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!




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