Thursday, March 23, 2017

True destination wedding of Jon and Safa

I really do get spoiled in my work. I get to meet so many incredible people, I get to organize the most special and happiest time of their lives, I get to share it with them. Sure some days are tougher than others, but when it all unrolls, only the brilliant moments stay.
Jon and Safa were definitely one of those people you never forget- happy, charming, beautiful inside out- funny, open and simple. They wanted to make a three day destination wedding in Dubrovnik and capture the best of it. Jon is American while Safa is Indian. It was a dream come true for a wedding planner! Let me tell you their wedding story....

I first met Jon and Safa just about a year before their wedding. We made so many scenarios and so many plans it got me excited from the very beginnings of the wedding planning. We spent a year planning every little detail of their wedding which turned out to be one of the most amazing wedding affairs I have ever been involved in, and I cannot thank them enough for taking me aboard this special journey.
About 3 months prior to the wedding, Jon and Safa called to say Jon had a sports injury and might have to be in cast even during the wedding. But their attitudes showed the high spirits and belief in fabulous events no matter what.

Day 1 - Henna day. My favorite part of the Indian weddings. A beautifully set Abacus terrace of the stunning Excelsior hotel overlooking the old town looked especially cheerful that day. Girls were gathering while Safa had her manicure and pedicure done by our nail wonder ladies- Jasna and Alma. Tina, the mehendi artist travelled just for this event from Slovenia and we couldn't love the styles she did more.

A tasty buffet was laid out on the terrace and the day was just perfect, slightly cloudy with sun peeking out every now and then, letting us be comfortable this hot September afternoon. Champagne was flowing, guests were coming in and out (most guests stayed at Excelsior which made it easy for the events too), mingling and the ambiance was set better by the minute.
A perfect intro for the next day- hen and stag parties.
Day two was a relaxing beach day and most guests gathered on Banje beach for a swim followed by cocktails and some good music. In the evening girls headed to the beach club while the guys went to Buza bar, Dubrovnik's hipsters venue.

Around midnight, girls and guys got together to enter Dubrovnik's famous club- Culture Club Revelin, one of the world's top 100 clubs! No photos from here, and none needed. Let me tell you, Jon's cast didn't stop him from being a man of the week on the dance floor : )

Day 3- hangover and happy, a fabulous day on the island. Weather forecasts wasn't our friend, but luck was, which was more important.
Meeting in Dubrovnik old town harbour at 11 was early enough for most of the guests who partied the day before but it was a set off to one of the most beautiful days of the year. I also loved the fact that Jon and Safa decided to book a professional photographer Sinisa Stambuk for the day, when you have such a fun filled day, Iphones just don't do justice :)
This time we made sure water was flowing instead of the alcohol, but this too changed soon :)

Villa Ruza restauraunt and lounge bar on island of Kolocep was a perfect venue for a day like this. Sound of crickets in the trees along with waves hitting off the rocks was just ideal before the Indian music started. You could feel the groove in the air, I assure you of this!

Upon arrival, everyone was served a shot of homemade local limoncello to start with. enough with the water right? :)
After a relaxing lunch full of local delicacies such as shrimp tempura, beef tagliata, homemade fish and eggplant pate and their signature desserts served with fresh ice cream, it was time to hit off to the well known Dubrovnik galleon- Karaka for some Aperol and jumping off the boat!

Can you imagine this day getting any better? Hard to believe, but it did. Afternoon was spent in such a relaxing mode even our team enjoyed a drink or two. People were laughing, swimming, sunbathing, drinking and nibbling, and at moments it felt too good to be true.
After the boat some well needed rest time came before the first formal event of the wedding- Indian wedding ceremony and dinner, hosted by Revelin bistro and their fabulous Chef Zoran. Zoran and Safa's mum spent months emailing and talking to each other to plan a perfect Indian dinner. It took us some time and efforts to order everything needed, but with good will everything is possible. The treat guests were up to was unbelievable and Safa's mum spent days in the Revelin's bistro kitchen to assist in creating a true Indian dining experience.

Just as Safa was finishing her hair and makeup done by our amazing beauticians Dube and Barbara from our fav Dubrovnik beauty salon "UP" and Jon and guys were meeting up on the bar for some pre event cognac, drizzle started. I can't say it wasn't at all in forecasts but we truly hoped it would stay away. Over 100 guests came from literally other side of the world, we wouldn't let this all efforts go to waste.  Again, luck was on our side as was the giant pine tree hovering over the restaurant's terrace which managed to keep guests dry despite the drizzle that continued to fall during the night. I couldn't believe our luck, if we were anywhere else we'd have to go indoors. I just knew Jon and Safa did good stuff in their lives to earn this. They had to.

Needless to say the event captured so much attention, people stopped to take photos and enjoy the music, the views, the singing, the dancing - under the rain :)
Jon's mum, being from Hawaii, sung a beautiful Hawaiian love song, followed by Safa's parents small symbolic Indian ceremony. Garlands were made by the mothers by hand that morning while we had a whole bar fridge filled with carnations in the hotel. The amount of effort and involvement in this wedding from family and friends was simply impressive, emotional and heart touching. I could not be happier for Jon and Safa. All of our plans were coming to life with such incredible energy, it was impossible to stay objective. And the feeling of achievement and fulfillment was beyond anything.
The night was full of dance performances, singing and on screen projections of songs, photos and videos. It was so personal I couldn't think of any other idea to make it more so. They truly did it, just the way it is to be done!

The rain didnt stop all evening long yet it didn't stop anyone from having a time of their lives. We brought extra parasols from the hotel to help which were used by guests as umbrellas on their way home. Taking about reuse :)
It was hard to believe that the wedding didn't happen yet, and what we had tomorrow was best yet to come....

Day 4 The Day. Morning of the wedding. Jon texts me to say one of his groomsmen suitcases was lost in flights and in it were hankies for the guys. It was Sunday which meant an extremely limited number of shops were open but in the end we improvised with a high quality restaurant napkin. They looked smashing, and nobody could tell, thankfully they all stayed in otherwise the magic would be broken :)
Next text was to get a nice card for Safa, as Jon wanted to write personal message to her on the morning of the wedding. This was a bit easier for find and in Croatian which was a special touch as their wedding was in Dubrovnik and not their homeland.

With it, I delivered to Safa the biggest and most beautiful bouquet of all times, it was challenging to take it in the elevator I tell you! Now that's what I call a caring groom, a man she knew was the One, if she ever did need encouragement. Love truly is in the details...

Once all the preparations were done, makeup on and hair set, dress perfectly fitting, it was time for ceremony. It was a symbolic one, performed by one of their friends. So personal, touching, emotional and funny in the same time. Trust me, it's not easy to have a ceremony with all of these factored in. But again, they did it.

And there they were again- rain clouds and thunders behind the mountain. After three days of great luck, I knew we were in good hands of Lady Luck. So we simply went on, without even looking at the clouds. After the beautiful wedding ceremony overlooking Dubrovnik's magical old town, guests were ushered to the sea view terrace of Hotel Excelsior while Safa and Jon went to old town with Sinisa for some photos. Again, his cast made no difference and he walked and psoed like a groom champ :)

As the night was approaching, dark clouds were clearing up and we knew we are in for one incredible night. After each guest was seated, they were presented a Licitar heart, personalized by Jon and Safa's names, to serve as a local favor and a memento of their beautiful Dubrovnik wedding. Indulging in a fabulous 5 star meal was our next task to be followed by madly fun and personal speeches, first dance, father daughter and mother son dance and cake cutting. In between courses, guests had fun while playing Jenga on which they added personal messages for the couple to hold on for years to come when they will play the game in the warmth of their own home.

Just before the party hit off, a spectacular wedding fireworks were set off as a crown to this incredible Dubrovnik wedding week of Jon ans Safa. It truly was a night to remember.

I can't think of anything I would add for the wedding of Jon and Safa. They trully pulled it off, and did it all. Personal, happy, adventurous, delicious and fun wedding affair that will leave them and their guests with a lifetime of stunning memories. These photos are here to prove it and so are our memories we cherish onto.
And like weather these days, life is too unexpected and sometimes shows off thunders and dark clouds, but with the right attitude, it's all a story you look forward to. As we are all creators of our own luck....
Thank you once again dearest Jon and Safa, thanks to your families and friends for being so amazing with us that week and thank you two for your trust and abundance of good emotions and vibrations. Now as we see you as friends, we got a life ahead of us to celebrate.
And that's a story of the incredible Dubrovnik destination wedding of Jon and Safa. There are so many things I could wrote about more but I think you got the idea. This was one spectacular wedding!


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