Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Polish wedding

For all those poor poor people who have never experienced a Polish wedding,
THIS is what it looks like.

It was great. I mean really great. Ok, I'll go into details because I know there are people out there who don't know the joy of a Polish wedding and I'm so generous I'm going to share my vast experience of, er, just the one actually...
The church was pretty church-like. It didn't go on as long as I'd expected but maybe that was because we were at one of seven weddings the poor priest had to get through that day. As we arrived the last lot were leaving and as we left the next were arriving. Who knew so many people got married at the end of September?
The first new experience for me was not so much in the church (where there was lots of Polish as expected and all I understood was the odd mention of 'milość' - love) but the flower giving afterwards. Once the newlyweds had left the church the whole congregation lined up to kiss each of them and present them with a bouquet. What happens to the hundreds of flowers they received remains a mystery to me, but it seems a nice way of ensuring everyone gets to offer their personal congratulations. I should say at this point the newlyweds, Marek's cousin Marcin and his new bride Karolyna clearly had no idea who I was and looked a little bemused in response to my congratulations, presented to them in my best Polish. Then everyone left for the reception which was held in a big room over the fire station in Jabłonna, the newlyweds arriving last and (much to Marek's delight) accompanied by some impressive roaring motorbikes. Once they arrived, the band began to play and everyone trooped into the reception room. No table plans! So much simpler and everyone gets to sit where they want and with whom they like.
No wine, no beer, just vodka. And a man going round replacing the empties. Lots of food already on the tables and course after course of hot food brought round at regular intervals. Lots and lots of singing, rounds and rounds of dancing and really funny traditional games. The whole evening was run by the band who determined when people would dance, when breaks would be allowed for more food and when the shots of vodka should be drunk en-masse. It was so much fun.
People paid money to dance with the newly married couple - a way to raise enough money for the honeymoon apparently, ingenius! The veil and tie were thrown out to the single guys and gals and a new couple formed as a result. One of the (male) singers from the band put on a dress and makeup and sang a song during which he presented the couple with objects they might need in their new life. There was more, so much more, but I think you can only appreciate the simple honest fun of it all by experiencing it first hand.
We stayed until four and then decided to rest our aching feet and hoarse throats by calling it a night. So much fun. You can see the other photos here.

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Anonymous anxiously anticipating my invite! said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! right, you know what you have to do, get an invite to another polish wedding and get me one sounds wine?! no beer?! just vodka?! yay gods! anxiously anticipating my invite!

6:25 pm  

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