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The Polish Wedding Tradition – What Makes it So Special and Memorable?

6 min read
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Are you a Pole living abroad, dreaming of your wedding day? Have you considered returning to your roots and getting married in Poland? Picture this: exchanging vows amidst breathtaking landscapes and cherished traditions that resonate with your heritage. A Polish wedding isn’t just an event; it’s a cultural and emotional journey celebrating love’s purest essence. From the solemn beauty of a Catholic Church ceremony to the jubilant festivity of a traditional reception, each moment is steeped in the rich tapestry of Polish heritage. Poland beckons with its timeless customs and captivating settings, offering an unforgettable backdrop for your special day. Embrace your roots, forge unforgettable memories, and let the magic of Polish traditions make your wedding day truly exceptional.

Continue reading to uncover the enchanting allure of Polish weddings tradition and discover why saying “I do” in Poland will be a decision you treasure forever.


Parents’ blessings, known as “Błogosławieństwo” mark a significant prelude to the wedding ceremony. Prior to the commencement of the church proceedings, a poignant scene unfolds at the bride’s home. Here, amidst the presence of their loved ones, the bride, and groom share their first glimpse of each other on their special day, a moment brimming with emotion and excitement. Within this intimate setting, the parents extend their blessings to the couple, presenting them with the holy cross to kiss as a symbol of their approval and unwavering support. This sacred gesture not only signifies a blessing but also serves as a testament to the profound faith and affection nurtured within the family. With hearts overflowing and anticipation soaring, they then embark on their journey to the church together, poised to commence their life as a united couple.

The marriage ceremony

The Polish wedding ceremony is often held in a Catholic Church, reflecting the country’s deep-rooted religious traditions. This formal ceremony is more than just a legal union; it is a sacred event filled with symbolism and reverence. The bride and groom, elegantly dressed in a traditional Polish wedding dress and classic suit, take their vows in front of family, friends, and God, committing to a life of love and partnership.

Several traditional elements mark the church ceremony. One of the most notable is the exchange of rings, symbolizing eternal love and fidelity. The priest blesses the rings and the couple, emphasizing the spiritual significance of their union. The presence of the bride and groom’s parents during the ceremony underscores the importance of family in Polish culture.

In Polish wedding ceremonies, there’s a beautiful tradition where guests shower the newly-weds with coins, symbolizing wishes for prosperity and a flourishing marriage. While these customs might appear mysterious at first, they are deeply ingrained in Poland’s rich history, reflecting the community’s ethos of solidarity and mutual aid.

Wesele- the bread and salt tradition

Even when the church bells fall silent, the celebration is just beginning. Imagine starting your wedding reception in Poland with the timeless tradition of the Wesele (means wedding party). As the newly-weds arrive, they are welcomed with bread and salt, symbolizing a life free from hunger and the strength to overcome challenges. There are also two shots—one filled with water, and the other with vodka. The one who drinks vodka is said to lead the marriage, while the one who chooses water is seen as more accommodating. Throwing the glasses over their shoulders, the shattering symbolizes a prosperous future together.

A beautiful Polish tradition follows: the groom lifts his bride and carries her through the doors, marking their official entrance as a married couple. Guests line up to offer heartfelt congratulations, surrounding the couple with love and good cheer.

The dining experience at a Polish wedding reception is a feast for the senses. Traditional Polish wedding food is served in multiple courses, starting with appetizers like herring, followed by hearty dishes such as rosół, pierogi, kiełbasa, and bigos. The main course is typically served with side dishes and salads, providing a rich and satisfying meal for all.

The Polish wedding cake, often a multi-tiered masterpiece, is another highlight of the reception. It symbolizes the sweetness and joy of the couple’s new life together. The bride and groom cut the cake together, sharing the first slice as a symbolic act of unity and partnership.

Let the party begin

Polish weddings are renowned for their lively toasts and the tradition of drinking vodka shots. Throughout the wedding celebration, guests frequently raise their glasses in numerous toasts to the health and happiness of the bride and groom. These toasts foster a sense of camaraderie and good cheer among the wedding guests, enhancing the festive atmosphere.

Music and dance play a central role in the wedding party. A live band or DJ ensures that the dance floor is always filled, playing a mix of modern hits and traditional Polish songs. The first dance of the newly married couple is a highlight, setting a romantic tone for the evening. As the night progresses, the guests continue to dance, and the dance floor becomes a place of joyous celebration, where guests of all ages join in the fun. During the festivities, kids enjoy themselves, often stealing the show with their dance moves to upbeat songs like “Kaczuszki” and “Jedzie pociąg z daleka”. Their laughter and energy make the party feel innocent and fun.

Polish weddings are known for lasting longer than American weddings. Wedding receptions often continue until the early morning hours. But the celebration doesn’t end there. The next day, there is a tradition called “poprawiny,” which means the second day of the wedding party. Can you imagine a two-day party? This tradition is a testament to the Polish spirit of celebration and togetherness.

Not only is this two-day celebration an incredible experience, but it can also be more economical than a one-day wedding in America that ends at 10 PM. “Poprawiny” allows for an extended celebration without the high costs often associated with single-day events, providing great value and an unforgettable experience for all involved. Embracing this tradition means more time with loved ones, more dancing, more toasts, and a truly memorable wedding celebration.

The bride tosses the bouquet

Oczepiny at Polish Weddings

As the night goes on, grown-ups take part in the Oczepiny ceremony, which is full of meaning and excitement. Oczepiny is an old Polish tradition that adds a unique charm and depth to Polish weddings. These time-honoured rituals make Polish weddings a memorable experience for the bride, groom, and their guests.

At midnight, everyone’s on edge with anticipation. The Polish bride holds her veil (or bouquet), the groom grips his tie, and together they toss them into the air—the veil for single women, the tie for bachelors. The crowd eagerly watches as these symbols fly above them; whoever catches them is thought to be in line for wedded bliss. This playful tradition adds a moment of fate and joy to the celebration, as everyone cheers for the possible future couples.

The ceremony is usually accompanied by playful games and activities, adding a touch of humor and excitement to the evening. These games often involve both the newly-weds and their guests, creating an engaging and lively atmosphere. The oczepiny ceremony not only signifies a significant moment for the bride and groom but also brings everyone together in joyous celebration, enhancing the communal spirit of the wedding.

Practicalities: Hiring a Wedding Planner

Organizing a traditional Polish wedding might seem daunting, especially for those living abroad. However, hiring a wedding planner can simplify the process and ensure a smooth, enjoyable experience. A professional planner familiar with Polish wedding traditions will handle all the details, from venue selection and catering to coordinating the ceremony and reception activities. This allows the bride and groom to focus on enjoying their special day without the stress of logistical concerns.

By entrusting your wedding to a skilled planner, you can ensure that every cherished tradition is honoured, and every detail is perfect. This expertise not only guarantees a seamless event but also transforms the planning process into a delightful journey. With a wedding planner’s assistance, a beautiful and memorable Polish wedding is not just possible but effortlessly achieved. Celebrate your roots with ease, knowing that you are in capable hands.

Traditional Polish Wedding – Conclusion

Choosing to celebrate your wedding in Poland is more than just a return to your roots—it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in a rich cultural tapestry that honours love, family, and tradition. From the solemn beauty of the Catholic Church ceremony to the lively, two-day reception filled with music, dancing, and heartfelt toasts, every moment is designed to create lasting memories.

With the assistance of a professional wedding planner, you can ensure a seamless and stress-free experience. Celebrate your roots, enjoy the unique traditions, and let the magic of Polish weddings make your special day truly unforgettable. Say “I do” in Poland and treasure the memories forever.