Traditional weddings are always a special challenge to me. I am not particularly traditional myself, but as a wedding photographer, I am always excited to shoot an old-fashioned wedding. No matter how many of them I do, each and every one of them is a unique experience. This one is my favorite.
Martina comes from a family of famous Istrian winemakers. The family business has been passed from one generation to the next one for almost a century. However, it is not the business that holds the family so close together.
It is the tradition. Obviously, this family cares about traditional values very much. And when it came to the organization of Marina and Christian’s wedding, certain traditional elements were simply inevitable.
Traditional wedding customs vary from one country to another and each of the scenarios has its own charm and beauty, but also a good dose of craziness. During this wedding, they set traps for the groom on the way to the bride’s house and organized a plethora of silly games and peculiar dances. The wedding ceremony itself was held in a small chapel in a forest.
I noticed that all the guests were anxiously waiting to hear the priest’s closing words, and I wondered why. I didn’t have to wait long to discover the reason. The moment the newlyweds kissed to make their marriage official, the guests started bombarding them with handfuls of rice, cheering and laughing, completely overwhelmed with joy.
Sometimes the traditional part of the wedding seems imposed by the families, and at first it does not sit well with the bride and the groom. Some of the old customs may seem archaic or overdone (or just plain insane) to the younger generations.
However, there is a good reason these customs exist, and sometimes one has to go through them to be able to appreciate them for what they really are – a huge source of fun!
They were reluctant at first, but Martina and Christian had the time of their lives performing those same crazy rituals their ancestors did centuries ago. And I have to admit that I also had a lot of fun as their wedding photographer, even though I still don’t understand any of those old customs!
Photos by Croatia wedding photographer Damir Plavotić