It’s easy to fall in love with Istria. Almost as easy as you’ve fallen in love with your partner. It’s the largest peninsula of the Adriatic sea and one of the most visited places in Croatia. Many couples decide to get married here, among vineyards or picturesque villages located on the top of the hills and scattered all around the peninsula. We write this article as an inspiration to you if you are thinking about the Istria wedding or elopement.
We had a few elopements and weddings in Istria and truly can’t decide which one was our favorite. Each time we visit Istria as wedding photographer and videographer, we discover new places and stay for a few days, just to explore around and indulge ourselves in all the things Istria offers.
Are you ready to indulge yourself and get married in beautiful Istria?
Pioneers of outdoor elopements in Croatia
Love and Ventures are Andrea and Mario, a wedding and elopement photographer and videographer, based in Croatia. With years of experience shooting elopements and intimate weddings in all kinds of landscapes, we decided to create this guide to serve you as a good starting point for planning your elopement or wedding in Istria.
Let the adventure begin!
Our 5 reasons for Istria wedding or elopement
Here they are: landscape, picturesque towns and villages, food and wine, rich history and historic places, and a mixture of cultures. Istria is full of rolling hills and it’s somewhat similar to Tuscany in Italy. The coast of Istria is kissed by the Adriatic sea, one of the cleanest seas in the world. The inner part of Istria is full of rocky formations and hills. On the top of these hills lay centuries-old picturesque villages with some of the best views of their surroundings. Istria is famous for its wines and food delicacies with truffles being one of the Istrian trademarks.
The Istrian peninsula was influenced by many different cultures throughout its past with Italian influence being the most visible in many aspects of today’s Istria. Romans ruled the peninsula for centuries and built many famous landmarks that survived until these days. Roman amphitheater located in the city of Pula is just one of the many historical buildings that amaze everyone who visits them.
We are sure that you might find a few more reasons why Istria is a great place to visit, but we believe these are the most common ones. Having all this in mind, we believe you got hooked and want to start planning your wedding or elopement in Istria as soon as possible.
We’re here to help if you have any questions, feel free to contact us through the contact form and we’ll gladly answer any question you might have. If you are interested in Croatia elopement, then you can find a lot of information on our website.
We are mentioning Istria elopement. What elopement is?
You probably already know the answer to this question so if you do, feel free to skip this short paragraph. Since elopements are quickly regaining popularity, here’s their description if you are not sure about their meaning. Elopements are a type of wedding where, in most cases, only the couple that is getting married is present with no other guests whatsoever. Some elopements might include a few of the closest friends but anything more than that is already a small intimate wedding.
Elopements are already a trend in America and they are quickly gaining popularity in Europe too. Another peculiarity of elopements is that they are usually organized in a foreign country so in a sense, you have a wedding and honeymoon in one. What’s great about elopements is that they are budget-friendly, cost much less than usual weddings, and are fully customizable.
So what do you think about Istria elopement? Are you in for having a wedding just in the way you always imagined it?
Traveling to Croatia and Istria
Croatia is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Europe and Istria is one of the most visited destinations in Croatia. Reaching Croatia is easy and the country is well-connected by all means of modern public transport. Arriving in Croatia by plane is by far the fastest and most convenient way of reaching it, especially if you are traveling from a distant destination. The closest airports to Istria are Pula, Zagreb, and Zadar with Pula being on the Istria peninsula. Italian airports such as Treviso are also not so far away and a good option if you want to visit Venice on your way to Istria.
Once you reach Croatia, we suggest you rent a car and head toward your destination. Croatia has some of the most scenic road routes in Europe and roads are in good condition. If you are not in a hurry, we suggest using regional roads instead of motorways because they provide a unique experience of true Croatia. Make sure you explore what places are located on your route so you can stop and explore them.
You can find more practical information in our guide for your wedding in Croatia.
Wedding in Istria: Legal ceremony vs. Symbolic ceremony
Getting married in Croatia is rather easy, both legally and symbolically. Legal marriage requires a bit of paperwork but it’s not so complicated and can be done in a reasonable amount of time. However, we suggest you start with the paperwork as soon as possible and let it be one of the first steps in the planning of your Istria wedding. Legal ceremonies are somewhat stiff and, honestly, we prefer the symbolic ones. The legal officiant can come to almost any location for your wedding ceremony, but it will cost additionally, depending on how far from the office officiant has to travel. Also, legal ceremonies are not customizable and have strict protocols.
The great alternative to legally binding wedding ceremonies is symbolic ones. Fully customizable, they can basically take whatever kind of form you want. These wedding ceremonies are usually conducted by a symbolic officiant, close friend, or a member of the family. They can include some local traditions also and symbolic wedding ceremonies are the most common choice for elopements. Eloping couple usually deals with the legal part of their marriage in their home country and then travel to a foreign one to have a stress-free wedding ceremony.
If you are into a symbolic wedding in Istria, let us know, we know the best symbolic officiants in Croatia.
Best time of the year for weddings or elopement in Istria
Istria is most visited during the months of July and August. That’s the main season in the whole of Croatia, everything is busy, there are people wherever you look and sometimes it’s hard to truly experience the place you are visiting. July and August are also the hottest months of the year. Many weddings in Istria take place during this period because all the restaurants and wedding venues are open and there are many things to do around.
Still, we never suggest peak season as the best time for Istria wedding. Not only when it comes to Istria, but for any other part of Croatia and many other countries too. We believe that preseason and postseason periods and months such as May, June, September, and October are much better fits for both weddings and elopements in Istria. The weather is still nice although it’s not as near as hot as during the middle of the summer. There are significantly fewer people around and everything seems much more natural.
We have written an article about how every month looks in Croatia and it’s a good starting point if you are not sure when to get married in this beautiful country.
Wedding venues in Istria: Our pick of the best ones
A wedding venue gives a special vibe to your wedding ceremony so it’s very important you choose one you like. Istria is full of great places, and some of these venues are worth visiting even if you are getting married in another place. Brijuni national park is one such location. It’s the perfect place for visiting after your wedding reception is done.
Many more places are available when it comes to elopements in Istria since elopements usually include only 2 persons and basically every place within Istria is in the game, especially if you are in for a bit of adventure.
Brijuni national park
Brijuni is the island archipelago that consists of 2 larger and 12 smaller islands. It’s also one of the 8 national parks in Croatia. Brijuni are located in the western part of Istria, just a few kilometers from shore. Brijuni became a symbol of glamour since many famous politicians, actors, and other high-class members spent their vacations there. Nowadays it is home to many animals, such as zebras, llamas, and peacocks.
Rovinj and Red island
The Red island is located south of the city of Rovinj. It’s great for both weddings and elopements in Istria. In the middle of the island, there is a Hutterott castle that dates back to the 6th century and it’s the perfect Istria wedding venue for history lovers.
Petrapilosa castle is located near the city of Buzet, in inland Istria. It’s one of the most preserved Istrian castles and it has a rich and long history. Petrapilosa is a great elopement venue in Istria, especially if you are looking for untraditional wedding ceremony locations.
San Canzian is one of the luxury wedding venues in Istria. It’s great for weddings with a true vibe of Istrian culture since the whole property is renovated to reflect the traditions of Istria. San Canzian is perfect for smaller weddings with up to 50 guests.
There are many small agrotourism locations and family-run properties that are excellent as venues for intimate weddings in Istria as well as for elopements. There are really many to choose from, but we would mention Paladnjaki as one of our favorites.
What to do after your Istria wedding or elopement: Ideas and inspiration
Apart from your wedding in Istria, there are many other things and activities to fill your days in this stunning part of Croatia. Now that your wedding or elopement in Istria is over, it’s time to start exploring and indulging in all these things Istria has to offer. We already mentioned some of the at the beginning of this article. Istria is famous for its food delicacies so make sure you try some of them. Search for the best restaurants in Istria and let your senses enjoy.
Make sure you explore old towns of Istria, especially ones that are located in inland Istria such as Višnjan, Motovun, Grožnjan… All of these are located on the top of the hills and have narrow stone streets and peculiar architecture. We adore them.
If you are more of an adventurous person, we suggest you go on an adventure together. Trail of the 7 waterfalls (Staza 7 slapova) is a great hike in a canyon. There are many places for rock climbing in Istria and Vela Draga is one of the most famous of them all.
A Brijuni National Park is definitely a place you have to visit if you are having a wedding in Istria. It’s a great national park in which you can spend the whole day exploring. There are 2 more national parks relatively close to Istria – Risnjak and Sjeverni Velebit and both of these are mountainous landscapes perfect for hiking adventures.
If you want to, you can visit the neighboring country of Slovenia which has a part of its border north of the Istria peninsula. Slovenia is yet another beautiful country and some of the places not so far away from Istria that we recommend visiting are Postojna Cave, Triglav National Park, and lakes Bled and Bohinj.
The famous city of Venice is also relatively close to Istria so you might go for a day trip there, although we would recommend you reserve at least 2 days for such a trip.
Istria wedding and elopement packages cost
So how much your Istria wedding or elopement might cost? We will try our best to give you some approximate values which we believe might give you some sense of how much your wedding might cost. Regarding the wedding venues in Istria such as hotels, it’s best to check on their official websites on how much they charge for each guest.
If you are planning a larger wedding with 50+ persons, it will probably cost you somewhere around 15 000 to 25 000 Euros. Typical wedding vendors include hair and makeup, musicians, officiant, wedding venue fee, florist and floral decorations, photographer and videographer…
If you are planning to have a smaller intimate wedding in Istria, with up to 20 guests, you can expect its cost to be somewhere in the range of 7000 to 10000 Euros.
Finally, if you plan to elope in Istria, with only you and your partner present, the cost of such a wedding will be significantly lower and you can expect it to be in the range of 2500 to 5000 Euros, depending on the wedding vendors you want to hire for your elopement.
Istria wedding and elopement photographer and videographer
If you want to have some great memories of your wedding in Istria, you will want to hire a photographer and videographer. Or just a photographer. Or videographer. A good photographer is somebody who will be mostly unnoticeable, and a person who will document moments as they happen, with little or no posing and faking.
That’s basically our philosophy at each wedding or elopement we shoot. There are many of information about us and our style on this website so make yourself at home and explore around. Meet us virtually and we hope you’ll want to meet us for real too. We are doing the photography and videography of both intimate weddings as well as elopements. When it comes to elopements, we always help to plan your elopement in regard to your wishes and budget.
We work with the best wedding vendors in Croatia and we will suggest the best ones for your elopement in Istria. Finally, we know all the best and secret locations Istria has to offer whether you want to have an adventurous elopement or one with a historic vibe.
If you want to know more about our packages and services, feel free to contact us. The same goes if you have any additional questions regarding Istria wedding or elopement.