First of all, let me state for the record that there is rarely a wedding I don’t enjoy being a part of….that being said, Tatiana & Alex’s November 10 wedding was absolutely a riot! Unlike most weddings, I was not the only professional hired. Alex’s uncle Greg, a very VERY good photographer from Ohio, would be handling the ceremony & formal portraits, whereas I was hired to capture the details, getting ready, a pre-ceremony and all the fun!
Dan and I arrived in the morning to spend time with Tatiana as she prepared for the Skop Ceremony, in which the ‘bride price’ is negotiated. Now before we get too far into this, I must state that this is a Serbian family with deep and beautiful traditions. Being a part of this time was such fun for us, and nothing either of us had ever experienced before! As family and friends gathered around, Alex’s friends/family negotiated for Alex to be able to marry his bride. (There really isn’t enough money/gifts that could cover the worth of this woman…she’s precious!).
Once the bride price was decided, Tatiana was whisked away as Mom and Dad watched her drive off (just a few tears were shed here). We all followed to join them at the church, a beautiful, ornate Serbian Orthodox church. More beautiful than the church was the ceremony, full of tradition, symbolism, and of course, the joining of two lives together. As Uncle Greg took the lead, Dan and I were afforded the ability to just relax, observe, and share in this beautiful time. It was nice having time to stay off my feet….because little did I know, I was going to need them later!!
As the guests exited the church, Dan and I came to realize that Serbian weddings are a LOT of fun. It’s a celebration unlike any you have ever seen! While waiting for the wedding party, guests began dancing in the parking lot to the amazing live Serbian band. They also began (or continued?) passing around a tasty pear brandy, which we were forced to try a few times. Forced. (Not really forced, but I think you all know that.)
The reception was simply an extension of the party that started earlier. The dance floor was never empty, and thanks to the graciousness of Alex’s mother, I learned to dance my first Kolo (circle dance). My favorite part of the kolo was taking part in a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. In fact, Tatiana and Alex first met because of Kolo dances!!!
Usually as I near the end of wedding season, the end of the night for me comes early. With this one, it was just so fascinating to be a part of it that we stayed late in to the evening, being taught the history of Vodka, a few songs, and that ultimately, Serbian weddings are FABULOUS and FUN!
Tatiana and Alex, we wish you a lifetime of quick feet and steady hearts…..