Friday, January 19, 2018

Lavish wedding extravaganza in Dubrovnik of Kelly and Joel

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Kelly and Joel are definitely one of those couples every wedding planner dreams of- intelligent, successful, kind, charming, beautiful inside out and determined to have the best wedding ever.
Their story isn't long, they're not high school sweethearts but it was definitely love at first sight. They met at Kelly's brother's wedding less than two years ago and as Joel says- I knew Kelly was the one the minute I saw her. The day after the wedding he attended, Joel missed his plane (whether it was a destiny choice or too much champagne the day before, you decide!) and stayed for another couple of days with Kelly's family. And as they say- the rest is history! Little did they know, that soon enough, they will be planning their own wedding. With me of course. And in Dubrovnik of course :)

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Next few months, Kelly and Joel used every single moment they could to see each other. He lived in California and she lived on Florida, and sometimes they'd fly 8 hours just to see each other for less than 30 hours together. If visiting each other wasn't an option, FaceTime was :)
A few months later, Joel joined Kelly's family for a trip to Tuscany, from where they visited Croatia too and absolutely fell in love with the country. Joel's father was Croatian so he knew that one day, when he marries Kelly, it will be in the country of his ancestors.
Shortly afterwards, they visited Napa Valley, where Joel popped the question in Kelly's favorite winery. The tour guide pretended to take a photo of them while he bent on one knee. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty ideal to me. And they got a perfect bottle to toast to the decision of your life too. Well planned Joel!

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
After they visited Istria in site visits for the wedding planning, Dubrovnik was next as Kelly's mother Lauren insisted they see this place, the most incredible wedding place ever and needless to say- it was another love at first sight. The decision was made and we started planning their wedding only 6 months before the big day. Date was set, September 3rd as this was Joel's parents' wedding anniversary and since Joel's father passed away this was a perfect and such a beautiful way of remembering him and incorporating him in the big day.

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Planning went incredibly well organized and before we knew it, they were all here ready for the celebrations to start!
Day one we organized a rehearsal dinner for closest family and friends in one of my favorite restaurants in Dubrovnik's area Orsan Gverovic in the village of Zaton. Fresh fish delicacies, right next to crystal clear sea and the sound of waves was a perfect start of a perfect weekend.

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Day two was reserved for wine road trips with an evening off so they can relax for the Meet and Greet party Kelly and Joel planned for their guests. Plan A was a whole evening sunset cruise on the Dubrovnik galleon. But sometimes things don't go as planned. That's where a planner comes in handy :)
The forecast was so bad we had to change venues. Imagine the challenge of this task on the first weekend in September, and a Saturday night on top of that. With a bit of luck and a whole lot of contacts and experience, we managed to organize in literally a few hours only an alternate venue with lights, music and catering all booked that day. How lucky we were that Sponza Palace was available that evening?

photo by Dino Avdić, all rights reserved

photo by Dino Avdić, all rights reserved

photo by Dino Avdić, all rights reserved
The evening was more than a success with an early night ending to make sure everyone is in their best mode for the next day, The day, The Wedding Day.
We all woke up to a bright sunny day. Forecast showed slight showers in the early afternoon, just in time to clear out for the amazing ceremony we had planned out. I was perfectly fine with this forecast, as long as it really stayed like that.
Flowers arrived, champagne was flowing, breakfast delivered to the Dubrovnik's most luxurious address - Villa Sheherezade. This was where the bridal party got ready while the guys had the aged whiskey in newly refurbished Hotel Excelsior's presidential suite. If you ask me, I am not sure which of the two would be my choice, but in all my honesty, these are by far the most spectacular places to get ready in Dubrovnik. As you will see in photos to come :)

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
One of the most numerous bridal processionals ever went flawlessly and entrance of Kelly and her father made even me emotional. Weddings like this nobody forgets.
It was a symbolic ceremony, and text was written personally by the bride and groom, with a magical background curtain of the sounds string quartet made. Framed by palm trees and the sound of waves hitting off the cliffs under the villa, it was a setting that stays still to remember for a lifetime. Like Proust's Madelaines, literally.

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Specially chosen Croatian wines and apetizers were served while the string quartet played their best of arrangements. Meantime, dozens of people were finishing the set up of one of the most beautiful weddings Dubrovnik has seen.

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
I wish I did a before and after photo of the spectacular Art Gallery - Dubrovnik Museum of Modern Art venue. But since I didn't, let me show you the end result. Chosen wedding color shades of green and burgundy matched perfectly with the gallery's terrace and the sounds of sax player and DJ tuned in to the modern part of it. It was a moment when guests started coming in and stayed in utter awe, I got goosebumps. That doesn't happen that often you know.

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved



First dance took place immediately upon seating followed by sumptuous wedding dinner. And then the unimaginable happened- it started to rain, against all forecast odds! Our dear guests managed to finish their main course just before we moved tables in the covered arched area of the art gallery- dessert was casually served and the party was already on- along with dancing in the rain.
When the shower was at it's peak, Kelly and Joel cut their wedding cake and pressed the button which started off the fireworks in their honor. 
What a way to start the party!





Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved
Today, when I ask Kelly and Joel what their favorite part of the wedding is- after exchanging their personal life vows they say it was the fireworks they watched hugged under the umbrella. And this ladies and gentleman is the way to do it- some things you don't plan, but do take the best life gives you.
Cheers dearest Kelly and Joel- it has been a true honor and more than a pleasure being your wedding planner!

Photos by Mihoci studios, all rights reserved

Vendor Credits:
Wedding planner: Dubrovnik Event (Ines & Marin)
Photo and Video: Mihoci Studios
Ceremony music: Dubrovnik String Quartet
Sax player: Ivo Prodan
Flowers: PatRea
Catering: Lokrum d.o.o.
Hair and makeup: Hair salon UP
Accommodation: Adriatic Luxury hotels
Venue: Art Gallery Dubrovnik (Museum of modern art)







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