I went to my first Serbian wedding last May. Adam’s cousin and her now-husband incorporated some beautiful traditions, which led me to wonder what Korean and Serbian traditions we will have in our wedding.
They held their ceremony in a Serbian church. I have only seen two in person (and dozens online), and they have all been works of art. The walls of this church were gold and blue, patterned and painted. Candles glimmered from perches on the wall, aided by sunlight streaming through stained glass windows. Stories from the Bible illustrated the walls, arches, and even the ceiling.
In the picture below, the bride and groom are wearing crowns and doing the ceremonial walk. Since I am new to Serbian traditions, I will quote their wedding program:
“The crowning is the climax of the wedding service. The crowns are symbols of the glory and honor with which God crowns the bride and groom during the sacrament. They are crowned as the king and queen of their own kingdom, the home, which they will rule with wisdom and integrity. The crowns are exchanged back and forth during the rite to show that they become one flesh and spirit.”
“The priest leads the bride and groom around the altar table three times for the ceremonial walk. This circular walk represents eternity, and signifies the couple’s oath to preserve their marriage bond forever.”
Weeks before the wedding, Adam’s mom suggested that I learn how to do a Serbian dance called kolo. Adam insisted that I’d be fine, because all I’d need to do was hold hands with people in a circle and follow wherever they go. When the bride and bridesmaids started the first kolo, I just watched to see how to do it. The first one was really simple–in a circle, everyone took a few steps to the right, then a few steps to the left, and so on. When I finally joined, the steps got more intricate, and I had to do a lot of feet-watching to figure out what to do! I couldn’t get a good picture of this, so here’s picture from kolo.org. Imagine this, minus the outfits, plus a lot of laughter and drinks spilling on the dance floor!
Adam and I have only talked a little about what traditions we want at our Serbian/Korean/United States-ian wedding. For example, I know he wants an old Serbian song to play as we enter the reception, but I had my heart set on entering to Michael Buble’s song “Everything.” With our cultural mash-up, there’s bound to be plenty of compromising going on (and maybe a little bribing) as we decide how to honor our heritage on that special day!