Traditional Polish Wedding Gifts: A Guide

Polish weddings are known for their rich traditions and customs, and gift-giving is an essential part of the celebration. The wedding guests are expected to bring presents that reflect the couple’s heritage and cultural identity. Traditional Polish wedding gifts include items that symbolize love, good luck, and prosperity.

One of the most popular traditional Polish wedding gifts is bread and salt. This gift represents hospitality and prosperity, and it is given to the newlyweds by the parents or the oldest members of the family. Another popular gift is a wianek, a flower crown that the bride wears during the wedding ceremony. The wianek symbolizes purity, innocence, and fertility, and it is made of fresh flowers and greenery.

Traditional Polish Wedding Gifts

Polish weddings are known for their rich cultural traditions, including the giving of gifts to the couple and their families. If you’re attending a traditional Polish wedding and want to give a gift that reflects the couple’s heritage, here are some ideas to consider.

Gifts for the Couple

When it comes to giving gifts to the couple, there are a variety of traditional options to choose from. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bread and Salt: One of the most traditional gifts to give at a Polish wedding is a loaf of bread and a container of salt. This symbolizes the hope that the couple will never go hungry and that their lives will always be full of flavor.
  • Wycinanki Art: Wycinanki is a traditional Polish folk art that involves cutting intricate designs out of paper. Giving a piece of wycinanki art as a wedding gift is a great way to honor the couple’s heritage and provide them with a unique piece of art to hang in their home.
  • Wooden Box: A hand-carved wooden box is another traditional gift option. The box can be used to store keepsakes or other special items, and it’s a beautiful and practical gift that the couple is sure to appreciate.

Gifts for the Family

In addition to gifts for the couple, it’s also common to give gifts to the families of the bride and groom. Here are a few traditional options to consider:

  • Flowers: Giving a bouquet of flowers to the mother of the bride or groom is a lovely way to show your appreciation for their role in the wedding. In Poland, it’s traditional to give an odd number of flowers, as even numbers are associated with funerals.
  • Vodka: Polish vodka is famous around the world, and giving a bottle as a gift is a great way to honor the couple’s heritage. You can also include a set of shot glasses or other vodka-related accessories.
  • Embroidered Tablecloth: A hand-embroidered tablecloth is a beautiful and practical gift that the family can use for special occasions. It’s a great way to honor the couple’s heritage and provide a lasting reminder of their wedding day.

Overall, there are many traditional Polish wedding gifts to choose from, and the key is to choose something that reflects the couple’s heritage and will be meaningful to them. Whether you opt for bread and salt or a hand-carved wooden box, your gift is sure to be appreciated and cherished.

Polish Wedding Traditions and Rituals

Polish weddings are known for their rich traditions and customs that have been passed down through generations. These traditions and rituals make Polish weddings unique and memorable events. In this section, we will explore some of the most important Polish wedding traditions and rituals.

Engagement Ceremony

The engagement ceremony, called Zrekowiny or Zareczyny, is the first step in the Polish wedding process. It is a formal announcement of the couple’s intention to marry. The groom traditionally visits the bride’s family with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine or champagne. The couple exchanges rings, and the parents of the bride and groom offer their blessings.

Church Ceremony

The church ceremony is the most important part of a Polish wedding. It is a solemn and sacred event that takes place in a Catholic church. The bride and groom exchange vows and rings in front of God and their families. The ceremony is usually followed by a reception, where guests enjoy food, drinks, and dancing.

Oczepiny Ceremony

The Oczepiny ceremony is a traditional Polish wedding ritual that takes place after the church ceremony. It involves the bride’s veil being removed and replaced with a cap or wreath. The bride’s mother or maid of honor performs the ceremony, which symbolizes the bride’s transition from a single woman to a married woman. The bride then throws her veil to the unmarried women at the wedding, who try to catch it. It is believed that whoever catches the veil will be the next to get married.


Poprawiny is a Polish wedding tradition that takes place on the day after the wedding. It is a second day of celebration, where the newlyweds and their families continue to party and enjoy each other’s company. The bride and groom wear their wedding attire, and the festivities usually involve more food, drinks, and dancing.

In conclusion, Polish wedding traditions and rituals are an integral part of the wedding celebration. They add meaning and depth to the event, and they help to create lasting memories for the couple and their families. Whether it’s the engagement ceremony, church ceremony, Oczepiny ceremony, or Poprawiny, each tradition has its own unique significance and should be respected and cherished.

Polish Wedding Food and Drink

Polish weddings are known for their abundance of delicious food and drink. The traditional Polish dishes served at weddings are a reflection of the country’s rich culinary heritage, while the drinks are a testament to its love for vodka.

Traditional Polish Dishes

The wedding feast in Poland typically begins with a variety of appetizers, including herring, smoked salmon, and different types of kielbasa. Pierogi, a type of dumpling filled with meat, cheese, or potatoes, is a staple at any Polish wedding. Bigos, a hearty stew made with sauerkraut, meat, and sausage, is another popular dish.

In addition to these dishes, vegetable salads, rice, and barley are also served. The traditional Polish soup, rosół, is often served as the first course of the meal. Desserts such as cakes, pastries, and fruit are also commonly served.

Polish Drinks

Vodka is undoubtedly the most popular drink at Polish weddings. Guests are usually offered a shot of vodka as a welcome drink upon arrival. Other alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer are also served. Non-alcoholic options include fruit juices, soft drinks, and mineral water.

In addition to the drinks served during the meal, there is also a Polish wedding tradition of toasting with coins and rosół. The bride and groom drink rosół from a shared cup, and then the guests throw coins into the cup. It is believed that whoever throws the most coins will have good luck and prosperity.

Overall, the food and drink at a Polish wedding are an essential part of the celebration. The dishes served are a reflection of the country’s rich culinary heritage, while the drinks are a testament to its love for vodka.

Polish Wedding Attire

When it comes to a traditional Polish wedding, attire is an essential aspect that should not be overlooked. The bride, groom, and the wedding party all have specific dress codes that they must adhere to. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of attire that you can expect to see at a Polish wedding.

Bride and Groom Attire

The bride’s dress is usually white, symbolizing purity, and may have a touch of blue, which represents marital fidelity. In some cases, the bride may opt for a hand-painted wedding dress inspired by old Polish folklore. The groom’s attire is typically a black suit with a white shirt and a black tie. The groom may also wear a traditional Polish outfit, which includes a white shirt, black vest, and black pants with a red stripe.

Wedding Party Attire

The wedding party attire is also an essential aspect of a Polish wedding. The best man and maid of honor usually wear formal attire, such as a suit and a dress, respectively. The bridesmaids’ dresses are typically matching and may have a touch of blue, while the groomsmen’s attire is similar to the groom’s.

In some cases, the wedding party may wear traditional Polish outfits. The braids, which are a symbol of youth and virginity, are an essential accessory for the bridesmaids. The groomsmen may wear a red or green vest with a black jacket and black pants.

Overall, the attire for a Polish wedding is elegant and formal, with a touch of traditional Polish elements. It’s essential to adhere to the dress code to show respect for the customs and traditions of the wedding.

Bride Attire Groom Attire
White dress with a touch of blue Black suit with a white shirt and black tie
Hand-painted wedding dress Traditional Polish outfit with a white shirt, black vest, and black pants with a red stripe
Wedding Party Attire
Formal attire for the best man and maid of honor
Matching bridesmaids’ dresses with a touch of blue
Traditional Polish outfits with braids for bridesmaids and red or green vest for groomsmen

In addition to the attire, some other traditional elements of a Polish wedding include holy water, shot glasses, and individual gifts for the wedding party.

Polish Wedding Music and Dance

Polish weddings are known for their lively music and energetic dancing. Music and dance play a significant role in the celebration of a Polish wedding. The music and dance are often traditional, and the guests participate wholeheartedly. Here are some of the most popular Polish wedding music and dance traditions.

Traditional Polish Songs

Polish weddings are incomplete without traditional songs. The music is often played by a live band, and the guests sing along and dance to the tunes. Some of the popular traditional Polish wedding songs include:

  • Sto Lat: This is a popular Polish song that translates to “One Hundred Years.” It is sung to wish the newlyweds a long and happy life together.
  • Hej, sokoły: This is a traditional Polish folk song that is often played at weddings. The song talks about a young man who is in love with a girl and wants to marry her.
  • Serce: This is a romantic Polish song that is often played during the first dance of the newlyweds. It talks about the love and affection between the couple.

Polish Wedding Dance

Polish weddings are famous for their lively dances. The guests participate in the dance with great enthusiasm, and the dance floor is always full. Here are some of the popular Polish wedding dances:

  • Polka: This is a lively dance that is popular in Poland. It is a fast-paced dance that requires quick footwork and coordination.
  • Oberek: This is another popular Polish dance that is often played at weddings. It is a fast-paced dance that is similar to the polka but has more intricate footwork.
  • Kujawiak: This is a slow and romantic Polish dance that is often played during the first dance of the newlyweds. It is a graceful dance that requires the couple to move in sync.

In conclusion, music and dance are an integral part of a Polish wedding. The traditional Polish songs and dances add to the festive atmosphere of the wedding and make it a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Polish Wedding Customs and Superstitions

Polish weddings are steeped in tradition and superstition, with many customs dating back centuries. Here are a few of the most common customs and superstitions you may encounter at a Polish wedding:

Family Blessing

At the start of the wedding reception, the newlyweds are often presented with bread and salt by their parents. This is a symbol of hospitality and prosperity, and is meant to bring good luck to the couple. The parents may also offer a traditional blessing, asking for health, happiness, and a long life for the newlyweds.


In some regions of Poland, the bride’s veil is lifted by her father or the groom at the end of the ceremony. This symbolizes the bride’s transition from maidenhood to married life. In other regions, the veil is removed by the groom himself, often with the help of his best man.

Thunder and Rain

Polish folklore holds that thunder and rain on a wedding day are a sign of good luck for the couple. It is believed that the rain will wash away any bad luck or negative energy, leaving the couple with a fresh start. Similarly, thunder is seen as a symbol of strength and power, which will help the couple overcome any obstacles they may face in their marriage.

Overall, these customs and superstitions are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Poland. They add a sense of magic and wonder to the wedding day, and are a way of honoring the past while looking forward to the future.

Where to Find Traditional Polish Wedding Gifts

If you are attending a traditional Polish wedding, it is customary to bring a gift for the happy couple. Finding the perfect gift can be a challenge, but there are several places you can look for traditional Polish wedding gifts.


Etsy is a great place to find unique and handmade gifts that are perfect for a Polish wedding. There are many sellers on Etsy who specialize in traditional Polish gifts, such as hand-painted pottery, embroidered tablecloths, and wooden boxes. Some popular Polish wedding gifts on Etsy include:

  • Zona (Wife) Folk Art Floral Ceramic Mug
  • Minimalist High Polished Dome Tungsten Wedding Band Silver Ring
  • Handmade Polish Pottery Platter

When shopping on Etsy, be sure to check the seller’s reviews and ratings to ensure that you are buying from a reputable seller.

Local Polish Stores

If you have a local Polish heritage store in your area, this is a great place to find traditional Polish wedding gifts. These stores often carry a variety of Polish gifts, including hand-painted pottery, amber jewelry, and embroidered linens. Some popular Polish wedding gifts that you can find at local Polish stores include:

  • Handmade Polish Pottery Teapot
  • Polish Folk Art Wooden Box
  • Amber Necklace and Earrings Set

When shopping at a local Polish store, be sure to ask the staff for recommendations and advice on finding the perfect gift.

In conclusion, there are several places you can look for traditional Polish wedding gifts, including Etsy and local Polish heritage stores. Whether you choose a handmade pottery piece or a beautiful piece of amber jewelry, your gift is sure to be appreciated by the happy couple.

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