So, you've been invited to a Polish wedding? Great! It means you'll have loads of fun and many great memories to contemplate afterwards
You may wonder if all the legends you heard about Polish weddings are true. Well, yes - they're all true!
But let's get firstly to the basics. Here are 5 principles of traditional Polish reception which you might want to keep in mind:
1. You'll eat a lot
Wedding is brilliant example of Polish generosity and hospitality. Feeding our guests properly is an absolute must, the highest priority in young couple's to-do list. It's unthinkable for me to leave the party with an empty rumbling stomach and, fortunately, I've never attended such a "hungry" wedding.
So, get ready for abundant two course dinner followed by dessert. Then, wedding layer cake. And some cookies. And some fruits for those trying to remember about their diet. Right after the cake you'll be served hams, cheeses, meat and vegetable jellies, salads and all other kinds of cold snacks. Then, a hot supper. A few suppers, to be precise.
Meat here, meat there, meat is everywhere. Pork, lamb, chicken, beef. Chops, cutlets, shish kabobs, roast ham, sauteed trout, grilled salmon. Vegetarians do have a hard time at Polish wedding but, fortunately, there's lots of salads, chips and boiled potatoes too. The last meal (served after midnight) is usually beet soup with meat croquette. Is it surprising the croquette is stuffed with meat?
2. You'll drink a lot
Second priority on a young couple's to-do list. We simply cannot run out of vodka. There's a lot of people out there who cannot have fun without alcohol and newlyweds need to keep that in mind, whether they like it or not.
Good thing is, you'll eat a lot so that the effects of alcohol won't be so obvious
Interestingly, nowadays Poles drink less vodka than they used to. I noticed that guests often prefer lighter alcohols - there's more wine and liqueurs served at Polish weddings. Are we slowly getting out of our Polish drunken stereotype? Do we stop being vodka-obsessed society? Hopefully yes. I believe Poles often swap strong alcohols with wine and beer.
3. You'll dance a lot
There will most likely be live music and a big dance floor. Ypeee!
Good for you if you've got dancing partner. If not, don't worry - there will always be someone willing to dance with you. Good for you if it's handsome cousin (of a sister of an aunt of the bridegroom - Polish weddings tend to be big family gatherings). Brace yourself if it's tipsy 60-something uncle.
Apart from vegetarian, non-dancer is another type who may feel lost at Polish nuptial party. But no worries - there are some other entertainments ready for you!
4. There will be games and plays
Poles do have fun at their weddings - unlike weddings in other countries, the nuptial party in Poland is enriched with various games and plays. They all depend on the emcee's ingenuity and experience.
In the past, the games used to be rather kinky, with lots of innuendos. Now, it's more about just having fun - typical wedding games include: dancing train, costume play, drinking contest: women vs men, football match, unveiling and capping ceremony at midnight, etc.
Some people aren't very much into those games and plays but I think they're great entertainment and a bit of diversion to all the dancing. All in all, how many hours can we just eat and dance?
5. You'll be tired the next day
Polish weddings last many hours. The party starts in the afternoon (very early afternoon in my area) and typically ends at dawn. The absolute must-be point is unveiling and capping ceremony at midnight. Only after then you realize that it's "only" a several hours more of dancing, chatting and singing.
What's worth to remember is that wedding in Poland may last more than one day so it's advisable to take some extra days off. In the eastern part of Poland weddings used to last a whole week! Round 7 days of drinking, eating and dancing! Now, I think, they've shortened it to "just" a few days.
So, are you eager to attend a traditional Polish wedding?