What happens when two Croatian families come together for a wedding? A huge party ensues, and many, many traditions. Tatjana and Ivan had a stylish, modern wedding infused with traditions, laughter, culture and family. Salt Atelier followed along to capture every moment of the day as the photographer and videographer.

After meeting at an annual soccer tournament, Tatjana and Ivan were smitten. They battled through the Australian lockdowns together, and it was during this time that Ivan came to a realisation. “It was a normal Thursday at the end of lockdown in 2021. Ivan woke up that morning and decided that today was the day he would propose! He didn’t even have a ring!! That morning, he headed to the jeweller in the city to find the perfect ring. Many stores were still closed due to COVID & some wanted weeks to get the ring ready, but he wasn’t prepared to wait,” Tatjana explained. “He finally found the perfect ring (and can you believe the PERFECT size) and headed off to my dad’s. He went to my dad’s and asked for my dad’s permission to keep with tradition, and my dad, of course, said yes! After that, he came to see me and told me he wanted to go for a walk down by the river. I took him down here on one of our first dates, and it kind of became our little spot. I couldn’t understand why he was so keen to go for a walk; it was cold and windy, and he was dressed nicely and so excited. When we got down to the spot, we sat down, and he got on one knee and proposed! I can’t even remember what he said. I just remember crying and saying yes!”

To prepare for the day ahead, Tatjana and Ivan invited family over in the moment. “The whole day was special; we had family over in the morning, and both had music and drinks to celebrate with our closest before heading off to the big day.”

Keeping it simple and classic, Ivan chose to wear a black tux with a black bowtie from YD. His wedding party wore matching attire but swapped out the bowtie and opted for black ties.

Tatjana always knew she wanted to wear a simple and modern satin gown for her wedding, but she still wanted something with the “wow” factor. “I went to many stores and tried on a lot of dresses just so I could be sure of what I wanted. Many people said to me oh, you may think you know what you want, but you will probably end up getting something totally different. This was definitely not the case for me! I left going to Leah Da Gloria’s bridal store to last because I always loved her dresses, and I knew I would get something from her collection, and I did. I added the detachable sleeves to one of her gowns, and it was perfect.”

As a proud girly girl, she knew she was going to love the experience of shopping for her gown and bridesmaid dresses. “The whole dress shopping and bridesmaid dress shopping was so exciting and fun! Spending time with my girlfriends and mum was so much fun and very memorable.”

Her wedding party wore dresses from the Jenny Yoo collection from Bridesmaids Only, a stylish pick that suited each of her bridesmaids. “I really wanted something simple and elegant. The dresses were very flattering on everybody, and the colour I chose was “petal pink.” It was a really soft and gentle colour, perfect with a subtle spray tan.”

Flowers for the day were kept very simple yet stylish; Tatjana’s bouquet was filled with white roses, and the wedding party carried bouquets full of baby’s breath. “It kept with the modern and chic theme I was going for. I then incorporated baby breaths down the aisle of my church, and the reception had white roses on the tables.”

Their ceremony was held at the St Nikola Tavelic Croatian Church in St Johns Park, New South Wales. “We chose the Croatian church in the groom’s parish; it’s a large, beautiful church with family connections.”

She walked down the aisle on her father’s arm as Canon in D, piano and violin version, guided them. The rest of the ceremony was traditional, filled with bible readings, Croatian prayers and English vows.

Once the ceremony had concluded, the newlyweds and their wedding party took off with Salt Atelier for the wedding portraits in Camperdown at Sydney University. “Salt Atelier was amazing! I am so happy with all our photos and videos. They were very particular about getting shots but also let things go very naturally. When we were at Sydney Uni, I completely forgot they were there because Ivan and I were just in our element, chatting and laughing, and they just captured all those intimate moments perfectly.”

The reception took place at The Lemnos in Belmore and was an easy pick for the couple to make – with its stunning interior and incredible staff. “It was a beautiful and large venue with enough space to accommodate all our guests comfortably, a large parking, and not far for everyone to travel. The staff were so lovely, and they were helpful and helped us incorporate our Croatian traditions.”

With the help of their Wedding Stylist, Vesna Grasso, Tatjana and Ivan brought their dream wedding to life. “I really loved how our wedding venue came together. I picked the decor and styling so early on that I forgot what I had chosen, and at the time of choosing, it was hard to picture it all coming together. In the end, the black draping at the back wall of our reception with our fairy lights installation was beautiful and reminded me of a starry night.”

As both Tatjana and Ivan come from large Croatian families, it was important to both of them that the wedding was filled with traditions and culture. “We had Croatian music, traditional dancing, and traditional Croatian drinks. We also had a tradition where the best man treats the kids at the wedding by throwing lollies and coins on the dance floor, and the kids get to run around collecting; it was always such an exciting thing when I was a child at weddings, so I couldn’t wait to treat the kids at ours.”

Their first dance was to “Amazed” by Lone Star, and the couple took private dance classes to dance confidently in front of their guests. “When we got to the dance floor, however, we just went with the flow, incorporating some of what we were taught and the rest just enjoying the moment,” Tatjana explained. Ivan added, “The first dance with the perfectly timed lift and fireworks. We practised, and it was good to have it come together finally.”

A huge congratulations to Tatjana and Ivan on bringing your stylish, modern wedding to life! And thanks to Bridesmaids Only for submitting and to Salt Atelier for capturing the elegance of the day,