Wedding Tradition – Polish

Polish Wedding Tradition

“To welcome the couple for their wedding party they are welcomed with bread with salt. They usually break, like, a special bread. They are supposed dip the bread in salt and eat it—they make a funny expression. And then later they take champagne in two glasses—sometimes they are tied together. They drink the champagne. Once they finish they throw it behind them and it breaks for good luck. It’s a tradition—you have to break them [the champagne glasses] no matter what. If it doesn’t break, you have to do it again.”

“It’s a really old tradition—like really old. I think it’s cool because we keep this tradition—it doesn’t disappear. I’m not sure exactly why they do it. They just do.”

The informant is from Poland. She is currently attending university in Los Angeles, CA. She has been studying in the United States for the past four years.

The time of a wedding is a liminal period that as such is highly ritualized. The activities in a wedding typically center around the uniting of the groom and bride– they must do many traditions together that symbolize they are now man and wife.

Deborah Silverman’s “Polish-American Folklore” presents two separate reasons behind the tradition. One, which Silverman adds is the most common definition, is the couple’s parents greet them with salt and bread to ensure there will always be food on the table. Another definition however, stated that the salt represented the bitter parts of life and the bread the sweet; the portion of bread was to be larger than the portion of salt to protect the couple from life’s bitterness (64).

Silverman, Deborah Anders. Polish-American Folklore. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2000. Print.