Foreign marriage: Polish wedding traditions & customs
If you have decided to find your love in another country, such as Poland, you need to learn more about their dating and wedding customs and rules. What is traditional Polish wedding is like and what you should know about it before hand?
Top wedding customs and traditions in Poland
If you are dating a girl from Poland (and they are beautiful to look upon and smart, too), you should learn more about their rules for courting and the marriage ceremony. You may be surprised at how some of these rules differ from those in your country. On the other hand, some of them can perfectly fall in line with yours.
1) Traditional Polish engagement ceremony
Before you even get to be married, you should go through engagement. In Poland, it is called “Oswiadczyny” or the proposal. The couple goes over to her house, and the groom’s folks come along. That might be the first meeting ever of in-laws. They plan the wedding arrangements and have a little party with lots of food and booze.
2) Church ceremony
Many people decide to stand before God on this special day. So, they get wed at the church. Catholic is the mainstream church in Poland. However, you can find other options there as well.
3) Just the ceremony and no party
This is a very peculiar part of the deal. You may save some money on it if you are the groom. Some guests in Poland can be invited to the wedding ceremony at the church or the city registry. But they have not invited to the party afterwards.
This is a pretty common thing to happen, so you can save some money on getting many guests witnessing the ceremony. And just a few of them at your wedding party with food and drinks.
4) Music and songs
Here is a good quote on it:
“Music played at weddings always reminds me of the music played for soldiers before they go into battle.”
In Poland, they sing one special song at weddings. It is one of the old Polish wedding traditions. The song is called “Sto lat” and it means “100 years.” They wish you to live and be well for that long.
5) Bread and salt
As in many other Slavic countries, bread and salt take a special place among the customs. Once you arrive at your party destination or your house, the parents bring out a round loaf of white bread with the salt pan on the top of it. You both need to break off a piece of it in turns, dip it into salt and eat. According to the tradition, the one who breaks off the large piece is going to be the head of the house.
6) No waiting for the bride
You do not have to be standing all alone at the church altar waiting for the bride to arrive. That could be a very thrilling or even tormenting moment for the groom. Some even faint during the process. During the Polish weddings, the couple comes together and enters the hall hand in hand.
7) Throwing change
In many countries of the world, the guests throw rice or other grains over the young married couple when they come out of the church. In Poland, they throw change (small coins) and the couple is supposed to stop and pick every single one of them.
This symbolizes well-being and wealth for the new husband and wife.
8) The Bride kiss
Once the couple picks up all the coins, they stand in a corner and all the guests line up to come up to them and give a bride a kiss. They also shake hands with the groom and give the young couple envelopes with money.
9) A handful of straw
Instead of throwing her veil or her bouquet the bride may throw a handful of straw at the young unmarried women. Every girl tries to be the first one to get a straw on her. If she does, she would be the next to marry. The symbolism of this one of the Polish wedding ceremony traditions is pretty similar to that with the flowers.
10) Polish bridal dance
This is another widely spread wedding tradition. In Poland naturally they dance The Polka! It is a speedy and fun dance for the couple, and the guests may join in.
11) The money dances with the bride
This is a less common tradition. Men in the gathering can pay some money to have their dance with the bride.
This tradition marks the passing of the woman from girlhood to her womanhood. Her maids remove the veil, and a good and worthy married woman puts on her the cap. In many Slavic cultures, such tradition is widely used. Only unmarried girls could wear no head cover.
The married ones either wore a cap or a hood. Surely, nowadays these are just traditions and no one follows them. But the Polish folk wedding customs are nice and interesting to observe during the ceremony and the feast.
13) Promise of love
Lord Byron once said:
“I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.”
It is a very romantic thing to promise her the eternal love and care. However, the real and only wish is to preserve this love for good in its passion and vigor as if you never got married.
What to wear to a Polish wedding
In rare cases, people go for ancient folk costumes, but the majority of them are pretty modern. They wear the same outfits people get in US or UK. The groom wears a black suit, and the bride is adorned in white.
These are some of the Polish best traditions for weddings. Knowing them could prepare you for the big day and help you manage the whole thing well.