The weddings so far...
60. Wedding ‘blues’ in Croatia
21st – 24th September 2013
Of course I mean the colour ‘blues’!
Croatia is a stunning coastal country that has so much to offer. Perfectly blue water and skies like no other place in the world. It mesmerizes me and makes me feel like I belong where I can hear it. Constantly, gently, beautifully lapping the pristine pebbled shore.
The small towns along the waters edge nestle close into the steep cliffs and offer winding narrow lanes that drag you to the sea. Stalls line the road that sails along the water offering freshly picked pomegranates, grapes and home grown honey.
It is such a beautiful place, you just have to see it to believe it.
We took our morning coffee down to the shore and sat entranced by the sound of the marble-like pebbles rolling in the wash. Dangling our feet off the edge of a collapsed sunny concrete pier we dreamed of living somewhere so stunning, asking ourselves, would we ever get anything done? could we handle having our breath taken away every morning?
Finding an abandoned restaurant led to us wandering around it creating floor plans, discussing where we would put the kitchen, where the kids would sleep…the dream of a home awoken for good.
The day was long and we explored every minute of it as we sailed along on the wind towards the city (Split) to try to catch the food market. Split, like any other industrial city was our idea of hell so we didn’t hang around for long, we waved at more cruise ships as we left and settled for a supermarket shop to stock up.
As the day came to an end we parked right on a white rock beach with the perfect turquoise water reflecting the last of the suns heat, I remember actually pinching myself to clarify that I was really there, that this really is our lives!
We had a few days left to enjoy the coast before the wedding right in the north of the country. Croatia is famous for its Islands, there are over a thousand of them varying in size with 48 of them being permanently inhabited. I visited a few of them on my last visit but it was a little more difficult (and expensive) with Peggy so we stuck to the 600km of coastline until we finally arrived in Rijeka for the wedding preparations.
The wedding was to be held on one of Croatia’s largest islands, Krk. There is a beautiful old lighthouse called Svjetionik Maltempo, and we had been invited there to hold our 60th ceremony by Events & wedding Zone.
The actual wedding day itself began in a panic as we woke up late and got lost finding the hairdressers where we were to meet the first of our wedding team.
Ivana was totally calm and not at all phased that we were a little late so we soon relaxed as she cut and styled our hair in preparation for the day. She told us briefly the plans and gave us directions to the lighthouse on the island and then we had an hour to kill before we were expected.
We found a little coffee shop and powered up for the day ahead. Krk is attached to the mainland by a bridge and from there we could see our wedding destination. As we arrived we spotted several cars parked up and people milling about with microphones, cameras and tripods and then we saw Djana from Event & Wedding Zone coming running towards us waving with a huge smile! Alex had been emailing with Djana for 9 months and it was great to finally meet her.
Once we had been hugged and introduced to everyone we were given brief instructions. The national press had come along in their droves and we had a few hours of interviewing as Djana and the team finished their preparations at the lighthouse. Everyone loved Peggy and our story, they particularly loved filming Alex ironing his shirt inside the van just before the wedding began….last minute as ever!
The lighthouse was just beautiful, all old stone and tiny doors well worn with character from years of being perched at the edge of the Adriatic Sea. The owner Zeljko was a particularly colourful character too and embraced the chance for a celebration with open arms and shot glasses of home made spirits, you guessed it, more Rakia! We politely downed glass after glass as we got ready. I was seated in the most adorable tiny room and had my make up applied in the cool while everyone buzzed about outside filming, taking the odd photograph and preparing flowers, candles, food and more for the ceremony.
The atmosphere was excitable and busy and my nerves really kicked in as I snuck into the cellar to put on my beautiful white flowing dress. Alex was made to wait outside for me to emerge but he had to come and help us pin me into it. His expertise as bridesmaid showed as he secured the dress and then went back outside to act surprised to see me for the cameras.
We laughed and had another toast (Cheers! = Zivjeli!) with the lighthouse owner and it was time to get married for the 60th time.
Ivana’s son Patrik had come along for the day and his job was to lead me down the aisle to Alex who was waiting at the end of the long pier.
As he held my hand and led me to the waters edge music began to play. Two gentlemen in striped shirts sat in a small boat on the sand playing guitar and singing beautifully as we walked slowly through the crowds towards Alex. In all the excitement Zeljko decided he would like a part too and came along down the aisle, the three of us huddled together so no-one tipped off the narrow pier.
As I reached Alex he was grinning ear to ear and I was laughing so hard at us all shuffling along to the amazing music. We were stood at the end of the long pier with the perfect aquamarine water all around us facing the beautiful little lighthouse and our guests way back on the shore. It was lovely to have some space around us and we felt really relaxed for the first time that day. Alessandra came towards us and started to read the ceremony she had prepared for us.
It was beautiful and straight from her heart. My favourite line of the entire ceremony was this
“Marriage does not belong in a place, or a country, it belongs in your heart”
It resonates so deeply with what we are learning from this adventure. We set out to find the perfect PLACE to get married but little did we know that we had that already, in each other.
It matters little about where we are, what matters is that we are together and committing to spend the rest of our lives loving one another…however, stood there on that pier in Krk, with the ever blue, ever deep water all around us I felt incredibly happy that we had the opportunity to celebrate our love right there in that spot, with all of the smiling faces around us and the beautiful music on the crisp sea air.
We are so unbelievably lucky to get to experience all of these places in our quest for the perfect place to be married but we are more aware than ever that as long as we have each other, we are home, our marriage belongs in our hearts.
I cried happy tears at every word Alessandra said after than sentence, it all rang so true, and as she pronounced us 2people1life and we kissed I felt as light as the air.
We made our way back along to the lighthouse and were congratulated over and over with kisses and rakija and wine, we answered a few questions for the cameras and on looking back to our pier saw a beautiful yacht arriving, its huge white sails reflecting Croatia’s stunning blues from both above and below and the singers kept singing as it came to a silent stop.
Djana appeared from within the crowd with a HUGE smile on her face, clutching a bottle of local wine and a hand full of glasses and invited us, the singers and our photographers aboard the boat. It was a total surprise that she had arranged for us and as we sailed away with the beautiful breeze and the beautiful voices on our skin we soaked up the view of the lighthouse from the glistening water. Our faces hurt with smiling but we couldn’t contain them, such a simply beautiful day in a simply stunning location, it was more than we could have ever asked for.
Back on dry land I changed into the ‘uniform’ of the singers and we all ate freshly caught and grilled sardines which were absolutely divine. We were all sat around laughing and talking as Djana appeared with the most amazing cake! It matched our T-shirts and the beach/ nautical theme of the day perfectly! Once the cake was devoured we ate local cheese and bread, drank great local wine and watched the sun leave the sky to a huge glowing moon, adding another blue to Croatia’s repertoire. The lights shimmered on the ever soothing wash and we drank until they shimmered in our eyes too!
As we waved our farewells we were offered a huge hamper filled with local goodies from a store so beautifully named; „Zeleno i Plavo“ which translates to ’Green and Blue’. The store, and its name, represents the combination of green Croatia, its vineyards, orchards and a variety of agricultural crops which thrive in their beautiful country and the blue sea, and all that it brings. The basket held Rakia, olive oil, wine, T- shirts from the singers, a beautiful handmade thank you card and a very special champagne which is stored in the bottom of the Adriatic Sea for one whole year during its fermentation process! The Croatians take their produce and drink very seriously, maybe we are meant to be here after all!
We slept by the lighthouse in Peggy and woke up again to the gentle lapping of the water and I decided right there and then that I could definitely wake up to this beauty every single day!
All of our thanks goes to the AMAZING team that made such a wonderful day in such a heavenly place possible!
Planning - Event and Wedding Zone | Destination - Krk Lighthouse | Singers - Klapa Nevera | Dress - Marie Vjenčanice | Hair – Frizerski Salon | Make-up – Romana Poropat | Photography – Majority by Vladimir Mudrovcic and Sandro Dobovicek | Ceremony - Alessandra | Cake – Cukerin | Cheese -Paška sirana | Gift Basket - Zeleno i Plavo | Handmade Card - He’lena unikatni ukrasi i pokloni | Video below by the fantastic Kvarner film, make sure you watch to hear the voices and to get a little taste of beautiful Croatia!