Friday, March 19, 2021

Our favorite eight wedding money saving tips


We all know that as soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’ anywhere and in any context, people’s pupils turn into money. And don’t worry, that’s the way it is all over the world – people probably think that when you’re get married they can charge you a higher price tag. While you won’t be able to avoid these situations completely, we bring you eight tips on how to wisely save on your wedding expenses without seeming stingy.

1. LOOK OUT FOR THE SALE SIGN – they are really everywhere if you look closely- from lingerie to designer wedding dress shops, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. Especially nowadays! And you know what else? You just need to ask! And you will be surprised to see that the answer is very often „Yes“ – you’ll get 10% in almost all stores upon first request. Even in those high fashion stores! My husband actually taught me this little sneaky trick and since then, I’ve been a real sales huntress and a proud owner of several fantastic designer pieces that I bought at amazing prices, including my designer wedding shoes that I still wear (a decade later ;)). Timing is crucial here, so ask your maid of honor to keep you company in in this scavenger hunt. Even if you don’t find anything, at least you’ll have a good time! Just be careful not to spend more than planned, then all of our efforts go down the drain!

2. Buy second-hand! I know, second hand and weddings should not be in the same sentence. But it’s possible – lots of you rent a wedding dress and a wedding suit, right? And how about a wedding dress from Amazon? I have a few friends who not only bought fantastic dresses at fantastic prices, but also gained new friends who gave them some advice on organizing a wedding after trying on the dress. Two flies in one hit! Smart isn’t it?

3. Take advantage of your talented friends! Don’t ever hesitate to ask for help, advice or good quality vendor contac. Personally, I have experienced this countless times and I am always happy to help – not only that, but I am even a little offended when I realize that my friends organized everything and didn’t ask a single question! We are here to help each other! Of course, you want to look for the help of friends who understand your style and who can direct you to the right address(es), saving you time and money. If a friend’s mom makes great cakes and is retired – ask if she is interested in jumping in with her talent and earning some extra cash. But remember, if you’re inviting a friend to a wedding and she’s a wedding photographer by profession, don’t expect her to take professional pictures of your wedding. He or she is either a guest or a photographer. As much as we don’t like it when you don’t ask us for some help, we especially don’t like when you invite us as guests and expect us to work.

4. Buy now and sell later! Today, a lot of local companies rent a variety of inventory for weddings, from glasses, plates and chairs to small details for decorations. You may not believe it, but sometimes you can benefit from buying in bulk and reselling it later. Believe me, I don’t advertise Amazon, but on that page you can get rid of all the purchased stuff that are in good condition in the blink of an eye – who knows, maybe even make money! Even better, if you know someone who is getting married and has a similar vision, you can share the cost. Get involved in local forums and interact with brides from your region, you will be amazed how much you can learn from each other and save together.

5. DIY, but be smart while doing it! I always struggle with this advice. I have seen so many times that the “DIY” project went wrong and almost ended in wedding disasters. But! If you are careful and choose smartly what you’ll do and with whom, your wedding can get a new personalized dimension that you will be especially proud of! I don’t recommend DIY makeup and hair on the wedding day (some things are better left to professionals on such an important day) or relying on your cousin’s new Iphone which has insanely good camera, the only and greatest physical memory of the most important day in the life. But you can make invitations, thank you cards and gifts, buttonholes, seating plan and menus, and maybe even cute little candlesticks. Here, choose assistants wisely and carefully and in return cook for them something delicious and open a bottle of good, chilled champagne. It’s celebration time, isn’t it?

Dubrovnik Event 8 tips on how to save wisely on a wedding 05
Photography: Mihoci Studios

6. Say your I DO’s and dance until dawn at the same place! If you are not getting married in a church, you know that the location’s, the costs of the registrar outside of the registry office, the chairs, the decorations and other big little things for the wedding ceremony have reached serious heights. Why don’t you think of a location that can accommodate both your ceremony and dinner? Or maybe they have a garden in front of the restaurant that can be beautifully arranged and then you can reuse all that decoration from the ceremony again for dinner (make sure you communicate it all well and know the point of who does what between the ceremony and dinner so this part is done flawlessly). This way, you will not only save bucks, but also time, because the guests will not bother to drive between several locations, and you know, we all prefer that once we come, we don’t move much.

7. Skip the cake! Or some other traditional wedding item that most of the newlyweds have because they’ve always been there. Who says you have to have a wedding cake at your wedding? Choose what really matters to you and focus your budget on those items. Items that are not too important may be on hold and finally, who can take them out if not you! Whose wedding is it, after all?

Dubrovnik Event 8 tips on how to save wisely on a wedding 07
Photography: Mihoci Studios

8. Plan! I can’t stress this enough. Maybe because it’s my profession, but trust me, planning can make the biggest difference in the whole process. Cleverly planned expenses (let Excel become your best friend!) can help you see where you’re spending more than you should / like / want and bring you closer to the idea of total cost and all those little expenses you didn’t think of. Think underwear. Or his belt. Or petals that guests will throw away after the ceremony (and you’ll need about 50 roses for that for sure!). And so on, and so on. Plan and leave nothing to chance.

And finally, when it’s all over – burn the budget. Not a computer, just a budget! No use in crying over spilled milk, right? After the wedding, you want to have memories of the most wonderful moments. Yes, creating those memories will cost you a real fortune in the most cases, but when it’s all over, don’t think about the cost anymore. What you planned, you planned. It’s time to start with the new budget, the marriage-home budget. In another blog, I will write about ways to save in that department. For now, enjoy locating as cost effective eco-friendly confetti as possible – how about those garden roses from grandma’s garden?


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

TV weddings & Netflix

 

I would like you to think about this for a moment: when was the last time you watched a movie (or even a cartoon!) where you didn't see at least one wedding scene? If you haven’t noticed this trend so far, please pay attention to it and you will know exactly what I am talking about! Weddings are so trendy that even Tarantino incorporates them into his scenarios. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but you got the point.

As unbelievable as this may sound, I just LOVE weddings. Love. Really love. Without pretending, without exaggeration or any bamboozling - not only do I love to organize them (and my favorite part of the organization is the wedding day itself) but I live for the day when the postman brings me an invitation to a wedding where I am a real guest (although , I'm never really just a guest if you know what I mean, but I love that part too!). Now that I have shared this with you, it is time to say that I naturally also love movies and everything that has anything to do with weddings - commercials, cartoons, reality shows. All of it! And I have to admit that I was born at a good time, because my dears - everything, everything these days is about weddings!

Today a bit different post than usual, since we are spending so much time with remote  control in nour hands this year and Netflix became some sort of a friend these days . So let's go through Netflix wedding movies guide for those "hygge" winter evenings under the blanket when the fiance falls asleep. Don’t take advantage of a man’s goodwill to watch just about every wedding movie, rather use it for The Shoes (not a movie, actualy shoes for your wedding day ;)). Or that veil that costs like a loan installment for an apartment, but you know deep down inside, and I mean REALLY  know that it was secretly made just for you.

Therefore, prepare a large bowl of popcorn (not only are they convenient, but they also have much less calories of all the snacks so you have an excuse you are taking care of your bridal looks), your favorite blanket and take a remote in your hands! Netflix has brought romantic comedies back into an absolute trend!

1. Mamma Mia! - this is an unforgettable classic of the modern era if you are preparing for a wedding. You have no idea how many times I have heard brides saying they want the reincarnation of a Mamma Mia wedding on their special day. I can bet your fiancé  won't watch this, so plan the movie night with your friends or solo - it is always a good choice! And yes, first part is much better than second, but do watch them both J

 


2. Decoy Bride - When the paparazzi sabotage the wedding of international film star Lara and English writer James, they decide to move the wedding to a remote Scottish island. But it is not so easy to deceive journalists, and the couple will have to decide on much more drastic measures. This is where Katie shows up -  she is chosen to be a fake bride to mislead the paparazzi. When Katie meets James, sparks start flickering between them and things get complicated… An interesting story development that you can watch with your fiancé and here and there mention which scenario would happen to him if something like that came to  his mind.

 





3. Meet the parents - I don't know about you, but I've watched this movie a dozen times. And you could possibly watch this one with your fiancé. The biggest nightmare for our better halves is the disapproval of the bride’s father, and in this case - is truly turning into a nightmare.  A great combination of Ben Stiller and Robert de Niro in this solid comedy where we hope that love conquers everyone, even the father-in-law who is a former CIA agent.

 


4. The Week of - Adam Sandler is one of Netflix’s top comedians and their biggest star. In this combination with the hilarious star Chris Rock -  they play fathers of the future newlyweds who spend the week together before the wedding date. A decent comedy, which, again, could work with your fiancé.

 




5. Bachelorette (2012) - although there really are no good reviews about this one, this romantic comedy with a very good cast is, to me personally, hilarious. Some would describe this movie as a female "Hangover" because the plot gets complicated by every minute. Recommendation: watch with maid of honor and / or bridesmaids. And be sure to indicate which actions from the movie are strictly forbidden, so that they don't think that you are giving them ideas for your hen party.

 


6. Jenny's wedding - Jenny is finally getting married (speaking of which - have you seen the movie Muriel is getting married? If not, it's a warm recommendation (blast from the past, as it's quite old J)!), and her extremely traditional Catholic family, which drives her crazy every day and comments about her biological clock,  is relieved.  But it's not that simple- Jenny is a lesbian and marries the chosen one of her heart, Kitty. Watch an interesting, fun and touching romantic comedy with your friends, girlfriend or sister - this is likely not the material for your boyfriend.

 





7. Wedding Unplanned – icing at the top of the cake! When she finds the wedding planner's business card in Mathias's pocket, Alexia immediately says "Yes", unaware of the fact that the card belongs to his mistress. An hour and a half of good fun and just believe me - from personal experience I can tell you that this is a scenario that does not happen. Although you'll probably rethink hiring a wedding planner when you see this movie, will you :D?



What are your favorite wedding related movies? Tell us! :)



Monday, December 7, 2020

COFFEE WITH THE BRIDE: Jessica Cole

 


Hello, my name is Jess. My husband, Matt, and I married at Grand Villa Argentina in Dubrovnik in July 2018. I am a cabin manager for an Airline and my husband works in banking. We live in a small town in Surrey, UK. We got engaged in November 2016. My husband proposed in Fort Myers, Florida at sunset after 8 years of love. It came to me by complete surprise as we had been in a relationship for so long a proposal just wasn't on my radar. Read below how our wedding journey looked like!

 

Photo by Veronica Arevalo, Svadbas Photography

How two of you meet each other? What is your engagement story?

Matt and I met at work in a bank in the UK. We had some friends in common and started socializing outside of the office, our relationship blossomed very organically with little no pressure for a long term relationship. Before we knew it we had fallen in love.

How you decided to have a wedding in Dubrovnik? How your friends and family reacted when they heard about your wedding location?

We love to travel and were lucky enough to be able to go on 2-3 overseas trips a year. We visited Dubrovnik for a weekend early on in our relationship and were captured by its beauty, climate and fabulous hospitality. Once engaged , we explored a few different options for a destination wedding but Dubrovnik had already won our hearts.

 What was the most stressful thing about your wedding planning?

I truly cannot think of anything that caused either of us any stress. Ines and Matea covered EVERYTHING. I loved taking a back seat with regards to logistics, we just had the joy of choosing the creative elements. For example the flowers, I provided some photos and inspiration and on the day they blew me away. They were a hundred times better than I could ever have imagined. I did not have to worry about any coordination on the day, Matea ensured that everything went to plan and made sure our day was absolutely perfect.

 

Photo by Veronica Arevalo, Svadbas Photography

What was your 'must have' for the wedding?

For us, it was intimacy. We both were adamant we didn't want a huge wedding as we are both quite introverted. We had approximately 45 close friends and family who we are so blessed to have in our lives.  

 

How did you feel just before you walked down the aisle?

I forgot how to walk in a straight line, there was so much concentration required. Matea gave me so much practical and emotional support and it's these kinds of details and kindness that brides will never forget.

Photo by Veronica Arevalo, Svadbas Photography

What worried you the most night before the wedding?

I was anxious with excitement rather than worry. I had a lovely pamper evening with my cousin who was my bridesmaid and just indulged in pure relaxation.

Looking back, is there anything you would change?

Retrospectively, we both wish that we chose to have a videographer. The day just goes do quickly , I would love to be able to watch it all on replay over and over again

 

Photo by Veronica Arevalo, Svadbas Photography

What was the funniest thing that happened on the day?

We loved the speeches, one of our dear friends wrote the funniest speeches including all of the embarrassing, cringe worthy yet hilarious stories from over the years. The kind you never wish your family to ever learn.

 

What 3 advices would you give to other brides planning their wedding?

·       If you are on a budget prioritize what is most important to you to make sure you include all of your favorite things

·       Factor in some time after your ceremony for you and your husband or wife to take it all in, have some water and top up your lipstick as when you return to your guests time will fly as you are having such a great time.

·       Don't be afraid to let go of control of the planning/logistics. Ines and Matea are fantastic at what they do and will bring your vision to life.

 

Photo by Veronica Arevalo, Svadbas Photography







 

 

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

LUXURY IN WEDDINGS

 

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!

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.

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.

 

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.

 

      
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.

 

 

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?

 


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

10 MISTAKES THAT BRIDES MAKE REGULARLY AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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’.

 

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 :) .

Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

7.      You go OTT with the decoration. 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.



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.


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.


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!

Photo by Veronica Arevalo, all rights reserved

 


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

WEDDING MENU TIPS & TRICKS

 

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!

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.

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 😊



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 :D ), 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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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!

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.

Photo by Mihoci Studios, all rights reserved

That's it -  ten tips that could help you choose a menu. And you thought that was a simple part?

Good luck and bon appetite!