The joy of a wedding!

King-sized confetti!

King-sized confetti explodes over Magda and Przemek!

Just how to convey a little of the joy I’ve shared in so many Polish weddings? (this was no. 5!) Each a little different, as times change and individuals make their choices, but essentially the same.  All full of laughter, smiles and a just little mischief.

On Saturday I was in Chorzów, a city in Poland’s industrial heartland.  This link to Wikipedia will satisfy those of you who might be curious.  For the others, it’s enough to mention a ‘Royal’ coal mine and iron works, and the adjoining city of Katowice.

Of course, we start at the church.  I failed dismally to get any good photos of the ceremony. I was even thwarted at the end when, instead of walking back up the aisle towards us, the happy couple departed via a side aisle.  But I have my memories, of the tinkling of bells, and the sun filtering through stained glass windows, bathing the altar and choristers in an amber glow.

My cousin Adam’s car had been spruced up for the occasion, and his son, Łukasz, became chauffeur for the day.  I love the Polish way of decorating wedding cars.

Isn't this pretty?

Isn’t this pretty?

IMG_9061

After the ceremony and the confetti, a cascade of coins pelted the ‘lucky’ couple, a symbol of future wealth.  That’s Łukasz, the chauffeur, standing by the wall with a box to collect up the cards of those not going to the reception.

Every last zloty has to be gathered up

Every last zloty has to be gathered up

We pile onto a bus and are driven to the reception.  The venue is a total surprise- Park Sląski, a 13 hectare reclamation project which has transformed the former slag heaps into an outdoor playground on a huge scale.  My jaw probably dropped at the sight of the cable cars gliding across the lake.  A friend of the groom later explained to me that the cars had just recently started operating, and that it was the intention to extend them to link the far corners of the park.  I would have loved the opportunity to explore a little further, but the day was all about a wedding, and we were deposited at the Marysin Dwor Park hotel to await Przemek and Magda.

IMG_9107

This is probably a good time to explain that the groom, Przemek, is the only child of my cousin Basia, sister to Adam, with whom many of you will be familiar.  Adam and Basia are the children of my beloved Aunt Anna, there with us in spirit only.  Above, left to right- Adam and his wonderful wife, Marta; the bride and groom; Basia and husband Zygmunt; Łukasz again and his younger sister, Ula. Weronika, his older sister, you may remember got married last May.  She and Wojtek were at home looking after their newborn.

Meet Barteusz, peacefully at home

Meet Barteusz, sleeping peacefully at home

On to the toasts, and then the newly weds threw the swiftly drained glasses over their shoulders and reached for brush and pan to sweep up the mess.  A nice domestic beginning to married life.

Balloons!

Balloons!

A little eating, a romantic first dance, a chorus of ‘Sto lat'(100 years)and noisy demands for the couple to kiss, then it’s time for the d-jay to get folks to mingle.  And they don’t need much encouragement!  Before long we are all hop-skip-stomping gleefully to a combination of Polish and English pop songs.  Till the cake makes it’s flaming entry.

Here's your piece!

Here’s your piece!

The bride and groom set about their task of dancing with every single guest, after we’ve consumed vast quantities of food, toasted the whole world ‘Na zdrowia!’ (good health), and watched a humorous video of the couple’s respective childhoods and meeting.

The night passes in a whirl of dancing, and even Dad manages a little soft shoe shuffle with his stick.  When we finally leave to return to our hotel, it’s to discover another wedding reception still in full swing there.  A wall of joyful sound hits us.

Dad, with Uncle Wlodek and his lovely lady Weronika

Dad, with my Uncle Wlodek and his lovely lady Weronika

If you’re not familiar with Dad’s story you can read about it here.

 

81 comments

      1. I’ll have to get you an invite 🙂 I think there’s another wedding next Easter! (my 70+ year old uncle is going to marry a lass he knew at school)

  1. How wonderful to see all these different traditions 🙂 There is so much attention to detail and I love the colours. Thanks for the cake, I can imagine this was a wild evening and full of joy! Were there any bridesmaids?

    1. Yes- back in the armchair with the fog licking at the window. People keep telling me it’s Autumn and I’m starting to believe them 😦 They’re not the best of photos but they’re quite atmospheric, I think, so thanks Pauline. 🙂 Love to Jack!

    1. Truth be told, it was a very sickly sweet cake, Sam, and not really my cup of tea, but Mick wolfed his down. 🙂 There was a kind of coffee mousse with morello cherries sandwiched between the sponge, and then peach icing on the outside. The table was beautiful decorated, wasn’t it?

  2. What a lovely event, Jo! I have been to a Polish wedding in Poznan and gosh, the number of food and drinks served were plenty and it was amazed me 🙂 One of the best weddings I have ever been 🙂

  3. What a lovely day 🙂 thank you and also the happy couple for sharing

    One of my fun past jobs was being a ‘registrar of births, deaths and marriages’. The latter were always fascinating.

  4. Hi Jo. What a lovely treat this was as I just opened my inbox after a 3 week’s absence. Now I can say I have been to a beautiful Polish wedding and got to meet the lucky bride and groom and, of course, see your father again. What an adorable baby, perfectly content to have his own dreams.Am glad you included traditions such as getting showered by coins and breaking the glasses. What a cleverly decorated car.:) Passed by two weddings in Budapest and pink must be the preferred color.

    1. Hi Lynne! Welcome home 🙂 I shall look forward to ‘sharing’ your travels. I love the way they transformed Adam’s car. Keeping costs down a little, though I don’t think there was any expense spared with everything else. The peach theme was very pretty and I loved the party ‘favours’ too. Haven’t stuck my fridge magnet up yet 🙂

  5. You’ve captured the joy of the day and evening well. I’m surprised they had to clean up their broken glasses themselves, though. 🙂 Did you go back to the Park afterwards to look around?

    1. Hi Draco! 🙂 It’s part of the Polish traditions bringing on the dustpan and brush. Symbolic of something 😦 I had a couple of good shots of Weronika and Wojtek sweeping up after theirs last year but that was in the hotel car park. The strobe lighting at this one made it harder (or you can blame the vodka 🙂 )
      I got a couple of evening shots of the park but there was no chance to look around. We were driven straight back to Krakow with the family the next day.

    1. Thanks, Jill 🙂 I think he’s going to be a little tyrant! He was ill in hospital soon after he was born, and now that he’s recovered he likes lots of attention. But, why wouldn’t he? 🙂 He’s adorable.

  6. You have so beautifully captured this blessed event. Would have loved a piece of that cake! Congratulations to Magda and Przemek and to your entire family. And your father’s story brought tears to my eyes.

  7. What a wonderful Polish family you have, and you’re very well-served by weddings: plenty of inescapable reasons to visit. I love the car, Barteusz, the glass-smashing custom, and of course the beautiful bride and groom. Sto lat to them – and you.

    You make me homesick for Poland, despite linguistic challenges, and you disappoint me with a confession of inability to boogy AND photograph simultaneously!

    1. I can’t say I’ve actually tried it, Meg (boogying and selfies). I’ll put it on my list for the next wedding. 🙂 (which might be next Easter- Uncle Wlodek is planning to marry his little Weronika. It was our first time meeting her and she was lovely) The car was beautiful! I didn’t get a good glass-smashing photo- must have been boogying at the time 🙂

  8. Congratulations to the happy couple! Thanks so much for the cake. I’m going to keep it until I’ve eaten my dinner. 🙂 Little Barteusz, is so adorable. I’m sure he didn’t mind missing out on the festivities.

    1. Weronika did intend to bring Bartek to the ceremony but he was ill when he was first born and she’s still a little anxious with him. It’s hard with your first, isn’t it, even when you have lots of ‘helpers’. And her Mum, Marta, was in hospital with stomache problems at the same time. It’s all a bit calmer now, after a rocky couple of months. Thanks, Ad! Cake is for sharing 🙂

  9. Sounds good, looks great AND you give us a piece of cake! Any more of the Polish family to marry off now then? Your Dad must be over the moon to be able to spend so much time with his family. [but where is the photo of you and Mick boogying around the room?]

    1. Talented as I am, even I can’t manage to boogy AND take a photo of me and Mick. I do have one of him dancing with Basia but it’s not great. 🙂
      Funny you should ask! Uncle Wlodek, in the last photo, is thinking of getting married next year. He’s in his 70s and has been widowed for 2 years with all of his family over here in England. That smiling little lady will sort him out. 🙂

  10. Thanks for inviting me and for the cake…. lovely post and magical image … I very happy that I can see that one image is on an angle. Well done. !!!! Your dad – a very handsome man.

    1. Yee-haa! You liked my slanty car! 🙂 I just know Michael is going to say ‘that photo’s wonky’ 🙂 🙂 A happy man, my Dad! Thanks, darlin’. Have a great trip, and some ‘lody’ for me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s