Bride and Groom: Monika & Matthew Holmes live in Berkshire
and both work as Account Managers
Wedding Venue: Chateau Mignon Castle, Slovakia
Wedding date: 22.08.2015
Number of Guests: 90 (60 day guests plus an additional 30 evening guests)
Wedding colour Scheme: Pink, Cream & Gold
Videographer: Radko Janis
Photographer: Lubko Durica
Total wedding budget: £12, 000
Matt and Monika met at work. After Matt joined Kosnic their romance blossomed over their computer screens. Matt proposed to Monika in front of all her family during a holiday to Slovakia. Their engagement lasted 1 year as they married nearly exactly 1 year after getting engaged.
How’d you decide on your budget? We didn’t set one. We just did it bit by bit. Didn’t think about money. We didn’t go too mad of course, but when we liked something we just went for it!
What elements of planning were the hardest with you budget? Having a wedding abroad as well as having another celebration in England, for those we couldn’t invite. I must also admit, planning your wedding over the email and with only limited time to be able to fly to Slovakia to sort out church, legal matters and payments was a challenge. My youngest sister and family helped a lot and I think it wouldn’t be all possible without their help and involvement.
Why did you both decide to get married in Slovakia? I’m Catholic and was christened in the church in my town. Slovakia overall is a very religious country and so is my family. It was always my dream and also the wish of my Gran and Mum to get married in our old lovely church. Also, we carry out lots of traditions in Slovakia which I always wanted to experience myself. Plus Matt decided that we would get married in Slovakia so that he would get a real feel of what it is like to marry a foreigner hahaa
Tell us about your Bridal gown. I hired the dress in my home town. I knew that was the one when I saw it. It was about 300 euro.
In Slovakia, Brides hiring their wedding dresses is the norm.
How many Bridesmaids did you have? I didn’t have any Bridemaids.
And the Groovy Groomsmen? Matt decided to forgo any Ushers, but he did have a Best Man.
Please tell us all about your custom made wedding rings: Our white gold wedding rings were made from scratch in Slovakia. We chose everything about the design of them. We also have each other’s names and the date of our wedding with little hearts engraved inside of them. We paid 550 euro for both. Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture of just our wedding rings to be able to show the design we created with the jeweller.
What was your Old/New/Borrowed/Blue? I know this might sound silly but I didn’t have anything. I only had my ‘blue’ garter, one that I bought and one from my friend, however I left both at home and forgot to wear it on the big day. Too stressed I think.
Did you get your DIY on? We made our own invitations. One lot in Slovak language and the other in English. We got all the bits and pieces to make them from ‘The Mulberry Bush’.
What were the biggest hurdles you ran into during planning? It was a bit of everything. Like I mentioned, having to plan the whole wedding from England which meant we weren’t able to see the florist, DJ, decorators, venue management, cameraman, photographer and so on which was not ideal. We flew to Slovakia one week before the actual wedding to meet with as many people as we could to sort out important bits that we couldn’t do over email or phone.
What was your best budget buy? My wedding dress was a very good price, but the prices for dresses in Slovakia are much cheaper than in England. Other than that, not sure as we might have spent more than we anticipated.
What was your biggest blowout spend for the wedding? Definitely the venue and covering all the travel costs for English guests to get them from the airport to the hotel and back.
Was there anything that didn’t go as planned? me dropping the wedding cake I got from my father as a present was very emotional. Can you believe it? Just the day before our big Day! Disaster!
Your most memorable moments of the day?
Matt: when I saw Monika for the first time in her wedding dress
Monika: when we said yes to each other in front of God and our beloved friends and family. Also, my husband did a speech in Slovak language. I was so touched and impressed (so was my whole family)
Please tell us about your personal touches that made your day yours: We played games…
They played a Mr & Mrs game using their shoes. Here Monika explains how they played the game… The Bride and Groom hold one of their shoes and one of their partner’s shoes. They both have to answer the given question by raising one of the shoes depending on which partner the question applies to most. For example, one of the questions was: ‘’who wears the trousers in your relationship?’’ and we both raised both shoes then we got asked “If you got lost in the forest who would find the way out?’’ we both raised Matt’s shoe as we both knew it would definitely not be me and so on… This game was to show how well we know each other and how compatible we are.
They also played some dancing games… led by our DJ. People had to do whatever he said in the rhythm of the music (ducking, jumping, going backwards) it was really funny. Especially seeing some who already had a bit to drink.
Also, at midnight, as per Slovakian tradition I changed into my second dress which means I’m no longer Miss but Mrs, married woman. Another Slovakian tradition we observed was where the dancers (wearing traditional Slovakian dresses) surround both Bride and Groom whilst singing traditional songs, take my veil away. I can then give it to a single girl (meaning with boyfriend) and she should get married within a Year. That’s just saying, however I gave it to Matt’s sister and she just got married! (although I knew she would anyway).
Here is the the traditional Slovakian wear many years ago!
You can however see on the pictures I added what they wore at our wedding. Notice on our pictures that girls wearing a cap means they are married, others are still Miss
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Being part of your real budget wedding feature has really reminded us our Big day and all of the little details of it once again and we’ve both truly enjoyed it.
Here’s a short video (about 7min long) showing highlights of our big day.
I admit I may be biased because I have the pleasure of working with Monika (and I used to work with Matt too), but I strongly recommend you to watch their wedding highlights video. The video really shows off their beautiful wedding details such as Monika’s accessories and their floral arrangements, but also towards the end of the video you can see the fun dancing games they played with their guests during the reception.