Tell us a bit about you?
Hello! I’m Aida, a tax consultant and my husband Chris is a film music composer and producer. I’m originally from Mostar in Bosnia-Hercegovina and I grew up in London; Chris is from Cambridge. We met through a mutual friend in London and now we live in Los Angeles with our 5 month baby boy.
How did you meet and what is your engagement story?
I met Chris in London, at a mutual friends birthday party. We were introduced because Chris was about to spend the summer travelling around Bosnia & Croatia (where I’m from), our friend said something along the lines of “you need to speak to Aida about your trip and get her recommendations”, we got talking and it went from there.
We got engaged in the Cotswolds, which is a really beautiful area of natural beauty in England (think “the Holiday” movie with Cameron Diaz). Chris had planned a romantic weekend away doing all of my favourite things including booking me in for a spa treatment, a yoga session and a romantic dinner. He proposed to me in a little village called Snowshill which has always been a place we would visit as an escape from the hustle and bustle of London. On our way back to London, we stopped over at my sisters house so that we could celebrate with my mum/ family which was so sweet.
Before Chris proposed, I found out that he had lunch with my mum to ask her permission to marry me (my dad had passed away by this point and I am extremely close to my mum). We always have a joke that my mum is the worst at keeping secrets so I was very impressed that she didn’t accidentally blurt out his plans to me!
How did you decide to have your wedding in Dubrovnik? How did your friends and family react when they heard about your wedding location?
My childhood was spent in Mostar and summers on the Dalmatian coast, with a lot of family still there so we always knew we wanted to get married in Croatia, by the sea and a location that was easy for both of our families to travel to. We both love Dubrovnik which has a special place in our hearts and decided to look at venues there. We absolutely loved Sponza Palace and Villa Scherazade but unfortunately the venue was too small for us. We found Ines and Dubrovnik Event online and we got in touch as we loved their portfolio and the weddings they had organized. We got talking to Ines who was amazing. In the meantime we stumbled across the Aman Hotel in Sveti Stefan, Montenegro and knew this was the venue for us. We were introduced to local wedding planners there however we got back in touch with Ines to see if she would consider being our wedding planner in Montenegro and we were so happy that she agreed!
Our friends and family were thrilled to be attending a destination wedding, especially as the weather in the UK is so unpredictable. Our one wish was that we could dance into the night under the stars with our friends and family.
Most stressful thing about wedding planning:
Whilst Montenegro is an amazing location, the wedding industry isn’t quite as developed as other European destinations. Finding really good vendors was tricky and in the end a lot of our vendors (florist, wedding planner, marquee company, photographer, band) came from Croatia and the UK. This was probably the most stressful part of wedding planning as you are putting so much trust in vendors to execute your vision and perfect day.
What was your must have for the wedding?
We just wanted our guests to have an amazing time – they had travelled all this way to see us (some from as far as the US and China) and we just wanted everyone to celebrate with us and have a weekend where they didn’t have to think about anything other than eating, drinking and dancing!
That being said, a great wedding planner is also a must especially to navigate through local documentation requirements if you want your legal wedding to take place abroad – Ines & team were amazing and we couldn’t have done this without them. Good food/wine and photographer were really important to us too.
How did you feel just before you walked down the aisle?
Very very nervous! But so excited at the same time. You can plan and have as many rehearsals but nothing can prepare you for the feeling of walking towards your future husband to be!
What worried you the most the night before the wedding?
Definitely the weather! Our ceremony was in a beautiful outdoor garden overlooking the sea and the indoor option would have been the marquee – we wanted the ceremony to be outdoors in this stunning location and the weather is one thing you just can’t predict or control. There was apparently a big grey storm cloud at one point in the morning whilst we were getting ready that thankfully cleared up before the guests started arriving (to which I was actually oblivious to as our room faced the opposite direction).
Looking back is there anything you would change?
I loved our floral arrangement overall however the floral arrangement for the ceremony wasn’t quite what we had discussed with the florist. I would probably ask someone to take a photo of the ceremony set up to make sure everything is as you envision it as it’s too late once you are walking down the aisle. But in the grand scheme of things it’s minor and our guests didn’t notice at all!
What was the funniest thing that happened on the day?
It was probably our Friday evening welcome drinks which were held at the cliff pool overlooking the sea with quite a few steps to navigate to the location. The staff at the Aman were absolutely amazing with helping people with strollers / children and … Chris’ 95 year old grandmother. She had about 4-5 strapping young guys from the Aman who carried her down the stairs which she was pleased about!
On the wedding day, I also loved that our crazy friends and family ended up swimming in the sea which was right next to the marquee in the early hours of the morning after the band finished up which was hilarious!
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to other brides planning their wedding?
I know it’s difficult but my piece of advice for brides would be to enjoy the day and try not to stress / get hung up on things that are beyond your control. We’ve been to weddings where the bridal party were quite stressed and your guests definitely feel it. Choose vendors that you trust and will enjoy working with as you are placing a lot of trust in their hands. And just really to enjoy every second as it goes by so so fast. Having a photographer that you love and can flick through your photo album to relive the day helps with the post wedding blues! Our photographer Ed did the most amazing job and we still get out our photo album frequently and look through it.
Wedding dress: Inbal Dror Wedding shoes: Jimmy Choo Stationary: Tankerville Press Aida x