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Polish Weddings - Sharing The Bread, Salt & Wine

by Rob Kobierecki, Contributing Writer

The sharing of the bread, salt and wine is an old Polish tradition. At the wedding reception, the parents of the bride and groom, greet the newly married couple with bread, which is lightly sprinkled with salt and a goblet of wine.

With the bread, the parents are hoping that their children will never hunger or be in need. With the salt, they are reminding the couple that their life may be difficult at times, and they must learn to cope with life's struggles. With the wine, they are hoping that the couple will never thirst and wish that they have a life of good health, and good cheer and share the company of many good friends.

The parents then kiss the newly married couple as a sign of welcome, unity and love.

Pre-Ceremony Instructions

1. The Maitre'd, Disc Jockey or band leader introduces the parents, the Bridal Party and then the Bride and Groom. When the parents are introduced, they should walk directly to the front of the main table and wait for the newly married couple. When the Bride and Groom are introduced, the Polish Wedding March should be played by the band or DJ. The Bride and Groom circle the dance floor as a general greeting to all of the guests and then proceed to the front of the main table where the ceremony will be conducted with the parents. (The Bridal Party can be seated at the main table or they can gather on each side of the parents to witness the ceremony.)

2. On a small table in front of the main table should be a tray with the following: a small dish of salt, 2 small slices of rye bread and a glass of wine. When everyone is ready, the Master of Ceremonies should read the following text as the ceremony is conducted.

Introduction Text

"This is a long cherished Polish tradition which has been passed down through the centuries. It symbolizes the union of the Bride and Groom and their families."

Ceremony Text

"The Bride and Groom are being greeted by their parents with bread and salt and a glass of wine. The parents sprinkle the bread with salt and give it to both of the newlyweds to eat. The bread represents the parents hope that their children will never experience hunger or need, the salt reminds the couple that their life may be difficult at times and they must learn together to cope with life's struggles.

The parents now present the glass of wine to the Bride and Groom for each of them to drink. With the wine, the parents hope that they will never thirst and that they will have a life of good health and cheer and share the company of many good friends.

The parents now join in kissing the bride and groom as a welcome to the family and as a sign of their love and unity."

Instructions

1. The Maitre'd, Disc Jockey or Band Leader announces the parents. Parents go to the center of the floor in front of the head table and await the Bride and Groom. On a small table there should be a tray, containing a small dish of salt, 2 slices of rye bread and a glass of wine.

2. The Maitre'd, Disc Jockey or Band Leader now announces the Bridal Party.

3. The Maitre'd, Disc Jockey or Band Leader announces the Bride and Groom. The Polish Wedding March should be played as the Bride and Groom enter the reception hall. At this time the Bride and Groom go to the front of the main table where their parents are waiting to greet them for the ceremony.

4. The parents then perform the ceremony with the Bride and Groom as the script is read by the Maitre'd, Disc Jockey or Band Leader.

5. At the end of the ceremony, the bride, groom and their parents proceed to their tables and await grace before the meal.


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