With the Whitsundays on Katarina’s destination bucket list, it only made sense for Matthew to surprise her with a proposal on their anniversary getaway to the picturesque islands.
“On our second last morning we exchanged our anniversary gifts on the balcony. While I was reading my card, I turned to the next page and in massive writing he had written ‘Will you marry me?’. As I turned around he was on one knee with the ring.”
Their wedding was a celebration of their Croatian heritage, incorporating the traditional colours of red, white, and blue into their white and gold theme – a clean and simple choice which gave them the freedom to play around with other stylistic choices.
“We chose to have little bottles of Rakija (our traditional spirit) with matching labels to our stationary (white and gold) and Croatian ribbon (red, white, blue),” said Katarina. “Not only that, the Rakija was made by both my grandfather and Matthew’s father, so it was our way of joining families and letting all our guests take such a personal piece home with them.”
Just like any wedding, Katarina ran into a slight problem – the buttons on her dress were difficult to put together and undo. As only her dressmaker had previously been able to master this, Katarina’s mother had trouble fastening the dress while the photographer, Andy, captured the bridal party getting ready.
“Out of the 20 women in my household not one could finish the buttons. In the end it was our trusty photographer Andy who ended up doing them!”
Katarina and Matthew’s lively cultural wedding also brought together other nationalities under the one roof, something which Katarina says made the day full of “love, respect and a hell of a lot of laughter.”
While the couple did their own wedding styling, Katarina says it was their vendors who helped bring everything together, making their wedding (which brought together guests from all over Australia) stress-free.
“We were honestly so surprised at how much fun we had not only on the day but in the lead up to it,” she said. “In our eyes, every part of the day was unique because it all so perfectly ‘us’.”
Photography by Evernew Studio
Ceremony Venue: St Stephens Cathedral
Reception Venue: Croatian Sports Centre
Entertainment: Prva Liga
Engagement rings: Wallace Bishop Jewellers
Flower girl dresses designer: David Jones
Groom’s suit: Hugo Boss