Saturday, 16 October 2021

Weddings in Istria: Region Aims to be Croatia's Top Destination for Love

October 16, 2021 - Weddings in Istria can alleviate the seasonality of tourism, strengthen the pre and post-season, and increase the local community's income.

The Istria County Tourist Board organized the first Istria Wedding MeetUp in cooperation with partners - WeddingsInCroatia, StudioBrzak weddings & events, Lepor Weddings, and Flammeum weddings & events - held on October 14 at the Parentium Plava Laguna Hotel in Poreč, reports HRTurizam

The event gathered many local experts from the world of weddings, mainly from the Istrian area, and representatives of local tourist boards, which talked about the latest trends and knowledge in this domain.

“The wedding business segment in Istria is growing from year to year. Although neither Croatia nor Istria is recognized as a major wedding destination globally, Istria has managed to profile itself according to the so-called niche segment of weddings, especially in terms of micro or same-sex weddings. Since this is a complex business discipline in which success requires the cooperation of at least a dozen different activities to create a recognizable wedding product eventually, mutual cooperation and togetherness are of key interest in this business. The County Tourist Board has once again confirmed that this product is essential for Istria because, after a fifteen-year process of restructuring and repositioning, a level of quality of accommodation and service that can be compared with similar destinations in the world has been reached. And the recent accession of Istria to the prestigious association Virtuoso opens countless opportunities for all our entrepreneurs in Istria because they have an open channel to a large number of influential travel advisors, more than 22,000, who decide in which direction and which region to support for a wedding product," said the Istria County Tourist Board director Denis Ivošević.

Ivošević also announced three new projects within the wedding segment of Istria: a new stylized thematic photo & video shooting, then bringing world-famous wedding planners to get to know the destination and advertising the Istrian wedding offer in domestic and foreign reference media.

Participants could partake in two panels. The topic of the first panel was weddings as a tourist product and the recognition and branding of Istria as a wedding destination, with Denis Ivošević, sales director of Hotel San Canzian from Buje Suzana Vrtičević Tica, owner of WeddingsInCroatia Iva Kraljevic Licardo, owner of Foto Studio Festival from Labin Rajko Borčić and the agent of the Promotion and Sales Service of the Brijuni National Park Flores Marsetič. Petar Jurica, renowned photographer and owner of the Petar Jurica Weddings agency, Arsen Maršanić, wedding organizer and owner of the Noi Due agency, and Martina Rakić, a wedding planner from the WeddingsInCroatia agency, spoke at the second panel on the topic of trends and new formats and where weddings are going in the future.

In addition to the panel, two lectures were organized, one on the topic of digital marketing, i.e., the impact of online communication on the wedding industry, led by Miško Macolić Tomičić from the MarkeThing agency. The second lecture on the very current topic of organizing sustainable events was given by Maja Bosanac, director of the Eventful agency, who presented the novelties of how events should look with particular attention to the environment.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

 

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Digital Nomads Wowed by Karaka Event Ship

23 June 2021 - Dubrovnik digital nomads recently had a chance to enjoy one of the city's most breathtaking event venues - the Karaka event ship.

We covered the first-ever digital nomad in residence program that took place in Dubrovnik during May. The Dubrovnik Digital Nomads-in-Residence program was designed by Saltwater Nomads in partnership with Total Croatia News and with plenty of help from the City of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. For more about it and Zagreb digital nomad program, check out our dedicated page.

One of the highlights of the entire program in Dubrovnik was the presentation of the design thinking workshops' results. Yes, it was an important point of the entire effort, but it also took place in one of the most magical settings in Dubrovnik – Karaka. 

Magical Ship

Karaka is a beautiful replica of a 16th-century wooden merchant ship of the Dubrovnik Republic. The quality and craftsmanship involved in creating it are enough to make you stop and stare. When seeing Karaka sailing into Dubrovnik's historical port, you can't help but reach for your camera. Of course, she's not just about looks. In fact, Karaka is a top-quality event & special products ship.

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The ship offers full catering and features outside decks in two levels. There are also two levels of the indoor restaurant area. Options are endless on Karaka as most spaces can be quickly converted between dining areas to presentational areas or entertainment venues. Powerful Wi-Fi, plenty of electrical outlets, and some onboard A/V equipment make life easy for event organisers. Aside from that, Karaka is a very sea-worthy vessel. With an experienced captain at the helm and a dedicated crew, no distance is too big and no port too far for Karaka.

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Perfect Venue for a Variety of Events

It is very popular for product launches, small cocktail parties, gala dinners, weddings, family celebrations, and various themed events (with pirate and Game of Thrones themes being the most popular). The latest high-profile event was the product launch of Croatian electric “hypercar” – Rimac Nevera. So, it is hardly surprising Karaka has seen its share of rich and famous gracing its decks like Benicio del Torro or Mickey Rourke. But, you don’t have to be rich to come aboard. There are regular boat tours organised with Karaka as well. These amazing adventures cruising around the picture-perfect islands of the Dubrovnik archipelago are sure to leave you with lasting memories.

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Weddings on the Karaka are absolutely spectacular. Dubrovnik is a renowned wedding destination. It only makes sense destination wedding organisers often choose Karaka as their preferred venue for intimate ceremonies or after-parties. Tying the knot on such an impressive vessel overlooking one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Europe is a wonderful way to start the married life.

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Photo courtesy of Love and Ventures

Options abound when it comes to Karaka. Simply seeing it in the port is a treat. But, seeing the world from its wooden decks is a time-traveling experience. With a highly skilful and efficient team managing it, you will make the right choice by choosing Karaka for your next Dubrovnik business or private event. Explore more on Karaka’s official website and get full information on the options and contact details.

 For more on Digital Nomads in Croatia, click here

For those looking for travel news, follow our travel section.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Love Declaration: Billboard Proposal In Split Captures Croatia's Heart

February 1, 2021 – A bold declaration of love that first captured hearts in the city of Split has now travelled all across Croatia, as one city resident requested the hand of his beloved in a billboard proposal

Dominating the skyline on the city's northern shores, Poljud is perhaps the best known - and most visually impressive – football stadium in Croatia. Holding near 35, 000 people and boasting sleekly curved roofs on opposite sides, you can't help but admire the relatively modern arena when it is in eyesight.

But, over recent days, the gaze of city residents has drawn by a competing spectacle nearby. In an unabashed declaration of love and intent, one Split resident has placed a billboard proposal within eyesight of the stadium and the local swimming pools. The petition for marriage has captured the hearts of any passing by.

Screenshot_142.pngHow local media outlet Dalmatinski Portal revealed the romantic request. Their story has since been picked up by national media and captured hearts all across Croatia © Dalmatinski Portal screenshot

Translated, the text of the billboard proposal reads:

"Baby
Here's where we met
Here's where you took my hand
Here's where I ask for your hand"

The billboard proposal was pictured and the romantic request revealed by local media outlet Dalmatinski Portal. Many Split residents had already seen the billboard proposal for themselves – it is prominently positioned near the crossroads where Osmih mediteranskih igara, Put Supavla and Ulica Zrinsko Frankopanska meet, in the area of the city which is also called Poljud. But, the story has since been picked up by national media in Croatia and has now raised hearts and smiles all across the country. And they say romance is dead!

No word has yet arrived as to whether the billboard proposal has been accepted. Perhaps the response might be issued in a more private manner? Or, if the recipient is as bold in expression as the proposer, perhaps keep your eyes peeled on the billboards of Split for a joyous 'yes'.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Hvar Among the Top Honeymoon Destinations to Look Forward in 2021

November 19, 2020 – The famous Croatian island receives another recognition as the wedding blog Boho Weddings lists Hvar among the top honeymoon destinations on the Mediterranean.

This year has taught us many lessons, and the most important of them is that life can sometimes be very unpredictable. The tourism sector and the event industry have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, which is why many trips and events have had to be either canceled or postponed for the next year. Among them, of course, were weddings and honeymoons, which should be the happiest and most exciting events for all couples in love. But this year, weddings and honeymoons are some of the biggest challenges faced by both couples and their organizers.

However, with the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine on the horizon, there is hope that from the next year, we can again organize wedding celebrations in the most desirable places in the world. There is also hope that popular honeymoon trips won't lag either.

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Hvar town is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

The Croatian island of Hvar has often been characterized as one of the most romantic places in the world, where every summer (not counting the summer of 2020) many couples say their fateful "yes", or just choose it for their honeymoon destination after tying the knot. It seems like this sunniest island in Europe has it all – a romantic atmosphere, perfect sunsets, beautiful landscape, clear sea, rich cultural heritage, lavender fields, great wine, and delicious food.

The beauty and attractiveness of Hvar have been recognized by the wedding experts from the leading UK wedding blog named Boho Weddings, who listed Hvar among the top honeymoon destinations that we'll be looking forward to in 2021, in the company of other famous Mediterranean pearls – Greek Santorini, Spanish Ibiza, Italian Sardinia, and Malta.

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Hvar town / Romulić and Stojčić

The Boho Weddings reports:

"Swarming with opulent hotels and expensive restaurants, the Croatian island of Hvar has a longstanding reputation for glitz and glamor. Here, well-heeled holidaymakers, posh partygoers, and A-list celebrities gather in classy beach bars for legendary nightlife. Remember, this is where Prince Harry earned his party boy notoriety.

But apart from the capital’s pizzaz, the island is host to countless wonders, from ancient villages to white cobblestone streets to picturesque squares to majestic cathedrals and hilltop fortresses. The northern coastal town of Stari Grad is home to a UNESCO Protected World Heritage Site, an agricultural landscape of sprawling lavender-clad fields, olive tree groves, and vineyards. If you venture down south, you will discover secluded pebble beaches fringed by sweet-smelling pine forests. Are you looking for the perfect private hideaway? Sail to the nearby Pakleni Islands to find sheltered sandy bays and remote coves that let you forget the rest of the world."

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Lavender on Hvar / Romulić and Stojčić

No matter the situation with the pandemic, one can always dream about their perfect wedding destination and look forward to their honeymoon trip, whether it will happen next year or not. As Boho Weddings put it, "these honeymoon ideas are the perfect place to put 2020 behind you and crack on with the rest of your married life."

 

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

What's More Important than Tourism and Coronavirus? Croatian Summer Weddings

September 1, 2020 – Wedding numbers in Dubrovnik-Neretva County have been limited to 50 maximum after a Coronavirus outbreak was traced back to someone's big day. But, who can possibly stop the juggernaut of joy that are Croatian summer weddings?

Epidemiological guidelines can only be followed so far. You can put some extra space between the tables, insist people wear a mask, and aim for the highest standards of hygiene. For all the measures insisted upon by the Croatian state and the sincere efforts of some business owners and their staff, a necessary part of the burden falls on personal responsibility.

People tut and shake their heads in disbelief at the photos and videos of irresponsible Italian youths in the nightclubs of Pag. Others assign blame for Croatia's international safety downgrading on specific regions of Dalmatia and the kind of tourists who visit there. But, there is one homegrown phenomenon which Coronavirus cannot hold back - nor epidemiological measures - and to which no outside blame can be assigned - Croatian summer weddings.

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© Pexels

From spring until autumn, the sound of car horns fills Croatian streets each and every weekend. Youths dangle precariously from car windows, the national flag flutters in the air and the strong scent of rakija arrives especially early, even before midday. An occasion of unrestricted joy, of tradition and, usually, extravagant expense, Croatian summer weddings are long in the planning and the fuel for a thousand remembrances. They are automatically dissected after their occurrence, each minute detail compared against the other weddings you have attended.

“They had sarma. In the summertime! And with nothing, only bread. No potato. No rice. Also, there was no fish,” one Dalmatian wedding guest recalled in 2019, after accompanying her husband to a Croatian summer wedding in an agricultural part of the continental region.

“But, surely there was rice in the sarma?”

“Well, yes. But also, the flowers we wore were not as nice as those at my sister's wedding. Her's cost 200 kuna per person!”

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Sarma, served in summertime. With no potato! Some details of Croatian summer weddings will never be forgotten © Gurman chef

Everything has to be done correctly. Everyone has to be invited. The seating of guests is given more consideration than the planning of a national counter-attack.

A young couple from Osijek, now residents of Sweden, didn't so much want a traditional affair for their wedding of this year. Both are of an alternative nature. They would have sat miserably through hours of tamburica music. Instead, they wanted similar friends to DJ some music they enjoyed at a more informal gathering, without the compulsion of inviting all the cousins who they only ever see at extended family weddings. A fair request, right? After all, it was their big day, right? Wrong.

Everyone agreed. Except for the bridegroom's sister. She hit the roof “You cannot possibly have a wedding without the tamburica band and all the cousins! We went to ALL their weddings, and gave them gifts! They owe us!”

After ceaseless petitioning to their parents, her demands were eventually met. The parents gave in and refused to pay for the wedding unless it was done correctly. The couple married alone in Sweden, before one witness, who they didn't even know. In Croatia, your big day does not belong just to you. It belongs to everyone in your family.

Nothing can stop this juggernaut of joy. Not poverty nor personal wishes. And certainly not Coronavirus or epidemiological guidelines.

Civil Protection Headquarters in Dubrovnik-Neretva County recently banned 'large' weddings. The maximum number of guests for each wedding is now set at 50. This is in response to an outbreak of Coronavirus in Metković, which stemmed from a wedding held there on 15 August. 38 active cases of Coronavirus were subsequently recorded. And few who've attended a Croatian wedding would be surprised.

Who will try to tell the boys not to drink too much at a wedding, then not to hug or dance with their cousins? Who will tell the godfather of the bride that he must remain distant from his guests, and alone wipe the tears of happiness from his face? This is a day he waited for all of his life.

No wonder, as Slobodna Dalmacija reports in their coverage of the situation in Neretva, that in response to the new limits, Croatian summer weddings are simply now moving across the border into nearby Herzegovina. There, wedding numbers remain unrestricted. No masks will be required to ruin the close group family photos. There probably won't even be anyone stopped on the way back through the border for carrying leftovers. Nor potentially carrying coronavirus.

There is no easy fix to this situation, no simple solution to appease both authorities and celebrating families. We can only hope that the case in Metković is an isolated one and the porous nature of the border with Herzegovina remains the advantage it always has been for Croatians living in the region. For whosoever tries to impede the festivities of Croatian summer weddings is surely fighting a losing cause.

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Friday, 31 July 2020

PICTURES: Converted Island Monastery LOPUD-1483 Near Dubrovnik Offers Stunning Luxury

July 31, 2020 - PICTURES: Converted island monastery LOPUD-1483 near Dubrovnik offers incredible luxury

Set inside a former 15th-century monastery, LOPUD-1483 is one of the newest luxury dwellings south Dalmatia has to offer. Located on a car-free island, just seven miles off the coast of Dubrovnik, the stunning property has already caught the eye of the international press.

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© LOPUD-1483 lies inside a former island monastery and walled fortress

sunset-1618x1080.jpgSunset from the terrace

Available as an exclusive buy-out for groups during peak season (its five suites are available individually later in the year), LOPUD-1483 also features a slightly younger walled fortress which lies adjacent, surrounding manicured gardens and an unobstructed view of the sea, lying just a few metres away.

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Head to the rooftop for relaxation or yoga sessions 

It is aimed towards family or other groups who can rent together, such as those organising yoga retreats, small business conferences, weddings and birthday parties The property balances its historic architecture with contemporary interior design and all the fixtures and fittings you'd expect fro a luxury resort.

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The property balances its historic architecture with contemporary interior design and all the fixtures and fittings you'd expect 

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The courtyard dining area is perfect for weddings or functions 

LOPUD-1483 also holds ample space to display art and this year has a season-long exhibition from a private collection belonging to the Thyssen-Bornemsza family. The resort has the option of private chefs and a complimentary boat service between the island and Dubrovnik for longer-staying guests.

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Walls of the historic property are just yards fro the sea 

Rates start at €1,400 per night, including breakfast, with a minimum three-night stay. Buy-outs start at €10,000 per night.

All photos © LOPUD-1483

Monday, 20 July 2020

Coronavirus: Vukovar-Srijem County Issues Wedding Request

Coronavirus has taken aim at weddings as many begin quoting them as a common source of infection. In response, the Vukovar-Srijem County Civil Protection Headquarters has a request which will certainly irritate many brides...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of July, 2020, the Vukovar-Srijem Civil Protection Headquarters has sent a request to the National Civil Protection Headquarters that all weddings in that Eastern Croatian county be held exclusively within the immediate family for the next thirty days, it was said at Sunday's press conference of the County Headquarters.

The reason for such a reaction of the Vukovar-Srijem Civil Protection Headquarters is the amount of newly infected people, and among them, the largest number of patients and their contacts are all from a wedding held last week in Ivankovo ​​near Vinkovci.

Zdravko Kelic of the Vukovar-Srijem County Civil Protection Headquarters said that the Headquarters did a good job when it came to the measures related to stopping the new coronavirus from entering homes for the elderly and other social care institutions. He also stated that the police visited all the wedding halls in the county and took contact details from the owners, and that the Headquarters had data on the number of weddings held, which, as he said, was a large number, and every weekend.

"We're still in danger and we mustn't just relax," warned Zdravko Kelic, appealing to all people who have been in contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus to cooperate and contribute to the fight against the global pandemic. In agreement with the local headquarters, all public events and gatherings at the local level were postponed in order to reduce the risk to a minimum, said Kelic.

The President of the County Headquarters, Prefect Bozo Galic, read the request by which the Headquarters asked the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia to make a decision that weddings in Vukovar-Srijem County be held only among families over the next thirty days, and thanked people who are continuing to respect all of the epidemiological measures. He called on all citizens of Vukovar-Srijem County to adhere to the prescribed measures.

For more on coronavirus in Croatia, follow our dedicated section.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Croatian Institute of Public Health Publishes Recommendations for Weddings

As N1 writes on the 28th of May, 2020, the Croatian Institute of Public Health recently published its recommendations for how weddings should be held, stating that the maximum number of people that can be present indoors is 300, and in open spaces - 500.

"The ban on public events and gatherings consisting of more than 40 people has now been lifted, and from today on, the number of people who can be present at certain public events and gatherings will be determined by the recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, along with other anti-epidemic measures," they write.

This means that in the future, it will be possible to organise weddings as well as funerals that could also have been organised throughout the duration of the anti-epidemic measures, but when only a few people were allowed to participate in them.

Changes for weddings

The Croatian Institute of Public Health has published detailed recommendations for how weddings should be arranged. As expected, some of the recommendations remain standard - reminding people about maintaining a high level of personal hygiene and keeping a distance of a metre and a half between each other. The use of masks for staff serving people at weddings has also been recommended.

As for the maximum number of people allowed to gather at weddings, it depends on the size of the space. However, there are maximum numbers listed. Up until June the 15th, 100 people were allowed to gather indoors and 150 could gather outdoors. As of June the 15th onwards, those figures rise respectively to 200 and 250. And as of July the 1st, they'll rise again to 300 and 500, respectively.

More detailed recommendations for holding weddings celebrations have been published.

"When inviting guests, the organisers and the newlyweds must inform the guests about the measures in place and give them instructions and information. It is recommended that guests over the age of 65 or those suffering from chronic diseases are not invited to the wedding celebrations," the notice reads.

Distance on the dance floor

An interesting take on Sophie Ellis-Bextor's hit, you might think, but it's a bit more serious than that. The Croatian Institute of Public Health has also recommended that all seats be marked at the beginning. People, it is stated in the recommendations, should not gather in groups, but should go to their own places immediately upon entering the hall.

"It has been recommended that guests sitting in the farthest part of the room when looking in from the position of the door enter first. It is recommended that guests from the same household be seated at the same table. It is also recommended that the seating arrangement be accurate and unchanged during the entire wedding celebration,'' they state in the recommendation.

As for musical performances, a distance of four metres between the audience and the performer is recommended.

Special instructions have also been prescribed for the keeping a distance on the dance floor

"The number of people who can stay on the dance floor at the same time depends on the size of the podium and it is recommended to provide a space of four square metres per person. During more intense dances and similar activities, it is recommended that people maintain a physical distance of two metres, except between people who are members of the same household or those are usually in close contact,'' they announced.

For more on coronavirus and the Croatian Institute of Public Health, follow our dedicated section.

Friday, 9 February 2018

The Wedding Fair in Zagreb Celebrates its 20th Year!

One of the largest events dedicated to wedding-planning in this part of Europe will be held this weekend.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Tying the Knot in Croatia? Get Inspired at the Istrian Wedding Festival

Thinking of a destination wedding? Consider Istria and head to the Istrian Wedding Festival in Pula to do some research

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