Pack your suitcase honey, we are going to have a weekend wedding…
Part I – The Polish invention
I am a big fan of a weekend wedding. I believe it makes getting married even more special, gives the happy couple some extra time to catch up with friends and family and extends the happiest day of their lives to an entire weekend. Additionally, I truly believe (and hope I will not offend any one with this statement) that it was the Polish who invented the concept of the weekend wedding!
Let me tell you why…
It’s related to the fact that Poles are extremely hospitable and treat all their guests better then their family or friends. An old Polish saying ‘A guest in the house is God in the house’ confirms the unusual care and respect that we treat our guests with. A good Polish host will spend twice as much as he earns a month to put the best food on the table and buy lots of vodka for his visitors.
And that takes us to the traditional Polish wedding and the accompanying customs. It might surprise you (and possibly scare a few grooms out there) but Polish country weddings used to last a minimum of 3 days! Old practice was to invite all your relations, friends and even enemies. It could have been a way to reunite with everyone but most of all, it was the way to show off! Hence the overspending and lavishness leading to the 3 day party, full of food, booze and music. I remember attending a wedding like this when I was a child and my memories, still vivid, are full of loud music and dancing masses, beautiful smell of freshly prepared meat, and as you can expect, a few drunk uncles and aunties!
All sound like a lot of fun for the guest (and frankly for the wedding planner) but like a nightmare for the newlywed. Such extravagance hardly ever takes place nowadays, mostly due to the costs of such an oversized celebration, but the tradition of a ‘day after the wedding’ party is still strong.
It can be in the form of breakfast with invited guests, extending to lunch with those who could not make it to the wedding, or even a dinner party with music (usually not a live band but a DJ or your favorite iPod soundtrack). It is more of a casual affair, with burgers frying on a bbq or sausages sizzling on a bonfire. However, this additional food might not even be needed as, and this is typically for every Polish wedding, there is plenty of wedding food left over, that has been prepared, but not even been served due to the lack of space on the wedding table.
As you can see, the additional day can be arranged with little extra cost for the hosts but will bring so much more fun and priceless memories. It is a chance for the (young) couple to really enjoy themselves without the forced protocol and wedding etiquette of the actual wedding day.
I realize that certain Polish wedding traditions might not be every bride’s cup of tea, but the ‘day after wedding’ celebration is a custom I would really recommend to take on. And go that one step further and have your weekend wedding where the idea was born… in Poland.