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Feedback on our wedding: A Day To Remember

Feedback on our wedding: A Day To Remember

I know I have kept you waiting, but somewhere along the way I decided that it would be pretty hard to share our wedding story without any pictures of the event…So we decided to wait until the photos arrived, and I am so happy to say that they are finally here…Which means, so is my post!
I have so many pictures & details to share, so brace yourselves…This is a long one!



~Our Wedding Day in Dubrovnik~

I was excited and nervous, but so happy that the day we had dreamed of was finally happening 🙂
I think the stars were on our side and our day was truly perfect in every way.
It seemed like there was nothing that could hold us back from the happiness that we felt and how excited we were for what was ahead!
We started the day off at the villa (Kameni Dvori), which is where we stayed for the duration of our time in Dubrovnik.
It was a beautiful place that Nina recommended to us, and we couldn’t have been happier with the choice.
We were picked up by a bus which we had rented for the day, to take us into town.
The villa was about a 40 minute drive from the Lapad Hotel, where we were to get ready.
We were so happy that we had rented a large enough vehicle for the whole day to take our group wherever we needed to go.
I can’t imagine having to worry about all of us driving…
And it was really fun to share that time together, instead of worrying about traffic.
If there is anything about Dubrovnik that is not to be liked – it’s the traffic.
It’s hectic, unpredictable, and you are certainly bound to miss a turn and get lost at least once or twice.
With a tightly scheduled day, it was great to know that we had a reliable transfer to and from each place, and that we would all arrive there at the same time.
We used a company recommended to us by Nina, and we were able to secure a driver and the bus for the entire day, which helped eliminate the stress of scheduling everything to a tee, as the bus was always ready for us when we were ready to go.
We enjoyed the scenic drive into town early in the morning, and arrived on schedule at the hotel, with our team of two, a makeup artist, Daniela, and Doris, a hair stylist, arriving just as we got there. The hotel staff kindly took all of our bags and items to two separate locations (one for the boys & one for the girls), while we enjoyed a coffee on the hotel’s terrace with Daniela & Doris.
After the caffeine boost, we made our way to our respective rooms.
 I had some time to touch up my nails, take a few photos and get organized, while the rest of the girls were having their hair and makeup expertly applied.
Daniela and Doris were wonderful. Very professional, but fun and goofy at the same time.
They really took the time to make sure we all looked our best.
The morning went by rather quickly, and since my hair & makeup were the last to be done, I spent most of the time prior, making sure all things were good to go.
Our wedding planning team, Nina & Dragica were not with us, as they were quite busy setting up the ceremony location. Luckily, all things went smoothly that morning, and just as I was about to get my turn in the beautician’s chair, our photographers arrived.
They were a little behind schedule, but it was nothing to worry about, as they still had plenty of time to set up their equipment, photograph our rings and other little items, before I got beautified.
And let me tell you….I got beautified alright!
The girls truly did a wonderful job.
We ran a little bit late with our preparations, and had to notify Nina to push back the ceremony by about half an hour. It was nice to know that we didn’t have to rush, and to know that someone was there to take care of little glitches like that for us.
The bus driver was promptly waiting for us at the hotel lobby by the time we were finally ready to go, so we made sure we had all of our belongings and off we went to the Grand Villa Argentina.

We got married at the Grand Villa Argentina, Dubrovnik

Luckily, just before the ceremony, I had a few seconds to run out and see the decorated terrace, and it’s probably a good thing…
It was a heavenly sight, really.
It was so beautiful, it took my breath away.

Seeing all the handmade touches, stunning architecture, the beautiful, sparkling sea and the old city in the distance, was just too much to take in all at once. I could feel the tears coming on..So I scurried back before I could burst into a sob.
With everyone already dressed for the event, I had only a few minutes to slip into my dress, which was waiting for me in a beautiful sitting room at the GVA. Thank you, GVA hotel staff, for making this possible!!! The room was beautiful & so elegant…A perfect space for a few quick snapshots 🙂
I remember the moment just before stepping out onto the aisle, with my dad, and it was the most nervous/excited/elated feeling I can ever remember feeling.
As I walked down the aisle, I became even more overwhelmed, seeing my family & friends, and of course….
My love…
The ceremony was short & sweet and very beautiful.
Our officiant, Anita, is truly one of the warmest souls, and filled the ceremony with so much heartfelt emotion.
The readings were done in both English and Croatian, followed by our vows and declaration of marriage.
The moment after we were announced husband and wife, somewhere in the distance, a ship sounded her horn, almost as if giving us a blessing.
It was perfectly timed, and got a good chuckle out of everyone 🙂
After the ceremony, we took a few minutes to enjoy a celebratory toast, along with some pictures on the grounds.
Right after the ceremony, we drove about 45 minutes away, to an arboretum in Trsteno to escape Dubrovnik during the peak touristy hours.
It was perfect to be there in the afternoon, avoiding the cruise ship crowds in the old city.
 Trsteno is one of the most idyllic places we have ever had the pleasure of visiting…On our last trip to Croatia, I remember thinking how beautiful wedding photos would look with a backdrop as gorgeous as that of the vast lookout points, magical gardens and beautiful old buildings…
What a dream come true it was to have had an opportunity to have our wedding photos taken there.
And I have to say, they turned out to be even more amazing than we could have imagined!
We spent about an hour in the park’s grounds, taking pictures, while the rest of the group tried to take refuge in the shade whenever they possibly could.
It was a hot day, somewhere in the 40’s and layers upon layers of clothing didn’t do any of us good.
I, on the other hand, was feeling so happy, that I barely noticed the heat.
I also brought a pair of back-up flats, which saved my life!!!
Walking up and down cobbled, hilly streets is a nightmare in heels.
I felt awful for the girls who wore 4 inch heels almost the entire day.
Bruised toes and blisters in tow, we all made it through the hottest part of the day, and just as we arrived back into the old city, the sun was easing up, the crowds were slightly more manageable, and we were all in desperate need of a refreshment.
We had no idea what await us after getting off the bus, though…
It was a little bit strange, but the moment we stepped on the street, about a thousand eyes re-directed towards us!
We felt like celebrities walking the streets,
with crowds upon crowds of tourists who wanted to get a glimpse and take a picture!
It was the most surreal feeling, being surrounded by sooo many people, all just looking at us!
It was very strange, but sort of wonderful, too! We could genuinely feel the happiness in the air, as the crowds cheered, congratulating us in their respective languages, taking pictures, and spreading the love in our name.
It was a moment that we will never forget.
After our walk of fame, we enjoyed a coffee and some refreshments before getting back on our feet for more pictures.
After our refreshment break, we hit the streets of the Old City.
{I may or may not have stopped to do some shopping along the way 🙂 }
We almost walked the entire Old City promenade, and even enjoyed a dance on the Stradun, as our photographers (along with about a million other people) snapped away with their cameras…
It was incredible getting to share our day with so many people, despite the fact that they were complete strangers.
 {a photo my dad took while we were celebrating with an Italian group of tourists}
The air was full of happiness wherever we went, and our perfect day was winding down into a beautiful evening.

Our wedding reception was at the Mediterranean Garden in Dubrovnik

Our reception was at the Lapad Hotel, where Dragica spent the afternoon decorating, while we were busy with the photos.
The reception was stunning.
Located in a beautiful courtyard just to the side of the hotel’s main terrace, it was private and romantic…Just the way we envisioned it would be.
The decor was beautiful, too. So was the company 🙂
The evening only got better once the food arrived.
A seven-course meal of beautiful seafood and traditional Croatian food, to span through the night.
For the first course, we enjoyed a lobster bisque, followed by a lovely plate of three Adriatic specialties, calamari, grilled squid, and grilled scampi.
The third course consisted of, hands-down, the most delicious pasta any of us have ever had in our lives!
A traditional pasta from the Istran region of Croatia, made with a mix of cheese, and beautiful Istran white truffles.
{Kiko & the Lapad team – bravo on the beautiful meal and especially the pasta!}
After the pasta, we enjoyed a mixed salad before the wait staff brought out beautiful, grilled lobsters for our main course.
By the time the lobsters arrived, most of us were so full that it seemed impossible to continue eating any longer. I was bursting out of my dress, Mark was experiencing severe food sweats (sorry, hunny), and the rest of the group looked like they were ready to find a quiet corner somewhere, and pass out for the night.
But we somehow managed, and most of the lobster disappeared.
Last but certainly not least, we enjoyed one of the best desserts I’ve ever had in my life.
Luckily for us, it was also the lightest dessert on offer.
A beautiful panna cotta,
piled high, with a luscious blackberry reduction, an irresistible almond brittle and of course, a hint of chocolate on top.
The combination of textures and flavors was simply delicious.
The meal was everything we had hoped for…One to be truly remembered…Being the topic of many conversations that followed on the trip 🙂
{I hope Kiko will find a soft spot in his heart to share his gourmet secrets with me so that some of these dishes may become our special anniversary creations, to remember that beautiful night}
The downside of walking all day in blistering heat, and finishing off with a meal fit for a king, was that each and every one of us was completely exhausted…And it was still quite early in the night.
After the meal, we managed to get in a teensy bit of dancing – and it is probably the only thing I would have changed about the day…I would have liked to have danced the night away…
But something is better than nothing, and we did enjoy a beautiful first dance 🙂
Mark’s family was exhausted, so we called it a night shortly after 11, since the group still had a ways to travel back to the villa.
Mark and I stayed at the beautiful hotel that night {thank you to the Hotel Lapad staff, and especially Kristina – who so kindly made all our beautiful night possible. Kristina – you were such a pleasure to work with and we are so grateful for all of your help!}
It was really lovely and such a nice way to finish off a long and tiring day.
All in all, our wedding day was pretty perfect in almost every way imaginable.
The weather was beautiful even though the forecast called for rain that day, after months and months of drought.
Everyone was in surprisingly high spirits during the day, despite all hectic traveling, the wedding stress and nerves.
Even my mom-in-law came along for the entire day’s events regardless of feeling quite ill most of the day.
Everything turned out to be even more perfect than we could have imagined…
We have to thank Nina and her team for doing all that they’ve done to make our wedding so memorable, the team at both of the hotels for their wonderful hospitality, and our AMAZING photographers, for capturing all the special moments of our day, and for their incredible endurance of following us everywhere we wished to go in that awful heat….Thank you Bostjan and the rest of the Studio Bora team!!!!!
And thank you, to all of you, who have joined us on this journey 🙂
Although we’re a little sad that we’re moving onto a new chapter in our lives and won’t be sharing any more wedding bliss with you, we loved sharing our story with you for as long as we could, and we’re so thankful to have been able to do so!
*Ivana & Mark*

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