Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to one of my favorite places, Warsaw Poland. If you have never been, I highly recommend going. The dollar is still strong, the people are warm and the food is delicious. Thanks to Bogumila & Marcin I got to sample some wonderful cuisine from Magda Gessler’s restaurant, Krokodyl. It’s located right in the heart of Warsaw’s Old Town market place, or Stare Miasto. If you enjoy parties, there is nothing better than a big polish wedding, filled with laughter, love & joy!
But, I am getting ahead of myself, let’s get back to the beginning….
Before the wedding takes place there is the “Greeting” of the groom that happens. The groom comes prepared to give some kind of an offering for the bride. In this case it was bottles of vodka. A great choice mind you, we are in Poland. Then the drinking starts and all the men of the house come out and welcome the groom. Meanwhile the bride is in the house waiting, they see each other for the first time. The parents of both the bride and groom come forward asking them for their intentions. Then they give them their blessing, and the couple has to kneel to receive it. It’s pretty neat. Once the blessing happens then family pictures and then they head to the church.
Bogumila & Marcin got married in the same church where my parents wedding took place. I was baptized and had my first holy communion there as well. So, to say the church is pretty special to me, would be an understatement. The church, Parafia pw. Matki Boskjej Saletynskiej, has gone through a complete remodel form the dark days of the 70’s. It’s white marble floors, white walls, and plenty of natural light make it feel like a little piece of heaven.
The weddings in Poland are very different from those in the states. There is no flower girl, ring bearer, bridesmaids and groomsmen. There are just 2 witnesses that stand up with you, or in this case sit behind you in church. There is usually a full mass, and the pictures afterwards are limited to just a few minutes, if that.
Expect a long receiving line outside the church, afterwards. However, in Poland you do not have to invite people to both the church and the reception. It’s usually either or, and sometimes different people are invited for each part. Since the wedding was far away from the reception venue, there was a shuttle bus provided for the guests. The bride and groom were whisked off in a vintage Rolls Royce and then were scheduled for a romantic carriage ride around the old town. Nice!
Afterwards the groom ceremoniously carried the bride up the flight of stairs to the reception venue. Despite the heat of the day, the reception hall was beautifully decorated, very elegant and regal. Food and drinks were on the tables as well as the famous buffet. Lots, and lots of food everywhere. There were salads, pierogis, desserts as well as a full coffee/tea bar. The tables each had mineral water, wine and of course vodka. Cheers!!
The customs vary quite a bit too. Cake cutting happens at midnight, followed by all sorts of games that the couple play. Games like name that tune, and who will do what chores. The first dance was to a waltz, and it was pretty special.
At the end of the night the couple headed to the beautiful Sobieski Hotel, downtown Warsaw.
You can truly say there were some unforgettable moments in an unforgettable place.