Rustic, Bohemian, Informal Beach Wedding & Beach BBQ Reception

Hello everyone,

 

This is my very first post, so please be gentle!

I've only been engaged a couple of weeks, and although it may be a few years before we can afford to get hitched, my fiancé and I are already brainstorming wedding ideas (Luckily, our ideas are basically the same so far).

We know we'd like to go abroad, we'd like a very rustic, bohemian & informal beach wedding, followed by a beach BBQ, with maybe 25-35 guests max.

We're both rather unconventional free-spirited people (think slightly hippie lol), so are really hoping to find a place that's small, quiet and intimate; perhaps a small family run restaurant on the beach front? 

We've been looking at the Mediterranean coasts (inc. Croatia, Italy, Greek Islands etc), purely for flight times as I am not yet sure if my mother will be able to fly for long periods for medical reasons. 

The little bit of research I've done so far for the Mediterranean, has only really pulled up packages or planners that do rather formulaic ceremonies/receptions in churches, fancy hotels or modern villas... and although all the weddings I've seen are very pretty, it's not really our taste.

Our taste is much more relaxed - to paint more of a picture, think: mis-matched love-worn furniture, tealights, bare-foot, long hair (both of us!), wild flowers, fresh unfussy home-cooked food like BBQ fresh fish & seafood straight out of the sea; hessian, linen & cotton fabrics, blown bubbles instead of confetti.

I'm starting to have the sinking feeling that for what we really want we'd be better to look more towards the tropics... Fiji, Bali, Caribbean?  

Has anyone else had or is planning something out of the ordinary for their wedding abroad?

I'm a bit overwhelmed and not really sure how to proceed, any ideas of locations would be so amazing!

Posts

  • abiscottabiscott Posts: 26

    Congratulations on your engagement!!

    We're going for Cameo Island in Zakynthos, it has a bit (but not all!) of what you're looking for.  It's a private mini cove, with a beautiful bridge leading to it (the bridge sold it to me, I love a bridge!).

    It can offer a beach BBQ for a reception but we're going elsewhere so I'm not sure what the reception facilities are actually like there.

    But I hope it shows that you can find somewhere closer to home that is not a typical hotel wedding.

    One thing I have found difficult though, is getting prices for things, it seems that if you are not having a wedding next year, wedding planners are reluctant to answer queries.

    Happy planning!!

  • ruthie1979ruthie1979 Posts: 794

    Oh my goodness - it's sounds amazing!!! 

    I can't point you in any directions but good luck with your planning xxx 

  • Abiscott - Thank you so much!  It still hasn't really sunk in yet, I've been quite shy about it really! 

    I'd actually looked at Cameo, and you're pretty much on the button - that's kind of the sort of style we'd be looking for.  Can I ask who you booked it through?

    It's only that I'd just read a review somewhere that even in the height of summer it can get a little chilly post 7pm, as the cove tends to be a wind trap.  As some of the wedding party will be quite mature, I was a bit worried for their comfort.  I think you're definitely making the right choice in going somewhere else afterwards.  I'm sure you're in for an absolutely gorgeous day!

    I will certainly look into it a bit more though, as we don't necessarily have to stay in the same place as the ceremony.

     

    Thanks Ruthie1979!  I'm hoping that my ideas aren't so unusual that they will make finding the right place impossible... surely there have to be other people out there with a slight hippy leaning? haha

  • abiscottabiscott Posts: 26
    BohemianBride wrote (see post):

    Abiscott - Thank you so much!  It still hasn't really sunk in yet, I've been quite shy about it really! 

    I'd actually looked at Cameo, and you're pretty much on the button - that's kind of the sort of style we'd be looking for.  Can I ask who you booked it through?

    It's only that I'd just read a review somewhere that even in the height of summer it can get a little chilly post 7pm, as the cove tends to be a wind trap.  As some of the wedding party will be quite mature, I was a bit worried for their comfort. 

     

    We've not been able to book it yet as our date is too far away for the wedding planners! We needed to give family enough notice so they can make a decision whether to attend (3 years enough notice?!?!)  It's definitely going to be our venue though, a tip from another bride on here was to view real weddings at prospective venues on Youtube, you get so much more insight rather than just from well set up pictures. We discounted one of our front runners from this.

    I've read that Cameo can get a little windy, we will be taking a trip next year in the same week as the date, to check out temperatures/sunsets/barefoot feasibility (good excuse for another holiday!)  We're also leaning towards a taverna reception nearer to our hotel, so older guests or ones with children etc can leave easily if they wish. 

    We've not looked at any other destinations as Zakynthos was where we got engaged and it was always going to be there, but a lady on here got married in Croatia and that almost made us change our mind, it looked so beautiful, and again was not a typical hotel.... you are going to have so much fun destination hunting!!

     

  • I'm so glad to hear someone else say that - it'll probably be 3 or 4 years til we get married too, thank goodness I'm not the only one!  Haha!  Yes, exactly!  We figured the same - it gives us time to figure out where/what/how and plenty of time for people (& us) to save!

    Fantastic tip!  Thank you so much, I will certainly do that on youtube, I'd been wondering if there might be a way in to seeing 'real' weddings in the venues. 

    Oh wow!  In that case, I can see why Zakynthos would have special significance for you both; and hey it's absolutely stunning too from what I hear!  I think a Taverna reception is a great idea, much more intimate, support local people and as you say, much better all round for your guests. 

    Funnily enough, we got engaged days after returning from a holiday in Dubrovnik in Croatia - we celebrated our 5th anniversary there and suspect that my other half had originally planned on proposing on our anniversary in Croatia, but I'd somehow managed to inadvertently put him off!  Oops.  We are still looking into Croatia, but most of the beaches are pebble or rocks  , I've only really seen fancy-pants venues and the initial pre-estimates from a local wedding planner nearly made me fall off my chair!  I work in events, so that's saying something LOL!

    Perfect excuse for a holiday if ever I heard one - hehe. Do let us know how you get on with your trip to Cameo once you've been,  I'd love to hear all about it.  What time of year are you thinking? Early, Mid or late season? 

     

  • abiscottabiscott Posts: 26

    June, so it will be a while before you get that update!

  • Emma681Emma681 Posts: 218

    I think I might be the not typical hotel wedding in Croatia referred to by abiscott above...

    I personally think that what you are looking for could be done in Croatia... one of the islands like Lokrum or Korcula would be amazing. Our wedding was small, intimate and outdoors - not quite the same as what you want but our planner will plan whatever kind of day people want.  

    If croatia is still a possibility, try contacting Ines at Dubrovnik Event. Happy planning x

  • abiscottabiscott Posts: 26
    Emma681 wrote (see post):

    I think I might be the not typical hotel wedding in Croatia referred to by abiscott above...

    Yep it was! Everything looked so beautiful x

  • Emma681Emma681 Posts: 218
    abiscott wrote (see post):
    Emma681 wrote (see post):

    I think I might be the not typical hotel wedding in Croatia referred to by abiscott above...

    Yep it was! Everything looked so beautiful x

    Thank you So much abiscott   our wedding wasn't really typical of the big, elaborate weddings our planner is used to, but it was perfect for us! x

  • Ladies - so very sorry for the delay in coming back to you, for some reason not getting notifications of responses

    Emma - so glad you spotted this post, I had already looked at your planning thread, and have to say it looked absolutely stunning! 

    Based on your thread I had already been in touch with Ines, and thought she came across as lovely and personable, just my sort of person - my only reservation was cost, as her initial arrangement fee was half of our very tiny budget... I don't know, maybe we can tighten our belts?

    Truth be told, I think my fiancé has his heart set on it being in Croatia (he hasn't said that, but every time I mention it he lights up lol), as it ticks so many boxes and could also be easy to get to via train (unfortunately with my mum being unable to fly, it makes picking a location a bit trickier!).

    We fell in love with Lokrum when we stayed in Dubrovnik; and hopefully will go back next year and look at some of the other islands. 

    We had the most incredible meal at a family run restaurant about an hour from Dubrovnik, on the peninsula near Ston - it was right on the water, had it's own private pebble beach and charcoal grilled seafood & oysters straight out of the sea.  We had a truly sublime day there - it was heaven.

    It's not a typical wedding venue and it's lacking in sand; but otherwise could see us not only getting married there but also having the reception there too.

    Do you know if Ines would be able/willing to approach places like this?  Is it cheeky to ask?  I know that most planners prefer to stick to venues they've tried and tested...

     

  • Emma681Emma681 Posts: 218
    BohemianBride wrote (see post):

    Do you know if Ines would be able/willing to approach places like this?  Is it cheeky to ask?  I know that most planners prefer to stick to venues they've tried and tested... 

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments!  

    I am certain that she would contact any place you fancy... when we were planning we toyed with having our reception dinner at a small family run restaurant by the river in the mountains behind Cavtat and she knew the place, knew the people, and would have happily arranged it for us if we had gone with that option. It was just too far away from where we knew we wanted our ceremony, so it didn't happen.

    It is definitely not cheeky to ask... she probably knows the place. 

    Ines' planning fee is a lot of money. I agree. But it is well worth every penny, and actually covers quite a lot. 

    Let me know how you get on... x

  • YD27YD27 Posts: 7

    Oh my goodness this is EXACTLY what we want too!!!! :D:D Yesssss i've found someone like me! CONGRATULATIONS! 

     

    So, we are doing our legal bit in the registry office in England, just signing the paperwork and  thats it - no ceremony. Then we are going to go abroad to be blessed. 

     

    We are thinking 2020, somewhere like Mexico, evening, sunset, light flowing boho style dress and linen suit. Bare feet, daisy chains, tealights, fairy lights, paella, BBQ, on the beach, good friends and family, good food, good wine, dancing, chilling into the evening. We would 100% rather sit on cushions on the sand with a wooden bench and bottles of wine rather than have chair covers, awkward speeches, sit down 3 course meals and all the pristine things ... all very beautiful but not for us. We haven't started anything yet, but gathering ideas (and going WILD on Pinterest).

     

    Yay! :D x

  • Hello, me and hubby to be are after exactly the same sort of thing... I've done a lot of looking and we aren't planning to get married until May 2020 but these are the venues that have stood out to me if you're after something quite boho esque. 

     

    - George Fort in Croatia. 

    - St Paul's Bay (other chapels etc around which are more rustic) followed by reception at Odyssia or Tambakio in Lindos. 

    - Villa Bologna as you can have the ceremony in the garden with loads of flowers etc and reception there can be as formal or informal as you want which is in Malta. 

    - Country Resort Guadalupe in Tuscany. 

    Xxx

  • Natasha141 wrote (see post):

    Hello, me and hubby to be are after exactly the same sort of thing... I've done a lot of looking and we aren't planning to get married until May 2020 but these are the venues that have stood out to me if you're after something quite boho esque. 

     

    - George Fort in Croatia. 

    - St Paul's Bay (other chapels etc around which are more rustic) followed by reception at Odyssia or Tambakio in Lindos. 

    - Villa Bologna as you can have the ceremony in the garden with loads of flowers etc and reception there can be as formal or informal as you want which is in Malta. 

    - Country Resort Guadalupe in Tuscany. 

    Xxx

    Hi Natasha, 

    Did you ever get a quote from country resort guadalupe? I'm also liking the look of it :) 

  • YD27 wrote (see post):

    Oh my goodness this is EXACTLY what we want too!!!! :D:D Yesssss i've found someone like me! CONGRATULATIONS! 

     

    So, we are doing our legal bit in the registry office in England, just signing the paperwork and  thats it - no ceremony. Then we are going to go abroad to be blessed. 

     

    We are thinking 2020, somewhere like Mexico, evening, sunset, light flowing boho style dress and linen suit. Bare feet, daisy chains, tealights, fairy lights, paella, BBQ, on the beach, good friends and family, good food, good wine, dancing, chilling into the evening. We would 100% rather sit on cushions on the sand with a wooden bench and bottles of wine rather than have chair covers, awkward speeches, sit down 3 course meals and all the pristine things ... all very beautiful but not for us. We haven't started anything yet, but gathering ideas (and going WILD on Pinterest).

     

    Yay! :D x

     

    YD27! Yay! Could not be more similar if you tried! The boho wedding dress, the linen suit, bare feet, daisy chains, sunset etc - it's exactly how I picture my wedding!

    I was starting to get really disheartened that nobody else felt the same as me!  I couldn't agree more about cushions on the sand instead of chair covers - if we had to have chairs we'd want mismatched rickety battered looking furniture haha!

    Interesting about the your plans to go to the registry office & then have a blessing abroad; we had kind of discounted this as an option as had thought perhaps it would feel like that was the moment we were married, and then a blessing would feel a bit un-genuine (is that even a word)?  Be interested to hear your take on it though, as maybe I'm over thinking this??

    Wow! Mexico!  Love that idea.  Are there are specific regions you're looking at? 

    We'd looked at Ibiza, but this would only work for a blessing (would need to do the legal bit here first) - with your plan, this could be a possibility for you?  There's some amazingly boho and gorgeous places we've looked at there.  I hadn't realised that Ibiza had a hippie side to it, but it really does... it meets all of our criteria, except for the legal bit.  Worth a look?

    The more we've thought about it, the more we've started to look further afield - places like Jamaica, St Lucia - even Thailand or Goa. 

    I just can't bear the thought of a formal, rigid ceremony and as you say - awkward speeches!  We've always said that we'd prefer the excuse to throw a lovely party for our loved ones, that just happens to be our wedding day too :)

    I too have gone a bit crazy on pinterest - maybe we should connect there and share some ideas? 

    I've also had trouble finding the sort of dress that I'd want, as everything seems a bit too sparkly or poofy for my taste - I'm leaning towards something linen, maybe even something I can adapt later on to get a bit more wear out of it?

  • Natasha141 wrote (see post):

    Hello, me and hubby to be are after exactly the same sort of thing... I've done a lot of looking and we aren't planning to get married until May 2020 but these are the venues that have stood out to me if you're after something quite boho esque. 

     

    - George Fort in Croatia. 

    - St Paul's Bay (other chapels etc around which are more rustic) followed by reception at Odyssia or Tambakio in Lindos. 

    - Villa Bologna as you can have the ceremony in the garden with loads of flowers etc and reception there can be as formal or informal as you want which is in Malta. 

    - Country Resort Guadalupe in Tuscany. 

    Xxx

    Some of these are absolutely stunning! Funnily enough, I had already looked at Fort George, it's gorgeous isn't it?

    I've found it really hard to find anything that matches what I've been looking for.

    We had been to a stunning little family run restaurant tucked away on the seafront near Mali Ston in Croatia, and had thought - yes! This would be perfect; unfortunately it seems we've come up against a brick wall on this and looks unlikely to be possible.

    Thanks so much for the other suggestions, I will have a look!

  • Emma681 wrote (see post):
    BohemianBride wrote (see post):

    Do you know if Ines would be able/willing to approach places like this?  Is it cheeky to ask?  I know that most planners prefer to stick to venues they've tried and tested... 

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments!  

    I am certain that she would contact any place you fancy... when we were planning we toyed with having our reception dinner at a small family run restaurant by the river in the mountains behind Cavtat and she knew the place, knew the people, and would have happily arranged it for us if we had gone with that option. It was just too far away from where we knew we wanted our ceremony, so it didn't happen.

    It is definitely not cheeky to ask... she probably knows the place. 

    Ines' planning fee is a lot of money. I agree. But it is well worth every penny, and actually covers quite a lot. 

    Let me know how you get on... x

    Thought I'd do a quick update for you Emma re Croatia

    I've been a bit disheartened recently though (nothing to do with Ines - shes fab & absolutely adore her), as it seems what we really want for our wedding appears to be basically impossible in most places worldwide... I didn't think what we wanted was all that complex, actually less complex than a traditional format wedding - but perhaps that's what's throwing the coordinators we've spoken to?

    All we really want is to do the ceremony (civil ideally but considering symbollic) on a beach (ideally) or seafront - doesn't have to be exclusive use, but prefer a smaller quieter beach out of season; to then either move into a small beach front family-owned rustic restaurant for a buffet/BBQ supper or have a BBQ on the beach. We don't want a 3 course sit down meal, or cake, or band (happy with an iPod playlist), we may not even do a first dance or formal speeches. We'd like guests basically to have a day into sunset on the beach, maybe have a swim after the ceremony and tgats basically it... 

    Also getting very thrown by drinks costs, catering cost are a bit high - starting cost is 75 euro per head (no idea what that includes yet) but it's the drinks package which has bothered me most - 25 euro per person for either half a bottle of wine or 2 beers & a bottle of water per person. Having been to Dubrovnik last year, even beer on the Stradun was cheaper than that by a long way - and how can 1 bottle of wine be 50 euro??  And this is for a little tucked away restaurant 7km from Dubrovnik...? I'm not even sure if it includes hire of the restaurant...

    Am I shocked by this unnecessarily? Would it be cheeky to ask about the food & drinks packages you had and what they roughly cost?

     




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  • Suzy12Suzy12 Posts: 1

    Hi

    Congratulations all!

    Have been doing some google searching and this thread came up. We're looking for basically the exact same thing and finding it quite tricky. Have you had any more ideas/success? We're looking at beginning of July 2019 so not got as much time to play with. Again looking at Greek Islands and Croatia mainly.

     

    Thanks :-)

    Suzy

     

     

  • BohemianBrideBohemianBride Posts: 27
    Suzy12 wrote (see post):

    Hi

    Congratulations all!

    Have been doing some google searching and this thread came up. We're looking for basically the exact same thing and finding it quite tricky. Have you had any more ideas/success? We're looking at beginning of July 2019 so not got as much time to play with. Again looking at Greek Islands and Croatia mainly.

     

    Thanks :-)

    Suzy

     

    Hi Suzy,

    Still really struggling to find anything which fits this, only thing we did come across was on an island in Croatia - it's called Levan. Google it - thus far this is the closest we've found to what we want but does seem to come with some logistical complications due to its location.

    Let me know what you think!

     

     

  • TrekkinBrideTrekkinBride Posts: 3

    Congratulations everyone!

    I am so excited that I found this thread! I LOVE these posts so much. 

    Unfortunately, due to ill health in the family, we only have a short time to plan our beach wedding and get everyone out there (its all hands on deck at the moment).

    We are either going to get married in October later this year or next May bank holiday.

    We hope that we can all go away together and I have been looking into

    Cypress, Serretini, and Sorrento but would love any suggestions and advice. 

    Does anyone have any recommendations from their research of places that are not too expensive? 

     Also, any recommendations for reputable companies to go through? Or even a blog?

    Any help would be appreciated really :-)

  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 1,763 New bride

    Don't discount Cameo Island, I've been there lots of times (my uncle lived in Laganas for years) and I can assure you it doesn't get cold there, even at midnight!

    My grandma holidayed there well into her 80s and never even wore a cardigan thete that I can remember!!

    There is also Marathonisi island which I can assure you is deep, white sand and just stunning.

    If you didn't want the reception at Cameo Beach, there's a restaurant on the beach nearby called X-Paradiso run by a lovely guy called Nikos. The food is fantastic there and he speaks great English.

    I really wanted to get married there but some of our family can't travel so it wasn't feasible sadly.

     

  • Ive HAD to just create an account on this site so I could reply because this is the EXACT wedding I want!

    We are looking at Greek Islands like Corfu as I spent time there as a child, however, as a couple we have been to lots of long distance destinations like Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand and they seem to offer more of the boho, beach BBQ, laid back wedding we want but we feel like we can't make people travel that far.

    Just wondering if anyone had found anything else? I only got engaged last month and we are hoping to tie the knot August 2020. We are happy to do the legal stuff in the UK if it gets us the sort of wedding we want abroad.

    Any help would be appreciated because if I have to look at another chair cover I am going to cry haha!!

    Has anyone looked at any private villas etc? Maybe getting married in the grounds of their private accommodation and doing something a bit DIY? Wasn't sure of the logistics of this!

    Also, regarding Cameo Island, I read that it was weather permitting and can sometimes close which worried me... Does anyone know anything about that??

    xx

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