An interview with Natalie Watts, a lady who married her husband Kenny at the Plitvice Lakes National Park in 2015…
How did you choose Plitvice Lakes? Who came up with the idea?
Both myself and my partner had decided that we wanted to get married abroad, but we didn’t want to do a beach wedding like everybody else. We decided to look for something a little bit different and decided to look at some parks. I remembered a friend mentioning that there was a beautiful national park in Croatia that she really wanted to visit that had waterfalls… we googled it, and when we saw the images of Plitvice Lakes we decided instantly that we must get married there!
Was that your first time here?
Yes. I have visited Split previously on a sailing holiday where I visited some of Croatia’s beautiful islands, but we had never been to Zagreb or Plitvice before our wedding.
How did the park management react?
We did not liaise with park management directly, but our wedding planner Antropoti VIP had great success with park management and everything went smoothly. They even organized for a photographer and journalist to attend our wedding to do some promotion for Plitvice Lakes, and this was published in a local newspaper.
Who helped with the realization?
Plitvice Lakes will only allow you to organize a wedding with them through a wedding planner, so we took some recommendations from them and employed Antropoti VIP to plan our wedding. Our wedding planner Ivana was amazing and worked very hard to ensure that we had our dream wedding and something that was unique.
How did you decide to go with a red wedding dress?
I wanted to plan a wedding that was very different to normal convention! We wanted the day to be joyous and colourful, and the red looked striking against the background of the vibrant turquoise waters at Plitvice Lakes.
Is it true that you were the first to get married at the base of the Great waterfall?
Yes it is! The park management offered us several different options for where in the park we could get married – they have various different observation points which are very beautiful locations for a wedding, but when we looked at photographs of the park and saw the great waterfall, we asked our wedding planner if this was a possibility. She said it had never been done before, but the park management were happy to make it happen!
How many guests did you have?
We had a small wedding of 19 close friends.
Was it a big crowd?
Yes, the crowd was huge! Because the great waterfall is such a big attraction, it could not be sectioned off and made private for our wedding. We were able to create an ‘aisle’ for me to walk down using filled vases to mark out the path, but my bridesmaids still had to help me push through the big crowd on the long walk down to the foot of the waterfall!
Was it hard to climb on the big rock under the great waterfall with your wedding dress?
Yes, this was quite challenging! My husband and photographer helped me to position myself on the rock, but it was perfect for some stunning photographs.
How did other visitors react?
Other visitors were in awe of our wedding and very surprised! We had lots of people stopping to take photographs, and a lot of visitors even stopped to watch us get married. In particular, there was a large Polish choir made of about 30 people who waited to sing us a song of celebration and good luck wishes! There must be thousands of photographs that visitors took of us on the day, and when we were having our professional photographs taken in various locations around the park, lots of visitors clapped and wished us congratulations.
What are your husband’s impressions?
My husband knows better than to try and change my mind! Once we had seen photographs of Plitvice Lakes I had a very clear vision in my head of what I wanted our wedding to look like. I had to warn him that my dress was red before we got married, but he was still very happy and surprised with the overall look.
Would you come back?
Yes, we would love to! Plitvice Lakes was the perfect location for our wedding, but the day went so quickly that we wish we had more time to relax and see the whole park. It would be great to see the contrast of the park in winter too.
Would you recommend Plitvice Lakes as a magical wedding destination?
Absolutely! We have had so many positive comments from both our guests and other people who have seen our photographs. It is a truly stunning and special place, and I can guarantee that it will be a day that you will never forget!