When I'm not photographing or with my family, I get lost in pop- impressionism oil paintings. Check out some of my work here.
There is something about a traditional wedding that gets me every time. When a family has such a deep love and respect of their past — their roots go so deep. Sara and Chris hosed the most amazing Serbian Orthodox wedding, full of dancing, laughter, speeches — a true honor to witness and photograph.
Sara got ready in her childhood home, in her childhood bedroom.
When she walked down the steps in her gown for the first time, an entire community of family and friends greeted her with cheers, toasts and heartfelt speeches. When there was a dress emergency, a neighbor stepped in a sewed away.
This is how life is meant to be lived, this is how love is meant to be based — with true connection, true relationships and true examples of how marriage is done. Congrats to the both of you — you are bound to have a loving a successful marriage based on what I saw at your wedding. Blessings!
What was your inspiration behind your Serbian Orthodox Urban Room Wedding?
Timeless, classic romance with a modern twist. We were also inspired by the history of the Urban Room reception venue to incorporate some Art Deco moodiness.
Advice to share with brides planning now?
Live in the moment, enjoy all your hard work, and trust your vendors!…no one else will notice the small stuff that might not go as planned.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? If yes, tell me more.
LOL yes!! We had a completely traditional Serbian Orthodox wedding ceremony. It was important to me to uphold and honor our heritage that is often lost in modern times with wedding ‘trends’. We held candles obtained from an ancient Serbian Monastery (Visoki Dečani) in Kosovo founded in the early 14th century, wore the same crowns as my parents did on their wedding day in 1986, and drank wine from Cana in Galilee for various portions of the customary betrothal service. In our reception, we continued to celebrate the Serbian culture with a traditional Serbian string band and lots of folklore ‘kolo’ dancing!
All About that Bass: Ceremony entrance song? First dance song?
The ceremony entrance song for the bride is a customary hymn to the Most Holy Mother of God sung by our church choir, determined by the church cycle. Our wedding took place during the Paschal Season thus, the song was ‘The Angel Cried’ (Angel Vopijaše in Serbian).Our first dance song was ‘Fly me to the Moon’ by Frank Sinatra. We wanted something not too sappy, upbeat and classic. This song was also an homage to Chris’s career as a true ‘rocket scientist’ and background in aerospace engineering!
How did you and your spouse meet?
We met the old-fashioned way, online haha
Proposal Details! How did it happen? 🙂
Chris was originally planning to propose on a trip to Key West, Fl that we were going on for my birthday but the jeweler wasn’t able to finish my ring in time to take! Instead, he surprised me a few weeks later, the night before Easter, when both our families were already planning to celebrate together. We were home alone at my townhouse with our pups when he ‘popped the question’ over a glass of wine, it was so intimate and such a perfect surprise! Then we got to have a surprise engagement party the next day on Easter with all of our loved ones already in town!
Serbian Orthodox Urban Room Wedding Vendors
Photography: Steven Dray Photography
Ceremony Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
Reception: Omni William Penn Hotel Urban Room
Florist: Blossoms by Jillian
Wedding Dress Designer: Dovita
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?
As a self-proclaimed fashionista and shopaholic (lol), I knew I wanted something unique but still timeless for my wedding dress. My mom and I decided to meet my sister from LA halfway in Chicago for a larger bridal inventory, less saturated by the Pittsburgh area brides. The dress I ended up falling in love with fortunately was available by order only at The Exquisite Bride in Gibsonia as not a gown or designer they carry in store. This was a lifesaver when it came time for fittings! Fun fact, The Exquisite Bride staff also loved it so much they’re actually going to start carrying it in-store now after my wedding! Chris’s main goal for his wedding day attire was to be ‘James Bond for a day’ in a classic slim fit tuxedo as a lifelong Bond fan…he nailed it all on his own!
What was your favorite memory from your big day?
This is so hard to choose! Probably seeing Chris for the first time when the church doors opened, standing at the end of the isle in front of the church alter I grew up my whole life looking at and praying for this day and who would be waiting there for me. My dream come true!
Wedding Dress Boutique: The Exquisite Bride
Hairstylist Name: Amelia Aukscunas – Simply Captivating Salon
Make-up Artist Name: Antonette Medved
Accessory Information: Swarovski Earrings, David Yurman Diamond Bracelet
Bride’s Shoe Designer: Bella Belle and Badgley Mischka
Bride’s Ring Designer: Custom
Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: Dovita
Groom Attire Designer: Top Hat Tuxedo
Groom Ring Designer: David Yurman
Videographer Company/Name: Carnation Films
Paper Goods Company: Fresh Cut Prints
Handmade Details: Etsy, Fetefone Audio Guestbook
Entertainment: DJ Cruz – Loyalty Entertainment, Srpski Sinovi (Sons of Serbia) – Serbian Band
Bakery: Pastries A-La-Carte
Linen Rental Company: Lendable Linens