Cleveland Serbian Wedding
Nevena and Pajo’s Cleveland Serbian wedding was action packed all day!
A Cleveland Serbian wedding is a day packed with lots of traditions, family, friends, dancing music and plum brandy.
One of my best friends in college is Serbian so I was well aware of the plum brandy Nevena called
šljivovica which some in the wedding party held in čuturas aka canteens. I didn’t have any as I was working but
I did enjoy the tasty liquor while visiting his family in my college years.
I love witnessing the variety of weddings from different religions and cultures and a Cleveland Serbian
wedding is one of the best to photograph! St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Broadview Heights is one of most
gorgeous churches I’ve ever photographed.
Some of my favorite traditions from a visual standpoint included when Pajo did the Shooting of the
Apple. The father-in-law puts an apple in a tree in the bride’s yard and the groom has to shoot it. The bride is
unable to leave the house until it’s shot and luckily Pajo got it on the first try.
Another is where the best man has to “buy” the bride. Several men dressed as fake brides came out at
first and they were not the most attractive in their pseudo wedding gowns.
After appearing before the groom and the large crowd Nevena threw a sieve with grains on the roof.
It’s believed that it brings happiness and health to the family.
Some men wore sashes to show their title or position in the wedding party as her included Kum as
Godfather, Domacin as Host, Star Svat as Elder Witness and Dever as Best Man.
During the exit from the church the Godfather throws coins in celebration of the marriage.
These were just a few of them. There are flag bearers or Barjaktari all day as well. Two friends
had this job with the American and Serbian flags as you’ll see.
During portraits we got caught in a major downpour which was great for photos and getting
The day was so full of fun and activities and I’m excited about the photos I made on the
day so now’s a good time to start looking if you’re still reading this.
Nevena tried to keep her makeup in check as she talked with an old friend that couldn’t attend the
wedding. “She’s someone I miss dearly and haven’t seen in many years.”
Pajo got ready at their house across the street from his parent’s house.
Nevena: “The canteen is called a “čutura” and inside we put “šljivovica”, which in English is Plum Brandy.”
Pajo and Nikola arrived for the Shooting of the Apple.
The “buying” of the bride began.
The first “bride” was Rade and second was Aleksa.
Nevena and her brothers Tode and Nikola greeted Pajo for the first time.
The grains were thrown to the roof.
“The sashes that each man wears show their title or position in the wedding party. “
Nevena gave gifts.
Pajo entered St. Sava for the ceremony.
Nevena’s father Zoran gave her away.
Father Dragan placed the crowns as Very Rev. Father Mioljub looked on.
Coins were thrown by the Kum in celebration of the marriage as kids and a few adults quickly grabbed them up.
As we started the portraits a heavy storm was approaching quickly.
Everyone but the couple went back to the bus before the deluge and we were totally soaked in seconds.
It was worth it for these photos!
Zoran gave a very moving toast and mentioned his wife and Nevena’s mother, Vesna. “She was there in spirit and was talked about and
included in the day by everyone. She passed away from cancer 5 years ago.”
Maksim was the bride’s cousin and I caught him for a few seconds before he noticed me and started making goofy faces.
The couple had fun at the photo booth with her Aunt Jasna and Uncle Kelley.
The couple steamed up the grounds at St. Sava.
Officiants: Very Reverend Father Mioljub Matic, Father Dragan Goronjic, Protodeacon Ljubisa Mitrovic, Deacon Milan Damljanovic
Ceremony: St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church – Broadview Heights
Reception: The Event Center at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
Catering: St. Sava Catering
Cake: Michael Angelo’s Bakery
Florist: The Flower and Bee
Dress: Martina Liana
Suit: Vera Wang
Bride’s shoes: Black Suede Studio
Engagement Rings: Blue Nile
Wedding bands: Eternate
Wedding Invites:“Truly Engaging by Magnet Street”
Bus: VIP Rides
Linens, etc.: Provided by the Event Center at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
Video: Time Capsule Collective
Assistant: Marianne Katanic
Thank you for viewing this Cleveland Serbian wedding,
– Scott Shaw Photo | Cleveland Wedding Photographer