I have already had my wedding but I still love all the wedding feeds on Instagram and Pinterest. I’m still following accounts that have beautiful pictures on weddings and all that belongs to it. It’s a great day and I wish I could go back in time for just that one day. Through our pictures and small short films I can. Now it’s been a year ago that we held our wedding in Belgrade, August 26, 2017. It’s our wedding anniversary today, so its wedding vibes all over. This inspired me to share how we planned our wedding and hopefully can give some advice. I thought that this might help you who’s up there, do not know where to start and when it’s over. I will share my tips on what went well and less well. What you can think of and most importantly, I want you to enjoy it with your partner all the way in the planning. Being mentally committed to having fun before the wedding is important as time goes fast and the big day may be long but it disappears as fast as the lightning. Good luck and congratulations on your big day! 1. Make a budget – This is clearly the first thing you have to think about before you start dreaming too much. How big budget do you have? After that, you can start looking around. After your budget, you also know how many guests to be invited to the wedding. However, this is the difficult part. You want to invite everyone but it is unfortunately impossible. Here you can figure out how small or large wedding you want to have. We had a large wedding with about 250 guests. It was mostly from my husband’s side, and he has a big family. A typical thing about having a wedding in Serbia is that you have to invite whole families, especially if you know the whole family. If we would have the wedding in Sweden then it would probably be less guests since the expenses are far more higher in Sweden then it is in Serbia. I was worried about this at the beginning of the plans that it would be far too many people but it was so fun and successful. So, if you are able to have a big wedding don’t be scared of this. 2. Checklist – At first I was only stressed by the idea of what would be done and partly planning a wedding at a distance! But then it usually helps to always make a checklist or a to-do list that I usually do when I have a lot at work. Write down each item to be done. First, write the most important and go down to the less important one. Now you can start planning. 3. Weddings at home or abroad – Whether you are getting married at home or in another country, you most be out in good time by booking. I know you have to book about a year before here at home. We started looking on the internet after the wedding place already a year and a half before. This because we wanted to have our wedding in Serbia and it’s not easy on distance to find a place. I was worried about not being able to find what I wanted. We searched the internet and found a company that had pictures of how their wedding reception looked like and we liked it. The time was booked to visit them and when we were on vacation we had a meeting with the wedding organizer. He went through everything and after we just wanted to think at home and discuss about it. We brought with us information sheets home with menu and pictures. Then we decided and we booked the date of summer 2016 for the summer of 2017, a year ahead. But we had to change dates back and forth because many weekends were already booked. We really wanted a September wedding, but we had to pair this with my husband’s relatives who would come from the U.S. So yes, a puzzle it was. 4. Church or civil wedding? – This can be tricky maybe for many people to compromise with. Some are strongly believers, others not. In our case, it was not difficult to decide when we are both born Orthodox Christians and felt that it was obvious to have it church. We had a civil wedding in Stockholm 21 November 2015, because it has to be done regardless of being approved at home in Sweden. The problem for us was choosing a church. It was the difficult part especially in a country where the priests have their rules and we had to respect that. In the end we decided for a nice old church placed in the countryside, a town where my mother-in-law comes from. It is over 100 years old and is a great beautiful church. It felt very powerful to be in there. Our guests from Sweden, who all lived in Belgrade, we solved with a minibus. We decided time and place for them to meet up and the driver came there to pick us all up, as it took about 40 minutes to get to the church. After the wedding, we went back to Belgrade where the reception took place. Everything went as planned and much smoother than I thought. With this I would like to say that you have to find out what is applicable in different countries, special rules, etc. But they who work with weddings are experienced and also work with people from all around the world so they know how to take care of it. 6. Photographer – Choosing a photographer is not quite easy. There are so many wedding photographers. But what I was looking for is how they take their pictures. How is the style of the pictures? Does the color look like something I want? YES, you can dig into so many details. I was looking at Instagram and found a photographer who travels to different destinations to take wedding pictures. I was completely sold on his pictures. We had one problem though. The company for the wedding reception has an agreement with its three photographers. Which meant that if we had another there we had to pay about 2 Euro / person ( our guests) as a fee NOT to use their photographers. Crazy! Thank goodness, I looked at their pictures and felt that this was something I could compromise with. So in the end I was satisfied. But if you choose a photographer you know, it’s even better. My husband was not comfortable taking wedding pictures. and I can understand, it’s not something you do everyday. I thought it was okay to get nice and elegant timeless pictures. That they would be beautiful. You still want to have a look at them in ten years again. So for me this was important. 7. Invitation Card –This we felt was a little less important to us. Having expensive cards felt unnecessary. I ordered some simple nice ones as Save the date to friends in Sweden. In Serbia, you send out invitations to some guests and the closest relatives and close friends your family invites by going home to them with a bottle of whisky or some nice alcohol. We found some simple nice wedding cards in Serbia. Then it was done! This part we did not put too much time on. You must decide what you think is important. I wanted more that the invitation would fit into the style of the wedding. So I absolutely think that at least have that in mind. 8. Food, drink and wedding cake – This was one of the fun pieces. To taste the food and the wedding cake! It was so good. We ate a lot at the time of the trial. We chose to have a buffet. We wanted a variety of food as it felt like we had guests from all over the world, not really but almost. We also wanted it to be a way for people to move around and give a bit of a rotation. To be relaxed and that you could get more food if you wanted to. When it came to the cake, I also searched Pinterest for pictures on a beautiful wedding cake. I saved the picture and when we met the patisserie to order, I showed what I was looking for. The cake tasted wonderful and we got it built on three levels with three different flavors. So incredibly good! I’m still thinking about it. When Sorin and I got to sample the pieces, you can count on we ate a lot. The wedding cake was ordered from a famous bakery specializing in cakes for different occasions. I also checked their Instagram account to make sure what kind of cakes they are able to create. Instagram is the best tool fir this. So use it while planning your wedding. 9. Makeup, hair and flowers –This was not easy to solve but I managed. I found a good place in Belgrade that works just with parties and weddings. But I just chose to get the hair styled with them because a close friend of us is a makeup artist so I wanted her to do the work. I recommend making sure you pay extra for a trial of the hair and make up. This is a must, cause even if they know their job it’s not always they know what would suit you best. Plus, it’s your day, important to feel like you. I was worried that the makeup would be too hard so I really told the girl not to put too much. I wanted the hair to be an elegant set so that the back of the wedding dress could be beautifully showed. Here I advise to really make sure to find someone good. Go for recommendations, watch pictures and again Instagram. It’s so worth it. Flowers, I first didn’t know were to start. But I found a good one in Belgrade. I contacted them through their facebook page and sent pictures of what I was looking for, asking them if they could manage to do for me like that. This they solved to me excellent. 10. The wedding dress – Ok, so the most fun part! I looked at different pictures for a long time and saved on Pinterest. So I made a board just for that, the wedding dress. I booked time in a famous wedding store in Copenhagen. A Saturday at 10:00. I also wrote in the email that I wanted to look at dresses and what maximum price I was willing to pay for it. They were super helpful and the expedite who helped me had been working with this over twenty years. So she knew what she was talking about. Mom and I went over and had a great day. Unfortunately my sister was not there. So make sure to book with those you feel most comfortable with. Sometimes friends can definitely be good but too many comments and just makes you confused. Just go with those who you trust the most, and who if not your mom and sister. I actually tried only six dresses and I chose the first of all I had tried. To try 20 dresses, absolutely unnecessary. Why? You will get confused and maybe you don’t know what you are looking for. Be sure to plan this before. Buy some wedding magazine, look at pictures and get the feel who you are. The right dress comes. Shoes I knew already before what I wanted. I asked my husband’s cousin to buy for me in the US because we do not have the brand in Sweden, unfortunately. Badgley Mischka who makes amazing wedding shoes. Of course I could have ordered on internet but why not get some nice help. I loved them. They make beautiful shoes to die for. And the veil. This I had not planned to have in the beginning but after awhile I bought one anyway to have in church and for some pictures. But I was wearing it just a short time.
Here are some more pictures from our wedding.I love this picture on my husband and his family and friends! It’s so old school but so nice.