Eni & Andrej's gothic, Yugoslavian wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Photos by Maxwel Lander

The offbeat bride: Eni, Public Administrator

Her offbeat partner: Andrej, Computer Programmer

Location & date of wedding: The Berkeley, Toronto, Canada — August 1, 2009

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What made our wedding offbeat:

  • My mother gave me away.
  • There were NO Flowers except my black lilly bouquet. The bridesmaid's bouquets were made by me out of buttons and wire.

  • Bridesmaid dresses were ordered from the career section of Victoria's Secret
  • My gown was red and ordered on eBay. (It was made in China and shipped via mail — I hate trying clothes on in a store.)
  • Our first dance was a Tango that my love and I practiced for a month and choreographed ourselves.
  • Our wedding photographer was a queer-photo specialist that I googled and just HAD TO HAVE.
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Last supper wedding party photo? UHMAZING!

Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote our own vows and we recited them to each other in our native language (Serbo-Croatian).

We could not find an officer to wed us in our native language, but the minister was extremely cool and respected all of our desires. We asked him to wear a black and red cloak which he loved.

We had two of our friends from the wedding party recite two poems in Serbo-Croatian — one from a female author, and one from a male author.

Our biggest challenge: Definitely picking the venue. I was 100% sure that the perfect venue did not exist in all of Toronto since I dislike banquet halls and such. Once we entered The Berkeley, we both stopped breathing for a moment, looked at each other and we knew that our search was over.

My favorite moment: When we danced our tango (that we choreographed and practiced in our underwear on weekends for a month prior our wedding day), it seemed as if the earth stopped moving for five minutes. The whole room was quite, we had all eyes on us, yet we felt as if we were alone.

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My dad was killed during the civil war in Bosnia in '93, so it was very emotional for my family when my mother gave me away. My husband lost his mother to cancer in 2006, so the speech given by my sister/maid of honor was very touching — she mentioned all those who couldn't be with us.

In addition, we had many friends who drove ten to twelve hours the night before in order to be with us.

My funniest moment: Our wedding party started drinking really early, so no one was really in their spot, doing what she/he was supposed to be doing. It made the whole night frustratingly funny.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Our speeches — we did not even think about practicing. We each spoke for a few minutes and did more than just thanking everyone. The words just came to us naturally.

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Also, we ordered our cake topper from etsy.com and I did not hear from the artist who made it until two days prior the wedding day. He sent it via Fed Ex to my friend in New York who received it a few hours before her flight to Toronto.

My advice for offbeat brides: Go crazy as much as you can during your preparation. Although the husband (to be) might not show any interest right away, give him a chance and just a little bit of time — HE WILL COME AROUND and you won't be able to stop him once he gets going.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? You can overcome anything if you are just a little patient and if you keep your mind open.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. I love it! This last supper photo is totally awesome, and the whole wedding looks classy and crazy!

  2. The top photo looks like it was from a photoshoot.

    Not trying to be a jerk; but there is no longer a country called "Yukoslavia"; the countries in that area are Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,Kosovo, Macedonia,Montenegro, and Slovenia.

    • Hi Corrine,

      We always allow couples to self-identify and the title of the post is pulled directly from the questionnaire. You can read more about our policy on labels and self-identifying here.

      I suspect there are many people from that area and elsewhere that identify with countries that no longer exist.

      – Becca

      • Agreed. I once knew a man who grew up in a city that is now part of Ukraine, but he speaks little Ukrainian; his primary language is Russian. He told me one time, "When people ask me where I'm from, I don't know what to say. I'm from the Soviet Union. I'm from someplace that doesn't exist anymore." If the happy couple here identifies their wedding as Yugoslavian, so be it. Being natives of that region of the world, they would know better than me. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • This! I have several friends from the Former Soviet Union, and at one point my best friend in college had a green card but not US citizenship, and her former country, the USSR was gone. She was an alien everywhere!
          I would understand someone saying they were from Yugoslavia to mean that they left that country before it disintegrated into Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, etc.

    • girl, don't worry. my grandparents are caribbean and they insist on saying czechoslovakia, though i have told them what it is called today. my friend is slovakian and she is EXTREMELY offended when people say the old school word to identify her. AND, not done yet-i'm from the republic of trinidad and tobago. but, i cannot stand it when people say i'm from trinidad and tobago, i'm trinidadian. lol. not tobagonian. i never lived there. so, i get ya.

    • Everybody from that area knows very well what countries are there now, but not everybody supported that division and tearing up of Yugoslavia.

      So when an individual, or in this case a couple, identifies as Yugoslavian – that normaly means they were against division, and eventho country was torn up – they still feel that they belong to the country that no longer exists.. it is very sad when you think about it.

      Bride and her family paid dearly for that division even though they did not support it, they lost a husband and a father in crossfire.

      Essentially you are right – Yugoslavia is no more – but next time think twice before you correct someone because emotions of people are not covered by CNN, and it is lot more complicated than simple geography. If someone says he/she is a Yugoslavian, respect it.

      Focus on the wedding like everyone else here.

    • Yugoslavia is the country she was born in. I was born in Yugoslavia and I get to say it and yes I speak Serbo-Croatian language to…that is the one I learn in school . On my high school diploma states " Yugoslavia" ….mind your own business .bdw…you are a "JERK" what would you know about Yugoslavia ?

  3. HOLY F'ING PHOTOS!!!!!! That last supper one, and the girls drinking…just ALL of them, I'm floored!!! I just love love love this whole wedding!!!! DROOOOL!!!!! <3

  4. Holy Bejesus, do I love love love this wedding!!! The venue is incredible, your dress is AH-MAZING, and the last supper picture is the best idea I've ever seen! BRAVO~!!!!

  5. Everything is so beautiful but the advice is what got me. It may sound very silly but I cried a little when I read it because it was just what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your wedding.

  6. Love your wedding, the decorations and clothes are amazing. Especially love your card box and the cute little statue beside him. Why wasn't that dress on ebay when I got married in 2006 lol

  7. I'd LOVE to know what poem's you used for the wedding. My fiance is Croatian and we've been searching unsuccessfully for something in his native language for his sister to read at the ceremony. Aside from that, the pictures of the red dress make me want to die of happiness.

    • Dear Lianne, I hope that I am not too late.

      Here they are…The first poem is the one that one of my bridesmaids read, in which the female is speaking to the male.
      The second one was read by one my husband's groomsmen.

      Sreca by Desanka Maksimovic

      Ne mjerim vise vrijeme na sate,
      ni po suncevom vrelom hodu;
      dan mi je kad njegove se oci vrate,
      i noc kad ponovo od mene odu.
      Ne mjerim srecu smijehom, ni time
      da li je ceznja moja od njegove jaca;
      sreca je meni kad bolno cutim s njime,
      i kad nam srca biju ritmom placa.
      Nije mi zao sto ce zivota vode
      odnijeti i moje grane zelene;
      sad neka mladost i sve neka ode:
      od je zadivljen stao kraj mene.

      Igracka vjetrova by Tin Ujevic

      Pati bez suze, zivi bez psovke,
      i budi mirno nesretan.
      Taste su suze, a jadikovke
      ublazit nece gorki san.
      Podaj se pjanom vjetru zivota,
      pa nek te vije bilo kud;
      pusti ko listak nek te mota
      u ludi polet vihor lud.
      Leti ko lisce sto vir ga vije
      za let si, duso, stvorena.
      Za zemlju nije, za pokoj nije
      cvijet sto nema korijena.

  8. I did not realize that our wedding was posted until now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments, thank you "offbeatbride" for adding our wedding to the huge colorful collection of many breathtaking weddings.
    Special thanks to every person who made our day really unique.

    One of the few remaining (forevermore) Yugoslavian, Eni and Andrej

    • Hi Eni,
      Beautiful wedding! I'm curious as to who the artist from Etsy is who made your cake topper!? I love it!!
      Thanks!

  9. This wedding was so spectacular that our friends want to make donations and re-do the whole thing in 10 years. ๐Ÿ™‚ We will see what happens. What I learned from this wedding (the first one I assisted in planing) was that a lot of things can be hand-made so that it is special. I am proud of my sister. She planned all of this and she is excited to plan my wedding, someday. : ) To all the brides out there- this is your day, do not let others plan for you! It happens only once.

    Love to Andrej and Eni,

    The Maid of Honor and Sister ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. exceptionally creative and unique, just like the couple…keep enjoying each other you two Yugoslavians, forever and ever ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I work in the same office as the bride and I can tell you she is definitely "not your average gal"!! Fun, crazy and very comfortable being who she is, which is …not your average gal!!

    • I fully agree! I had to grow up with her. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are definately not the average family. Crazy women who want a crazy fairytail. Why does the word "hormonal" come to mind, instantly? ๐Ÿ™‚
      They are both very special.

  12. These pictures are amazing! Tom sent me the link today as I am no longer working at the Berkeley- You were so great to work with on your wedding and I wish you both many years of happiness. It was a perfect evening! happy to have been apart of it!!!
    Jessica Dexter

  13. Dear Jessica,

    We remain thankful, forever! You made everything feel easy, without thinking that we are out of our minds. Hope you are loving whatever you are doing these days.

  14. I love the fact that you guys got your bridesmaids dresses from victoria's secret ! And the last supper wedding photo is SO amazing- it looks like a piece of art! I love the wedding gown too- I love everything about this wedding!

  15. oh my god i love the photo of the lion head haha! where were those photos taken?! are those at the berkley?

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