Split has always been a beautiful town. I’m not just talking about the city and its surrounding area, but our fashion conscious inhabitants. As the days grow longer and the weather settles, we love to dress up in our best clothes and parade up and down the Riva. As the many photographers capture the most striking men and women, every moment is a catwalk opportunity. Continue reading “Symbolic Clothes for a Symbolic Wedding”
As your symbolic wedding celebrant I ensure everything is perfect for you by working hard behind the scenes. Arranging meetings with photographers, scouting locations and organsing transport are all essential. But sometimes I get to live the life of a hedonist, and sample the best food and wine that Dalmatia can offer. All for your benefit, of course! Continue reading “An Odyssey of Dalmatian Island Wine”
There is nothing like an evening meander through an ancient village; watch out for the little wine shop and a rough flight of stairs to your right. Head up there through people’s gardens, and keep climbing. You’ll eventually see a brown sign pointing to a viewpoint and the church of Sv. Trojstvo (Holy Trinity). Look out for the rocky path underfoot, but keep an eye on the view behind you as you rise above the trees.
You’ll finally reach the tiny stone church and a view of the island that will leave you gasping for what’s left of your breath. This isn’t the highest point on the island of Šipan, but it certainly competes for the most accessible and most beautiful. The fields are far below, but listen and you can hear a pheasant warn that the day is coming to a close. Sitting on the precipitous wall, I was watching the sun go down spectacularly over Mljet, beyond even the majestic Pelješac Peninsular, and down into the Adriatic Sea.
The silent evidence of the passage of time left me considering who else had observed this everyday phenomenon. The abbess’s grave with its lichen encrusted cross gives a clue. Fragments of Renaissance latin text is carved into stone and built into later developments. You can touch the history here, tracing the letters with your fingers. Being a curious type I later asked a local for more information about this place.
“Nothing special or interesting”, she replied.
From the 16th century onwards a community of nuns used to take care of the islanders. They didn’t just do this in the usual pastoral or religious sense, but they acted as the early warning system for when pirates used to carry out regular raids along the coast. From their vantage point, they could see the other churches below, the Benedictines on the Island of Sv Andrija (5 miles away), as well as the towers of Sipanska Luka’s Rectors Palace. In this way they would communicate with everyone, and news would spread.
For those of a romantic disposition, and lover of historical fiction, imagine richly embroidered stories of castaway pirates and young novitiates. Or read about the legend of undying love between a woman from Lopud and a wealthy aristocrat from Dubrovnik, who gave her up to become a monk on Sv Andrija. In a place like this, watching the sun go down, your mind is filled with possible dreams, and living romance. And it is most certainly special and interesting.
For those people who long to connect with history and a sense of place, the city of Split is perfect. However some people yearn to escape to rural island bliss. Part of the essence of the symbolic wedding, is the expression of a partnership in a different, more meaningful way. It can be individually crafted to your needs.
I’m currently exploring a remote island an hour and half away from the pearl of the Adriatic – Dubrovnik. There is more to be said about both this island AND the city of Dubrovnik, but that is to follow. I’ve been inspired by the wildflowers which currently litter the unspoilt country paths and natural beach side foliage. Like tiny jewels, they could adorn any bridal outfit.
Despite the recent cold bura wind, all the evergreen shrubs, olive and bay trees are shining with new growth. The lavender bushes are waking up and stretching in the April sunshine. They will soon be reaching towards the blue sky, looking forward to the June scent harvest. The soothing and homely scent of the purple and grey flower, is a popular floral request at my weddings.
But I’m imagining adding hedgerow colours; vibrant pinks from herb robert, rockrose, and mallow bindweek. Sapphire periwinkles and blue pimpernels to match the sky and sea. Then yellows of buttercup and horseshoe vetch. And to match the sunlight twinkling off the water, add tiny white wild garlic flowers, and a sprinkle of daisies. There are greens of all shades, from pale grasses to golden sunspurge.
Unlike cut cultivated flowers like my favourite, the rose, or rusula, these delicate blooms may not make it through the day. But why not pay homage to some of our wild flowers in your all-natural arrangements. And embrace a romantic view of nature, to become the ultimate flower child!
As a celebrant, I offer my couples the chance to create a unique ceremony. You can choose your own readings, poems, vows, or incorporate your own cultural rituals into the event. For instance I’ve recently been researching glass breaking at weddings. But for me no wedding ceremony is complete without music.
My city of Split is alive with sound. From day rehearsals in the music school, to lunchtime recitals in the theatre. In the evening the cafes invite live bands to play so you can dance on Roman Peristil. Hot music is pumped out of our late night colourful nightclubs. No visit to the Palace is complete without the sound of traditional klapa echoing around the ancient architecture. Or you can stand and listen to the old songs wheezed out by the elderly gentleman on Marmontova.
Music is everywhere. It is in our hearts.
A major part of the ceremony atmosphere is music, and as the bridal couple, you will come with your favourite soundtracks of life. We all do. Therefore if you let me know what you like – voice, acoustic, jazz, classical, traditional, folk – I can provide the perfect music to complement your wedding. Gifted musicians – yet another reason to come to Croatia for your wedding.
I love this time of year when the light is changing and everything springs into life. After a winter where Dalmatia has unusually seen some January snow, we have enjoyed our hot spiced wine, and convivial evenings in our cosy homes. But we are now looking ahead to the new season.
We’ve had sunny days, and like all Dalmatians, I’ve made the most of them. Not just enjoying excellent coffee on our elegant Riva, but taking quiet ferries to deserted islands, bus trips to menu tastings in remote village restaurants, investigating natural underground wonders. I’m constantly being inspired by places to hold symbolic weddings.
It is my role to listen to your ideas, and then make them happen. Ideas are bursting out of my notebook and I can’t wait to show you all the venues that I’ve found this winter!
It’s easy to do when romance is all around me. The blossom falls like confetti from my cherry tree. Softly cooing collared doves in my garden watch me as I prepare scripts for fast approaching weddings. And having just purchased a number of beautiful candle holders to light up your festivities, I’m ready for the joy of your happy days.
Bring out the light. Bring out the sunshine!