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

2 comments:

  1. This is an immaculate location for a party, wedding, or other special event. Incredible views and classy interior. I have been to a few parties here and they have been really well done. The hall was perfect for mingling. The courtyard at Chicago wedding venues was beautifully decorated as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are some of the absolutely taken photographs, it is amazing how you made the wedding venue looked absolutely amazing.
    It is said that photographer can heighten the actual value of everything he captured through photograph.

    ReplyDelete