Our fabulous couple today are not only bloomin' adorable they are the epitome of cool too. Their Croatian destination wedding is both relaxed and elegant, with palm trees, stunning views over the Adriatic Sea and Dubrovnik's ancient Old Town, and delicious details matching the surroundings perfectly. Also making me swoon is their fabulous sense of style. Bride Cristina looks heavenly in a Rime Arodaky gown, with a lace back that is simply jaw dropping, add her dashing groom James who dons a pale blue Hugo Boss blazer and bow tie, and completing the bridal party are the bridesmaids in crisp white lace dresses. Together these gorgeous humans will have you rethinking your squad style in a heartbeat. Capturing this fun and memorable wedding is the talented Jere Satamo. Be sure to look out for the coastal, golden hour portraits too as they are absolutely breathtaking.
VenueCristina the Bride: The wedding and reception for Cristina and James was held on the Palm Terrace of the luxurious Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik, Croatia in May. This 5-star seaside venue boasts views of the Adriatic Sea, Banje Beach and Dubrovnik’s ancient Old Town.
Their StoryCristina is Canadian while James is Australian but they had been living together in London, England for 5 years before getting married in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. They met in London through the bride's sister (and maid of honour) who is currently living in Sydney and engaged to James' best friend (and best man). James and his best man had met Cristina’s sister 6 years ago when travelling around Europe, while Cristina was working in London. After travels, Cristina’s sister soon relocated to Sydney to pursue a relationship with James’ best friend but James stayed to live in England, so soon met and feel in love with Cristina! Having friends and families spread across 3 countries, they chose a destination wedding in Croatia to turn it into a big holiday with everyone in a stunning sunny location.
InspirationInspiration behind the day was a mix of boho and elegance, where blue and white elements with minimalistic decor perfectly complementing the Adriatic Sea backdrop. The table plan was based around locations in London that have special meanings to the couple - areas like Putney and Vauxhall where they first starting dating to Barnes where they first lived together. Designs by Ariana (the brides other sister and joint maid of honour) put together all of the designs for the seating chart, table and name cards to fit the classic feel and colour schemes of white, periwinkle blue and black.
FashionCristina works in the fashion industry so all the outfit details on the day and of course her dress had to be perfect! She found her dream dress at The Mews bridal boutique in Notting Hill around the corner from where she worked. She initially found three dresses she loved but decided to wait to choose (always thinking about the Mulholland as her favourite). When The Mews were having a sample sale she was devastated to find out there wasn't any room left for appointments. She decided to stop by that night after the last appointment anyways and when the Mulholland sample by Rime Arodaky was there she knew it was meant to be her dress! The shoes were dreamy Rupert Sanderson Cassandra ankle strap heels in white calf with latex flowers making them truly unique and special. Although she wore a floral crown for the wedding day, she got the opportunity to wear a boho jewelled hair piece from Jenny Packham for the post-wedding photo shoot around an old abandoned hotel in Dubrovnik. She knew she wanted white midi-length and lace for her bridesmaid dresses in different styles so Rock my Wedding gave her the inspiration that you can mix-and-match from various brands. Amazingly she managed to buy them all online from Grace Loves Lace, BHLDN and Lover and they fit her sisters all perfectly! The looks were all brought together by the matching periwinkle blue shoes from Loeffler Randall, Jenny Packham bracelets, white and blue bouquets with flower head crowns. The groom wore head to toe Hugo Boss in a dashing blue blazer, bow tie, navy chinos and loafers to match the girls, while the groomsmen stayed classic and simple in black and white.
Food, Drink & EntertainmentIt was important to the bride and groom that everyone had an enjoyable time so drinks were always flowing, delicious and freshly prepared family-style sharing plates were at the tables, while the DJ ensured the dance floor was packed by playing the best tunes. One of the favourite moments was the first dance – to Love on Top by Beyonce – it started off slow, then the chorus came on and Cristina and James launched into a choreographed routine. This was expected from bride as a former dancer, but the surprise dance abilities of the groom thrilled the guests and before the song had completed the dance floor was jam packed, which is how it remained until the final song.
AdviceTo other brides planning a destination wedding and especially not speaking the native language of the chosen country, it was crucial to have a wedding planner based in the location. Dubrovnik Luxury Weddings made the whole planning process seamless and stress free - everyone kept saying how relaxed, happy and carefree the couple looked. Getting close friends to help out with hair and makeup was a really fun way to get more people involved and sourcing Jere Satamo Photography from Finland was the best decision. Not only did he capture the most beautiful, natural moments and the breathtaking setting, but he was also there for other special memories surrounding the wedding making it about more than just the one-day but the whole Dubrovnik experience.
Dress Designer: Rime Arodaky - Mulholland | Bridal Boutique : The Mews | Bridal Shoes: Rupert Sanderson - Cassandra | Headpiece: Jenny Packham | Bridesmaid Dresses: Grace Loves Lace | BHLDN | Lover | Bridesmaid Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Grooms Suit: Hugo Boss | Wedding Planner: Dubrovnik Luxury Weddings | Venue: Excelsior in Dubrovnik