Yet because of the many Polish wedding customs that are kept alive by those who do not wish traditions to go by the wayside, this Polish wedding may quite possibly prove to be a bit different after all!
•As the bride and groom enter the reception hall and take a seat at their reserved table, it is a Polish wedding custom for the parents of the brides and grooms to present them with a plate of rye bread, salted, and a glass of wine. This is not the actual wedding feast, but instead a symbolic gesture that seeks to help them understand that their parents do not want them to ever be hungry, thirsty, or in need, yet that there will be problems that will crop up and they will need to deal with them together.
•This is also the time for the beloved “Oczepiny Ceremony” which is a symbol of the young bride now entering the ranks of the married women. The single ladies who made up the bride’s entourage at the wedding will encircle her and help her to take off her wedding veil. One of the married women, quite often the mother of the bride, will now go ahead and place a cap on her head instead of the veil. The bride may then take the veil and throw it to the single girls who made up her entourage in lieu of the throwing her bridal bouquet. At this point, she is considered a married woman and has forever left behind the ranks of the giggly single girls that she is thought to have occupied before.
•For example, you can all but guess that during the reception there will be polka music; yet did you know that what in America has become known as the “Money Dance” is also one of the most beloved Polish wedding customs? Yet unlike the American master of ceremonies who will collect the offerings on behalf of the bride, in the Polish dance the guests will actually pin the money to the bride’s dress and so buy a dance with her. Once they have all danced with the bride, they will then try to keep the groom from dancing with her – this is all with a lot of good-natured hooting and hollering, and he will actually have to make quite an effort to break through the wall of arms that might encircle him or his bride! Of course, in the end he wins, and he will whisk off his new wife to leave for their honeymoon with all the loot she has collected.
No Polish wedding buffet would be complete without roasted meats and pierogi, Polish beet soup, and the traditional walnut torte.