Sandra and Bojan's Clearwater wedding showcased their family heritage through the music, food and celebration.
“Our families moved here in 1997 as refugees. We did the traditional Serbian festivities in the morning and had the folk dance group perform at the reception,” the bride shared. “We tried to do a mix of traditional with modern for our wedding.”
The St. Petersburg couple wanted to keep their big day stress-free and understood the importance of hiring a Clearwater wedding planner, especially with a guest count of 350.
“We only needed the ‘day of' planning package, but our wedding planner Maria [with Blush by Brandee Gaar] had meetings with us even as early as five months prior to the wedding and helped us find most of what we needed. She stayed in close contact throughout the planning process and went above and beyond her duties,” Sandra gushed. “Our entire experience with Blush was amazing! We are so thankful for them!”
The guest experience was a top priority for Sandra and Bojan.
“We wanted the music to be endless and the food and drinks to be plentiful,” the bride explained. “We had several bartenders who were serving drinks to guests at their tables, so they didn’t even need to head to the bar. In addition to the individually plated dinners, we had an additional buffet and dessert table afterwards.”
The bride and groom incorporated live performers to add to the ambiance of their Clearwater wedding reception.
“I wanted to include a performance of traditional folk dancing. I had been a folk dancer for most of my childhood and adolescence, so incorporating that cultural touch meant a lot to me,” Sandra shared. “The Serbian Pearl dance group was a great surprise for the guests. Everyone raved about them!”
We took a much needed trip to Europe prior to my graduation from nursing school. We visited family in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia. During our stay in Slovenia, we drove to the beautiful Lake Bled in the middle of the mountains. It was like paradise! The air was so pure.
The day was sunny and warm, and we were surrounded by snow-capped mountains. There was a small church settled on an island in the middle of the lake. We took a cute row boat to the island and climbed a long flight of steps to reach the church. In the church, we each rang the bell and made a wish (mine was to get married soon!). Bojan took me up the bell tower and asked me if I had made a wish. I said yes! He said, “So did I”, and got on one knee! The rest is a bunch of crying and “Oh my God’s!”
How would you describe your theme?
Our theme was romantic, grown-up and classic. We didn’t want anything too flashy. I wanted something light and fresh, with a little bit of greenery, infused with warm gold and lilac tones.
What were your colors?
I just love lavender and lilac. When used right, they are easily paired with other colors and can look very sophisticated. Lilacs smell amazing and are so romantic! We decided to use that color in the uplighting and include it in the floral bouquets, napkins and boutonnieres. We chose an overall ivory theme with gold accents and chiavari chairs to add a touch of elegance. It all looked stunning!
Why did you hire a wedding planner and what did you look for in one?
A few of our friends recently got married and complained of how much stress they were under! We wanted to avoid that as much as possible. I met Brandee, the owner of Blush by Brandee Gaar, and I was really surprised by how many services were included in their packages. All of Blush’s reviews online were amazing, and all of the coordinators had plenty of experience in the field. We only needed the “day of” planning package, but our wedding planner Maria had meetings with us even as early as five months prior to the wedding and helped us find most of what we needed. She stayed in close contact throughout the planning process and went above and beyond her duties. Our entire experience with Blush was amazing! They even included a little surprise gift at the end of it all! We are so thankful for them!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Get a wedding planner.
Make sure you don’t skimp on the photography and videography. Those are the memories you will keep forever.
If something isn’t important to you, skip it or do it in a non-traditional way! For example, we didn’t want a big four tiered cake; we just wanted a delicious one. Cake cutting was a formality to us, so spending money on that portion did not make sense. Instead, we opted for a beautifully designed one-tier and the same sheet cake for the guests.
We also did not want to stress about sending thank you cards to all of the guests after the wedding. Instead, we rolled our thank you notes and tied them with our wedding favors, which were cute miniature Serbian folk dance shoes called “Opanci.”
Ceremony Venue: Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
Reception Venue: Matheos Hall
Photographer: Andy Martin Photography
Videographer: Love and Lustre Weddings
Planner: Blush by Brandee Gaar
Florist & Rentals: Arlene Floral Designer
Caterer: Creative Catering by Design
Cake: Cakes by Carolynn
Band: Zeljko Miric, Mica Radovanovic, Zika Antic, Neda
Officiant: Father Stefan Zaremba
Dress: Malindy Elene Bridal
Hair & Makeup: Hendrickje Ewen Matthews