Let the Sparks Fly!—A Polish Tradition

I mentioned in my early blogging days that Sparks and I weren’t planning to incorporate any real wedding traditions into our big day. We honestly didn’t have much time to think about it and didn’t feel like we connected with an idea strongly enough to make it part of the celebration.

Well. My aunts had other plans.

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“Surprise! Time for some Polish tradition!”

While I’m a classic, American, cultural mashup with a hefty dose of Polish thrown in, my dad’s side of the family is the real deal. And at all of our Polish weddings, there’s a tradition called the oczepiny ceremony that takes place during the reception. Basically, this is the moment when the bride is welcomed as a married woman”¦and your family gets to embarrass you a little.

The ozepiny (“unveiling”) ceremony is pretty easy to do. First, a married family member removes the bride’s veil and pins a small lace cap in it’s place. Then, strings of tiny baby dolls tied with blue and pink ribbon are placed around the couple’s necks as a wish that they may have many (MANY) happy and healthy children. And finally, the groom gets a funny hat to represent the laughter and happiness of a great marriage. Oh, and everyone is clapping and singing at the top of their lungs while this is going on. Many people sing “Serdeczna Matko” during the ceremony and, if you’re like our family, you can end with a singing/screaming session of “Sto Lat,” a song with lyrics that translate to, “Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.” We sing this a lot in the Sparkler family. We love a good Polish song.

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My aunt (and godmother) pinning the cap while Busia waits with the baby doll necklace”¦

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Very enthusiastic clapping and singing”¦

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Sparks looks worried about all of those babies”¦uh oh.

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I am so, SO happy that my aunts thought to do this for Sparks and me. It was such a blast and I’m pretty sure everyone was jealous of my baby necklace

Any Polish girls out there who had an unveiling ceremony at their wedding?

Coming up: The party gets wild”¦

Get caught up!

All photos by Avery House

BLOGGER

Mrs. Sparkler

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
September 2011

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  1. Member
    mogu 29 posts, Newbee @ 2:11 pm

    wow

  2. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:38 pm

    That’s so sweet that your aunts did that for you!

    P.S. Love your taste in beer :-)

  3. Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 4:58 pm

    oh man! i didn’t realize it was a surprise!

  4. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:45 pm

    I’m so glad your family did this tradition, it looks like it was a ton of fun!

  5. Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:30 pm

    The photo of you and Sparks with your hats and baby necklaces — one of the best ever! Thanks for sharing this delightful Polish tradition. :)

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    sarah, Guest @ 9:51 pm

    i had never heard the term until i read your blog post, but then today i came across this photo on one of my favorite wedding photography sites, momentjunkie.

    http://www.momentjunkie.com/2012/11/the-oczepiny/

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