There is NOTHING like a Serbian wedding, whether we're talking about the exciting SKUP (pre-wedding festivities with food and song and the bartering for the bride's hand!), or the serenading of the bride by a tambura orchestra before she goes into the church. It is the grace and beauty of the Serbian Orthodox wedding ceremony-the solemn Sacrament of Marriage itself, and it's also the heart-thumping kolo dancing outside of the church by the wedding party and well-wishers, while coins are being tossed to promise good luck/financial prosperity.
Little ones, Scampering About For the Lucky Coins!
What can bring about more smiles than watching our young children scampering to find as many silver pieces as their little fingers can hold, all the while the American and Serbian flags are being waved about so whole-heartedly? Nothing!
It's such a beautiful scene! Its a MUST to record with your eyes, ears and heart everything that you're seeing and hearing. That way, you'll always be able to forever cherish and call forth those beautiful memories. Ziveli, Svatovi!
Dave Zupkovich's SVATOVAC <----------
(Thanks to Steve Kozabasich in Cleveland for this!)
SERBIAN WORLD CLASS WEDDING PARTY!
This groom, JT, is a Duquesne University Tamburitzans graduate, as is his sister, Jana. But almost ALL of the wedding party had been Shadeland Campers and played their tamburas and danced under the direction of Nikola Jovich from NY, so here, EVERYBODY danced the kolos after church!
Check out the flag bearer, Marko Wuslich, in the background. He carried the American and Serbian flags, walking in front of the Bridal Party Limousine, all the way from the bride's home to the church, a Herculean effort that will be talked about for years to come!
JT is an international banker, his new wife Aleks is an international lawyer, their Kum, Demetri, is an international Opera singer! The wedding party also featured the bride's brother, Dr. Bronko, who is a Plastic Surgeon, on the international speaking circuit for Harvard University! Others in the wedding party are just as successful in their chosen careers as world-class lawyers and engineers, etc. That this couple chose to highlight their Serbian heritage and culture made EVERYONE in attendance so happy and proud! Ziveli! Long live these newlyweds!
JT's brother, Paul (a Ceramics Engineer) was excellent in his role as Dever, bartering long and hard before winning the bride's hand for his brother, as Aleks' brother, Bronko, made sure Paul's offers were worthy of his beautiful, kind and talented sister!
Paul's first offer of a Pittsburgh Steeler Terrible Towel coupled with a case of famous Pittsburgh Iron City beer was promptly rejected. A velvet bag full of USA Gold dollars was offered next, but promptly refused as not being 100% gold. A wad of money unrolled and handed over to Dr. Branko at last produced two lovely bridesmaids. But when Paul pulled out an envelope from inside his tuxedo and genuinely looked repentant, saying it was all the Stipanovich Family had left to offer, Bronko rifled through the envelope's money inside, and finally relented, bringing forth the PRIZE to the gasps and delight of the whole neighborhood! The Lira Orchestra broke into "OD-I-se......... for our Aleks and her Mom, Desanka, and EVERYONE was so happy!
There is NOTHING like a Serbian wedding. Nothing!
Lackawanna, NY - St. Stephen's Serbian Orthodox Church was the scene of this wedding. Aleks' wedding planner told me the next day at the Country Club brunch that she cried when she heard the Choir sing all of the responses in church, and also the "Oce Nas" and "Mnogaja Ljeta" & "Ziveli" at the start of the reception afterwards. "I'm used to a professional singer here or there, but nothing like that! I couldn't help but have tears of joy in my eyes!"
The Choir Loft was full to capacity! It was made up of original Lackawanna Choir members, guests from the St. Nicholas' Choir in Monroeville, and any other singers on the wedding list. It was sooo moving! Officiating at this service were Protopresbyter Rastko Trbuhovich of St. Stephen's of NY, and Protopresbyter Dragoljub Malich of Monroeville. Double joy for all! All the way around!
Double? Make that QUADRUPLE! Their wedding favors featured chocolate truffles from BELGRADE, LONDON, BUFFALO (Lackawanna) and PITTSBURGH!
Click bottom right of all photos to enlarge!
Jovo and Nada Pokonjak celebrated their 22nd Anniversary on October 25, 2014 and posted these wonderful photos on Facebook to share with all of us!
They got engaged on a plane on the way to AUstralia to visit Jovo's Tetka and cousin, and to be Kumovi for a wedding and Christening. Jovo asked Nada to ge the camera out and she was surprised to find her engagement ring in the camera case!
About the wedding:
Nada says, "It was 1992 and the war in the Krajina was in full swing. We two Serbs from LIKA thought it was the best way to honor our ancestors. We owe thanks to the Sumadija Folk Dance Ensemble for loaning us the narodne nosinje. Mira Babic made the narodne nosinje for us."
Jovo added, "The narodnje nosinje we wore were a gift from the Sumadija Folklore Group. I was their director at the time and this was their gift to us. We were truly honored, blessed and overwhelmed by their generosity. Somthing I'm sure we'll never forget. We mixed the Sumadija costumes with our Licke costumes, because it was a way to show that no matter WHERE our ancestors are from, they are Serbian.
We weren't just Licani, we were Serbs from the area of Lika (Krajina). We wanted to bring it full circle. Our childre are the second generation born here in the United States and that does not make them any less Serbian!"
The happy couple has two beautiful daughters, Andja and Djuka. Congratulations, again! xoxox
Steve Kozobarich has a wonderful blog, all on old Serbian tamburitza music. Be sure to check it out.
You can hear an old version of the wedding song,
SVATOVAC <--------- by "Lira" here.
Why not have the legendary "VINKA" sing the wedding song SVATOVAC for you? Again, thanks to Steve Kozobarich!
Halle Belosh' and Matt Benusa's "Skup" at the Marriott Hotel in Greentree, PA was exciting too!
And finally..... Crowned as husband and wife Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Pittsburgh, PA!
Ziveli, Svatovi! Congratulations Halle & Matt
How about an OLD-TIME Serbian Wedding?
Here, the Kukich Family from Pittsburgh!
Thanks to Connie....for sharing!
How about this one at Danny & Stephanie Capuzzi's wedding on October 23, 2010? Happy campers!!!
Nick Bizic, Aunt Mimi Brnilovich Karlo, Dana Hickey
An old advertising card for OXO, featuring the ancient custom of presenting the engagement ring in the apple! Please note that this was from the Dalmatia region, and the Serbian SLAVA icon with the vigil lamp is on the wall.
Here's the story I shared with Milan and Roz Opacich.... the event happened on the last Friday in October, 2011, as we had 42 American veterans come speak to our school that day, in preparation for the BIG Veteran's Day program we had planned for Friday, Nov. 8, 2011. If you click any of these photos on the lower right hand side, they can be enlarged, and you can read for yourself, exactly how the photo of Nick, Aunt Mimi Brnilovich Karlo, and Dana came to be! (Just in case you're wondering, ignore the top date on the copy below. This is only when I printed off another copy! :-))
Cousin Marti (Mamula-Trbovich-Cwiklik) Grimes wrote back: "Congratulations to All! Your Mom is right.... it will charge your battery and you will run until empty many times over between now and the wedding. It's such a wonderful feeling when your child chooses a lifetime partner.... especially one that you know suits him/her well." Ziveli!