Oh. My. Gosh. DJ & Andrea's wedding was unlike any other I had ever been to. Andrea is from Slovakia and I was lucky enough to photograph their US wedding (their second wedding will be held in Slovakia in a CASTLE - amazing!). DJ & Andrea did an amazing job of combining American and Slovakian traditions - and I have never met a more down-to-earth, fun-loving couple. Here's just a quick snapshot (pun intended!) of their day, as seen through my lens (click to see the them larger):
In keeping with Slovakian tradition, wedding portraits are done beforehand - this is the greatest thing from a photographer's point of view, especially since the ceremony traditional is a midnight! DJ & Andrea had their first look - something I really recommend to couples. They were able to enjoy a private moment together and read their vows to one another.
We took photos at an abandoned barn - complete with a rusty old Ford and a trunk that may have held some questionable content. The rest of the bridal party joined us for portraits - I absolutely loved all of the color in the bridesmaids' dresses and the sharp suspenders and striped socks the guys were sporting!
After the portraits, the party starts! Dinner was served while everyone enjoyed hearing a Slovakian band play. There was delicious cake to be eaten, enjoyed and smashed.
At dusk, the wedding ceremony began - they opted to bump the ceremony up a couple of hours from the traditional time of midnight to afford more light. DJ's father officiated and looked sharp in his bolo tie. The couple recited their WOWs - memories and special things about their partner that made them go "WOW! I want to marry this person!" Andrea's mother, home in Slovakia, was able to watch the ceremony via Skype on an iPad.
After the ceremony comes dancing! Lots and lots of dancing. Technically, DJ & Andrea's "first dance" was to Will Smith's "Get Jiggy With It" - a personal favorite of mine - but they did a traditional Slovakian dance later in the evening. DJ & Andrea's friends and family are, in a word, awesome. They were so friendly, so welcoming and so energetic - not one slow song was played and yet the dance floor was always full! The Slovakian band continued to play sets, this time intermixed with a good selection of 90s hip-hop and 2000s dance music, played by one of DJ's good deejay friends. (Did I mention DJ is a deejay? Best name/occupation combo ever!)