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June 20, 2023

A LOVE STORY 55 YEARS IN THE MAKING -OPATIJA, CROATIA | BARDA & SIMON


Marriage is a masterpiece. It's growing old together, hand-in-hand, as two souls become one. It's a work of art that takes time, patience, and love. And this couple, is a prime example. Captured through the lens of Impala Studio, this 55 year old love story is one for the books! Grab a snack, take a seat, and break out the box of tissues because here come the waterworks (well, at least for me). It's so good that you won't want to miss a single minute reading! I'm here to tell you the story of my parents, Barda and Simon Daka—a long and strong marriage—fifty-five years in the making. Can you imagine? It's something to strive for. It's incredibly rare to find a love like Barda and Simon's. They certainly know a thing or two about wedded bliss!


Simon had a rough upbringing. His parents died young, and he hustled to make ends meet. He believed in education, although getting an education wasn't common back then. He didn't have many books or belongings but he worked hard to make a living. He was given the opportunity to work in a bakery which he would walk to and from to support his older brother and family. In his twenties, he heard through the grapevine that they were looking for shipmates. So, he headed to a little city called Rijeka to make some extra money. In those days, men would leave their wives behind and work overseas but Simon had other dreams. After sailing for three years, he went back to the bakery and decided to settle down and get married. Back then, arranged marriages were "a thing" and you would have to ask around to find a suitor whose father was willing to give away to marry. Simon had his eye on a woman from the mountains but when he asked for her hand, her family would not give her away untraditionally. Women from that region wore traditional garments and Simon wanted his future spouse to have a normal life and wear normal clothing. Simon heard of an elder in the community who knew just about everybody. At the time Simon did not own a car, so he road his bike to meet him. The elder knew a woman named Barda, so he took Simon to meet her family. Bardhë (Barda) is Albanian for 'white'. In those days, parents picked their children's names by their features. She was nineteen with beautiful white hair 👩‍🦳, light eyes, and skin white as snow. Barda's father was not too thrilled when he saw Simon's bike. But Barda's uncle liked Simon and what he had to offer. He was willing to give her away and they agreed to marry in a week if she learned the language and moved to Rijeka. The children from Kosovo ran up to Barda the day Simon came to town. They said, "A handsome man is here to marry you!" Barda did not meet Simon until they got married. They tied the knot at town hall and she wore a simple dress and they had a simple wedding. Not knowing where they would go or what they would do, they lived in a small apartment with nothing but two spoons 🥄. Barda was a homemaker by day and Simon was a baker by night. They built a beautiful home and started a business together. Times were tough during the war in Yugoslavia. But with love and support they overcame difficulties. Together they worked hard, side-by-side, raising three children; now the very proud grandparents of five beautiful grandchildren. However, as cliché as it sounds, the most important part of their history is the love they've shared throughout the years. They worked hard all their lives and that's why I wanted to make this anniversary extra special! On their 55th Anniversary, we drove to Viktor Car Emin Library and took portraits in front of Angiolina Park in Opatija, Croatia. I thought the spot was fitting to photograph them because it is where their journey into parenthood began. These two surprised me! Not only was it an amazing day, but they loved being in front of the camera! Crowds of Croats stopped by to take pictures of them! Dad got down on one knee and proposed to Mom with an emerald anniversary ring. They strolled around the park, popped open a bottle of champagne, locked arms eating biscotti, and danced the night away! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I am so proud to be your daughter and I am extremely grateful for all that you do. I love you! Thank you to the amazing group of vendors who contributed to this special day! It was truly a labor of love. Shoutout to @Frizerki Studio Monica - Opatija, you made my mom feel young again! A special thanks to @dreams_crumb_true_, you made the BEST Italian biscotti EVER! A HUGE thank you to @emmalinhco, who always spoil my couples and clients with the most buttery soft velvet ribbons! A REMINDER TO THOSE WHO NEED TO HEAR THIS "This is a reminder to the hopeless romantics that true love DOES exist. I want to change your perspective and outlook on marriage. We live in a world of noncommittal tendencies. We are so wrapped up in social media, that we forget that the "perfect couple in the perfect photo" is not all that it's cracked up to be. What we fail to realize is that marriage is a masterpiece. It takes time, patience, and an endless amount of love. Marriage is hard work and our world tends to frown upon it. I felt compelled to write this because nobody is perfect. Love is real. Love is why we are here and marriage should be a forever thing. It's more than a perfect photo shoot with pretty flowers and a fancy ring. It's finding the one that your soul loves. It's two hearts beating as one, growing old together through difficulties. This right here is the most important thing I have ever been a part of. As you read this, I am behind the scenes pouring my heart out because LOVE is EVERYTHING." - Loreta, Daughter INSPIRATION BEHIND BARDA & SIMON'S ANNIVERSARY "My parents have been gardening since I could remember, and I wanted florals that represented them. I wanted something that was unique and delicate. It was especially important for me to handpick every flower that reminded me of them and my childhood. When I was a child, I would forage for flowers and that was the concept around designing their anniversary arrangements. Growing up, I would explore the meadows with mother and run through father's garden. Mommy loves purple and Daddy loves to wear hats, so I thought it would be sweet to flower his hat and put a feather in his cap." -Loreta, Daughter TRANSLATED IN CROATIAN Brak je remek-djelo. Stari se zajedno, ruku pod ruku, dok dvije duše postaju jedna. To je umjetničko djelo za koje je potrebno vrijeme, strpljenje i ljubav. A ovaj par je pravi primjer. Uhvaćena kroz objektiv Impala Studija, ova 55 godina stara ljubavna priča prava je za knjige! Uzmite nešto, sjednite i izvadite kutiju s maramicama jer dolazi vodovod (dobro, barem za mene). Toliko je dobar da nećete htjeti propustiti nijednu minutu čitanja! Ovdje sam da vam ispričam priču o svojim roditeljima, Bardi i Simonu Daki — dugom i snažnom braku — pedeset pet godina u nastajanju. Možeš li zamisliti? To je nešto čemu treba težiti. Nevjerojatno je rijetko pronaći ljubav poput Barde i Simona. Oni sigurno znaju ponešto o bračnoj sreći!

Simon je bio grubo odgojen. Roditelji su mu umrli mladi, a on je užurbano spajao kraj s krajem. Vjerovao je u obrazovanje, iako tada obrazovanje nije bilo uobičajeno. Nije imao mnogo knjiga ni stvari, ali je teško radio da bi zaradio za život. Dobio je priliku raditi u pekari do koje je hodao i vraćao se kako bi uzdržavao starijeg brata i obitelj. U dvadesetoj je kroz lozu čuo da traže brodske drugove. Stoga se uputio u mali grad koji se zove Rijeka kako bi dodatno zaradio. U to su vrijeme muškarci ostavljali svoje žene i radili u inozemstvu, ali Simon je imao druge snove. Nakon tri godine plovidbe, vratio se u pekaru i odlučio se skrasiti i oženiti.

Tada su dogovoreni brakovi bili "stvar" i morali ste se raspitivati okolo kako biste pronašli udvarača čiji je otac bio voljan dati se da bi se oženio. Simon je bacio oko na ženu s planina, ali kad je zatražio njezinu ruku, njezina je obitelj nije htjela dati na neobičan način. Žene iz tog kraja nosile su tradicionalnu nošnju i Simon je želio da njegova buduća supruga ima normalan život i nosi normalnu odjeću. Simon je čuo za starješinu u zajednici koji je poznavao skoro sve. U to vrijeme Simon nije posjedovao automobil, pa mu je biciklom krenuo u susret. Starješina je poznavao ženu po imenu Barda, pa je odveo Simona da upozna njezinu obitelj.

Bardhë (Barda) na albanskom znači 'bijelo'. U to su vrijeme roditelji djeci birali imena po osobinama. Imala je devetnaest godina s prekrasnom bijelom kosom 👩‍🦳, svijetlim očima i kožom bijelom poput snijega. Bardin otac nije bio previše oduševljen kad je ugledao Simonov bicikl. Ali Bardinu stricu se svidio Simon i ono što je imao za ponuditi. Bio ju je spreman dati i dogovorili su se da će se vjenčati za tjedan dana ako ona nauči jezik i preseli se u Rijeku. Djeca s Kosova dotrčala su do Barde onog dana kada je Simon došao u grad. Rekle su: "Zgodan muškarac je ovdje da te oženi!" Barda nije upoznala Simona sve dok se nisu vjenčali. Vjenčali su se u gradskoj vijećnici, a ona je nosila jednostavnu haljinu i imali su jednostavno vjenčanje.

Ne znajući gdje će i što će, živjeli su u malom stanu bez ičega osim dvije žlice 🥄. Barda je danju bila domaćica, a Simon je bio pekar noću. Izgradili su prekrasan dom i zajedno pokrenuli posao. Za vrijeme rata u Jugoslaviji bila su teška vremena. Ali uz ljubav i podršku prebrodili su poteškoće. Zajedno su marljivo radili, rame uz rame, podižući troje djece; sada vrlo ponosni djed i baka petero prekrasnih unučadi. Međutim, koliko god klišej zvučalo, najvažniji dio njihove povijesti je ljubav koju su dijelili godinama.

Naporno su radili cijeli život i zato sam ovu obljetnicu želio učiniti posebnom! Na njihovu 55. obljetnicu odvezli smo se do Knjižnice Viktora Cara Emina i snimili portrete ispred parka Angiolina u Opatiji, Hrvatska. Mislio sam da je to mjesto prikladno da ih fotografiram jer je tu započeo njihov put u roditeljstvo. Ovo dvoje me iznenadilo! Ne samo da je to bio nevjerojatan dan, nego su voljeli biti ispred kamere! Gomile Hrvata svratile da ih slikaju! Tata je kleknuo na jedno koljeno i zaprosio mamu sa smaragdnim prstenom za godišnjicu. Šetali su parkom, otvorili bocu šampanjca, sklopili ruke jedući biskote i plesali cijelu noć! Sretna godišnjica mama i tata! Tako sam ponosna što sam tvoja kći i iznimno sam ti zahvalna za sve što radiš. Volim te!

Hvala nevjerojatnoj grupi prodavača koji su pridonijeli ovom posebnom danu! Bio je to doista rad iz ljubavi. Pozdrav za @Frizerki Studio Monica - Opatija, učinila si da se moja mama ponovno osjeća mladom! Posebna zahvala @dreams_crumb_true_, napravili ste NAJBOLJE talijanske biskote IKAD! VELIKO hvala @emmalinhco, koja uvijek razmazi moje parove i klijentice mekim baršunastim vrpcama koje su najljepšeg okusa! PODSJETNIK ZA ONE KOJI OVO TREBAJU ČUTI

"Ovo je podsjetnik beznadnim romantičarima da prava ljubav POSTOJI. Želim promijeniti vašu perspektivu i pogled na brak. Živimo u svijetu neobvezujućih tendencija. Toliko smo zaokupljeni društvenim mrežama da zaboravljamo da " savršen par na savršenoj fotografiji" nije sve što bi se moglo zamisliti. Ono što ne shvaćamo je da je brak remek-djelo. Potrebno je vrijeme, strpljenje i beskrajna količina ljubavi. Brak je težak posao i naš svijet teži da se namrštim na to. Osjećao sam se ponukanim da ovo napišem jer nitko nije savršen. Ljubav je stvarna. Ljubav je razlog zašto smo ovdje i brak bi trebao biti vječan. To je više nego savršeno fotografiranje s lijepim cvijećem i otmjenim prstenom. To je pronaći onu koju tvoja duša voli. To su dva srca koja kucaju kao jedno, stare zajedno kroz poteškoće. Ovo ovdje je najvažnija stvar u kojoj sam ikada sudjelovao. Dok ovo čitaš, ja sam iza scene i izlijevam svoje srce van jer LJUBAV je SVE."


- Loreta, kći

INSPIRACIJA IZA BARDINE & SIMONOVE OBLJETNICE

"Moji su roditelji vrtlarili otkad znam za sebe, a ja sam želio cvijeće koje ih predstavlja. Htio sam nešto što je jedinstveno i delikatno. Bilo mi je posebno važno ručno ubrati svaki cvijet koji me podsjećao na njih i moje djetinjstvo. Kad sam bio kao dijete, tražila bih cvijeće i to je bio koncept osmišljavanja njihovih aranžmana za godišnjicu. Dok sam odrastala, istraživala bih livade s majkom i trčala kroz tatin vrt. Mama voli ljubičasto, a tata voli nositi šešire, pa sam mislila da bi budi sladak da mu procvjetaš šešir i staviš mu pero u kapu."


-Loreta, kći

specialty flowers and fillers that were utilized in these anniversary arrangements were lambs ear, purple allium, scabiosa, scabiosa pods, flowering mint, flowering dill, helleborus, lady's mantle, phalaenopsis orchids, sweet peas, plums, queen anne's lace, mitosis, armed bear's breeches, and wildflowers


I hope you enjoyed this anniversary photo shoot in Opatija, Croatia. Do you know Barda and Simon? Show them some love by giving this post a 'Heart' in the section below!

VENDORS & VISIONARIES

Photographer: Impala Studio | Floral Design: Loreta Daka | Location: Villa Angiolina and Library in Opatija, Croatia | Hair: Monica Frizerksi Studio | Decoration: Amazon | Dessert: @dreams_crumb_true_ | Ribbons: EmmaLinh on Etsy

ABOUT THE FLORAL DESIGNER

Loreta Daka Carrero is a premier wedding and event floral designer serving Connecticut, New York, and Coastal New England! She specializes in timeless and spiritually curated fine art floral designs for beautiful couples and extraordinary clients.

 
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