10 Best Croatian Wedding Traditions

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Are you planning to add some Croatian customs to your wedding or you’ve been invited to a Croatian wedding and don’t know what to expect?

A Croatian wedding is a 24-hour party that is filled with good traditional food, celebratory drinks, and laughter. Whether you are new to a Croatian wedding custom, visiting Croatia for the first time to attend a destination wedding, or returning home for a family member’s wedding, you can expect a wedding event full of unique and fun-loving traditions.

Here are the 10 best Croatian wedding traditions to look forward to.

1. Engagement

Instead of a diamond ring, the man offers an obiljezje, which is a piece of fruit such as an apple with coins pressed into it. The acceptance of the fruit by the lady symbolizes their engagement. This is a very old Croatian wedding tradition that is not seen in other countries.

2. Buying the Bride

On the wedding day, the groom first heads to his bride’s parents’ house together with an ensemble of musicians or other groomsmen to woo the bride. This is one of the most amusing Croatian wedding customs where decoy brides are often offered up.

3. The Walks to Church

Everyone then heads to the church for the ceremony as one person carries the Croatian flag. Flag carriers are called the barjaktar and they wave the flag around for the entire procession, whooping and shouting as they go.

4. Rosemary and Donations

As guests enter the wedding reception, they are given little bundles of rosemary wrapped in the ribbon which is pinned to their left side as a sign of welcome. Guests normally leave a donation in exchange for their rosemary pins.

5. The Ceremony

The wedding ceremony is usually catholic but many couples today decide to confirm their love in different wedding venues. A professional photographer takes a bunch of photos in front of the church.

6. At the Reception

The bride and groom participate in various light-hearted activities at the reception like a game to determine who will be the boss of the house.

7. Dance with the Bride

Another Croatian wedding tradition is the dance with the bride which usually starts at midnight. The guests have a chance to dance with the bride, in exchange for money.

8. The Real Party

After the wedding ceremony, it’s time to head to the wedding venue, to eat, drink and be merry until the morning.

9. The 3 AM Goulash

After a day and night of drinking, guests are served either goulash or sarma (rolled cabbage stuffed with mince and rice), and in some areas fish stews plus coffee.

10. Wedding Gifts

During one part of the evening, guests bring their presents to the couple and in almost every case, money is the gift presented in an envelope.

Where to Go for All Your Wedding Ideas and More?

Call Clarence House today. Our professional and dedicated team will help you prepare, plan and organize your special day, from start to finish, to make your unique wedding the most memorable event of your lives.