If you never attended a Serbian Orthodox Wedding, you are in for an exciting event when you attend your first. I photographed other orthodox weddings and similar events but never a Serbian Orthodox and enjoyed the entire day. It started with the pre-wedding festivities where the family and close friends attended a party called a Skup at the bride’s home while she prepared for the day. Guests were greeted with a Serbian band playing Serbian music not only during this part of the celebration but later during the reception when the guests participated in kolo dancing.
Groom arrives at Serbian Celebration
While the bride and her bridesmaids are preparing for the day, the groom arrives and a toast is given by the father of the bride to welcome him into their family. Laughter and more celebrating continues as the bride awaits her dad to see her for the first time. More tears of joy as the dad views his beautiful daughter for the first time in her wedding gown on her special day. Laughter and more tears follow as they embrace and others gather the family and friends to see her for the first time.
As she walks with her arm in her dad’s arm, the crowd of guests awaits her entrance. The little girls giggle as they see the beautiful bride descend the steps with her dad who in a few minutes will give a toast to his daughter.
After the toast and more celebrating, the bride and her bridesmaids leave for the church where a beautiful wedding celebration occurs.
They are crowned after the exchange of the rings (bethrothal) at the Royal Door and the binding of the cloth by the priest who crowns the groom first, then the bride. The binding of the cloth which symbolises the bride and groom are bound for life is as beautiful as the crowning of the couple. The priest recites the crown blessing three times, (The servant of God, [groom’s name], is crowned unto the handmaiden of God, [bride’s name], in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.)
During the wedding ceremony, the choir sang from the choir loft adding a beautiful sound to the Serbian Orthodox Wedding.
After the service which includes drinking from the common cup and a procession three times around the altar, the wedding ceremony concludes. The couple leaves the church and is greeted by family, friends, and the Serbian band playing.
Unlike other exits from a church, the couple is showered with coins and collected by children in attendance.
Later at the reception, the Serbian band plays and the crowd participated in Serbian Dancing and more fun filled activities. The father of the bride gives his third toast of the day to the bride and groom followed by a toast by the kum.
The dancing, laughing, and the celebration continued into the night.
Congrats to Samantha and John! Believing the best for your lives together!
Below is the 18-minute wedding show of the wedding celebration that we produced as a heirloom memory for the family. It contains audio, video, and stills with music and more. Enjoy!