Meet Ivana, Local Planner for Dubrovnik & Croatia Weddings

Croatia wedding plannerHi, I'm Ivana, your local Croatia Wedding Planner for destination weddings in Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar or Cavtat and I LOVE what I do!

Early in my career, during my experience working for a charity organization, I realized that I have a great passion for organizing events and helping people.

But it wasn't until I became a bride, that I realized weddings were my true calling! Organizing my own wedding was never stressful and, instead, gave me great pleasure. I didn't want it to end, so I joined the WOW team and I've been helping couples plan their dream wedding in my homeland of Croatia ever since.

In addition to planning weddings for the past 5 years locally, I've lived in Croatia all my life. My extensive knowledge of the best, often lesser known, venues in the country and my relationships with the finest suppliers (often not online) is going to help you create the most spectacular destination wedding experience for you and your guests!

Here are a few ways I can help you avoid the most common pitfalls of destination weddings in Croatia...


9 WAYs A LOCAL PLANNER CAN SAVE YOUR WEDDING

A much newer destination for weddings, Croatia comes with a whole host of challenges a planner can help you overcome.


Croatia historical venue sites1. HISTORICAL VENUE OWNERS SPEAK CROATIAN

One of the reasons why Croatia is so popular as a wedding destination, above and beyond the stunning sea views, is the many historical venues which offer couples gorgeous architectural sites in which to have their ceremony.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these venues are in ownership of towns, municipalities, museums, or local cultural societies; who do not publish their website in English and only communicate in the standard Croatian language. What's more, some of these venues require the venue agreement to be signed by a planning agency only - rather than with the couple directly.

These types of challenges can take historical sites right off the table for you, if you don't speak Croatian or have a local planning agency.

Luckily, with my help, all of these obstacles are overcome. 

  • I will help you find the perfect historical venue for your vision, even if it doesn't have an English website.
  • I will eliminate the communication barrier, as I am a Croatian-speaking native.
  • I will help you qualify for venue usage in those cases where a planning agency must sign the agreement. 

2. CROATIA SUPPLIERS Are IN NO RUSH

Croatia is on "Mediterranean time." Like many nearby countries, life is more laid back than what our American, UK and Australian clients may be used to.

While this type of lifestyle is fabulous to be a part of during vacation, it can wreak havoc on your peace of mind when planning a wedding from afar. It takes time to get a reply from Croatia wedding suppliers and couples often worry if everything will get done on time.

Not to fret...that' why you have me.

Knowing how local vendors operate, I have developed a foolproof wedding planning schedule with tools and communication timelines to ensure that there are no delays in executing your wedding plans.

Croatia wedding vendors3. THE BEST VENDORS AREN'T ONLINE

Even though you can find main venues and suppliers, like photographers or bands, online the very best talent rarely shows up in Google because they are so in-demand here locally that they don't need to invest in website optimization or online advertising. Their word-of-mouth referrals are enough to book them up completely.

Which means, if you're relying on your own Internet research alone, you'll never find the cream of the crop venues and vendors that give you the absolute best results and value for your investment.

If you want access to the finest vendors in Croatia, you need to have local connections.

As your planner, I'm your eyes and ears on the ground. I know all the best vendors and can connect you with resources you'd never find online. This not only includes the essentials like venues, photographers and bands, but all the additional suppliers you'll need in later stages of wedding planning that you probably won't even think about at first, such as hairdressers, makeup artists, transportation companies, boat companies, lightning, wedding favor shops, wedding entertainment and more.

4. VENDORS ARE NEW TO DESTINATION WEDDINGS

Croatia has only recently become a popular country for destination weddings, so even though there are highly talented professionals in the local wedding industry here, many of them are just discovering how destination weddings function. The concept of Croatian weddings is quite different from destination weddings and many suppliers struggle to adjust to the varying cultures and wedding styles.

The beauty of having me by your side is that I know the local wedding market so I can ensure we avoid hiring suppliers that won’t understand and accomplish your vision. And for those suppliers that we do bring on board, I will ensure they work as a team to properly execute your vision.

Croatia wedding travel considerations5. TRICKY TRAVEL

Statistics report that the average destination wedding guest spends 3-5 days in the chosen country, which means that you don’t want them to lose 2 days traveling.

Not all venues and locations in Croatia are easy to get to. For the mainland, it's critical to consider factors like local high traffic congestion times and, for island weddings, knowing the ferry or catamaran schedules is key.  The last thing you want is for guests to miss the ferry to your wedding because their flight schedule didn't coincide!

This type of information is hard to find online and, even then, schedules can change.

As a local, I can give you guidance on travel factors to consider for each region before you even choose a venue or location, help you find the right choice of transportation for your guests and make adjustments if timetables change during planning.

In the end, my goal is ensure your guests have a relaxing trip and maximize their time with you, rather than spend hours traveling to the wedding location.

6. IN CROATIA, IT'S ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW

Croatia is a small country and, as I mentioned, most business is done in person through word-of-mouth referrals and established relationships. 

In the Croatian wedding industry, your personal network is everything. Sometimes to get the right information, speed things up or even solve a last minute problem you need to know right people.

The good news is that I have an excellent local network and these relationships have saved my clients big-time on numerous occasions.

For instance, one time we had a situation in which a venue ordered the wrong type of chairs for the wedding and a replacement could not be delivered in time for the event. However, because of our incredible relations with a local caterer, they delivered their chairs to the wedding site, even though it was not even a wedding they were working on!

Croatia legal marriage requirements7. LEGAL MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS

Getting legally married in Croatia is one of the trickiest parts about planning a destination wedding here.

To start with, each town has it's own registry office with Croatian-speaking registrars, and whichever location is closest to your venue, is where you must apply.

To make matters even more complex, all documents must be delivered to registry office 30-45 days before wedding day, you need to have a Translator complete the marriage application and all documents must be translated in Croatian.

Whew! It's enough to make your head spin.

Fortunately, none of this needs to be stressful. I'll guide you through each step of the process, coordinating with the appropriate office and translator to ensure a smooth process so you can focus on way less boring wedding details.

8. HIDDEN COSTS DRIVE BUDGETS UP

Because Croatia is a relatively new destination for weddings, many couples have the misconception that Croatia weddings are cheap. This isn't completely true. 

In general, while Croatia may not be as expensive as some other Mediterranean countries, many venues can actually be more expensive when they offer seaside views or premium services. 

For this reason, it is critical to have a local champion on your side to ensure that you always get a great value on any supplier service and never overpay due to hidden markups and costs.

I'm that champion. I will help you uncover all costs associated with various services before you commit and find vendors that provide high quality services for the investment.

Croatia island wedding considerations9. ISLAND ISSUES

No doubt one of the big draws of getting married in Croatia are it's numerous breathtaking islands. Some of these islands are true hidden gems where you can enjoy privacy and distance from the noisier tourist spots.

Unfortunately, with the luxury of exclusivity comes a different challenge - dealing with last-minute emergencies. Unlike being in the middle of a large town or city, Croatian islands have far fewer resources around.

 Having a highly experienced local planner is invaluable in situations like these.

For instance, one time a client of ours forgot to bring their golden ink pen for their black paged guest book and there was no shop to buy a specialty item like this on the island. Another client had the buttons on her bridal gown fall out and, again, there was no shop on the island where you can buy a needle and thread. For these reasons we always have an emergency kit, or "Magic Bag" as clients call it, on hand the day of the wedding with tools and trinkets that help us solve almost any minor last minute issues.

With experience comes wisdom and I've learned not only how to be prepared for these types of situations, I can often predict and avoid these mishaps.


WONDERING HOW I CAN HELP YOU?

You have a big vision for your destination wedding in Croatia and I want to help you see it through!

I'm here to free you up to be involved in the parts of wedding dreaming you love...like showcasing your personal style and cultural background...while taking all of burden of research and coordination off your shoulders.

Click below to learn more about how I help couples and their guests create their own amazing Croatian wedding experience.

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