The St. Blaise church, in Croatian “Sveti Vlaho”, in Dubrovnik old town is undoubtedly the most beloved of all churches to tie the knot. There isn’t a church as chosen as this one for a Roman Catholic wedding ceremony; it is the strong favorite among the otherwise also very beautiful churches.
The reasons are quite obvious.
When couples from abroad plan their destination wedding in Dubrovnik, they usually plan their wedding for a far smaller amount of guests compared to having their wedding at home.
So a smaller sized church is usually a preference, and seeing that the St. Blaise is the smallest of the 4 best located churches in Dubrovnik it has already a big advantage over the others.
It is also the church crowned by the patron saint of the city of Dubrovnik: the Saint Blaise.
The location of the church is of course in the car free city center right at the main street the Stradun, easy to find for anyone from out of town.
It has a lovely small but ornate altar and beautiful balustrade in front of the church.
Having your wedding at a busy church also has it disadvantages…
When you have planned for a wedding ceremony on a Friday or Saturday afternoon in the summer months from June to September, chances are great your guests are arriving at church when the wedding party just before you is still having their pictures taken on the church steps.
By avoiding weekends you have a bigger chance of being the only wedding party that day.
Most likely, there will be a crowd of tourists seated on the steps of the church and not all of them feel it is “needed” to move away as they see the bride approach or the bridal party taking position for their groups picture. This is always a huge hurdle for wedding planners as we try to make way for the bridal party.
In fact, I would like to appeal to all those readers that see this post and ask them for the courtesy of allowing the bride and groom a bit of space just as they are entering the church and when they are exiting it. It is just a matter of being polite, so they can have a few moments and have a few pictures without ice cream licking tourists in the shots. It never ceases to amaze us (and I believe I speak for of all wedding planners in Dubrovnik) how some just do not seem to care that this is somebody’s wedding day.
The opening hours of the St. Blaise Church in Dubrovnik
When you are visiting Dubrovnik you will find the church opened every day until 12.00h and from 17.00h. Since most weddings take place in the afternoon, the church will be opened for the ceremony only and then closed again until the regular opening hours begin.
Comparing the St. Blaise Church with the Cathedral
Just around the corner of the St. Blaise Church you can see within few 100 meters the cathedral, an important landmark of the city. Since the Cathedral does not close in the middle of the day we find it is visited by many groups.
Aside from the obvious differences in size and lay out, we are often asked what would be the main difference between having a wedding at the Cathedral and the St. Blaise.
Well… from a practical point of view it is actually very useful for us planners to have the St. Blaise Church closed as we arrive, because it means the church is empty. When planning a wedding at the Cathedral, it is not easy to ask all visitors to leave the church in order for the wedding ceremony to start, as some visitors might argue it is a house of God and they are allowed to pray. Which they are.
Due to this, it is very unlikely that you will have an empty Cathedral at the moment the wedding ceremony begins.
During the ceremony at the St. Blaise, we can close the front doors to avoid being disturbed. The Cathedral has two major entrances, which are harder to control because of how they are laid out, so chances are very likely visitors will enter: the sound of slamming doors and talking of the unknowing visitors will disturb a wedding ceremony.
We also feel that in order for the Cathedral not to feel empty you should have 100 guests or more, because it is a monument created for larger groups of Catholics.
Dress code for a church wedding ceremony
Like in all churches, a respectful dress code applies.
We know Dubrovnik has really hot summers so it is tempting to dress “light”, which is OK, as long as it is respectful. If you plan to wear a dress or a top which is strapless or showing bear shoulders then you are risking the priest commenting about it.
Avoid even the chance of such an embarrassing moment and just dress as you would at home or bring a shawl and cover your shoulders appropriately. In fact, we recommend ALL LADIES to make sure they bring a light shawl or pashmina for the ceremony.
We asked the priest once what he considered the right length for a dress, to which he answered that just above the knee was acceptable, anything shorter does not belong in the house of God
When you prefer to avoid busy churches…
Then you should consider carefully if either these options is the best option for you. I have seen many couples choosing the St. Blaise Church and then changing this after they had visited Dubrovnik in summer because they felt it was just too busy in July and August.
They are both located on the main street in Dubrovnik and in the summer this is a very busy street. During the Dubrovnik Summer Festival there is a large chance that seating arrangements have been built up to allow for performances of all kinds.
So if you plan your wedding during the period of the festival: 10th of July until the 25th of August, then you should be aware that the city might build some sort of podium or area for spectators right at the door.
I hope these wedding tips will help you when you plan for a church wedding in Dubrovnik.
Happy Planning Everyone!!
Dubrovnik Riviera Weddings specializes in destination weddings and we pride ourselves in giving correct and complete information to all couples interested in getting married in Dubrovnik.