When we first started planning our wedding, we had a crazy idea: let’s have a small intimate wedding in a romantic location with our favorite people! Of course, as you can imagine, it’s almost impossible to organize a small wedding if you’re from the Balkans - anything below 300 guests is just not doable. However, with the current pandemic situation, we got a chance to do just that. One of the perks of having up to 100 guests is that you can focus on details. We had one goal when it came to organizing it: We wanted our guests to feel special, to relax, and just have fun! Below are a couple of details from our wedding that we loved and would absolutely choose again.
Gift for hotel guests
I am from Slavonija, my husband is from Herzegovina, and our wedding took place in Herzegovina. Obviously, most of my guests had to travel to our wedding location and some of his as well. Being aware of the pandemic and the length of travel, we were very grateful to all our amazing guests who took the time and made an effort to come and share our day with us. So, when they arrived at their hotel rooms, they were welcomed with a bottle of premium Herzegovina wine (which was also served at our wedding dinner) along with a heartfelt note from us. We wanted them to know we are thankful they are here and to give them something to relax after a long trip :)
We appreciate good food and quality drinks, so we made sure we offered the same to our guests. Nothing too over the top, just the same food and drinks that we would usually eat and drink. Also, every guest was greeted with a menu and drink list on their plate, along with a few words from us.
Personally, we were not fans of wedding favors that don’t have a purpose, especially souvenirs with photos of the wedding couple. For that reason we chose to give every one of our guests something connected to the location of our wedding (Herzegovina) - we agreed on local extra virgin olive oil.
Instead of a band, we opted for a DJ. Music was very important to us because we wanted us and everyone else to just have fun and be on the dance floor because they want to, not because they think they have to. We made a list of songs we love and want to hear. Also, we did the same with our family and friends and asked them ‘What songs will make you happy and make you go to the dance floor?’. And it was way better than we expected - we got so many praises for the DJ and songs that he played and everyone was on the dance floor all the time. We could see and hear that everyone was having fun - mission accomplished.
Tradition vs. us
The thing that usually bothers us with weddings is that there are always things/traditions that have to be done because of tradition/parents/what people would say. Also, weddings sometimes start early in the day and by the time the wedding dinner starts everyone is already exhausted and struggling to find the energy to dance and have fun. That is why we didn’t have most of those traditions; we did what was right for us and our guests so that nobody feels obligated to do anything and that they are fresh when the dinner starts and not tired and sleepy because they had a long day.
The usual ‘groom and his guests go to pick the bride up’ is not something we considered as an option. Instead, we had an intimate first look meet-up, just the two of us seeing each other for the first time (and a couple of friends peeking from the distance because they were too excited to miss it haha). It was romantic, intimate, simple, full of love.
Decorations, flowers, setting
The location of our wedding was the romantic Herceg Etno Selo which offers several wedding venues. Our first option was an outside venue, but because the temperatures outside were still a bit too low in the evening, we chose a congress/wedding venue that fits 100-something guests and adjusted our decorations/flowers budget to make it look gorgeous and romantic, i.e. better than it actually is.
Focus on what makes you happy
We love doing things together, we love when everything’s on point, and we like to keep things simple. So, first came the invitation, which we made together in 20 minutes. The hashtag came really spontaneously and everything else followed. When we designed the other things (menu, notes, signs etc), we just applied the same fonts, same paper pattern, added the hashtag #samoljubav and voila - we loved it. We didn’t spend much time choosing anything, from the big things such as the photo studio to small things like the invitation. We booked the first flower and photo studio we heard of because of a recommendation. Everything we did, we did together and that made it fun and easy, it didn’t seem like a chore, but rather just spending time together.
Venue: Etno selo Herceg