Top Traditions at a Serbian Wedding

Are you aware of the many traditions that a Serbian wedding presents? We did photographed several Serbian weddings in Chicago and Indiana area. 

Serbian wedding

Every wedding is unique in its own way, just as every culture is. That’s why it is so intriguing to discover how various regions across the worlds celebrate their own nuptials.

One incredibly fun and beautiful wedding that we have discovered is a Serbian wedding, as we have found them to be truly one of a kind events!

Garlic in the bride’s bosom, “fighting” over cake, diverting evil eyes; are you enticed to learn more about the uniqueness of a Serbian wedding? If so, you are in luck! As we have gathered some wonderful insight about how to host your own Serbian wedding. Be sure to continue reading to learn more about this cultural experience:

Serbian wedding

  • Something Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue. Let’s start with a tradition that may be a little more familiar to you. The bride must incorporate something old, new, borrowed, and blue into her wedding ensemble to satisfy the dress code. Not only is this tradition popular in United States, but Serbia as well, as it is certainly fun to take part in.
  • The Matchmaker’s Shoes. The matchmaker, also known as the Provodadzija, gets a new pair of shoes from the happy couple. This is to encourage a long and happy marriage for the couple.
  • Shooting the Apple. One of the most well-known Serbian wedding traditions is the Shooting of the Apple. This is where the father in-law puts an apple on the highest tree in the bride’s yard, where the groom then has to then shoot it. The bride is unable to leave the house until the apple get shot, so let’s hope the groom has good aim!

Serbian wedding

  • Drinking from The Flask. Before the wedding day, the Buklijas, a young man from the groom’s side, will invite guests over to drink from “the special flask”. This flask is called the Buklija. These guests will then drink from the flask and decorate it with money.
  • Boy or Girl? Before the wedding ceremony, the bride will drink from a glass, toast, and then throw the glass. If the glass breaks, it is said that she will birth a boy. However, if the glass stays intact, a girl will be birthed.

Serbian wedding

  • The One & Only Bride. Brides are absolutely not allowed to see other brides on their wedding day. So, if you are sharing a big venue space with another wedding, you will want to be sure that the bride is covered when out and about. It’s believed that the bride that is seen will get married, but will also die. How terrifying!
  • Hiding Garlic in Your Bosom. No bride wants bad luck on her big day! In a Serbian wedding, the bride fights bad luck by hiding garlic in her bosom. So, be sure to discover a lovely perfume to adorn yourself with, as you wouldn’t want to emit the aroma of garlic on your big day.

Serbian wedding

  • Diverting Evil Eyes. Once again, you can fight evil on your wedding day by featuring a Zarac. The Zarac will be dressed in a wreath of peppers and hold a whip that will divert evil eyes from the happy couple.
  • Leading the Way. When it comes to a Serbian wedding processional, the Barjaktar will lead the way for the wedding party by featuring a banner with an apple on top of it, along with being adorned in towels, rosemary, and flowers. This is quite different from the wedding processionals that take place in the United States!
  • Protected with a Mirror. For even more protection, the bride should carry a small mirror to frighten demons with their own reflection.
  • Hiding Beauty. In the United States, the wedding veil is an added accessory of beauty. However, in Serbia, the veil is more than an accessory, as it will hide the bride from evil spirits, as well as her beauty from other men.

Serbian wedding

  • No Pearls. A bride can adorn herself with many beautiful jewels on her big day, but never pearls, as they symbolize tears. So, opt for diamonds, rubies, sapphires; just no pearls!
  • Bridal Wreath. From necklaces to bracelets, the bride has an array of lovely details to choose from for her bridal beauty. However, she must wear a bridal wreath! The bridal wreath allows the bride to stand out, protects her from evil entities, and also symbolizes fertility.

Serbian wedding

  • Buying of the Bride. A very unique Serbian wedding custom is the “Buying of the Bride”, where the bride is sold by her own brother, and bought by the groom…very interesting!
  • Serbian Cinderella. Serbian weddings certainly are unique, as they present an array of traditions that are very uncommon, such as the “Serbian Cinderella”. During the “Buying the Bride” custom, the groom’s brother will put money in the bride’s shoe and spin in it three times.
  • Who Will Run the House? During the wedding ceremony, as the couple says their vows, the bride has the option to step on the groom’s foot if she pleases. By doing so, it means that she will supposedly be in charge, and run the house!

Serbian wedding

  • The Pulling of the Nose. Once the wedding reception begins, the bride will ask all of the single ladies “Do you want me to pull your nose?”. It is believed that the one that the bride pulls by the nose will be the next to wed…this is the Serbian alternative to the bridal bouquet toss that we showcase here in the United States.
  • An Apple for the Men. Instead of the tossing of the garter, the groom will cast an apple that has coins embedded in it over the bride’s head to all of the single gentlemen. And, whoever catches it should be the next to get married.

Serbian weddings certainly are beautiful! With these tips, you will surely be successful with planning your own Serbian wedding! So, be ready for fun, unique traditions, unbeatable wedding photos, and a once in a lifetime experience, if you are planning to host your own Serbian celebration.


Contact us ! We know how to capture the Best Memories at Serbian Weddings!!!

or visit our Chicago Wedding Photographers Page.

Also: Serbian Wedding in Indiana

 and  Serbian Wedding in Rolling Meadows, IL

If you are curious what what does elope mean” just click on the link!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. My daughter is getting married next Saturday to a man of Serbian back ground. If anyone who sees this comment knows of a Serbian toast I can say at the end of my speech would you send it to me. Thanks…Joe

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