This year I had the privilege of attending my first ever Polish wedding! I have been living in Poland for a while and even then I had not attended a full-fledged Polish wedding. I must be honest with myself, I am a sort of an introvert and sometimes have trouble going out to meet new people. That could be one reason for this, sad tale. However, weddings are a wonderful occasion for celebrations, family and friends coming together and celebrating a day of love & a lifetime of togetherness.
This was by far one of the best weddings I had attended. The only other comparable was my own brother’s Indo-Western wedding a few years ago 😉 The theme of this Polish wedding was that of Bond, as in James Bond a.k.a 007! I guess the couple is a huge fan. The wedding took place this past weekend in the Hotel Soray in the nearby city of Wieliczka close to Krakow. The mass was at the Church in Pawlikowice about 20-25 minutes drive from Krakow, at 3 pm and then a short drive to the hotel. For those not familiar Wieliczka is famous for its historic salt mines. More on that some other time though.
Upon the newlyweds’ arrival at the reception, their parents presented them with the essentials – Bread and Salt. The bread is specially prepared and often decorated with the names of the couple. This gift of bread and salt is symbolic – bread is offered so that the couple may never know hunger, while salt reminds them of life’s difficulties and the importance of learning to cope.
Following the bread and salt, the couple traditionally has their first toast. Customarily, the father of the bride or groom presents the couple with two glasses – one of vodka, one of water. They are offered first to the bride, who must make her selection without knowing which is which. Tradition says that whoever ends up with the glass of vodka will be the dominant partner in the relationship. On this occasion, however, the couple had a glass of champagne. After their drink, the couple throws their glasses; if they break, it is a sign of good luck.
After this, the guests made their way into the banquet hall. Each of the guests was given a designated seat and we had to look up our names on the guest name board. The bride and groom decided to have only friends at their table instead of family members. Once seated, the food just kept on coming. We had a starter, followed by traditional Polish soup, Rosol, then the main course of pork chops followed by ice-cream. Of course, this was just the beginning as I soon learnt Polish vodka must be drunk, a lot and the food helps people to remain in a more sober state of mind. I, however, was feeling stuffed and was actually glad I missed out one of the courses while taking in some fresh air outside the hall.
The band was fantastic, the hosts generous and open-hearted. The lovely couple busted a move or two and the opening number was nothing short of a romantic prince and princess episode in real life. Ballroom dancing, live! I was the only Indian at this event and felt very welcome. There was a photo booth, which I am a sucker for. The props where hilarious and we got a few shots. There was also a personal guest diary so that we could leave our photo souvenirs for the lovely couple along with a congratulatory note. Since the groom was my bf best friend from his childhood, we stayed on until the wee hours of the morning. This is the popular Polish tradition, the party goes on all night. The day after the wedding too is celebrated with gusto but depends if it will be only family members or if others will be invited too.
I must say I had an amazing night, one that I will remember for the rest of my life. This was my first Polish wedding experience and I hope not the last. Who knows, maybe one day when I get married I will keep this all night party & vodka idea in mind. Maybe a mix of Indo-Polish Baila to the mix 🙂 We will see.
For now, some pics, unfortunately not much as by midnight I got into dance mode and well can say danced the night away.
Disclaimer – “Drink responsibly”