How to start planning a wedding in Montenegro?
If you decided to have your wedding ceremony abroad, then Montenegro is a perfect location and you will not regret choosing it. At first, we recommend reading a little about this country to get an idea of its sights to choose from (beaches, olive groves, old cities, high mountains, lakes…). Decide on the approximate date of the wedding and the number of guests. Think of the general wedding style and choose photos with the design ideas that you like (create a “moodboard”). Then, contact a reliable agency to help you with recommendations and planning issues. Before contacting an agency, make sure to discuss in detail what your wedding day should be like, because the most important thing is that you are happy with the planning.
How to book a wedding?
It is very simple! Click Book on the service page, complete a short booking form and send it to us. You can also contact our manager via any method available on the Contact us page. After the first consultation, our manager will help you decide on the basic services, a wedding package and site of the ceremony. Once you choose the wedding site, the date and decide on the main details of the event, we create the best offer according to your wishes. Once it is agreed, we sign an official contract for providing wedding services and a client makes an advance payment of 30% of the total cost of the services. As soon as the money is transferred to our bank account, a client gets an official confirmation of booking the wedding services. The contract and advance payment guarantee the reservation! The remaining amount must be paid two weeks before the date of the ceremony.
What are the features of booking wedding services abroad?
Wedding is one of the most important events for everyone and is always treated very carefully. Booking wedding services includes a full package of very different services and contractors (decorators, photographers, videographers, stylists, confectioners, musicians…), so you should agree before on the range of services that you want to have on your wedding day. One of the most important things to do before booking is deciding on your budget.
As it is difficult to know the number of guests at the ceremony in advance, sometimes clients are not sure if they need certain services or cannot decide on their quantity or duration immediately. Therefore, we have created three basic wedding packages including basic services for: 1. a wedding for a couple only, 2. a wedding with a family, 3. a full wedding with a banquet. If you are not sure about some services, you can add them to the package or make changes after the booking, and the final estimate will be adjusted accordingly depending on your wishes.
How to choose the right package?
We did our best to make our basic packages as simple as possible for our clients. Our long experience allowed us to group requirements of our clients into 3 categories and develop the best basic package for each category. Clients who want to OFFICIALLY marry, clients who want to have a SYMBOLIC wedding ceremony and clients who want a CHURCH WEDDING ceremony.
Each group includes three basic packages. The first one is a package just FOR TWO (Light) – for couples who want an intimate wedding ceremony without guests. The second package is Standard – for a small wedding ceremony in the bosom of the family, with a quiet family festive dinner (without standard banquet program with DJ, band, host…). The third package is Premium for a fully-featured wedding day, including a classic banquet. If you are not sure which package is right for you, you can contact our manager and she will help you choose the best option for you.
What decorations are included in the package?
Flowers are essential part of any wedding ceremony. Therefore, each package includes the main wedding decorations – a bridal bouquet, groom boutonniere and wedding site decorations. All decorations are made purely of living flowers, we do not use artificial flowers. Depending on the package, the decorations may be more or less rich. Each package includes a certain amount of money intended for decoration and clients can use it as they wish. You can choose any décor style and color palette.
The price also includes the cost of delivery, installation, dismantling, etc. You can choose from among several designs of wedding arches, columns, candlesticks… When booking, our manager will send you photos with examples of decorative elements included in a certain package and you can always add other decorative elements (decorations of the yacht, boat, chairs, stairs, photo area).
What is the cost of our services?
All wedding packages include minimal agency fee for an organization and wedding coordination services. For ordering any additional services, out of basic package, the agency fee is 10%.
If none of the available packages suits you and you would like an individual wedding project, then organizing and planning a wedding from scratch will cost:
- 1500 euros for a wedding just for two (+15 % agency fee on ordered services),
- 2000 euros for a wedding without a banquet program (+15% agency fee on ordered services),
- 2500 – 3000 euros for a wedding with a full day program (+15% agency fee on ordered services).
Are there any additional costs besides the package price?
There may be some additional costs regarding certain services and contractors depending on the selected services.Some photographers and videographers charge an additional payment for transportation costs (petrol, parking, entrance to the museums, the National Park, etc.). It depends on the shooting route and is calculated after confirming the timing. If you do not want the photos/videos from your wedding to be used for the portfolio, the cost may increase by 20-30%.
The client should also provide a lunch break and one meal for contractors working more than 6-8 hours a day (these are usually photographers, videographers and a wedding planner). If the wedding ceremony includes a host, DJ, musicians, clients usually pay a few soft drinks and a light snack for them.
If the banquet uses a projector, lighting, expensive and other decorations, the client provides the insurance deposit in case guests damage something. The deposit is refunded the day after the wedding.
If guests go on a guided tour, the entrance to the national parks, the old town tour fee and the museum entrance fee are paid by the client in advance or by the guests on site (according to your wishes). Some restaurants charge 10% (service fee) of the total price of the order, and this is not connected with our agency fee.
Why can you trust us?
DSA LLC has been registered in the Central Register of legal entities of Montenegro since 2006. Our company has more than a decade experience and plenty of positive reviews – published on the web site and social networks (Facebook & Instagram).
We are one of few wedding agencies providing wedding services (as well as all types of travel services) under the license № UP I 106-205/3 issued by the Ministry of Tourism of Montenegro. According to the Law on Tourism of Montenegro, such license is a must.
Our team consists of 6 people permanently residing and working in Montenegro, everyone speaks Montenegrin fluently and knows everything about the local market. Our office is located in Budva and open all year round. DSA Weddings treasures its reputation and every client, so any deception on our part is impossible.
After the booking, you will get a package of wedding services in full conformity with the signed contract. The total cost of services is agreed on at the negotiation stage, specified in the contract. There are absolutely no “hidden” payments.
Your positive feedback is the best reward for us!
Who will plan the wedding?
Turning to DSA Weddings, you entrust yourself to the team of professionals! Our skilled booking manager will carefully listen to all your wishes, ask clarifying questions and create the best individual offer for you. After the booking, you are in the hands of a wedding planner, who will organize your wedding, down to the smallest detail from that moment until the end of the wedding day. This person will also manage the work of other specialists (photographers, operators, makeup artists, cooks, florists, etc.). On the wedding day, a team of 5-20 people does everything to make your day special. The friendly DSA Weddings team will do its best to make your wedding a truly beautiful and unforgettable celebration!
Should I speak to all contractors and discuss the details?
No! This is why you have turned to us. You discuss all issues regarding the wedding with us and our job is to organize all contractors so that you get a high-quality final service. Of course, clients sometimes meet contractors, if necessary, to get to know each other before the wedding day and agree on certain details (for example, meeting with a videographer to discuss a scenario, a stylist to rehearse a bridal hairstyle and makeup, a host to discuss the scenario details).
What are the features in the work of photographers and videographers at the wedding?
Most photographers and videographers have similar working terms including the terms of delivery, copyright, meal of the wedding specialist and transportation. Let’s look at them in more detail…
The due dates for photos/videos are from 1 to 6 months. However, photographers usually provide photos earlier, while videographers need more time. The reason is that processing a wedding video is a longer and more consuming process.
The copyright for the photo/video footage belongs to the photographer/videographer. When giving you the photos/videos, the author also gives you the right to unlimited non-commercial use of them, as well as unlimited rights to non-commercial publication on the Internet. Non-commercial use and publication means that you cannot sell the photos/videos. When publishing the wedding photos or videos in the media, the client should specify the author’s name.
Photographers/videographers have a right to publish photos and videos in their portfolio on their personal sites, social networks, as well as on thematic portals and other sites. If you do not want your wedding photos and videos to be published anywhere, most photographers and videographers may agree subject to an increase in the price of about 20-40%. However, some may refuse to take the order if they cannot use the footage in their portfolios.
Most videographers can give a client raw materials, if they are timely provided with the digital storage media. You will need a digital storage of hundreds of gigabytes for that. While most of these materials will be impossible to watch at home, and it may be even unpleasant. The reason is that videographers can have a camera on for a long time waiting for a perfect shot. Photographers are less willing to provide raw materials, and most often you can get only a certain package of processed photos, that was agreed beforehand.
Each photographer/videographer chooses equipment, shooting style, angles, location, processing, color correction, installation, sound processing on his own.
More detailed information about the photographer and videographer’s terms of work will be provided by your manager after choosing certain wedding specialists.
How to choose a wedding site?
Montenegro is a country with beautiful nature and plenty of picturesque sites for weddings. It reminds Italy to many, but geographically this country is much smaller. Most sites in Montenegro are private and owned by hotels, restaurants, churches, museums or just common people.
If you want a secluded wedding location in the nature, we recommend choosing sites away from the sea (such as the Mountain of kisses, the Olive Grove, Kotor Serpentine…), or in the territory of private villas. The wedding ceremony can be also held on the terrace/pier of a restaurant, but you should privatize the restaurant or its part for other people not to disturb you. Some sites are never closed only for weddings. One of them is the Our Lady of the Rocks island, where are only Roman Catholic weddings are held.
If you are into a beach wedding, the wedding date should be from April to June 10 or in October. This is when you can find a beach (or part of it) for the ceremony. In summer, all beaches are full with tourists and even owners of private beaches refuse to rent their part of the beach or ask for a very high payment.
For luxury weddings, we recommend the Milocher Park, Sveti Stefan Island, Porto Montenegro.
What sites are best for a photo/video shoot?
Montenegro can boast of a variety of picturesque sites, which are the reason why couples go to Montenegro for their wedding ceremony.
Many clients usually want everything at once, that results in unrealistic expectations of planning the number of shooting locations. When planning a day, your wedding planner should help you not to turn your wedding day into a chase for the coolest shots and not spend half a wedding day in the car. This will give you no positive emotions at all. Furthermore, when planning a lot of relocations, you waste your money for payment for the photographer’s and videographer’s working hours, who assemble and disassemble their equipment several times a day instead of working, and as a result there is much less precious time for the shooting itself.
If you do want to take photos at all beautiful sites in Montenegro, we strongly recommend having a pre-wedding shooting. Thus, the paid hours will be used much more efficiently, you will get to know the photographer and videographer before the ceremony and have a high-quality product.
We always recommend our clients to choose one or two shooting locations nearby the wedding site and the banquet, and additional sites for filming a love story.
We should mention that shooting weddings in some locations in Montenegro is prohibited or allowed only upon written permission. There are also restrictions on shooting with drones set out in the law.
Where should I book a honeymoon apartment?
This is a very simple question. If your wedding is in the Bay of Kotor, book an apartment in the Bay of Kotor. If your wedding ceremony is in the Budva Riviera, book an apartment there. The coast of Montenegro is small and everything seems to be very close, but keep in mind summer traffic jams and features of local transport (narrow roads without the possibility of bypassing some key areas in case a traffic stop) at planning.
If there are bridesmaids and friends of the groom, we recommend booking two apartments near each other, so that there is enough space for preparations. The bride’s apartment should be spacious and light, best with a good interior, because the bride’s morning is filmed there.
You can always contact our manager for any advice and she will offer you the best accommodation options.
How do I prepare for my wedding day?
All details of the wedding will be already discussed before your arrival in Montenegro, so relax and don’t worry. We will meet you upon your arrival and once again discuss all details of the wedding day, go through the timings, see the ceremony venue, banquet location and maybe shooting locations as well.
Upon your arrival in Montenegro and before the wedding day, we strongly recommend not to sunbathe long on the beach, especially if you have fair skin. This applies to both the groom and the bride. You should look perfect on your wedding day, without redness, traces of a swimsuit, etc. It is important to have a good sleep before the wedding day. In the morning, have breakfast before the stylist comes. You should wait for her with clean, dry hair and without makeup. Prepare a little snack in case you get hungry because of the excitement. Make sure to put a couple of bottles of plain water, dry and damp wipes and adhesive patches in the car that you will travel in. We also recommend having comfortable shoes with you, so that you can easily and quickly move during a photo-video shoot.
Should I come to Montenegro for booking?
It depends on the wedding ceremony scale and you. Some clients book everything remotely and come to Montenegro a few days before the wedding. Others come here in advance to choose a venue, restaurant, taste and select the menu. Citizens of some countries (Great Britain, for example) must come personally to the embassy for the wedding documents.
What is the wedding day like?
The wedding day starts with preparations of the bride. After the breakfast, a stylist comes and starts doing the bridal makeup and hairstyle. It usually takes 2.5-3 hours. Before the hairstyle is finished, photographers and videographers arrive and start shooting the preparation. The groom’s preparations are filmed at the same time. It takes about 1-1.5 hours. Bridesmaids and friends of the groom are also there.
Then, there are two options of what happens next. The first, more popular, one is when the bride and groom meet in a beautiful location not far from the apartment, then go to the newlywed photoshoot on the location selected in advance. The second version is when the couple meets at the ceremony. The groom and guests arrive at the wedding venue beforehand and the groom waits for his bride at the arch. In this case, the photo-video shoot takes place after the wedding.
The ceremony lasts about 20 minutes. Guests arrive to the venue usually in 15-20 minutes before the start. They have a welcome drink, a wedding planner helps them find their seats, guests walk around the venue, take photos and talk. After the ceremony, guests congratulate the newlyweds, the photoshoot with guests on the venue continues and there is a small buffet. Staying at the wedding venue is usually for about an hour.
After the ceremony, there are another two options of what happens next. The first one is when guests go on a guided tour or a boat trip and newlyweds go to the photo-video shoot. Another option is when guests and newlyweds go on a guided tour or boat trip together. In this case, the photo-video shoot takes place during the trip. Then, guests are transferred to the restaurant and the banquet begins.
If the wedding ceremony is in the restaurant area, where there will be a banquet as well, the trip and photo-video shoot take place before the ceremony and guests go to the banquet area after the wedding.
The banquet is usually scheduled for 6-7 PM. The full banquet scenario is prepared beforehand and includes all details of the celebration: timings of the dinner, toasts, first dance, throwing a bridal bouquet and garter toss, cake. The banquet program usually lasts until 00.00.
We fully manage the wedding day, start-to-finish (watch the timings, the contractors, logistics…), so you can relax and enjoy the celebration.
What should I do if it rains?
For some brides, rain is the most terrible event beyond anyone’s control at the wedding ceremony. In reality, it is not such a big deal if preparing properly. Everything should just be discussed and planned in advance in case of rain, so you can relax. Montenegro has such a climate that it may rain on any day, regardless of the season. In summer, rains start suddenly and usually short, but you still should prepare in advance. It also often rains in small areas, so it may be rainy in one town and sunny in a town nearby.
If the wedding venue is completely open and there is nowhere to hide in case of rain, we prepare umbrellas for everyone in advance, cover tables and chairs, so that they do not get wet, before the ceremony. In case of rain, the buffet can be moved to a restaurant or a boat. When choosing a boat for a walk, choose one with a roofed area not to cancel the trip because of rain. For a banquet, we recommend choosing and booking a location with a roofed area to have a banquet there in case of rain. If the banquet is in an open area, you should book a tent just in case.
Logistics and transport on the wedding day
Transport is very important when planning a wedding day. This is why we plan transport for all participants (a groom, a bride, guests, a photographer/videographer, decorators).
We did not include transport in the price of our packages, because each wedding has a different route, but you can rent any transport for you and your guests: a car, a cabriolet with or without driver, a mini bus, bus, yacht or pleasure boat.
After preparations of the bride, the groom with guests usually go in rented transport to the wedding venue. The bride with her father/mother or bridesmaids usually go there separately by car with a driver or a glider. After the ceremony, guests go on a tour and then to the restaurant usually by the same transport (a boat or a bus). The newlyweds go either with guests, but most often to the shooting, and then to the restaurant by car with a driver. Depending on the restaurant, guests leave the banquet either by taxi (if the apartments are nearby) or by a special bus. All contractors usually go in their own cars, except for visiting photographers or videographers sometimes.
Documents for the official ceremony in detail
Requirements for documents may vary depending on the municipalities, but the main package of documents is here. If you are asking for a certain date, we contact the municipality, book this date for you, but we do not submit any documents to the municipality then, only the name and surname of the bride and groom to be.
3 months before the wedding date, you should start preparing the documents. The registry office of Montenegro accepts documents that are not older than 3 months. First, you should get a certificate that you are not married (the procedure for getting such certificate for British citizens is here) in the registry office or archive, get a recent birth certificate (citizens of the Russian Federation and other countries of the former USSR, that have the old type certificates, send just a copy). Please note that citizens of most countries can easily get a fresh extract with a copy of their birth certificate from the registry office, while the original document remains in the archives of the municipality in Montenegro. Electronic (scanned) copies of these documents must be sent to us via email at least 60 days before the marriage registration date. Then, documents are sent for translation to the court interpreter and the municipality. The registry office verifies the documents and may request additional documents if necessary. You should take originals of all documents to signing the protocol with you.
What record should I sign before the wedding?
If you want an official wedding ceremony in Montenegro, you should come to the municipality a few days before the wedding date for data collection (to apply to the registry office to marry). What is it like? You come there with your wedding planner who will be your interpreter on that day. You should bring originals of previously submitted documents (a birth certificate; foreign passport; marriage ability certification; certificate(s) of divorce (if you were married before) with you. The registrar compares original documents with the copies submitted earlier, checks the ID. At the meeting, the registrar takes some originals of the provided documents. The bride and groom answer a few questions for statistical processing (education, profession, religion, nationality…). According to the law of Montenegro, such meeting is held 7 days before the wedding day, but sometimes this period can be reduced.
How does the ceremony look like and how long does it last?
At the ceremony, there are a registrar, a deputy of the municipality (sometimes) and a court interpreter. The wedding ceremony lasts about 15-20 minutes. It starts with reading paragraphs of the Family Code of Montenegro out loud. The registrar tells newlyweds their rights and legal responsibilities in marriage, then asks a question of choosing the surname. The newlyweds and witnesses sign in the registration book, the registrar reads out loud a poem of a famous poet about marriage. Then, the bride and groom are declared husband and wife. Newlyweds exchange rings, tell each other oaths if they want to and, of course, kiss. At this, the ceremony ends and guests congratulate the newlyweds.
What certificate is issued after the official ceremony and how is it legalized?
After the official ceremony, you will get either an international or standard marriage certificate issued by the registry office of the municipality. Then, this marriage certificate is translated by the court interpreter (if necessary) and can be legalized.
As Montenegro (ex Yugoslavia republic) is a member of the 1961 Hague Convention, its official documents are recognized in more than 80 countries. Citizens of countries members of the the Hague Convention must have a marriage certificate stamped with an apostille (the list of countries is here). For citizens of the Russian Federation, certifying with an apostille is not required due to the Agreement on legal assistance in civil, family and criminal cases of 24.02.1962 between these two countries, according to which “documents issued or certified by a competent authority, signature and official seal in the territory of one of the Contracting Parties shall be accepted in the territory of the other Contracting party without legalization.” .
The original marriage certificate along with its certified copy may be submitted to the registry office at your place of residence.
Church wedding documents (Orthodox marriage)
For the Orthodox marriage, the bride and groom (and witnesses) must be baptized according to the Orthodox rite. They should provide a baptism certificate (for the bride and groom) to confirm that. The church wedding also requires a certificate that the bride and groom are not married (a certificate of absence of marriage record), but plan to register a marriage in the civil registry office (confirmation of submitting documents to the registry office) or are already legally married.
Church weddings are not held during fasting and some church holidays. One witness is enough for a church wedding. Before the ceremony, the priest must be provided with certain personal information and information about parents of the bride and groom. Church weddings are held in active churches and some monasteries.
The church wedding is not recognized by some states as a legal marriage, so the civil registration of marriage is required. The minimum age to marry is 18 years old.
Church wedding documents (Catholic marriage)
The Catholic marriage can be held in all active churches in Montenegro. First of all, the bride and groom must be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church for that. You should contact your priest (in your city) and say that you plan to marry in Montenegro. He will start checking and preparing the required documents and then give written consent to your marriage in another city/country. When documents are ready, either your priest or you send the documents to us and to the priest, who will be marry you in Montenegro. You often need a baptism certificate and the priest checks if you are already married, whether you are in a relationship, whether the groom has given a celibate oath, etc.
The church wedding is not recognized by some states as a legal marriage, so the civil registration of marriage is required. The minimum age to marry is 18 years old.