Monique & Justin

We’re here to tell you, that if you’ve ever dreamt of a destination wedding in beautiful Slovenia like today’s newlyweds Monique and Justin, then you need to see the amazing Castle Otocec Relais & Chateaux. Because a European castle as it turns out is the most magic of locations for a destination day, and just what the world needs to see this Wednesday.

With an intimate guest list, plenty of champagne and Katja Simon by their side, it was just what these two wanted to do to celebrate their love story. A story which all began, as it turns out over a love of food. Monique fills us in “Justin and I met online. We messaged back and forth swapped food recipes but it wasn’t a year until we actually went on a date (I initiated it). It turns out we both work in the same organisation.!”

The bride found her stunning long sleeve lace gown on a trip to Melbourne, the designer? Luv Bridal. She shares “The whole dress had lace detailing, long sleeve with open back and a long train.
I flew to Melbourne to try on dresses. It was the first dress I tried. The shop owner confessed she made me try it first because she thought I wouldn’t fit it. As soon as I walked out to show my friend her eyes went huge in amazement. This was last off the rack purchase. I tried on a few more then went to another store coincidently across the road. Tried a few more and just didn’t have the same feeling. I went back and said yes to the first dress.”

The groom found his suit at Roger David, with a little help from Monique, who remembers “Justin is an easy to satisfy man. However, he trapped me into suit shopping. I was flying back from my hens weekend. He picked me up from the airport with a hangover in tow and drove straight to the suit shop. Needless to say, we were in and out of the shop within the hour.”

Monique walked down the aisle to ‘So into you’ by Tamia played live by an acoustic guitarist and live singer. “They were amazing no matter what song they sang.” remembers Monique.

Monique and Justin wed outside in the garden, Monique explaining “The officials were from the local council which spoke in Slovene and we had a translator. They gave a few words of wisdom and advice. Justin and I gave our vows and quite a few tears were shed. Including when walking down the aisle.”

The wedding was everything Monique and Justin had dreamt of. “Honestly everyone we had for our wedding exceeded our expectations. I believe it’s because Slovenians are just amazing people, to begin with.
I think it was more when I got there a week out and saw, felt, ate and tried everything. I did all the planning via email for over a year to the wedding planner. Vida was an amazing organised woman and managed to put up with my non-stop emails. When I saw her in the flesh I hugged her and cried it was such a relief and happy feeling all at once.”

As the day unfolded, guests moved throughout different parts of the castle – post ceremony it was all about champagne and pastries in the courtyard! Shares Monique “The welcome drinks and pre-dinner snacks were in the courtyard of the castle. Cobble stone ground, brick walls surrounding us.
The ceremony was in the back garden terrace which was surrounded by the Krka River. The castle is on a tiny island with the river splitting in two and going around the Island.
The Reception was inside the restaurant of the castle which still kept the authenticity of the interior of the castle.”

Justin admits his wife may have had just one very stressed out moment, and it happened on the morning of the wedding! He shares “Besides how beautiful she was walking down the aisle, the most memorable part of the day was getting a phone call from my distressed bride-to-be only hours before the ceremony to tell me that I need to find a very specific size photo frame to place the instructions for an i-spy game for guests to play upon their arrival. Despite having drunk several beers and having no idea where I would find such an item I trusted Google maps to guide me to a nearby village where I was lucky enough to find a frame that was ‘close enough’ in my opinion to do the job! This was Monique’s only ‘bridezilla’ moment and I’m glad I just went along with it instead of trying to have a logical conversation with her about the non-importance of a photo frame that could have had landed me in trouble if I ran into the police while out on my little adventure.”

Floristry Gallery Marjan Lovšin created pale pink floral details for the day, Monique noting “To be honest I didn’t give the florist very strict instructions with what flowers I wanted. Just a budget and have dusty pinks, a lot of foliage and berries. The florist did the most beautiful job so much more than I expected! I think I was more surprised because she spoke little English and I spoke zero Slovene.”

Then it was time for cake and dancing, the happy couple taking to the floor to Michael Buble’s “Everything”, tells Monique.  “We had practice and went to dancing lessons before going over then realising the dress wouldn’t allow me to do some of the moves we could show off our new skills. But we still enjoyed the moment!”

As the sun set, on the suggestion of their photographers the newlyweds took a stroll in the castle grounds. “Katja and Simon were amazing people they took photos the day prior” raves the bride. “They just made us so comfortable and we had conversed of email for a year prior. We trusted them completely so I think everything just came naturally.”

And once the festivities were over, Monique and Justin revelled in all the memories, the bride sharing “When it all finished late at night we made the effort ran the spa bath and relaxed talking about the entire day which made it embed more into our memories. It goes so quickly!”

A big congratulations to you both Monique and Justin! thank you for sharing your wedding stories with us! thank you also to Katja Simon for today’s photographs!