Getting Married in Croatia: Why Hvar is Becoming a Hit Wedding Destination

Total Croatia News

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Source: Bahrain Merida

Tourism in general is booming on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, but there are also niche industries which are doing very well indeed. TCN takes a closer look at the rise in popularity of foreign weddings on the island of Hvar on August 3, 2017, with an interview with Suncani Hvar Hotels wedding coordinator, Nikolina Pijanovic. 

They are coming from all parts of the globe – Europe, Africa, the Americas, Australia and the Middle East – bringing their guests with them, and with one common goal, to tie the knot in the picturesque beauty of Croatia’s premier island.

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Hvar, the sunniest island in Europe, often referred to as one of the ten most beautiful in the world, with more UNESCO heritage than other and celebrating 150 years of the birth of organised tourism in Europe next year. A heavenly island which attracts people from all walks of life, and all budgets. But it leaves an indelible impression on many, and an increasing number of young couples are not only falling in love with the island, but choosing it for the location of their special day.

Leading hotel group Suncani Hvar Hotels organised more than 60 foreign weddings last year and now has an experienced and efficient dedicated wedding service in house. TCN caught up with wedding coordinator Nikolina Pijanovic to find out more about the Hvar wedding phenomenon.

1. Hvar is a romantic island, but to organise a wedding here is a different story, surely. How easy is it?

I won’t say it’s easy, but at the end of the day it’s a great job! Hvar being an island does not really make things more or less complicated as a wedding venue – as our couples have accepted this fact, even more so, it’s a winning designation to be married on the island in the Mediterranean. The sunniest in Europe at that – with most of our guests coming from the UK.

Many of our couples have already visited Hvar for a variety of occasions – a friend’s wedding, a family vacation, a stag/hen party, a couple’s escape. Hvar must stay within their mind somewhere, because when we receive inquiries and ask Why Hvar?, it is predominantly either because they have visited or have received recommendations from friends & family. Once they commit we begin with fine tuning – really fine tuning. It may sound delightfully dreamy, but a destination wedding still needs to be planned, in the everyday practical sense, the same as any wedding.



We are at their disposal to help organize a range of services. This includes accommodation, catering on a selected venue, transfers for the guests and coordination with external suppliers and wedding planners. It is a lot of work, but in the end worth it to be a part of their special moments. You get very deeply involved, as it’s a very private affair at the end of day.

2. Location, location, location. Tempt us with some of your locations for the service and the reception.

In the past few years of intensive development of venues, Bonj beach club wins 1st – it has everything: exclusivity for both ceremonies and receptions, waterfront location, privacy, history and culture since 1927, when it was built as town bathing site by a Silvijo Sponza, a local architect of the time.

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The runner up is San Marco with a completely different image: a Venetian terrace from the Austrian Empress Elisabeth’s era in the heart of historic Hvar Town, overlooking the port. The terrace is planned to be completely refurbished along with the adjoining Hotel Palace into an even more exclusive venue.


Another beachfront location is Maestral deck located at a grand beach of Amfora in a secluded pine grove. Also with an amazing sea view, it has a very different vibe, ideal for a relaxed informal wedding beach party.

The VIP terrace is located at a rooftop of our hotel Adriana with a view of the old part of the town, the port and the fortress. You are sure to be out of everyone’s sight at the terrace, which is a very frequent request for ceremonies.

The Spanish fortress is one of Hvar’s landmarks, especially desirable for ceremonies.

One of the hidden gems belongs to Museum of Hvar heritage and may become an amazing location for ceremonies – a garden in the summer residence of Hvar’s rennaisance poet Hanibal Lucić.


3. Tell us who is coming to Hvar to get married? Where are most of the newlyweds from, and what capacity do you have, from the smallest to the largest number?

Couples are coming from all over of the world really, but mostly from United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Scandinavia. In the past few years we have also hosted couples coming from Kenya, South Africa, Lebanon and Dubai. Every year we have weddings of couples who were guests at one of our previous weddings.

An average wedding has around 80 guests, although we have small intimate weddings and also larger ones. We hosted 300 guests at Bonj les bains last year but have also organized intimate ceremonies and receptions at the VIP terrace for 40 guests.


4. Organising a wedding is said to be one of the most stressful experiences in life, but to do so from distance must be especially so tel us about your relationship with the brides to be, and how you keep them calm in this stressful time.

Quite honestly, I am working on lowering the levels of stress from our initial contact to ensure less hand holding on the big day. It’s true that any wedding — whether at home or away — can turn into a logistical nightmare. We provide our own on-site wedding coordinator to help in all segments, so the wedding can be less stressful to plan.

While it is possible to plan a destination wedding on your own, hiring a planner with local know-how and contacts is a good idea, and will greatly help stress levels and sanity. To begin with, we provide a better insight into venues, accommodation, transfers, and planners will add on with trusted photographers, officiants, florists…it takes a whole army really. We coordinate all on-site works on the day to create a great experience for all invitees, and allow couple to really enjoy the wedding day.


5. Your advice to couples looking to tie the knot on Hvar?

Start early. Couples may think they have plenty of time, but most desirable wedding venues are booked up a year in advance or more. While six to eight weeks ahead is fine for sending invitations to a traditional Croatian wedding, in this case couples should to give four months’ notice—minimum—to guests invited to a destination wedding.

Be communicative. It is good to send out save-the-date cards as soon as couple knows when and where the wedding will be held. It’s always a good idea to set up a wedding website to keep guests informed of details and let them know about booking accommodation with wedding codes we create for our couples, what to pack, what’s the itinerary of the event…we are at their disposal to help organize a wide range of Sunčani Hvar Hotels services, so they can feel free to contact us any time.



6. With so much beauty to choose from, it is a difficult question to answer, but tell us which is your favourite wedding location combination, and why? is not easy to pick out…perhaps Bonj les bains, where couples can have ceremony, reception and party at the sea in one place. It feels like your own place for the day.

7. One of the advantages of Hvar as a wedding destination is that you have a ready-made summer holiday for the guests after the wedding. Do many couples honeymoon on Hvar as well?

Certainly, many couples are coming to honeymoon on Hvar, they either continue from their wedding in Hvar or come to Hvar to spend their honeymoon.

It’s not difficult to understand why – with an entire island on their disposal to explore with Paklinski islands. We have created themed programs for honeymoons and anniversaries.
From bottles of bubbly, to in-room spa treatments and picnics in nature or surrounding islands.

Packages include exclusive accommodation, couple’s massages and spa treatments, wine tastings, sunset sailing…

Wedding guests usually combine their vacation with a wedding as we offer special discounts for wedding guests and they usually stay for their vacation at one of our hotels.

8. Weddings on the Adriatic are becoming increasingly popular. Can you give us an indication on the price differences between a wedding in the UK, for example, and why do you think Hvar is the best location for that dream day?

As a general feedback from our couples, an average wedding ceremony and reception costs about the same as in the UK. Some services here however – pastries, wedding cakes, flower decorations, photography and videography of the same standard are better priced here.

The appeal of escape with your closest friends and family gives an almost magical aura to an already special event. Even after you add travel and accommodation costs to the island, it’s still worth having your wedding away from home.

Feeling like learning more about a Hvar wedding of your own? You can find Nikolina and the Suncani Hvar wedding team here.


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