Polish wedding panic // Panika na polskim weselu

I got married this weekend. Jestem mężatką. Since I’ve already written about the process of getting permission to get married, now I can discuss my reflections on what a little Polish wedding is like. The funny thing is that my own wedding was my first in Poland and it was far from typical. The first thing you have to know about me is that I hate cliches. I hate doing things the same way as everyone else and I definitely hate when everyone is looking at me. Meaning a wedding is kind of my worst nightmare. Luckily my husband feels similarly so we decided on a simple civil ceremony, not a church wedding. But things that seem simple aren’t always so.

The cool thing about getting married in city hall was that ours is in the market square, so the atmosphere is really nice. Even though everyone looks at you, it’s not entirely terrible. Firstly Piotrek and I went into the wedding hall to discuss how to pronounce my name with the civil servant, which was sweet. In the past I’ve heard many ridiculous versions of my name but this time the lady made an effort to pronounce my name correctly. Not like our judge giving us permission to get married who called me “Rachel Lech Southers”. Lech being a man’s name in Poland… Then the guy playing piano made us pay him 25 zł which was awkward. But otherwise there wouldn’t have been any music so we had no choice.

Anyway, so the ceremony started off well. The lady said some stuff about love and marriage which I understood about 30% of (whatever, that’s typical) and then the time for our vows came. Luckily Piotrek was first. As I said in a previous post, I was nervous about saying my vows in Polish. So to avoid looking like a fool (and not needing a translator) I practiced for weeks before. I wanted to say them perfectly. It was important for me to say it with ease so I could focus on the moment and not panic. I had them down pat. However that plan was flushed down the toilet the moment Piotrek starting repeating his vows. They were completely different than what I had practiced. Horror of horrors. We even called them to ask what exactly I would have to say and they directed us to the city hall website which had the same ones that I practiced! I should sue them for damages! to my health! Piotrek said my eyes were huge and full of terror, which I assure you is how I felt. What could I do? Ask the lady to give me a minute to read over them? Say “excuse me ma’am but those aren’t the ones I practiced?” After 30 seconds of panic, it was my turn. And I guess I managed with a shaky voice and stutters. So not how I wanted it to go down. Fortunately I don’t really remember but unfortunately there are videos of it… which I will never watch even for a second. Nigdy w życiu. In fact, I’d like them deleted from human history.

Then it was easy. Standardowo. Just like in the States. Rings and kiss the bride and all that. So no stress there. But when we walked out together, the guy didn’t play any music! So I guess that costs another 25 zł or something. The cool thing is that after weddings in Poland, the bride and the groom are given wishes by each person who attends the ceremony. That means we kissed and hugged about 50 people in 10 minutes. A total blur but it was definitely the best part. In fact, I think that part should be first so you don’t feel so stressed.

After the ceremony, we went for a dinner with our family and friends at our favorite restaurant to wine and dine. Over at 6 and we went home to continue the Harry Potter marathon. Best way to end our wedding day. And now… jesteśmy po ślubie! All in all, a pretty cool day but thank god it’s over.

Thanks to our family, friends, and my students who came to show us some love. xo!

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  • Reply Ela 26 October 2015 at 21:27

    I know from very good source that your vows were perfect. All was impressed. Good luck to you and your husband 😉

    • Reply Leah Southers 29 October 2015 at 20:55

      Ela — We missed you there! You know, I wanted it to be perfect :/

  • Reply kamil 3 November 2015 at 15:07

    “mężatką” – even your font struggles with Polish!

  • Reply Aleksandra 12 November 2015 at 19:34

    Congratulations! I just found your blog and it is truly amazing! We live so close to each other (I live in a village located about 15 minutes from Gliwice). I used to live in New York and had a chance to get to know American culture better what was the best experience of my life. It is so good to hear that you enjoy living in our beautiful country. Good luck with everything in your life!

    Lots of love,

    • Reply Leah Southers 12 November 2015 at 21:42

      Hi Aleksandra! Thanks a lot 🙂 I see you have a blog as well. I’ll have to check it out! That’s awesome you lived in New York. Where exactly?

      • Reply Aleksandra 1 December 2015 at 17:42

        I actually lived in Tenafly, New Jersey, but it was so close to New York that I spent all my free time in Manhattan 🙂 Thank you once again for your blog, I love reading every single post of yours 🙂

  • Reply Rin 22 February 2016 at 20:48

    I am so very, very relieved to find this post. My fiancé and I are looking into a civil wedding here in Warsaw and being able to read about the process here, especially a recent entry, is absolutely wonderful. Thanks again!

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