Ljilja and I travelled down to Trebinje this past weekend (Trebinje is her home town - and is about 6 hours drive away on the Bosnian/Hercegovinian roads) to attend Sladja's wedding. Sladja stayed with us quite a lot and became almost like a "third roommate" We were very glad to be able to go to her wedding and it was a special day!
The wedding started at 9am with us guests (250 of us) meeting up at the hall where it was held. We were there, eating and drinking (this is a Serb wedding!) until 10.30. Then the groom's family went to go get the bride from her house. We she arrived with fanfare and flags, etc we all stood up and clapped (and some of us cried-including her a little bit) and then carried on eating and drinking (except me for those wondering - other than juice!) until 11.30 when the magistrate came and held the "official" wedding at the hall. There was also live music - the band played all day and into the night with only two one hour breaks...
Here are pictures of the food we had to eat in the morning (mmmmm) , Sladja's arrival and of the happy couple with best man and bridesmaid at the magistrate's wedding.
Sladja's arrival: She is between the djeverusa and the djever - her husband to be's closest female and male relatives, in this case his sister and cousin. Spot the Republic of Srpska flag with the apple on top - and the accordian - which thankfully only went as far as the door...
After the first wedding we sat and ate and drank again until it was time to go to the church wedding (at 1.30). We all drove in a long line with decorated cars (with ribbons) hooting and throwing sweets at the children that we passed (we had loads of sweets so this part was really fun!). We got to the church and enjoyed the trumpet players outside until the wedding before us left. Then it was time for the ceremony which was very intricate and interesting... I include a picture of part of it where they wear crowns here.
After the church wedding we went to his parent's village for some ceremonies to be held there (including throwing some stuff over the house and such - interesting!!). And then we drove back to the hall -all of this in a long line hooting and throwing sweets - we were almost an hour in the cars, so this was an important part of the day as well!
We got back and had lunch (at 4pm!) which was amazing and then after cake and coffee had a bit of a break from the festivities while the bride and groom went home to change - we just hung out and ate and drank some more... (spot the trend). At 8 other people joined the party (about 100-150) and we danced until the wee hours... I even picked up how to dance the traditional "Kolo" and word quickly went around for people to look at the "African" doing the traditional Bosnian dance!
Here are Ljilja and I when we were just hanging out. Ljilja did take some pictures of my dancing - but as we were going so fast (!) none of them really came out :-)
All in all it was a great (although extremely long) day and it was a never-to-be-forgotten exerience!