If you are thinking about getting married in Croatia then this Destination Wedding Guide is a great place to start!
And who could be better than the Croatian destination wedding expert Milda from Dalmatia Events Weddings to bring you all of the inspiration and information you need to start planning your big day in picturesque Croatia?
Croatia has been topping the travel charts for years and it is now coming into its own within the wedding world. With tiny islands dotting the turquoise waters of the Dalmatian Coast, this is one breathtaking destination wedding location. If you have your heart set on rural romance, the many hillside castles or traditional stone villas would create an idyllic inland setting and if you’re looking for city chic head to the Old Town in Dubrovnik.
Here’s Milda from Dalmatia Events Weddings to tell you more about how to legally marry in Croatia, how to have a religious wedding ceremony in Croatia and of course take you through some of her favourite venues, ideas for adding a little Croatian tradition to your destination wedding and some top spots for you and your guests to visit…
Couples can have either a civil wedding or a Roman Catholic wedding ceremony in Croatia.
To legally marry in Croatia you must have a civil wedding, so if you wish to have a religious wedding ceremony, you must have a civil ceremony first to validate your marriage – this can be done either at home or in Croatia.
For civil wedding ceremonies in Croatia couples will need to provide:
- Certificate of No Impediment (UK citizens only)
- Original Birth Certificates
- Valid passports and photocopies of the passports
- A Decree Absolute if relevant and previous marriage certificates
There are some small differences or extras needed for each individual country, but these are the basics!
There is no residency requirement for a civil ceremony in Croatia however you will be required to visit the Town Hall a few days prior to your wedding to run through your paperwork.
When it comes to civil wedding ceremonies, couples can get married pretty much anywhere! On the top of a mountain, in a beautiful villa, in an ancient monastery, fortress, town loggia, courtyard or beachfront…Croatia has plenty to choose from.
Some of my favourites are ancient monasteries such as St. Marks monastery on the island of Hvar, the old Fortresses on the island of Vis, or an old-town loggia such as the gorgeous loggia in the wine country village of Groznjan!
If you and your partner are Catholic, a religious wedding in Croatia would be a beautiful affair.
Please do note that in 99% of cases, you both need to be Roman Catholic and as previously mentioned you will also be required to legally marry at a civil ceremony in the UK or Croatia first and to then have your religious ceremony.
For a religious ceremony you will need to provide:
- Proof of your civil wedding ceremony
- Baptism, communion and confirmation certificates
- Marriage preparation course certificate
Most of the required paperwork will need to be done in the UK by you with your own priest, who will be able to guide you through this process. Your priest will need to make contact with the church in Croatia so it is a good idea to know where specifically you would like to marry first.
Here are a few ceremony and reception venue suggestions to inspire you!
- Zori Restaurant, Palmizana Island – Set in an idyllic island location, Restaurant Zori offers the discerning customer a luxurious piece of paradise. Set beneath azure blue skies, emerald Adriatic waters encircle the lush, vibrant green of Palmižana, where you can find, constructed of sun-bleached stone, this jewel of Croatian fine dining.
- Fort George, Vis Island – A two hundred year old restored fort on the island of Vis. Set on a high promontory with a dazzling view out across the Adriatic, bathed in sunshine and tickled by a light sea breeze, Fort George provides a majestic stage for ceremony and celebration, reverie and revelry.
- Martinis Marchi Hotel, Solta Islandl – The Martinis Marchi Hotel & Restaurant is located in a historic castle in Maslinica on the island of Šolta’s west coast. It is a place which vividly evokes visions of sparkling teal waters and a landscape dotted with olive trees.
- Lola’s, Vis Island – Lola’s is a versatile venue located right in the centre of Vis. The walled garden is without a doubt it’s greatest treasure (after it’s food!). It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a flavoursome meal with the tranquillity and calmness of its surroundings; tables surrounded by lush vegetation, the relaxing sound of the water fountain sculpted by the artist Ivan Mestrovic.
For the Dalmatian region (the islands of Hvar, Vis, Brac, Solta) I would definitely recommend flying into Split or alternatively Zadar. For the Istrian wine country you can choose Zagreb or alternatively Rijeka and Pula airports.
Croatia has a lot of beautiful villas, private apartments and hotels. Each of them caters to the different needs of the guest with villas being the number one choice for the families and groups of friends, apartments are perfect for those who love self-catering and are looking for a more economic alternative and there is a wide variety of hotels with something to suit every budget and of course for those who simply love convenience!
The period of May to October is the best time of year to get married in Croatia. The peak-season of July and August sees busier streets as well as more pricy accommodation. June and September are great for milder weather and less crowds.
Couples can also get married any day of the week they like!
We love adding local musicians to a wedding! With guitars and mandolins they sing local traditional songs about love, sea and happiness!
We also love using local flowers such as lavender or rosemary for decorating – they add such a special touch and also smell incredible!
I always love to suggest to choose local goodies for the wedding favours so that everyone can bring a little piece of Croatia back home. Popular choices are olive oil, dried lavender, candied orange or lemon peel, aromatic sea salt or rakija (Croatian grapa, which to be honest does not find its way home, but gets consumed on the night!).
Music and entertainment
For the wedding ceremony we love having live acoustic music: guitar, violin, duo, string quartet. They can then remain for the cocktail hour and later the local Croatian band greets the happy couple at the reception. For the night we often have a DJ or a fun wedding band be it the one playing all-familiar hits, latino music or jazz tunes.
Food and drink
Seafood, seafood, seafood – Croatia is proud of it and everyone loves it! Squid, scampi, octopus, shellfish, lobster, various fish cooked in so many ways! Croatia is also proud of its prosciutto and hard cheeses as well as local fruit such as figs, grapes and melons.
The key to making the food even more memorable is the local wines that are of very high quality – each region has their own with the northern coast producing more white wines and the south more deep reds. Everyone who tries many local sorts are simply in awe!
Boat trips to the islands, wine, olive oil and cheese tastings, old town tours, hiking, biking and simply lounging in a beach bar – so many things to do, just name it!
- First and last of all – relax! A destination wedding is supposed to be as stress free as possible! Enjoy every step of the way from the moment you book your venue, to the moment you are dancing your night away. I always tell all of my brides that the point of having a wedding (destination or not) is to enjoy yourself, have fun and be happy, so just be!
Has this Destination Wedding Guide tempted you to get married in Croatia?
Thank you to the wedding team over at Dalmatia Events Weddings for this detailed big day information.
Destination Wedding Guides are meant as just that – a guide to getting started with your destination wedding planning. Please always consult an official or expert in the country you wish to marry, to ensure you have the correct and up-to-date legal paperwork requirements, especially for a legally binding wedding ceremony. We would always recommend using a reputable wedding planner (such as Dalmatia Events Weddings) who can fully assist you in such processes.