To Croatia with love
Rebecca Price’s magical journey into wedded bliss began, just as it did for Harry Potter, at Kings Cross Station, where James Youel asked for her hand in marriage. Their journey of love finally took them to Croatia’s enchanting city of Dubrovnik, where they tied the knot in the warm Mediterranean sunshine.
FINDING THE ONE
James and I first met on a night out with our group of friends, then again at a friend’s house party. After the party he asked my best friend for my number. I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but we both knew immediately we were going to be a couple. We clicked straight away.
On New Years’ Day, after celebrating the New Year with friends in London, it was time to head back home to Barnsley in Yorkshire, so off we all went to Kings Cross Station to catch our train. James and I wanted our photo taking at the Platform 9 ¾ (from the Harry Potter films), however the queue was too long so we went to look in the Harry Potter shop instead. It was rather busy, so James went to wait for me outside. As I walked out of the shop James shouted: “I have got us two VIP tickets, come on quick!” So I put the scarf on, grabbed a wand and we had our photo taken. I turned around and to my amazement he was on one knee, opening a ring box, saying: “Will you marry me?” I was in total shock, shaking and crying – I was so overwhelmed and happy! Of course, I said “Yes!” and everyone cheered and clapped, and some of the ladies in the shop were sobbing as they congratulated us! The platform photographer captured the moment on camera and I later found out that our friend knew what James was about to do, and videoed the moment! For me it was totally unexpected!
We both knew that we would get married abroad for many different reasons, mainly because we wanted it to be really personal and meaningful. We also knew it was important for us to celebrate it with loved ones, and that by marrying abroad we would have the important friends and family there that really wanted to see us get married. We are both so pleased that we did! It was actually my auntie who recommended Croatia, and after looking at her holiday photos we knew it was the perfect place.
We used the services of an amazing wedding planner, Sasha from The Bridal Consultant, for all arrangements. I was so impressed. The planners thought of everything. I didn’t really need to do much myself as Sasha had everything under control. I literally gave her our ideas and she made wonderful things happen. She gave me a checklist of what to remember to take, and Sasha and her team did everything else.
We had 54 guests who all stayed in different parts of Dubrovnik in a mixture of hotels, B&Bs and apartments. We left it to our guests to decide where they wanted to stay, and most stayed on for a holiday. It didn’t put anyone off that we were marrying in Croatia, in fact we were pleasantly surprised at how many people accepted the invite. We only expected between 25-30 to come, so we were overjoyed that 54 guests accepted their invitations. We were in Croatia for a week and the majority of our guests stayed too – the celebrations lasted the whole time we were there, which was amazing!
Getting the look
My satin wedding dress was by Mori Lee, as soon as I tried it on I knew it was ‘the one’. I went to 14 bridal shops in York and tried on 55 dresses in total (I know!) and the one I chose was the last one I tried. The whole experience was lovely! My Carvela wedding shoes were a spontaneous and unexpected. I was shopping with James when I saw them in House of Fraser and loved them immediately! The fact I was with James wasn’t ideal, but they were everything I wanted and I couldn’t help but show him (I am sure shoes don’t count!). I got them there and then! On my wedding day two of my bridesmaids did my hair and makeup as one is a make-up artist and the other is a good hairdresser. I wore a decorative hair clip to finish off my look.
Something old, something new?
Something New were the wedding earrings James bought for me as a wedding gift; Something Borrowed was my best friend’s bracelet; Something Blue was a garter with a blue bow that my Grandma gave me; My Something Old was my feathered wedding clutch, which I bought from a vintage shop a number of years ago and always save for best occasions.
Groom & Bridesmaids
James wore a navy blue suit from Moss Bros and his shoes, which he was obsessed with, were by Jeffery West. The bridesmaids were in two different types of dresses. Three wore champagne gold chiffon and three wore gold sequin dresses.
Our theme was white and gold. Most of the decoration were gold, but my bouquet had to reflect what I love – roses and feathers in a mixture of creams, pastel pinks and peaches, with white ostrich feathers around the edges. We wanted our cake to be simple and yummy, so we had a two-tier cake – one tier chocolate and the other strawberry with cream icing and decorated with roses and flowers on one side. We all devoured it on the night!
Our main priority was to be somewhere outdoors and tranquil, private, quiet and simple. We were originally going to have both the ceremony and reception on the Terrace of the Excelsior Hotel, but once we saw pictures of Lokrum Island we decided to incorporate both venues. The island was so beautiful and we hoped to capture the peacocks, which inhabit the island, on our wedding photos. The ceremony lasted around 20 minutes, we were married by the registrar from Dubrovnik Town Hall and my dad gave me away. The ceremony was perfect.
Our reception was held on the terrace of the Excelsior Hotel where we chose to have a BBQ style for the dinner with a selection of different meats and Croatian dishes. It was truly delicious. We named our tables after our favourite films and we made our own name places with gold glitter, which looked great, and we were rather impressed with ourselves
FIRST DANCE & ENTERTAINMENT
Neither of us particularly like slow love songs, so we found it difficult to choose our First Dance. Fortunately, whilst we were creating a playlist for the evening’s entertainment we stumbled across Hero, by Enrique Iglesias and both loved the song – we were puzzled why we never thought of it before! It wasn’t too slow and the majority of our guests knew the words, so it was lovely to hear everyone singing as we danced, making our First Dance into one of our favourite moments!
The evening’s entertainment was aboard a boat cruise from Lokrum island. It sailed for 40 minutes along the coastline, whilst we all drank champagne and beer!
Sasha put us in contact with the photographer. We both wanted natural photos with very minimal editing and our photographer ticked all the boxes. My favourite photo is one taken at the alter, which captures the moment where James turned around and I saw him for the first time. Both of our faces show the excitement and happiness we felt in that moment.
One of my favourite memories was seeing Jamie at the alter and him looking at me whilst he said his vows (he shed a tear!). Another was after the ceremony, when we were all aboard the boat and set sail from Lokrum Island – we realised that my mum, dad, auntie and uncle were missing! Then everyone turned around and saw them all waving on the pier. They had gone off to have a picture taken on the Throne from the show ‘Game of Thrones’ and missed the boat! We had to turn swiftly around and pick them up! It was very funny!
It was hard to say how much the wedding cost, as it was a holiday at the same time, but it was around £15k. We did go slightly over budget – but not by much, and it was worth it!
No, we wanted a break in between the wedding and honeymoon with it been abroad. So we went home for 5 weeks then flew out to Thailand for 3 weeks for our honeymoon. It was an amazing experience.
Tell us about your wedding
Did you marry abroad? Whether you said “I do” on a palm fringed sandy beach or in a French Chateau, or even in an Icelandic winter wonderland with the Aurora Borealis dancing in the skies above, we would love to hear from you, and feature your wedding on our website .
“One of my favourite memories was seeing Jamie at the alter and him looking at me whilst he said his vows”
Need help planning your wedding?
Brides Abroad, in conjunction with Brilliant Honeymoons can help you every step of the way, from finding the venue, arranging the details and helping with the paperwork to organising the flights, accommodation and transfers for you and your wedding party.