Niki & Milan's Serbian Wedding
Niki & Milan have to be the warmest people I've ever met, and I've met some super warm people!!! As soon as they mentioned their Serbian heritage and traditions, I knew I had to work with them. My wife (Nina) actually has similar traditions in her family, since her heritage is Slovakian. I've never shot a wedding like my own before (wearing crowns, walking around in circles three times, and lots of incense), so I was super excited for the ceremony.
Not only was the ceremony awesome, it was in the most beautiful church I've ever been in. It was the same style art-work as Nina's, just 10 times as elaborate - there wasn't a single plain wall in that place! I wasn't exactly sure where I was allowed to stand, so I was lucky that no less than 5 guests reminded me to go anywhere I wanted - "you go, go, up front. Go, get behind priest!" I was a bit hesitant, just because I wanted to be mindful of where I'm allowed to be.
Serbians don't mess around either - they don't throw soft flower petals or bubbles at the couple exiting, they throw coins in the air! Yes, metal coins haha. Good luck? Maybe, but I sure was careful not to point my camera up :-) Then there was the traditional dance surrounding an accordionist, and several canteens of home-made moonshine passed around. Safe to say the entire day was one big party!
For the photo session we chose Lock 4 in Akron which I've only used once before. Sort of a random spot but I knew there are good pockets of light and some greenery (rare in a city).
The reception was at the Akron Art Museum, which was incredible! I love art, but I am embarrassed to say I've never been to the Akron museum before... shame on me. The architecture alone is breathtaking, and a perfect place for a wedding. After several amazing and heart-felt speeches (some in Serbian), everyone basically danced the entire night. Maybe something to do with that moon shine being passed around?? Luckily they had complimentary flip-flops for the girls - I always found it interesting girls usually dance barefoot. I get it, heels are not fun to be in all day haha.
I love that even though there were a few hundred guests, it still felt super intimate! The cake was gorgeous, but so many people brought home-made desserts. I may or may not have taken a few bites home for Nina ;-)
They also made a photo book with their engagement photos to use as a guest book - what a freakin awesome idea! Every page was full of notes by the end.
Are you ready for more surprises? Niki planned a popcorn bar and wait for it... a Barrio taco truck!!! Yessss, what is more perfect than tacos after drinking and dancing for hours??
Venue - Akron Art Museum
Photography/Videography - Birch Tree Photography
DJ/Entertainment - TKO Entertainment
Catering - Robert J Catering & Events
Cake - Ritos Bakery
Florist - True Vine Floral
Chairs - Wedding Chairs
Food Truck - Barrio Tacos