Wedding Traditions: Jewish & Polish
All events are not the same, especially weddings. When people think of weddings one may think: white dress & church. Do people wear white and have their weddings in a church? Of course they do, but there is so much more that can happen. Here at My Joyful Event we specialize in making special events “special”. The sky's the limit when it comes to weddings and our focus is what YOU want.
Weddings come with traditions, but so do families. We have had the honor of planning a Jewish and Polish wedding. Both have deeply embedded traditions but all with the same goal: to unify two special people. I’ll share with you a few of these unique customs that each heritage has practiced for years.
A very important custom in the Jewish faith is for men to cover their heads at all times, especially during prayers, with a kippot (yarmulkes). Many of the weddings often take place under a chuppah, or a wedding canopy. The chuppah is a rectangular piece of cloth large enough for the Bride, Groom, Rabbi, and sometimes others to stand under. This signifies the new home to be shared by the newlyweds.
When the ceremony is complete, the Groom breaks a wrapped glass by stomping on it. This final action symbolizes that love is fragile. The audience most often will shout “Mazel Tov”, and then the Bride and Groom kiss. Later, the Mitzvah, or obligation, of rejoicing at a wedding reception is incumbent on the Bride, Groom, and guests. Mazel Tov!
At Polish weddings, the Mother of the Bride may choose to place the veil on the Bride before the ceremony. This symbolizes the mother’s last job that she does on behalf of her daughter before she becomes a married women. A traditional song, “Twelve Angels”, is often played at the reception where the Bride transfers her veil and good luck to her Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, and Flower Girl.
Polish weddings typically take place in the morning followed by a brief luncheon, several hours of downtime, and a long evening reception. Polka dances and other guest participation events are extremely popular.