Sanja and Zoran’s Fun Southern Highlands Wedding

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Inspired Weddings,


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Sanja & Zoran

Sanja and Zoran’s special day was the epitome of a fun Southern Highlands wedding. From the bride’s patent leather orange shoes, the traditional Serbian traditions, the absolute laughter on the faces of the bride and groom and the intimate setting that set the tone for the day.  Sanja and Zoran chose Gemma Clarke Photography  to be there to capture it all.

Sanja tells the story of who they came to be. “Zoran and I met almost nine years ago in a band.. iBand in fact (the same band that played on our wedding night). The keyboard player heard about this young girl called Sanja who apparently sings well and decided to invite her for the audition. Once she arrived, she had her eye on the guitarist (Zoran) and that’s where it took off … I still sing with the band, but Zoran left the band in order to complete the classical guitar studies. After almost 9 years together… there was a lot of talk about marriage and our future together (especially after we have been living together for 6 years), but Zoran still decided to surprise me and organised a sea plane trip from Sydney to Bells at Killcare where he proposed in their beautiful gardens. I remember thinking ‘this is it!’ but then I’ve thought that same thought on different romantic occasions so I really wasn’t sure what I was in for. It was the most beautiful day in Sydney. ”

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The couple made each guest a boutonniere, Sanja explaining, “Given our Serbian background, it was very important to add a touch of different culture and traditions. This also meant more work for us :). Traditionally, every guest at a wedding is wearing a boutonniere – so we hand made over 120 boutonnieres.”

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The bride and groom each had one bridal party member, the bride noting, “In Serbian tradition, a groom has one best man and the bride has one ‘best woman’ – called ‘kum’ and ‘kuma’ respectively. These people are carefully selected and they play the key role in the wedding and in the couples’ life post-wedding.”

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The bride wore a cocktail length dress designed by Lisa D’Amico of D’Amico Couture. She tells, “When I first went shopping for a dress, I tried on a lot of dresses, but didn’t feel comfortable in any of them. I kept thinking – this is not me. Then a friend recommended designing a dress. I still didn’t know what design to go with. I went through my wardrobe trying to figure out what is my style – and there it was – my favourite blue dress. It was the right length, the right style – it was me. Then I knew – I have to get my dress custom made and not blow the budget.

One of my friends with an eye for detail and a touch of quirkiness helped me put this idea on paper and we were half way there. I found out about dressmaker Lisa D’amico through a friend and when I showed her the design, she knew what to do and I knew I was in great hands. My cocktail length wedding dress was coming together. And I never looked back.”

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Those incredible patent orange heels almost didn’t make it onto the bride’s feet. Sanja tells, “About 10 days before the wedding, I had a little accident at work – I fell down the stairs and injured my big toe. It wasn’t broken, but it was swollen and it hurt so much! That’s it – no heels for you Sanja and forget about pointy shoes – there is no way you will recover in time. The swelling went down in a few days but the pain was still there, not to mention the bruises I had on my legs and feet which my maid of honour Claudia tried to hide with makeup very carefully. Was it the cold weather or all the excitement I felt on the day, I don’t know – I forgot about my big toe and squeezed my foot into my shoe. You just don’t think about anything in those moments.”

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Sanja and Zoran chose Bendooley Estate  for their wedding day, noting, “After almost nine years together, Zoran and I talked about our wedding a lot and almost after our first visit to Southern Highlands years ago, we knew it had to happen there. When one of my colleagues from work mentioned Bendooley Estate at Berrima – we drove down to check it out and fell in love instantly. That was the first venue we saw and every venue afterwards could not compare. It ticked all the boxes – reception and ceremony at the same place, the gardens, the rustic/country feel, the good food, the location.”

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Sanja walked down the aisle to “An acoustic version of ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton”. A surprise for the groom.

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Sanja remembers, “The favourite part of the day for both of us was definitely the bridal party photo session with Gemma, our photographer. We had so much fun on that beautiful but cold day. Gemma was fantastic, so spontaneous and open to suggestions – we were exploring the estate and enjoyed every moment of it. There was not a lot of posing – just a lot of laughs! And when you have someone as good as Gemma – she will capture it! ”

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Each guest received a carefully thought out wedding favor, the bride remarking, “For guest favours, we always wanted to give our guests something useful and unique that can also serve as a decoration on the day – so we decided on potted plants. After a few early morning (very early morning!) visits to Sydney Flower Markets we decided on Polyanthus – the colourful flowers were perfect in small pots decorating our tables. Guests were very happy and no plant was left behind (which was the plan).”

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The Serbian traditions continued, Sanja explaining, “Another interesting touch of tradition was the ‘bride’s stolen shoe’. During dinner, or just before the first dance, a young boy from the groom’s side crawls under the bridal table and steals the bride’s shoe. He keeps the shoe until the best man/groomsman pays good money to get the shoe back 🙂 Zoran’s best man – Michael tried to trick the boy with toy cars and trade them for the shoe however the boy was well informed to not accept anything other than money. This was very entertaining for the guests.”

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Sanaja tells of the first dance. “We danced to “Moon Dance” – soundtrack from August Rush (one of our favourite movies). What is unique.. Zoran is a guitarist as I’ve mentioned but he just can’t dance.”

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iBand kept guests on the dance floor – the couple booking the band that brought them together! Sanja remembering, “We were so happy and lucky to have the band that brought us together play at our wedding (Zoran used to play the guitar and I used to sing with the band). I used these privileges to surprise Zoran with the band performing his favourite song – “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits. The expression on his face was priceless! He even picked up a microphone to sing along.”

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Congratulations Sanja and Zoran! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Gemma Clarke Photography  for sharing today’s wedding!

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  • HayleyLane says:
    December 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    So gorgeous! I love the length of Sanja’s gown, just perfect!

  • Olivia Fischer says:
    December 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Lovely photography!

  • Grace @ Wedding Centrepieces 2 You says:
    December 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I love the pops of colour in this wedding! The orange heels, the bouquet and the colourful wedding centrepieces that double as wedding favours! Such a great idea.



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