“Svadba” means “wedding” in Macedonian, making it an appropriate name for this project, which celebrated the wedding traditions of all cultures. The project aimed to provide a place of acceptance, understanding, and harmony between cultures by emphasising cultural similarities, promoting open-mindedness, and discouraging prejudice within the community. It encouraged women to share and demonstrate their cultural customs, values, and traditional wedding celebrations. Over 11 months wedding traditions were discussed in workshops consisting of families from old and new eras of migration. In these workshops, participants staged a mock wedding ceremony, demonstrated traditional dress, and sampled traditional food.
As a result of the participants’ interests, the activities of the project were extended and the participants designed a “multi-national wedding dress” which was displayed at Ishar’s 21st-anniversary celebration. The white wedding dress was symbolic of the increasing similarity and modernism found in today’s brides, regardless of which culture they originate from. The wedding ensemble comprised of a dress and coat, featuring embroidered and beaded panels which were completed by community women. Each feature and panel of the dress reflected a different country’s traditions. The panel that represents Australia was worked on by all participants. The Svadba Project allowed women to come together and appreciate each other's traditions, culture, and craft, and celebrate being Australian.
Documentation of various multicultural weddings was collected and discussed in the Svadba video (above). The video celebrates different cultural practices while emphasising that, at their core, all weddings are essentially celebrations of the unity of two people.
The 2013 project was managed and coordinated by Violeta Sukoski, supported by Joy Montague and Ong, Huynh Thanh–Wynne and Funded by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The dress was modelled by Iva Arapovic.