Heather & Vlado's Orthodox Macedonian Wedding by Tales of a Dream

Jamie and I were so excited when Heather was making her wedding plans and wanted us to capture her special day. When we met each other through her sister in law Aneta, we clicked instantly and became friends.

The morning of the wedding Jamie and I met her at their home. Vlado got ready at his mom's house. Heather had her hands full trying to get ready and also getting their son Aleks ready. He is so adorable and actually cooperated very well.

Aleks' fancy shoes for his mommy's wedding...so sweet!

The (sneaky) way this love story started

"Vlado and I actually went to high school together (and hung around the same people) but we don't remember each other. My dad and Vlado have been friends for 20 plus years. My parents kept getting us together. My dad would ask me to get a sandwich at Buddy and Pals then call Vlado to go too without either of us knowing. Then he had me come to his house a few times for different things and then he would call Vlado to come over too. We ended up going on a date at La Caretta and that was it!"

The Romantic Proposal

"He put rose petals down the stairs, across the brick walkway and up to the deck around the pool. At the end of the path he had one rose and the ring sitting there. We both cried."

How Did you know she was the one?

The joke between him and my dad is that he got paid! haha! Truth: He says its hard to put into words.
— Heather

How did you know HE was the ONE?

He compliments me. He is an amazing man. Caring. Hardworking. Smart in every aspect of life. Outgoing. Excellent problem solver. And he loves his mom :)
— Heather

The Ceremony

The ceremony was held at the St. Peter & Paul Macedonian Orthodox Church in Crown Point.

The Parish Priest Tome Stamatov performed the ceremony. The ceremony was quite elaborate and since this was our first Macedonian wedding, Jamie and I could only guess what all the rituals meant. Here is some info I found HERE on Macedonian Weddings as far as their ceremony goes:

"The Rite of Betrothal, in which rings are exchanged as a sign of commitment and devotion to one another.

The “Crowning,” in which crowns or wreaths [customs vary in each parish] are placed on or held above the heads of the bride and groom. This signifies that in marriage there is a certain amount of sacrifice, especially in the area of “give and take.” It also signifies that in a certain respect the bride and groom become the “king and queen” of their own “kingdom,” or family, which is an integral part of the Kingdom of God.

The sharing of a common cup of wine, which signifies that in marriage all things are shared equally.

The procession around the sacramental table, during which the priest leads the couple three times as they take their first steps together as husband and wife.

The removal of the crowns and the final blessing, in which all gathered wish the couple many years of blessings.

There are no “vows” in the Orthodox ritual, as found in other confessions."

Another thing that was note worthy was the fact that candy was being thrown for the children during the ceremony. According to Heather's sister in law Aneta it's for 'Wealth, Health and Fertility'. All I can say is, it woke the kids up a bit and they all loved it!

The Bridal Party

"Unfortunately my best friend couldn't make it, so a bridesmaid and good friend stood up as Matron of Honor Staci Markovski. Then Vlado's sister, Aneta, was another bridesmaid. Our children's godparent's daughters were flower girls. Vlad's Best Man was Aleksandar Markovski. Groomsman was a cousin, Bobby Krstevski."


The Reception 

The Reception took place at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville. In case you've never been to a Macedonian wedding, there are a few things you should know.

 1. The Pig Dance - male members of the wedding party performed the Macedonian Pig Dance. They were holding forks and knives, a bottle of alcohol and were carrying a roasted pig while dancing onto the dance floor. "They dance, shout, and whistle in front of the kym and kyma, demanding "payment" for the feast, and continue until the pig bearer is satisfied with the amount paid." 

2. A Bread Dance - dancing with and breaking the bread ( koluk is similar to a traditional Macedonian Easter bread). It is round, like a wedding band, to signify something that has no beginning and no end. 

3. The reception basically consists of dancing, lots and lots and lots of circle dancing to traditional folk music.

4. The overwhelming feeling of family, support and camaraderie will likely leave you feeling uplifted and emotional.  

Advice from our bride

"We planned our wedding in 2 months. I used Pinterest a lot for color ideas and cakes."

"After all is said and done it doesn't matter if everything is perfect (no one will even notice!) as long as the two of you are together with the ones you love the most. That is all that matters. Have fun planning and don't be afraid to do what you both want to do. You only get to do it once, right?"

What made you choose Carmen & Jamie as your wedding photographers?

We were happy with all our vendors. We would recommend Tales of a Dream most out of our vendors. Carmen is a great friend (Jamie is now too!) and they both are AMAZING photographers. They both have an easy (out) going personality and have fun! Very creative and can see detail most of us don't notice. Like how blossoms on a tree will bring out other colors in the scene. They are simply the best!

Vendor Recap:

  1. Church: St. Peter and Paul Macedonian Orthodox Church
  2. Reception Venue: Avalon
  3. Rings: Macy's and Costco
  4. Wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses: David's Bridal
  5. Tux: Dunhill Tuxedo
  6. Bouquet and boutonnière: Katie Antonsons from lillesyster on Etsy
  7. Reception florals: Central Florists
  8. Music/DJ: Chris Pajmakovich
  9. Hair and makeup: State of Mind Salon and Day Spa
  10. Transportation: Epic Limo


Vlado & Heather want to give a shout-out to their childhood friends Jacque Crowder & Cane Damcevski who couldn't be there the day of the wedding.

Also, we just found out that their beloved 'Pope Tome' as they call their Parish Priest, had a stroke and is in recovery. We want to wish him a speedy recovery, so he can take care of his Parish again very soon.

Vlado & Heather welcomed their beautiful Baby Girl Maggie into the world a few months ago and are now a happy family of four.

Vlado & Heather - Jamie and I wish both of you a lifetime of Love, Health and Happiness! And maybe when our kids are older, we'll get to hang out more! ha! ha!


If you've enjoyed the blog post or have any additional info on Macedonian wedding traditions, feel free to comment/like/share with your friends!