A traditional Croatian wedding in Hamilton pulls out all the stops and the photographers work over time to capture all the fun!
Sasa, Marija and I met through a photographer-friend of mine, Moussa Faddoul from Fotoreflection. Creating relationships with other photographers has been very beneficial for me. There are only so many days in a year and when potential clients book their weddings, sometimes their wedding day lines up with another couple’s wedding day. Having other photographers to refer clients to, and vice versa, has been super helpful in a pinch. I’m so glad I was able to meet and work with Sasa and Marija, not only were they a fantastic couple to work with, but I was able to speak Croatian again!
Get the Party Started!
As soon as Sasa, Marija and I started talking about their plans for their big day, I knew right away what I was getting into. A traditional Croatian wedding is nothing like the average Canadian wedding. The Croatian community starts their wedding super-early and it carries through until late in the night. Drinking, fun and shenanigans are happening throughout the day. Everyone is in a great mood and the party spirit is electric.
Up Bright and Early
We started the party at 7am at the groom’s house with Sasa and his friends and family. The drinks were poured and everyone was getting into the spirit of the day. Once everyone was ready, we took off to the bride’s house in a parade down the street. In traditional Croatian culture, it’s the job of the groom to “buy” the bride from her family and take her to the church to be wed. The groom isn’t allowed to see the bride during this time. Even though Sasa had to use the bathroom to freshen up while we stopped at her family’s house, he wasn’t allowed to peek at Marija. I caught a glimpse of Sasa in the bathroom while Marija was in the room next to him. Neither one of them knew where the other was at first, so I took the opportunity to take Sasa’s photo with Marija in the background. They had fun with it and they got a little closer without actually seeing one another!
A Beautiful Ceremony
The traditional Croatian wedding ceremony in the church is quite strict. The party comes to a halt during the ceremony in recognition of the the serious commitment between the bride and groom. The Holy Cross Croatian Parish Hall in Hamilton is beautiful and the details have been paid special attention to. There were so many opportunities for photos!
After the ceremony, the party took to the streets again. We headed to Hess Village where the photo shoot was scheduled to take place and once we were there, 20-30 of us headed into a bar that wasn’t open to the public at the time. Everyone was open to the picture-taking process and after we had all the scheduled pictures taken, the group marched over to a fire truck that had been called on scene for a fire down the road. The group thought it would be fun to get some photos by the fire truck as well.
Two is Better Than One
The whole day could not have been possible without my assistant, Erika and the second photographer Branko helping me alongside. While I was with the bride first thing in the morning, Branko was with the groom. Having a second eye to keep up with everyone is helpful and gives another perspective on the day. The whole day was laid back and enjoyable for everyone!
Photos taken by Dragi Andovski, published ©2015 DA Photography
2nd Photographer: Branko Stojanovic
3rd Photographer and assistant: Erika Alvarenga
Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Holly Croatian Parish Church and Hall, Hamilton, ON
Wedding Photography Location: Hess Village, Hamilton, ON
My passion and biggest asset is taking the time to make every client comfortable and relaxed before I even pick up the camera. The result? Photos of you that actually look like you at your best! I can prove to you how much you can enjoy having your picture taken. Lifestyle photography is about the experience that happens to be served up along side of some great photos.
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