Dubrovnik wedding guide for 2021

Table of Contents

We believe that more people in the world know about Dubrovnik than Croatia, a country which Dubrovnik is part of. It’s because of all these TV shows that feature this city that looks so beautiful in them. You almost think that all of it is CGI. But it’s not. You start to Google about Dubrovnik and you see that it’s, in fact, one of the most romantic places you have ever seen.

And suddenly you want to organize your wedding in Dubrovnik. Stick around and find out all you need to know about your Dubrovnik wedding.

Our vision of wedding in Dubrovnik

We are a wedding photographer and videographer duo located in Dubrovnik area so we are familiar with all things ‘Dubrovnik wedding’. Dubrovnik is an inspiring city for us and a perfect backdrop to show the your love in the most relaxed manner.

Our photos and videos are un-staged and full of little emotions and details, showing your love and smiles of your friends and family while on the streets on Dubrovnik. It is very important to us that you are relaxed during the day and the portrait session with us so we wanted to make sure you get some useful information right from the beginning. That is why we have created this Dubrovnik wedding guide.

We have to warn you, this is going to be a very long and information-rich text so take the advantage of the table of contents on the left side to navigate easily throughout the information.

last-minute elopement in dubrovnik

Wedding planning tips

Since we are photographers and videographers who are in the wedding business for years, we can give you a few tips and tricks that can make planning of the day and choice of Dubrovnik wedding venues a bit easier.

From our point of view, the most important thing for your wedding day is that you are not stressful about anything. You need to have a good time because that will result in the best possible photos.

Another important, but not crucial factor for good photography and video is lighting. A good light brings a lot to the final mood of the photos and video. However we won’t make you leave your guests for a long time just to get the perfect photos. We know the most important thing for you is being with your loved ones and we make sure to capture all those happy faces.

We need 15-30min to take you away for the portrait session and this time is not only dedicated for photos. This is also the time you two can soak in all the emotions and just to be alone for some time. This is something most couples don’t plan as necessary but they are grateful later for this ‘just us’ time.

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Plan the wedding timeline

We find it practical to plan the day ahead. Normally it will take us around 30min for ‘getting ready’ for each. If you are not in the same location, we need to add travel time to this. Afterwards, the first look usually takes 15min and this is the time we create some portrait photos.

Along the way we will take candid shots of guests arriving, chatting and then comes the ceremony. We normally do family and group photos after the ceremony, during cocktail hour, but it can be arranged even earlier in the day. A lot depends on the heat and location. Also we try to take you for another 15min around sunset time for additional portrait photos.

We suggest you define when is the sunset and the golden hour, and then plan everything else around it.

When the party starts, depending on the hours of coverage you choose, we can stay for the first hour (covering first dance, cake cutting and candid dance photos) or through the evening until the very end.

Additionally, you can hire us to cover a get-together time a day before or after the wedding which normally lasts up to 2 hours. This is a cool add-on to the regular wedding package because you get more memories with your firends and family. You can have a pizza meet-up or go on kayaking / boat tour around Dubrovnik walls.

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Why light matters

You think about dress, flowers, dinner courses etc. but you probably won’t think about lighting during your day. We understand it and we are here to give you simple guidelines to consider the best lighting for your ceremony (especially if it is outdoors). A good lighting conditions can tremendously affect photos. Of course, we are able to beautifully edit photos on harsh light but we can’t edit eye squinting and frowning on your faces due to harsh light.

So try to consider Dubrovnik wedding venues with locations that are in the shade or a position where the sun will be behind the officiant. If you plan a summer Dubrovnik wedding, generally it is better to move the ceremony closer to the sunset time. Not only you will have a better lighting, you will also avoid sweaty faces and tiredness. That is not the experience you would want for your ceremony.

Introduction to Dubrovnik

A lot can be said about Dubrovnik. It’s the most famous city in Croatia although it’s smaller than some other cities in Croatia. It’s not the city as a whole that’s so famous, it’s the old Dubrovnik city, engulfed in city walls and frozen in some other times.

Location and history breakdown

Dubrovnik is situated at the sole south of Croatia and it’s the largest city in that part of the country. From the year of 1979, the city of Dubrovnik is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. The history of the city reaches far more in the past, back to the 7th century when it was called Ragusa instead of Dubrovnik.

The Golden age of Dubrovnik was through the 15th and 16th centuries when Dubrovnik was at its peak. It was a time of the world-known Dubrovnik republic, a state considered as one of the most famous trading power in the world of that time. Not a bad background story for Dubrovnik wedding.

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One very interesting fact is that Dubrovnik was the first city to implement a quarantine to the sailors and merchants coming from the ‘suspicious’ countries. They were forbidden from entering the city and needed to spend one month in Lazzarettos, a group of buildings used as a quarantine. Fun fact: Lazzarettos is now one of the coolest wedding venues in Dubrovnik!

Finally, the city of Dubrovnik is famous for its monumental city walls and towers that once guarded the Liberty – one of the most important segments of the Dubrovnik Republic. They valued freedom more than anything else. Everybody falls in love with the old city walls of Dubrovnik and they are the reason why this city was featured in the famous Game of Thrones series. But it’s not only the walls that are preserved, the whole city inside of the walls is mostly preserved in a way it looked like centuries ago.

Dubrovnik karaka boat elopement matea stephan 16 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

How to reach Dubrovnik

Arriving by plane

We mentioned that Dubrovnik is located in southern Croatia and, having in mind the shape of Croatia, it’s the farthest city to reach if you are coming by car from western European countries. That’s why most people choose to come to Dubrovnik by airplane which is the most convenient way to reach this beautiful city. The airport in Čilipi is well connected with all other European airports and it will take you around 30min drive to reach the city of Dubrovnik.

Arriving by car

Dubrovnik karaka boat elopement matea stephan 6 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

If you are coming by car to Dubrovnik, the fastest way to reach it is by using a state motorway that currently ends in the city of Ploce, 2 hours of driving away from Dubrovnik. There are some bus lines toward it too, but these are not so frequent and we don’t recommend them as a good way to reach Dubrovnik if you have other options.

Watch out: If you plan to arrive by car from the northern parts of Croatia, in 2021. you will still need to cross the border near the city Neum and enter Bosnia and Herzegovina just for a few kilometres to reach Dubrovnik so prepare for that (passports, green cards etc.). There is a bridge being built at this moment so hopefully from 2022. you won’t need to bother with border crossings anymore.

Arriving by boat

Dubrovnik is well connected with other Croatian places so you can easily arrive from Split, Hvar and Korčula with high speed ship Krilo or you can rent a taxi/speedboat for the maximum comfort. Uber boat is also available in Croatia so check it up as well. Croatian coast is beautiful to observe from the sea.

Weather in Dubrovnik

When planning your Dubrovnik wedding the weather is one of the first things to explore. It’s especially important if you plan to have your wedding in some of the outdoor Dubrovnik wedding venues.

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Dubrovnik has a Mediterranean climate which means hot summers and relatively mild winters. The weather in the summer months is usually warm and dry. The hottest months are July and August, but these are also the busiest so it can feel even hotter than it actually is. Winters are not as cold as in some other parts of Croatia but the strong wind can make it feel much worse than it is. Also the advantage of warmer months is that you have more options to choose from regarding the accommodation and restaurants.

The sea is good for swimming from June to late September. If you are not a cold-sensitive person, May and October will do too.

Best time of the year for a wedding in Dubrovnik

When choosing the best time for your Dubrovnik wedding you need to take many factors into the equation. Weather is just one of them and when it comes to weather, the April – October range is the best time range to visit Dubrovnik. You can expect very hot days during July and August and sometimes the heat can be unbearable.

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The second variable of the equation is the number of tourists that are present in the city in the different periods of the year. Dubrovnik is a very famous place and as such it attracts many people to visit it. It’s most crowded during the summer months when many cruise ships enter the city port and release their passengers like an army that will conquer the city. The old city core is flooded with people in these periods and we suggest you avoid it at this time since the experience of it would be equal to zero.

Our final verdict when it comes to the best time to organize your Dubrovnik wedding would be either May, early June, or September. The weather is still nice and very warm (not hot) and, although there are still many tourists in the city, it’s much more bearable.

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Dubrovnik Coronavirus updates (will be constantly updated)

Since we live in strange and turbulent times we know it’s hard for you to plan anything in your own country and a wedding abroad seems like a mission impossible. We’re here to help in any way we can. You can check latest news about the virus situation in Croatia on the official website koronavirus.hr

We believe that a lot of vendors are going to be very understanding of the current situation and they offer you free cancellation policies. At least that’s what we do in this situation.

Planning your Dubrovnik wedding and hiring vendors

Planning your actual Dubrovnik wedding shouldn’t be trouble at all. You already know the macro location of it and that’s already a big step forward. However, there are some additional things to think about. You need insider people.

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Dubrovnik wedding planners

First of all, we suggest you hire a wedding planner, a person in charge of making your wedding in Dubrovnik a pleasant experience. It’s hard to organize a wedding from a different country. Wedding planners are usually local people that know the best places and they can help you in all the phases of the organization – from choosing and booking a location to hiring all necessary staff and personnel.

Dubrovnik wedding planners we recommend: Yes I Du, Dubrovnik Event, Do you Wed Me, Dubrovnik Wedding Planner.

Once you have hired a wedding planner, all you need to do is tell them your wishes regarding your Dubrovnik wedding and they will start with the preparation.

Dubrovnik wedding officiants

Dubrovnik symbolic wedding officiant

You can decide if you want to legally marry in your own country and have a symbolic wedding ceremony in Dubrovnik. This means you can have your own vow exchange without officiant or with symbolic officiant by your side. Symbolic officiant can spice up the wedding ceremony. Sometimes it is very emotional, sometimes very funny. We love when couples include symbolic officiants or ask a member of family / friend to say a few words.

Dubrovnik symbolic wedding officiant we recommend: Ives Cikatic

Dubrovnik legal wedding officiant

If you want your marriage legalized, you’ll need to hire an officiant. To do so, you’ll need to prepare some papers and certificates. Additionally, you will need to have a translator present at your wedding. A good wedding planner will help you in this phase too.

Dubrovnik officiant’s office has many officiants. It is recommended to book them at least two months before the wedding date. A deadline for applying to the officiant in Croatia is 40 days before the wedding date.

Dubrovnik florists

Some of the florists we recommend in Dubrovnik area: Cvijet by Kike, Flower Design PatRea

Hair and make-up artists

Some of hair and MUA artists our brides like to work with: Katarina Ramic, Hair dresser UP, Lily Make up

DJ’s and Musicians

Favourite DJ’s and musicians in Dubrovnik area: DJ Miro, Davor Cupic, Michelle Rowsell

Accommodation options

If you plan to have many guests at your wedding, you’ll need to find proper accommodation for you and your guests. You should have no problem with that since Dubrovnik has a vast range of different accommodations at your disposal. Just make sure you make a booking at least a few months before your arrival.

Dubrovnik hotels

These hotels will be perfect for your getting ready and after-wedding vacation in Dubrovnik: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Bellevue Dubrovnik, Rixos Dubrovnik, Villa Dubrovnik, Villa Orsula, Villa Sheherezade, Grand Villa Argentina, Hotel Excelsior

Our favourite Dubrovnik Airbnb’s

Dubrovnik is full of amazing Airbnb’s! Here is the list of our favourites that are beautifully furnished, close to the city core and close to most of the Dubrovnik wedding venues from our list:

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Dubrovnik wedding venues

The last thing you need to do is to choose one of the best Dubrovnik wedding venues to host your wedding. Once again, you have a range of unique places for this. We have compiled this list based on the number of guests each Dubrovnik wedding venue can take.

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Most of these venues can take more than 50 guests. Another criterion was the attractiveness of location – you want your Dubrovnik wedding venue to have a spectacular view, beautiful surrounding and convenient location. All the venues are within the Dubrovnik city and you can reach the old town core within few minutes by taxi. Here is the list of some of the best Dubrovnik wedding venues:

Višnjica Park

Fort Lovrijenac

Lazareti

Villa Bunic-Kaboga

Sponza Palace

Villa Sheherezade

Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

Lokrum Island

Excelsior Hotel

Grand Villa Argentina

Banje beach

We hope you found a perfect Dubrovnik wedding venue among these. If you are still struggling and feel like you need something different, let us know, we might can cam up with even better location.

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Dubrovnik elopement

We had numerous elopements in Dubrovnik in the past few years. If you are not familiar with this term, we have written an article with all you need to know about the elopement.

Elopement is the wedding of the future and it’s much more convenient to organize, especially in these Coronavirus times. It’s much easier to organize overall since in most cases the only persons involved are you and your partner.

Dubrovnik karaka boat elopement matea stephan 27 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer
Check out this elopement on Karaka ship in Dubrovnik

You just need to choose the right venue and book accommodation for you and your partner. If you want a simple ceremony without booking many vendors, you don’t even need to hire a wedding planner since there’s not a lot of things you need to take care of. In this case, the price you’ll pay will be significantly smaller than for the organization of the large wedding.

We have a comprehensive guide for elopement in Croatia so if you are considering eloping, you might want to check it out.

What is elopement How to elope Love and Ventures 9 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer

Best Dubrovnik elopement venues

Unlike the Dubrovnik wedding venues, we have another criterion for elopements: location needs to be remote or private, beautiful views, natural surroundings, different from common Dubrovnik wedding locations.

Here are our favourites: Park Orsula, Srđ Hill, remote viewpoints, Lokrum Island, Elaphiti Islands, Pasjača beach, Arboretum Trsteno, little islands and coves/rocks along the coast, Karaka ship

Park Orsula Engagement Dubrovnik Por Ken Love and Ventures Photographer 07 | Croatia Elopement Photographer and Videographer
Park Orsula is a beautiful Dubrovnik wedding and elopement venue

Dubrovnik wedding portrait locations

The whole city is one huge scene for portrait and bridal photos. Plan ahead your potential Dubrovnik wedding venues so it is not too far from old city. Sometimes we decide to roam around and always stumble upon some new, unknown corner with a nice light. Places we like: narrow streets and stone steps, some famous spots from GOT, Old harbour, West harbour, St. Ignatius staircase, Buza bar.

Pro tip: if you want to have photos on the busy and popular locations (such as Sponza and Rector’s palace front yard, consider to schedule your photo session for early morning hours to beat the crowds.

Things to do and see around Dubrovnik

We are reaching the end of this comprehensive Dubrovnik wedding guide and there’s just few more things left, among which is your experience of Dubrovnik and Croatia outside of your wedding day.

Things to see in Dubrovnik city

You’ll probably stay in Croatia for at least 7 days when organizing your wedding in Dubrovnik. The wedding will be soon over and you’ll need to spend the rest of your vacation in the best possible manner. A good thing for you is that there are a lot of things to do and see in Dubrovnik.

  • Kayaking tour around city walls
  • Walk the city walls
  • Take funicular to the Srđ hill
  • Take a speedboat trip to Elaphiti islands
  • Visit Fort Lovrijenac
  • Swim on Banje beach
  • Dinner in Restaurant 360

Need more ideas? Check out our guide ‘Dubrovnik for couples’.

Things to do when it rains

These are places we would visit on a rainy day in Dubrovnik:

  • Rector’s Palace
  • Dubrovnik Room Escape
  • Red History Museum or Love Stories Museum
  • lunch at Pantarul restaurant
  • grab a beer in Dubrovnik Beer Company.

Things to see near Dubrovnik

Also, when in Dubrovnik, you are situated in southern Croatia which is one of the most beautiful parts of Croatia. It’s something you want to explore and make the best out of your Croatia trip.

There are a lot of places to see in just southern Croatia. Mljet national park is not so far away from Dubrovnik. Peljesac peninsula and Korcula island are beautiful places with stunning nature and a clear sea.

Then there are Bacina lakes and Neretva valley, both of them situated near the city of Ploce. Next to these are Makarska Riviera and the famous islands of Hvar and Brac. The list goes on and on.

If you are still deciding on your wedding location, you might want to check out our getting married in Croatia guide.

Dubrovnik wedding packages cost

No matter if it is a romantic elopement with just a photographer to capture your important moments or a luxury wedding with 50+ guests – we guarantee Dubrovnik has many options for anyone.

To clarify things, we have created a special guide for Dubrovnik wedding packages costs + FAQ featuring useful information and factors that will affect your Dubrovnik wedding budget. This guide also offers our starting prices for photography and videography in Dubrovnik area so you can get an idea about these kid of costs.

Here comes the conclusion

We hope we answered all there is to answer regarding the Dubrovnik wedding and that this article made you even more convinced that Dubrovnik is the best place for your wedding.

If there is anything left unanswered in this article, that’s what a contact form is used for, just reach to us and we’ll gladly help you.

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Hello there!

We are Mario & Andrea, a Love and Ventures team, specialised in adventure elopements and intimate weddings. We are based in Croatia but also happy to travel to other beautiful places on the planet Earth. Contact us if you plan an elopement or intimate wedding with a pinch of adventure.