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!

The Book That Cost More Than My Engagement Ring

Several months ago I asked for your feedback on my wedding album design and received some great suggestions. I’ve had the book in hand for a few months now and finally got around to taking some photos so you can see how gorgeous the finished product is. The album was designed by the company Albumesque, and assembled by the company KISS wedding books, both are companies that work exclusively with photographers. I chose both because I wanted a product that focused on clean and simple design elements that allowed the photos to really remain the focal point. All photos by Kelli Nicole Photography.

The album came with this lovely floral case, I store it inside whenever I don’t have it out to show it off to protect our big investment from accidental damage.

I decided to order the 12X12 with a black leather cover, and it’s HUGE. It’s beautiful, but I think if I could do it over I would scale it down in size.

The front page. I’m so glad Kelli Nicole took the time to take detail and establishing shots, as this shot of the Seattle skyline really sets the stage for the rest of the album.

I chose not to have any overlapping images or graphic elements in my design as I wanted things to be very clean and simple. It took me hours to narrow down thousands of images to just over 100, but I think those that I chose tell the story of the day really well.

My favorite part of the album? The full page spreads. At two feet wide they are absolutely stunning to view in person. The quality of Kelli Nicole photography really helps as well. 🙂

A few details…

The pages sandwich 2mm substrates that make them thick and durable.

The book lays flat when opened, and the small fold in the middle is hardly noticeable when opened.

Any my favorite, a yummy super-soft leather cover.

I’ll leave you with my favorite spread. Stunning, right?

Did you order an album through your photographer? Do you have any suggestions for companies non-photographers can use to get their album done?

The 1st Anniversary

Today marks the first of what I know will be many wedding anniversaries for us. How do I know? Because we are going to make it happen. We aren’t soul mates. We were never “meant to be”. We chose this, and we are going to continue to choose to make it work for the rest of our lives and beyond.

I’ve written a lot about our wedding, 29 posts to be exact. If you want a detailed summary of the entire experience visit my last post about the wedding experience and scroll down to see a list of links to all of my recap posts.

For this anniversary post I went through a few thousand photos (literally) and chose 5  that describe some of my favorite moments of the day.

I can remember the way I felt at our “first look” so clearly. The endowment ceremony and time together in the celestial room the day before had been so calming. Everything felt so right, and we couldn’t stop smiling at each other. I felt sure I wanted to be with him forever.


This was moments after we walked out of the temple as husband and wife. Right behind the camera stood a ring of our closest family and friends, clapping and cheering and waiting to come forward to hug us. We really did it! We were married!


I hadn’t placed a lot of importance on making sure we got a classic temple shot, but now I’m so glad we did. A year later and the scaffolding  on the spire doesn’t bother me at all. Pretty golden Moroni can still be seen and it’s truly what is inside that matters. Our sealing in the temple means absolutely everything to us. It gives us an eternal perspective when marriage is hard. It’s what will keep us from ever giving up.


The first dance was just one of the many my new husband showed me how much he cared about me, and what he was willing to do to make me happy. He took some lessons with me, practiced with me, and on our wedding day he got up and performed in front of everyone. One year later and he still continues to make sacrifices for me and for our marriage.


I think this photo describes the way we approached our marriage in the beginning. We jumped in head first, giving it everything we had and learning a few tough lessons along the way. I love my husband ten times more today than I did that night, and I expect that love to grow exponentially each year. When we welcome the baby into our lives next April we’re going to have to work even harder to keep our marriage strong, but I think we’re up for the challenge.

I chose him. He chose me. We’ll continue to choose each other, eternally.