

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
And while the newlyweds took photos around the glorious Old town, guests enjoyed a refreshing cocktail before the favorite part of everyone's day- a panoramic cruise by the 16th century galleon replica Karaka. Boat cruise on a wedding day is something everyone truly enjoys, they discover a child within, enjoy the breeze, music and the backdrops. Nataly and Stuart made it even more special as they booked a local Dalmatian trio Laus for the boat journey to Cavtat, on their way to a stunning Dubrovnik countryside- Konavle...

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
The day was just perfect- sunny, warm but crisp. Nataly and Stuart's wedding guests enjoyed a 2 hour panoramic cruise, sipped perfectly chilled champagne and nibbled on local on spot carved local prosciutto and cheese. You'd think it doesn't get better than that. But it did...

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
Stunningly beautiful Konavle region, known for its natural beauties, charm, fantastic produce and amazing cheeses, oh and let's not forget the great wines too in its heart, in its valley holds the renowned restaurant Konavoski Dvori. It is located right on the waterfalls of the beautiful river Ljuta and is resting in an ancient mill by the rumbling river. The ambiance oh the ambiance. Priceless. Temperature was at least 5 degrees less than in Dubrovnik, all due to the cold river's majestic influence and it was just an ideal setting for the wedding. A true fairy tale, mid summer's dream....

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
Local delicacies, including homemade cheeses, prosciutto and of course oysters were served, well hydrated by fantastic wines of the region. Speeches were short, sweet and touching and dancing went into the night. Guests had a shuttle service organized throughout the evening and an inevitable "wedding of the year" title was proclaimed by all. As it truly was....

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
And the wedding cake you ask? Well it was just about the tastiest wedding cake ever!

Photography by Yann Audic, all rights reserved
So there you have it. The perfect countryside wedding, as it truly was. Midsummer's dream wedding. A fairy tale wedding.
Nataly and Stuart, may you stay as happy as you were that day and may you cherish your wedding memories forever.
We wish you only the best of life's toasts!
With love,
Your Wedding Planners :)

****
For more info on your fairy tale Dubrovnik wedding, we look forward to hearing from you- please contact us at info@dubrovnikevent.com it will be our pleasure to make your dreams come true too :)