Sunday, January 05, 2014

My Croatian Wedding at James P. Davis Hall part 3

So my family is Croatian, and Anthony's family is Lithuanian.  I hadn't been to a Croatian wedding since I was little, and I really wanted to have one.  All I could remember was povitica, puhance, and polka!  I researched extensively, and talked to my family about wedding when they were younger.  Although it's not SUPER authentic, I did try to incorporate some of the traditions I read about online.

My first step was getting a caterer.  Luckily, we contacted The Strawberry Hill Museum who gave us some names of caterers.  I met and chose Cathy Colinda Smith, who did a wonderful job.  The menu included:

Note the nadvanjne above (the round discs) and the sarma below!

Kielbasa, Ham, Roast Beef, Nadvanjne, Croatian Potato Salad, cucumber and tomato salad, rolls, cheeses, fruit salad, and a wonderful vegan Sarma. People keep asking me for the sarma recipe. 

Some of the traditions I found online, and tweaked just a little for my wedding. I wrote them on the schedule cards for everyone to enjoy!

Rosemary:  Rosemary is used to welcome guests to the ceremony.  Traditionally, it was thought to ward off evil spirits.  Each guest receives a piece of rosemary to pin to their shirt.
Apples:  before rings were used, a groom would offer an apple as an engagement present.  Apples were then thrown into a well at the wedding ceremony to represent fruitfulness in the marriage.  We have decided to serve apple cider as a nod to this custom, and you may see some apples decorating the hall.
Darovajte: traditionally, Croatian guests form a reception line to give money and household items to the new couple.  After  giving the wedding gift, the father of the bride gives the guests a shot of his best plum brandy (slivovitz), followed by a piece of bread which symbolizes good hospitality and friendship.
Povitica and puhance: Povitica is a Croatian sweet bread that Cassie’s family continues to hand make.  Most of the povitica you will eat has been handmade by her aunts, uncles, and cousins. Puhance is a small cookie (also called angel wings) traditional at Croatian weddings.  Cassie and her mother made all of the puhance.
Tamburitzan music: If anything, Lithuanians and Croatians love to polka!  We also dance kolos, or circle dances.  Please join us in the fun, and feel free to eat, drink, and make merry!

The next step was to get a band.  Luckily, my dad had a school friend who played Tamburitzan music.  She was so sweet and helpful.  She played Love, Love, Love by the Beatles for our ceremony music.  She also talked to me about having the Darovajte (Dar-oh-Vie-teh).   
Since I was still unsure about how to do the Darovajte, I DID make sure to have some elements.  I read online that the bride makes a hand made towel for her father to wrap around the Slivovitz.  I embroidered a small towel with the date and pictures of booze and bread!  I bought Slivovitz and bread for the reception line.  I got a basket for people to put their cards, and tastefully requested money instead of household presents, since Anthony and I are going abroad again!  It worked out perfectly.  We walked around James P. Davis with the band behind us.  We formed a reception line and I gave out wreaths (as per the Darovajte song) to the mothers and fathers of the new couple.  People put their cards in the basket, took some bread and a shot, and gave us well wishes!  It was fantastic!!!!

This was one of my favorite parts of the wedding.  
We also danced kolo dances (circle dances).  The room wasn't big enough for everyone, but I was so excited my aunts and I decided to dance!  Too bad the guys were too scared!  Haha!

At the end of the evening, James P. Davis looked so beautiful, I just had to put some photos in of the building!  Parigo Studios did a great job photographing my wedding, and I am so appreciative!  I think it was perfect!

My Croatian Wedding at James P. Davis Hall part deux

I decided to upload some of the elements I used for the wedding.
I initially looked at this painting done by Strawberry Hill Croatian painter, Marijana.  This was what I wanted at my wedding.  Notice the color green, the band, the kolo dancing, and the family style tables.  That's what I did!!!!
 This was the color palette that I gave to everyone involved.  I wanted greens for fall, but not too much oranges or browns.  My favorite color is green, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE rosemary and hedge apples.
 This was one of the giant mums we got at the pumpkin patch.  The mantle was done with mesh ribbon bought at Costco, and the big vase with sticks was from a garage sale for $12!  What a deal!  The lanterns and platters were mom's.

These urns were places in place of the altar.  Mom bought them at Home Depot and she got the iron globes at the Nell Hill open house in Atchison.  The decorator ladies were so excited about them, and they went to town with all the pumpkins, leaves, and sticks they found on the property.

For the dinner, I didn't have a lot of money.  I provided plastic silverware that looked real.  I ordered them from Smarty Had a  The chargers I bought online to go under the clear plastic plates my caterer provided.  We took the silverware and wrapped them in napkins, doilies, and ribbons found in the dollar bin at JoAnn's Fabrics.  It looked great.

I made wedding schedules that on one side talked about Croatian Traditions, and on the other side described the schedule of events.  I bought an edge punch that looked like lace and cut the cards on the top, while cut slits in the bottom so they would slide onto the wedding wands.  I used card stock purchased at Wal-Mart.
 Here you can see the rosemary in the lower left corner, the corsage pins on the green plate, the schedules, the wedding wands, and the place cards.  I organized seating by tables, with home printer name cards bought at Office Max. 
These 100 wedding wands were made with clearance ribbons and little bells.
Here is one of the many bags of hedge apples.
Setting the table and cutting the home made povitica.  For my wedding shower, I asked my guests to bring povitica, a Croatian sweet bread, and wine.  I only served white and red wine, beer, and a signature drink of apple cider, soda, and vodka.  It was a hit!

Anthony and I were decorating and setting up all day!
Below is puhance, also called Angel Wings.  We got up at 5 am Saturday morning to make them...only to go on a rum run at 6am! We only needed a couple tablespoons for the wedding, but realized we only had vodka!  Oh no!  Haha!  I will never forget those funny things that happened before the wedding!  I also found this other vintage cake topper for $10.
This is the backdrop I made, although you can't see the circle garlands I am so proud of making.  I found a thrift store that sold scrapbooking background pages for 10 cents each, and used a large circle punch to make the discs.  Then I sewed the discs together.  I also took crepe paper and sewed a seam though them, so they would scrunch up nicely.  I found all these instructions on Pinterest!
In my next post, I will discuss more of the Croatian Traditions I used!

My Croatian Wedding at James P. Davis Hall part 1

Hello friends and family!  My mom has been pestering me about updating the blog with pictures from my wedding on October 13, 2013.  It was at James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City.  James P. Davis Hall had special meaning to my family, as my grandfather helped build it in the 1930s.  It was a WPA project and it really is a fantastic spot to get married.  I had hoped by mid October that the leaves would have changed more for a 'Fall' wedding theme, but alas it didn't happen until the next weekend as we had a late fall.  I had to reserve the hall a year in advance and put my name into a lottery.  Since I was in Korea at the time, my mom and brother scooted their butts out to the Parks and Rec offices off State Ave at 8 am on Friday for the drawing.  My mom said there were 15 other brides there to put their names in the cup for Saturday the 12th.  Obviously, I did not get chosen, but I was able to secure the hall for Sunday, which created an entire 'Wedding Weekend'.  We rented a shelter house for a pre-wedding picnic on Saturday the 12th, so all of our out of town guests could get together.  The shelter houses only cost $40 for the day, and we cooked hot dogs, tofu dogs and brats.  Everyone loved the weekend.  So lets move onto the day of the wedding.

I had a lot of problems looking for photos of James P. Davis when I was researching my wedding. So I thought I'd upload some for other brides.  My photos were done by Parigo Studios.  Brandon was completely awesome and so was Nicole.  Everyone LOVES the photos, so I would always suggest putting aside a larger budget for photography.  After all, what do you really remember about the wedding day, other than being nervous?  Great job, Parigos!

James P. Davis Hall and Decor - My mother and I did this wedding ourselves.  We had a little help setting up from friends and family.  The cake table and entrance table was decorated by my friend Katherine.  The hall was decorated with all of the elements and chachkis from my mom and myself.  My colors were rosemary green and ivory.  I wanted to use hedge apples, white pumpkins, and green apples.  My mom hired two ladies to help us decorate in the morning before the wedding.  They were local part time decorators from her neighborhood.  They were very good at seeing the vision we had and implementing all the pieces we brought.  It was a little vintage and rustic at the same time.
James P. Davis Hall
Centerpieces were a mix of cylinders, lanterns and fish bowls I purchased at Upcycle Weddings, a resale shop located in the Bottoms of Kansas City.  They are only open the first weekend of every month.
 My friends from Peace Corps put together the back drop.  I sewed circle garlands for weeks up to the wedding!  The pennants I ordered from The and they were really cheap.  I got the idea from Lady Mary's wedding on Downton Abby!
 My friend Amber has an antique book store in St. Louis.  She made the flower garlands out of some old books and music sheets.  The apples were a croatian theme I threw in, and the pumpkins I picked at a pumpkin patch which sold them per pound.  I spent all morning in the muck trapsing around a muddy field filling up wheelbarrows with all types of white and green pumpkins and gourds.  It was worth the cheap price!  And everyone loved taking them home as gifts!

My friend Kristin designed the menu cards and food cards.  It was a last minute idea to place pics in the apples.  I had name card stands, but they kept falling over.  Thank goodness I bought emergency pics from Michael's for only $7!  Good thing I had extra apples, too!
 This is Amber and me in the smaller room of James P. Davis.  We used this room as the buffet, cake, and overflow room.  Just in case the weather was bad, we were going to also use it as the ceremony room!  I was working all day and ended up cleaning afterward.  A bride's work is never done.  Especially the DIY bride!  I was up at 5 am and went to bed at 3 am!
Pumpkins from Johnsons Farm off Holmes Rd.  They were $25/lb!  CHEAP!  We also bought the beautiful mums that decorated the hall!  They were white and green!  My colors!
 This is the entrance/guest table Katherine made.  She made a wishing tree instead of the traditional guest book.  I DID have a guest book I made for free on Shutterfly.  People were able to look at photos of Anthony and me, and they could sign their name if they wanted.  It was really cool to have both.  You can kind of see the wedding wands I spent months making.  They were the bane of my existence.  If you want to make 100 wedding wands for your wedding - don't .  Order them!  They may be more expensive, but less of a headache!
 You can also see the cut rosemary we gave to each guest.  This is a Croatian tradition that was initially thought to ward off evil spirits.  I purchased extra rosemary from my florist, cut them up into sprigs, and used straight pins (with rubber earring stoppers from Hobby Lobby) to give to each guest in honor of this tradition.  Let's just say it smelled AWESOME at James P. Davis!
This is me getting ready in the cloak room.  I brought an old shower curtain to close off the space when people started arriving.  This was where we all got ready, and since you can't use nails to hang things up, we brought massive amounts of 3M hooks.
Katherine made this to hang above the cake table.  It was awesome.  Below is the topper I found for my cake at an antique store for $10.  Katherine hand sugared the apples, and my florist sent extra flowers just for my cake!  It looked amazing.  I got the naked cake at the local grocery store, HyVee.  They did a great job at adding the flowers, apples, and cake topper!
The pennants brought the eye up to the beautiful ceiling, and brightened up dark wooden interior.
This is Anthony playing his banjo while waiting for the ceremony.  He was very nervous.
All the pinecones were collected from my mom's yard, and all the hedge apples were collected from a beautiful Osage Orange tree in my Peace Corps friend's back yard.  They let me pick bags and bags of them.  We had too many, so we just chucked them over the side of the patio, near the lake!  Maybe James P. Davis will have Osage Orange trees in 20 years!
 At the cake table, we had home made povitica, puhance, and the naked cake which was pumpkin, spice, and apple.  It was FANTASTIC!
I'll do another post about the Croatian parts of my wedding.  Keep checking back!  If anyone has any questions on where I got stuff, let me know!  I bought all of the linens and chargers.  I ended up selling them on Craig's List, so I seriously suggest looking for great deals if you are a DIY bride!  It was so much cheaper than renting!