Today I want to talk about the misconceptions about destination weddings in Croatia that I’ve encountered during my years as a wedding planner. During my work and communication with couples from all over the world, I have noticed that some misconceptions and myths about planning and having weddings here in Croatia are more common than others. I’ve made the top 8 list that I want to discuss today. Here it goes!
MYTH #1 – Croatia is a very cheap country, I can have a complete wedding here for pennies!
Busted. Yes, Croatia is still cheaper than many European countries such as the UK, France and Italy. However, do not expect to have a full wedding with a photographer, perfect setting, a rich high-quality menu, band and other elements for 3000 pounds (for 50 guests). Yes, you may have eaten a perfect meal in one of the beautiful seaside villages while listening to a cool guy in the background and paid 10 pounds or 15 euros for two, but keep in mind that wedding costs are completely different from your regular night out. You want your wedding venue to be extraordinary, private just for you, and you want the food to be high quality with a perfect taste. Unfortunately, you can’t expect that you’ll get all of that in the middle of tourist season for 30 euros per person. Add a professional high-quality photographer, music, legal paperwork costs etc, etc, and your budget will grow. Maybe this sounds upsetting, but I wanted to share this as I often receive unrealistic requests to organize a complete wedding for 30-50 guests for a very small budget. The good news is that a destination wedding in Croatia typically still costs less than in many other countries!
What to do? If your budget is minimal, why not elope to Croatia or just cut down the guest numbers to a minimum? Also, you can choose less expensive months (May, June, September, October) and plan a mid-week wedding – this will lower the costs. I’ve organized weddings for 15-20 guests and they were just as much fun as a 150 guest celebration.
MYTH #2 – I have to start planning my wedding in Croatia many months in advance
Busted. Recently I have received quite a bunch of last-minute inquiries, and while it’s a completely normal practice in many countries, you do not have to plan so much in advance for a wedding in Croatia. Why? Many reasons, such as that many vendors and even venues do not take bookings for that far in the future. There’s also a possibility that new exciting venues will be opened in the near future, or that your selected venue could make some changes that you will not like. The costs of things are also changing every year so it will be hard to make a budget. You also can’t submit the documents so early, you don’t know about the flight schedule yet and there are so many other tiny details factored in.
What to do? I completely understand that you are excited and can’t wait to start your wedding plans rolling. Don’t hesitate to contact your wedding planner with initial questions, and we will try to help you as much as possible! One thing I’d definitely suggest is coming to Croatia in spring or summer to check out the venues together with us, talk to us and just feel the atmosphere in Croatia. You can have a nice holiday or a weekend getaway out of it!
MYTH #3 – We love this small town for our wedding, but there’s not enough accommodation for our guests
Busted. Unless your village of choice is reaaaally small, there’s always accommodation available. Croatia is one of the most advanced countries in Europe when it comes to private accommodation, so even if the small town does not have a bigger hotel there are always great villas, rooms, apartments or B&Bs available.
What do to? Contact your wedding coordinator, we’ll help you with advice, tips and bookings. Be aware that private accommodation is not exactly the same as hotels, but it has a different charm to it!
MYTH #4 – Croatia has hundreds of miles of beaches, I can’t wait to get married on a golden sandy beach!
Busted. Yes, Croatia has long beaches, bays, bigger and smaller islands, however, most of them are rocks or pebbles. Sandy beaches are rare and the sand here is not like in the Caribbean!
What to do? Beaches are the most sought locations here and it’s perfectly understandable! There are quite a few beaches or right-by-the beach venues that are the perfect choice for a wedding. Your wedding planner can explain the options and erase that white sandy beach from your mind! Croatia’s beauty is wilder!!
MYTH #5 – I will just go and buy flowers in the market, Croatia is in the South, they will have everything!
Busted. Unfortunately, no matter how much I wish that was true, it is not the case. There’s just a small selection of flower types and colors in the local markets, so it would be very challenging to get the wedding decorated or bouquets made just from what you find in the market.
What to do? To have the flowers you want, they need to be pre-ordered at least a week in advance. Your wedding coordinator can help you!
MYTH #6 – I am passing through Croatia on my European trip, I will spend 3 days here – just enough to get married!
Busted. Except for the fact that you need to have your documents submitted a month in advance, you also need to attend the registry meeting 48-72 hours before the wedding and the registry working hours are usually only until 13:00, best case – 16:00.
What to do? If you’re thinking of eloping, plan a minimum of 4 full days in Croatia. Your wedding coordinator can give you all the information about the legal paperwork and other requirements.
MYTH #7 – My local registry has provided different paperwork information than my wedding planner/Croatian registry. I will listen to my local registry
Busted. Just don’t. You are getting married in Croatia and you need to follow the Croatian law. Period.
What to do? Your wedding coordinator can guide you through the forest of bureaucracy confusion.
MYTH #8 – I can get married in the church and the civil registrar on the same day
Busted. No, the two ceremonies can’t take place at once or on the same day.
What to do? If you’re lucky, you will have the possibility to have your civil wedding ceremony before or after your church wedding. However, some churches require your marriage certificate already in advance, so you may need to get married a few days or a week earlier, or even in your own country before your church wedding Croatia. Your wedding coordinator will guide you, based on your own personal circumstances.
About the Author
Dalmatia Events is a full-service wedding coordinator based in Split, Croatia who specialise in planning destination weddings throughout Dalmatia and Croatia. Milda and her team routinely work with couples from around the globe to plan beautiful weddings in locations such as the Islands of Hvar, Brac, Vis and Pag, and the cities of Split and Dubrovnik, along with many other locations in Croatia. Dalmatia Events work with the finest wedding vendors in Croatia to coordinate the entire process, and ensure that your dream of a perfect wedding in Croatia is realised.
Contact Dalmatia Events: www.weddings-croatia.com
Photography: Maja Jokic