Monday, June 05, 2006

Serbian Wedding, Part I: The Groom's House

One question that has come up with surprising frequency over the past year is "Have you been to a Serbian wedding yet?"

While none of our friends were willing to get married just so we could attend a wedding, our friend Milos did get us invited to his friend’s wedding, so I can now answer "Yes." And also "Wow!" Yesterday we spent about 15 hours at wedding-related activities. For blogging purposes, I'm going to break it up into four parts: The Groom's House, The Bride's House, The Ceremonies, and The Reception.

We arrived at the groom's apartment around 9 AM. There were hors d'oevres, drinks (vino, pivo, rakija?), and snacks for us while we waited for everyone to arrive. Also, there were two guys with accordions to get us in the partying spirit (as if we needed anything more than the rakija). From what I can tell, this part of the day is really about immediate family and close friends; we were invited along so we could see how the whole thing works.

Once everyone was assembled, the groom was ready, and all necessary pictures were taken, we headed down the stairs and out to the cars, parade-style, with the accordions in the lead (I think this was around 10 AM, and I’m sure we woke the neighbors). As we were walking out of the apartment, we noticed that the groom was packin' - a handgun in a shoulder holster. I've often heard shots going off on Sunday mornings from wedding parties, but until I saw the holster I had forgotten about this detail.

I understand that in villages the groom's family traditionally walks over to the bride's house (music all the way, of course). In this case, the groom lives in the city and the bride is from a village, so we had a caravan of cars, all decorated with bows and flowers. As we were waiting to pile into the cars, we had our first dance of the day - the groom's mother, sister, and best woman (kum in Serbian, more on this later) got together for a quick line dance, or kolo. I could tell it was going to be a good day.


Aleksandra said...

This is great! I'm as Serbian as they get, and I'm glad you got to experience one of our weddings because they truly are something different!

nevena said...

This is very exciting..How can we read the other two parts of a Serbian Wedding (The Ceremonies and The Reception)??

Anonymous said...

I have a question.. ok im engaged to a serbian guy and i am slovenian.. Does anyone think that this is a problem? We have an issue on where we will get married, in his church or in mine.. any help??

Anonymous said...

hi.. i couldnot find the rest of the wedding on your friends blog..could you repost a link to it?

Anonymous said...

So much was missed!!! ~ What about the Bride tossing the apple over the house? The oldest brother walking the bride "to~be" down the steps of her parents house to be given away to her groom.

These are traditions that should never be overlooked!