Polish Wedding Traditions at That Wedding

To celebrate the wedding day of my SIL and her new husband I thought that those of you unfamiliar with my wedding might like to see how our friends and family brought a touch of Poland to our wedding day two years ago! (It is our anniversary weekend after all :) )

Showered with Coins

As we walked out of the temple doors we were greeted with a wall of sound coming from our family and friends. Whistles, clapping, cheering. It was a feeling of love that hit us like an oncoming train and I wish I had paused just a moment longer to soak it all in.

I looked up to see someone coming toward us.

It’s That FIL and That MIL. Why are they looking so mischievous?

I love the look on That Groom’s face. It says “I have no idea what my parents are doing, can we just go back inside now?”

Then we both knew. It was the Polish tradition of throwing pennies at the bride and groom!

I knew what they were going to do, but it was still such a shock when the coins came pouring down on us.

Uh-oh I think a few of them went down my dress. Should I fish them out in front of this huge crowd? The answer is yes.

We looked down and thought. Now what?

Good idea honey! You bend down and pick them up. I will stand up here clapping (remember, that is what I do best).

Were they nice to the bride and groom, only making them bend down to pick up one or two? NO! They were merciless, and the coins were everywhere.

People started to laugh at me and say “You have to pick them up too!” So I bent down and joined in. I kept one hand over my chest the entire time because I was afraid of giving everyone a little show.

That FIL looks quite proud of himself, don’t you think?

Both That Groom and I were really happy that his parents brought a little piece of Poland to our thoroughly American wedding.

I’m pretty bummed that in the shuffle of things that day, we ended up losing this bag and all of the coins inside of it. What a wonderful memory box addition that would have been!

Finally, we were done!

One of my favorite shots (and my favorite memories!) from the entire wedding.

The Bedding Down*

Pok?adziny-The Bedding Down

In ancient times, putting the bridal pair to bed was a normal and expected part of the marriage customs, and was down with much joking and hilarity. The young couple were directed by the entire wedding party to a room that had been specially prepared for them.

The swat, still overseeing that all went according to custom, placed himself on the marriage bed to “warm it up”. The womenfolk jumped up and down on the bed to make sure it could hold up and now break down. Rocks or sharp straw or thorns might have been placed underneath the sheets. The swat and swata then chased everyone out of the room and took the bride and groom to the bed and left them alone. The door was locked behind them and after serenading the bridal couple with some very warm and bawdy songs, along with vodka toasts and admonitions “not to be lazy,” the couple were left alone.

The next morning, musicians awake the couple and gave them kasza cooked in milk and vodka that had been dyed red as a sign of lost virginity. The sheets were inspected for the expected stain that meant the loss of virginity. This made everybody happy and was the cause of more singing and dancing.
From “Polish Customs, Traditions and Folklore” by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab

Somehow Kelli Nicole our photographer, 4 of the groomsmen, and 7 members of the bridal party were able to sneak away for who knows how long to complete the Pok?adziny for us. MOH Shay had been entrusted with a key so that all of our belongings could be moved up to our honeymoon suite for us. She had been reading my posts throughout the planning process and realized that this was the perfect opportunity to play a little prank on us.

Looks like the groomsmen settled in rather quickly. The groomsmen lying in the middle even took off his shoes and got under the blanket!

Boys will be boys, you know? Looks like they found another use for the Asian-influenced modern decor items found throughout the room.

I’ve been emailing back and forth with my Hotel 1000 event coordinator, and when she saw these pictures she said “Don’t tell management but these are my favorite shots from your wedding!”

Hotel 1000 has very sturdy beds.

I’m just glad this group didn’t show up at our door the next door the next morning to “inspect for the expected stain.”

Happy Wedding Day to K and Z! I bet we’re throwing coins at you this very moment. :)

*P.S.-The Bedding Down is a very old tradition that I read about in a library book. They don’t do it in Poland anymore to my knowledge!

12 thoughts on “Polish Wedding Traditions at That Wedding

  1. Haha – I loved the video. It’s funny but seeing all your pictures from the coin shower, it looked like it was a long process – but it happened so fast! And also, your voice is the funniest thing – so happy. Yay! Have a wonderful weekend. x

  2. Happy Anniversary! How wonderful that you get to spend it in Poland. I love how there were little Polish traditions incooperated into your wedding. Makes it even more unique.

  3. Thank you for sharing the pics and video. I love the pics of your bridal party preparing the room for you! Much lovelier tradition than “decorating” the bridal room in my opinion! Happy Anniversary and Congratulations to K and Z!

  4. So did they do any special traditions like that at your SIL’s wedding?
    Incorporating each spouses culture in a wedding is something wonderful. We did it in ours and that’s some of my best memories.

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