When Australian gal Paula left Europe after nearly six years to return home and sell her house, the last thing she expected was to meet her match in Paul and fall in love. But that is how their story together began and today, we are featuring their stunning destination wedding in Split, Croatia. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Croatia, Paula and Paul knew that it was the perfect destination to bring family and friends from over five different countries together and with Forever Photography capturing all the beauty as unfolded, we are sure that these treasured memories will remind them of such a happy and wonderful day for years to come.

From Paula and Paul

“Paula had been living largely in Croatia for 6 years and decided it was time to go back to Australia to sell her house, pack her last things and say her final goodbyes… a simple plan until Paul the Scotsman decided to say hello. Following that our first date was a perfect lunch starting at midday and finishing at midnight.

We had gone away to a studio on a winery in picturesque Margaret River, Australia. This was 10 weeks after we first met. In true gentleman charm Paul got down one knee, read his hand written poem to a surprised but delighted Paula, to the backdrop of the Australian sun setting over the picturesque vineyard to the musical accompaniment of the laughing kookaburras.

We decided to have a destination wedding as we worked and lived between 3 countries and had friends spread amongst 5 countries, so a wedding abroad was the perfect choice.

Making a decision on the location was an easy for us as Paula had spent much time in Croatia over past 6 years, and Paul fell in love with it on his first visit. We both felt right at home in Split. Paula’s new hometown of Split within the 1700 year old Unesco-protected Diocletian’s palace was the quintessentially romantic choice. Paul fell in love with the old city as soon as he arrived on his first visit, where his fiancée Paula waited for his taxi framed by the Klapa (Croatian cappella) singing a local song as he exited the taxi was indelibly imprinted in our hearts. Some things are uncannily meant to be. A breathtaking historical Venetian palace which Paula sees every morning she opens her wooden shutters was the only choice. It was amazing that we were given the unique honour of holding our hand fasting ceremony in the archaic doric columned courtyard.

Being in 2 different countries with busy careers created logistical headaches. As we wanted something unique (and not a ‘typical wedding’) it was difficult to source in our wedding location, so we bought and custom made most of the décor items ourselves from abroad and locally. Paula was amazing, her infectious energy and organisational skills, insightful sympathetic taste, artistic imagination and attention to detail meant that our desire to create an intimate dinner atmosphere at the unique Paradigma setting was made a reality.

Initially we thought and started to organise our small wedding by ourselves, but we quickly saw the complexity of the simplicity of what we wanted for our special day. Then we were incredibly fortunate to have found the amazing Sharlene from Untamed Adriatic. Her quiet tireless professionalism and effortless easy going manner was perfect for us, as she instantly understood our vision and perfectly orchestrated it for us. The fact that she seamlessly circumnavigated any problems that arose with unnoticed efficiency is a testament to her people skills and empathy with guests and staff alike.

We wanted a very personal ceremony and and an intimate reception. It was really important for us that we not only shared our wedding with the most important people in our lives but that we conveyed to each other just what we meant to each other. For our ceremony we chose to have the archaic Scottish tradition of hand fasting. For this we wrote the ceremony script and vows ourselves encapsulating our personal emotions. Our reception was themed “The Long Table Dinner Party”, as this perfectly captured the spirit of the special relationships we share with our guests… good food, good wine, and great company. We wanted an informal long table intimate dinner party atmosphere so that our friends could feel that they were relaxed and indulged at the same time. Our close friends fine dining roof-top terrace restaurant was our one and only choice.

The best decision we made was staying true to our own wishes for our wedding day and keeping it intimate and personal. Taking the extra effort to personalise the small touches that made it feel very “us” and to see the happiness on the faces of our friends.

Most memorable moment?

For PAUL: The moment the Capella singers initiated their set with Paula walking down the rose entwined stone staircase. Goosebumps, beaming proud smiles and tears of happiness.

For PAULA: Been lead down that staircase, my heart filled with happiness, seeing all our special friends smiling, as I walked to my groom-to-be with my beloved Klapa serenading my path.

FOR US BOTH: One of the real euphoric joys was to witness strangers becoming friends over the week and having stories to regale back home of a halcyon memorable week at their friends destination wedding in Dalmatia.

We tried to incorporate some local traditions into our wedding day and graced both our backgrounds with some wonderful musicians. We honoured the Scottish tradition of bagpipes at weddings, by having an authentic Croatian bagpipe player, featuring both Scottish and Croatian songs. And also a Klapa (Croatian capella group). After the ceremony guests enjoyed champagne as the piper and Klapa alternated playing and singing in the stunning medieval courtyard. Following this, it was a unique theatrical spectacle for our guests (and for the watching tourists and locals) to have the piper lead the guests through the old stone streets of Split to the jaunty Scottish reel of Mharis Wedding to the reception venue.

We had guests come from 4 different countries (Australia, Scotland, USA, UAE). All of our visitors made a holiday of their trip, staying 4-10 days. We organised and offered several activities with local friends businesses, including Roman history walking tour of Diocletian’s Palace, Ladies Day Lunch at an island winery, Mens Night dinner and drinks at Cigar Club, Tasting & Degustation at wine and cheese bar.

The best advice we can offer other couples considering a destiation wedding is to stay true to what you really both want for your own wedding. Make a list of what’s important to you both. Try where possible to make it personal and bespoke. It is your one chance to show what your soulmate means to you. We can’t emphasise enough to ensure your friends and guests feel an integral part of the big day. For us we used as much as possible our friends, and friends of friends, businesses for our wedding and associated activities, and this gave us a personal assurance and our guests a fine experience.”

Photography; Forever Photography | Ceremony Venue; Split City Museum| Reception Venue; Paradigma Restaurant | Wedding Planner; Untamed Adriatic | Invitations; Wedding Paper Divas | Wedding Dress; Victor Harper Couture | Bridesmaid Dresses; Elfs | Grooms Suit; Own kilt | Make Up Artist; Maja Banic | Bagpiper; Stjepan Veckovic | Cappella; Klapa Sufit

2 Responses

  1. Jona Blackwell

    What a beautiful wedding! We feel so lucky to have been a part of Paul and Paula’s wedding in Croatia. On top of it all we made friends for life :).


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