Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I've been thinking about blogging each day since we returned from California last Monday, but I feel like I have so much and yet so little to update everyone on that I've been hesitant to write. I have to admit that all of this travel forced us to unplug for so long that it was actually nice and I didn't really miss email or blogging. Of course, once returned, it was right back on the computer, which just goes to show you how much time I waste.

Two weddings in two weeks is a lot, but we had a great time at both of them. The wedding in Poland was held at a manor house in a town just outside of Krakow. It had a Lord of the Rings theme. All of the invitations and place cards were written in font just as it would have been found in the story. The guest book was handmade paper bound by wood and the guests had to use an ink pen to sign it. The cocktail hour music was from the movies. There was a reading about love (in Polish, so I don't know what they said at all). The table names were characters or places from the stories (we sat at the Frodo Baggins table) and there were maps all over the place. That takes care of the small details.

This hung over the entry way to the dining room

The ceremony itself was shorter than expected, as I was told it could last three hours or so. They went for the shortened, simple mass. One of the different things they do in Poland is the bride and groom walk down the aisle together at the beginning of the ceremony. They are lead by two ring holders (it doesn't matter if they are boys are girls, but they were girls in this case. In fact, the one girl wailed the entire way down the aisle, which was actually pretty funny). After the ceremony, there were cocktails and some traditional speeches and offerings. A loaf of bread is given to the bride and groom as a symbol of life and prosperity. They each take a bite just as we do from a wedding cake. There was a receiving line, where the guests traditionally give flowers, but the bride and groom instead requested that we give donations to a children's hospital (this is what it said on the invitation!). There was a toast after the reading from The Lord of the Rings followed by a glass breaking. The only problem was that they don't believe in protecting themselves from shards of glass and they just threw it on the floor in front of all of their guests! This wasn't the smartest thing I've seen done at weddings, though not necessarily the dumbest either.

The abundance of food was the most impressive part of the wedding. First there was a sit-down meal which consisted of an appetizer (salmon salad), soup (some type of broth), dinner (traditional pork, pierogi, potatoes, vegetables), and dessert (mousse, chocolate, fruits). About an hour after that, an enormous buffet of traditional Polish dishes was offered. It included various fish dishes and salads and homemade desserts and pastries. The barbecue opened an hour after that where you could have pork, sausage, and chicken. The wedding cake was served about an hour after that. The last course came around 2 am and was a venison stew. I'd never had venison before and it was delicious. All of this food, complete with an open bar, gave us no choice but to dance until 5 am. We caught a ride home when the sun was just coming up.

Lovely salmon appetizer

K's cousin and his fiance' were making fun of all my picture taking, so they helped me out a bit to make sure I got pictures of everything

The bride and groom. I guess she is my step sister in law. Strange how that happens and you only meet someone once!

B, D, and their step mom, who was so happy to have all of her "sons" in Poland

Oh and I forgot to mention the lanterns that were sent into the air like mini hot air balloons! I have no idea how this is legal to do, especially since you have no control over where they land, but it really was kind of neat to watch. Hopefully no trees or houses were burned in their descent!

The only real downer to our trip came the day after the wedding. B woke up violently ill and remained that way for about 10 hours. We thought we were going to have to take him to the hospital, which would have been really interesting since it was a Sunday and not all hospitals are open on Sunday (you have to check the newspaper to find out which are open). Thankfully he started to feel better. We think it was a virus. I always say that B always gets sick on vacation. Ask him and he will complain that I always say that, but it really is true!

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