This was quite possibly the most fun, unique and wonderful wedding I have ever seen, and I had the pleasure of photographing the entire week of festivities in Croatia for my dear friends Amanda and Matt Eisenberg!
The wedding was in Cavtat, a tiny port town just south of Dubrovnik, a city thought to be among the 10 best medieval walled cities in the world and dating back to the 7th century. The ceremony took place on May 28 at the family's rented villa, one block from the Adriatic Sea. Everything looked perfect, thanks to the wedding planner Nina, with the ceremony being held under a large arbor with grape vines providing the shade, beautiful light pink floral displays and delicate curtains blowing in the breeze. The bride and groom decided on a vintage theme, and everything looked straight out of Great Gatsby – with a Mediterranean twist. The groomsmen wore beautiful handmade linen suits with fedoras, bow ties and pocket watches. The bridesmaids wore vintage pink lace with lace scarves and headpieces. The bride was absolutely stunning in her long vintage lace dress; she even had her mother's wedding dress altered into a lace cocktail dress, which she changed into for the reception.
The bride and groom read their vows to each other and then sealed their vows with a kiss – there was not a dry eye in the house. They then laughed and greeted their guests as everyone exited, then stayed behind for a quick photo session with me. They walked through a shower of rose petals and escorted the wedding party to the Cavtat piers, where a pirate ship was waiting to bring the party to Old Town Dubrovnik for the reception. (Yes, a pirate ship: Arrrrrrrr! Would ye like some champagne thar, Brides Matey?) The weather was perfect during the boat ride, and everyone laughed and drank champagne and enjoyed the incredible scenery. I'm in photographic heaven.
When we arrived at the Dubrovnik piers, there was a one-man-band street performer (wearing drums on his back, tamborines on his legs, a kazoo and harmonica on his shoulders, and carrying a guitar in his hands), singing Balkan music to a crowd of happy tourists. I thought nothing of it until the bride and groom suddenly jump off the boat and start dancing around the street performer. Then, the whole wedding party is dancing on the pier to this wonderful music – a perfect photo opportunity for me of course! It doesn't get any better than this. Except it does get better, because the next thing I know, this one man band is dancing the entire wedding party through the narrow, cobbled street of Old Town Dubrovnik, as a crowd of Japanese tourists watch and photograph us with their giant iPads. Some locals dance along with us. I'm even dancing, trying to hold as steady as possible as I alternate between shooting video and stills of the wonderful spectacle. Video of all the dancing action can be seen here.
As it turns out, Amanda and Matt hired Cigo One Man Band, famous Croatian street performer, to travel 12 hours across Croatia to Dubrovnik to specifically parade the wedding party through the streets to the reception at the luxurious Villa Argentina, which was a hotel with marble terraces and pools overlooking the Adriatic at sunset. The father of the bride, the best man and the maid of honor gave speeches, we drank wine and dined on lamb, and then danced away the rest of the evening with a mix of music we'd brought for the occasion, and also a finale performance by our Cigo one man band. Then a bus picked up the wedding party and brought us back to Cavtat.