Wedding Drama

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | | 0 comments

So far into our wedding planning we've had to make a few big decisions — venue, date and we're thisclose to finalizing our photographer (finally!) And I've had a couple months of experience to deal with all these wedding shenanigans.
What I didn't plan for was the drama. I know, I know. Who am I to think that a wedding would be drama-free? Clearly not realistic I suppose. Because simply put it's impossible. Unless you elope — but then again with that comes potential drama from the aftermath. What it comes down to is that a wedding is a BIG deal. And with a big event, inevitably comes drama. Friends and family that love you and want the best for you won't always see to eye to eye. This is why it's extremely important for the bride and groom to speak up and be vocal about what they want! This is tough when you're more mellow and laidback, but when it comes to weddings, especially yours, speak up and let those around you know what you need/want.
The same goes for delegating tasks that you can't handle to do on your own. Planning a wedding is hard and you can use all the help that you can get. After all, you want to look back on your engagement as a happy time in your life and not a period of stress and anxiety. Well maybe just a little bit of stress ;)

Disco Polo Friday!

Friday, August 26, 2011 | | 0 comments
Feeling a little uninspired today and wasn't sure which disco polo sensation to post, but luckily a quick YouTube search pulled out this gem :) Enjoy!

Big Fat Polish Wedding Number 2

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | | 0 comments
So the first wedding was fantastic and the second one was equally great! The wedding also began with a traditional Roman Catholic church ceremony, followed by a rockin' reception.
the beautiful church

But before the newlyweds could leave the church, they were showered with coins! Traditionally, this was seen as a way for the couple to have a prosperous marriage.

Newlyweds picking up their dough ;)

This wedding also featured the "gate" that prevented the newlyweds from leaving the church area. This time though, it was a human chain! And those that assisted with the chain received a special treat, a bottle of what!

The beginning of the reception was marked by the bride and groom's official entrance and immediately followed by the bread and salt ceremony. After a celebratory toast, the couple threw their glasses over their shoulders, shattering them in the process. (Not sure what this symbolizes exactly but I'm guessing for good luck?) Either way, the guests cheered and clapped the newlyweds as the reception officially got underway.

An element of the reception that was present at both weddings was a special dedication to the parents of the couple, thanking them for their support and guidance and featuring a special gift for them. Both sets of parents received an album that featured photographs of the newlyweds from the time they were babies right up to just before their wedding. It was a touching, visual display of their lives — perfect for a parent to reminisce over and look back on the fond memories.

At around midnight, it was time for the oczepiny. The bride sat on the dance floor, facing her guests and the maid of honor removed her veil, officially marking the bride's entrance into the married club! Then all the single ladies danced around the bride until she threw her veil and a lucky gal caught it. And then it's the grooms turn! In this case, he threw a tie over his shoulders as the single guys behind him scrambled to catch it!

The ladies waiting to catch the veil!  

And now it's time for the guys!

Another fun part of Polish weddings is the money dance and this wedding was no different. The bride danced with guests who generously donated money to the newlywed couple for the privilege of dancing with the beautiful bride!

Of course there was plenty of food and drinks at this celebration as well! And a dance floor that was packed the whole night. Once again, a fantastic time was had by all and the night ended all too quickly. All in all, I was thrilled to attend these weddings and see what a true Polish wedding was like in the Motherland. Needless to say, my head is filled with amazing ideas and traditions that I will try to incorporate into our own celebration :)

Disco Polo Friday!

Friday, August 19, 2011 | | 0 comments
In honor of the Polish weddings I recently attended, today's disco polo pick is the famous: "Jedzie Pociąg Z Daleka" by Ryszard Rynkowski. 

Wedding Planning Confessions

Thursday, August 18, 2011 | | 0 comments
Trying not to be THIS kind of bridezilla bride! haha

So ever since I've entered this crazy world of wedding planning I've vowed to march to the beat of my own drum. To make decisions based on what my fiancé and I want and not what the rest of the wedding world dictates. To plan a day that will be about US. But alas, I've found that this is easier said than done.

And I have a confession to make. As much as I said wedding blogs are a big no-no, I look at them. Like constantly. Damnit I can't help it, the pictures are pretty and a part of me totally wants to steal all those girls' weddings but hey. Haha. So there, the secret is out! I look at wedding blogs and you know what sometimes they do give me some good ideas, sometimes they make me cry (like this wedding! seriously ladies grab your Kleenex) and sometimes I have to bring myself back to Earth and remind myself that I'm planning OUR wedding, which is totally unique to who we are as a couple. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to channel my inner bridezilla to make these pretty things come to life! ;)

Big Fat Polish Wedding Number One

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 | | 0 comments
Flying high on our way to Poland!

The gorgeous church where the weddings took place

As promised here is my full recap from wedding #1. So the fiancé and I really cut it close in terms of flight times, as in we flew in at 12:30 pm and the wedding started at 5 pm. But luckily for us we made it (by a hair) but we made it!
The wedding began with a traditional church service after which the newlyweds greeted all their guests outside the church. Then came an element I wasn't familiar with. Apparently, it's traditional to create a "gate" to block the exit of the bride and groom from the church. This gate can be made out of anything, a human chain, items or in this case interlocking umbrellas. Just a fun way to get the festive atmosphere started!

Blocking the newlyweds way with an umbrella "gate"
The happy couple made it through their umbrella gate fairly quickly and we headed to the reception to let the real fun begin! As I mentioned in my previous posts, Polish weddings feature lots of food and vodka. Naturally, this one was no different! The couple also personalized their vodka bottles with a sweet message for their guests, which I thought was a really cute way to communicate with everyone (not to mention an amazing attention to detail!)

Personalized vodka bottles
The reception continued with lots of dancing (and eating and drinking of course). And then came the games, an element of Polish weddings that I love! That's right during the reception, guests played several fun games that kept everyone entertained (also a great idea for people that maybe aren't too keen on the dancing) and there were prizes to boot! From a modified version of musical chairs (where participants had to grab items before trying to snag a seat) to other unique contests, the games really added a fun touch that you'd probably never find at weddings stateside. (Editor's note: I'm shamelessly stealing these ideas for our wedding!!)

Round and round the chairs we go..
All too quickly, at around 5 am, the night was over. It was awesome to see all my family members and take part in this beautiful wedding! And seeing this real Polish wedding gave me some great ideas for our own big day. An added bonus: this was the first time my entire immediate family was back in Poland since we emigrated 19 years ago. Great times all around :)

Polish Wedding Roundup: Things I Learned

Monday, August 15, 2011 | | 3 comments

Filled to the brim with pure Polish goodness: vodka
Here comes the party train!

After a whirlwind vacation in Poland and Spain, I'm finally back stateside and ready to reflect on all the Polish wedding goodness. I learned that I have a lot to learn about Polish weddings! Eesh here I was moonlighting as some wedding blogger when I was missing all these integral elements of a big, fat Polish wedding extravaganza. But rest assured I gathered the necessary knowledge from my born and bled Polish countrymen and am ready to share.

  • There is tons of food, no literally tons. During the course of a Polish wedding you will be served approximately 132049 courses, or at least this is what it feels like. In order to sustain wedding guests for an entire night of revelry, the bride and groom provide copious amounts of Polish delicacies from pierogi to bigos to galaretki, barszcz, krokiety and every other combination of szynki, salatki and everything in between. And of course bread. Lots and lots of bread.
  • Alcohol is simple. Vodka with a side of juice. Shot glasses and vodka bottles adorn the tables and there's no such thing as a mixed drink or beer. No, no my friend. During a Polish wedding you drink what the natives drink: czysta. Which means vodka in its purest form, straight up.
  • Prepare to dance. All. Night. Long. 
  • Prepare to sing "Sto Lat" All. Night. Long. Probably about eighteen million times and then one more time for good measure.
  • Each time the guests sing "Sto Lat" the bride and groom make out. Yep, each time. Happy smooching!
  • Dancing to "Jedzie Pociag z Daleka" in a train formation once isn't enough. Guests will make the train formation several times in the evening, while the head of the train twists and turns at incredible speeds trying to get the drunk wedding guests even drunker. 
  • If you survive this, you get to do it all again the next day! :) 
Both weddings I attended were fantastic and gave me tons of ideas for our own Polish wedding next year. There's so many fun and unique elements that a full recap of each wedding is coming up!

P.S. On a side note I also learned that trying to blog while having limited access to internet is not easy. It's even more difficult when you're constantly distracted by delicious food, beverages, scenic views and grandmas that won't stop feeding you. So my apologies, I will faithfully post from here on :)

Disco Polo Friday: Old School Jam

Friday, August 12, 2011 | | 0 comments
Another oldie but goodie. Not exactly disco polo but close enough to the genre to get a shoutout. Enjoy!

Disco Polo Friday: International Edition 2.0

Friday, August 5, 2011 | | 0 comments
Thanks to a great recommendation from my fellow disco-polo loving Polish friend, the latest pick:

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