I love weddings that have their own quirky rituals and traditions but it's not something you often get a chance to see, or so I thought...
I was at a wedding recently with my mum, her partner and my sister. It was a Croatian wedding, something we had all been to before except for Glenn (my mum's partner) so all the little customs and traditions we took for granted Glenn saw with a fresh pair of eyes. He liked one so much that he and my mum are incorporating it into their wedding in May. It's a great way to add some traditional values to a contemporary setting.
I have been to six weddings in my life all of them Croatian so I thought I'd share with you what makes them different. Croatian weddings are traditionally large community events consisting of 500+ guests that go on for days. Of course practically this is something that is not so commonly practiced now but there are many other customs that have survived and are still used today.
Shots, shots, shots! This is the ritual that Glenn took a particular liking to. Upon entry to the reception each member of the bridal party takes a shot of rakija (a traditional Croatian alcoholic beverage). Guests at the wedding can also pay for the privilege to drink with the groom. A fun way to modernise this custom is to video guests as they take a shot of rakija, if they haven't had it before you'll want to record their reactions, hilarious!
Rosemary: When the guest's arrive to the reception, they are met by members of the couple's family with rosemary buttonholes wrapped in red, white and blue the colours of the Croatian flag. In ancient times rosemary was used to ward off evil spirits, and guests will always give money in exchange for the rosemary.
Kolo: A lot of cultures have a traditional dance and for Croatia it's the Kolo, which is often performed at weddings. This is a really fun way to get everyone up on the dance floor, don't worry if you don't know how to do it. All you have to do is arrange yourselves into a circle, grab the hand or waist of the person beside you. It's named after the Slavic word for wheel so picture a spirited and fast moving dance where you move around the circle changing directions, kicking up your heels and trying to keep up!Moneybag: This is one of my favourites. During the reception all the children in attendance are gathered to the dance floor where the best man has a sack filled with coins and lollies. The contents of the sack are thrown onto the dance floor and the kids go wild! Sadly, I'm too old now for this one. Including elements of your culture and tradition can be a great way to add some fun into your wedding day. What are some of customs or quirks you've incorporated into your wedding day?