Even if you haven't been at Polish wedding yet, most probably you have heard how fun attending it is. A lot of vodka shots (believe me you stop counting a number of shots), plenty of food, dancing all night.. Countless of vodkas shots may sound scary but you will be doing well thanks to Polish tapas. (We will come to that point) On our vodka and culture tour, we have been asked many times how Polish weddings look like so we decided to write a blog post about it. I hope it helps you answer your questions regarding the Polish wedding. Enjoy!
1-Ceremony: Most of the Polish people still get married in a church, as Poland is one of the most Catholic countries. It is also quite common to be invited only to the ceremony in a church, not for the wedding party. That's why we advise reading your invitation carefully. The Polish word „ślub” refers to a ceremony in a church and „wesele” means wedding party. Generally, Ślub is held on Saturdays and starts around 3 pm and finishes in 1,5 hour. Wedding party starts after the ceremony and it can last even until early morning.
2-Bread and Salt: After the ceremony in a church, newlyweds go to the venue where the wedding party will be held. There they are welcomed by parents with bread and Salt and two shots of vodka. They have to drink vodka in one gulp and throw the glasses behind their back. If the glasses are broken, it means they will leave together long and happy. Welcoming with Bread and Salt is also tradition for greeting important guests in Poland. We also practice that on our Krakow Food Tour.
3-Food: Wedding party obviously starts with the dinner. Traditionally the broth (in Polish „Rosół” is served as a first dish. As second course you may expect a lot of different meats and potatoes. After dinner on the table is served „zakąski”. Zakąski is kind of polish tapas- small snacks that perfectly go with vodka. They are generally very fatty like pork lard or herring. Don't count calories on Polish wedding, fatty food will help you to get along with the next point on the list!
4-Drink: Vodka is a thing that cannot be missed at Polish Wedding. It is not surprising that most of the Polish people drink the only vodka at Polish weddings. Sometimes some wine can be served as an option, but generally, it stays untouched through the whole party. Take it as a hint- Poles are experienced drinkers and they know that the worst thing what can be is a mixing different alcohols. So if you want to survive a Polish wedding, stay stuck to the vodka. How many vodka's shots people drink during the wedding is an unanswered question. It is impossible to count it as glasses are immediately refilled and the shots are drunk one after another. Between the shot take some fatty food, it will help you to slow the absorption of alcohol and you will stay sober longer.
5-Dance: Dance is another important part of Polish wedding. Poles dance a lot, especially with a partner. The wedding generally is accompanied by a live band playing mostly Polish songs. Be prepared for hours of dance, remember to wear comfortable shoes. Don't worry if you don't have a partner for a wedding, it is very common to change the dancing partners and dance with everybody. It is also compulsory to dance with the bride.
6-2nd day of Wedding: The Polish wedding takes two days. The second day is called „Poprawiny” which can be translated as a „to correct” or „improve”. The second part starts on Sunday around 1 pm and lasts generally until 7 or 8 pm. It is very similar to the first day but less formal. It the occasion to drink the rest of vodka.