Monday, July 2, 2012

With This Ring

Thought for the day: For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked.  [Bill Cosby]

As mentioned in the last post, the main reason we went to Maryland last month was to attend our niece's wedding, a delightful, feel-good event. The bride's 13-year-old daughter was almost as emotional about getting a wonderful new Daddy as our niece was to be marrying him.

One of the centerpieces.
Ever hear of a wedding theme? Well, this wedding had one. Lots of red-white-and-blue in evidence, and guests were asked to wear something patriotic, military, or vintage post-WWII. Cool, huh? A couple beautiful love letters written during WWII were read aloud. From the bride's grandfathers. To her grandmothers. What a neat touch, huh? The grandparents' wedding pictures were also on display.

The wedding and reception were held at the VFW hall, and at left is where the wedding party stood during the exchange of vows.

The first Polish wedding tradition took place following the ceremony ... the serving of wine and salted bread. Served to the newlyweds by their mothers, this tradition represents a wish that the couple never know hunger or thirst, and share a long life spiced with happiness.

The next Polish tradition was the removal of the bridal veil by the bride's godmother. Me. Once the veil is removed, it's replaced by a czypek, (chi-pek) a round lace head covering. I was also supposed to lead everyone in a traditional Polish hymn during this time, which I didn't find out about until the reception. Oops. Since I'm only Polish by osmosis, some of the honest-to-goodness Polish ladies went ahead and sang while I fiddled with bobby pins. The hymn is a supplication to the Virgin Mary to guide the bride in the ways of a loving wife. (Pssst! Check out the victory rolls in my hair! Took a lot of practice in the weeks before the wedding, but it turned out pretty darned good, I think. Especially for someone who's as inept with hair as I am. To complete the post WWII look, I wore red lipstick, seamed stockings, and platform shoes. FUN!)

Next comes the strings of tiny dolls, decorated with blue and pink ribbons, that go around the necks of the bride and groom. Pretty obvious what that signifies, huh? These particular strings were used at the wedding reception of the lady standing beside me... a very dear family friend...  more than 60 years ago. The silly hat on the groom's head represents a wish for happiness and laughter in their marriage. (LOOK! It's already working!)

Happy, happy, happy ever after.
The last Polish tradition celebrated is the small dance, or maly taniec. Also known as the apron dance, because someone holds an apron out and collects money in it. People toss a buck or so into the apron (sometimes, verrrrrry tightly folded) to polka with the bride. The last one to claim a dance is the groom, who throws his whole wallet into the apron, and claims his bride forever, to live happily ever after.

How about this? My hubby and I won a lovely bouquet of flowers for being old farts. Well, to be technical, that's not exactly how they put it. It was actually for being married the longest. Our 43rd anniversary was the day before the wedding.

Oh yeah, and if you can believe it, this really old-looking guy came up to us at the reception and claimed to have gone to school with us. HUH! We didn't argue with the delusional old fogy... just smiled, and were very polite while he babbled on about some of the people who really DID go to school with us. Can you imagine? Claimed he knew ME, too. Even said he saw us at our 30th reunion. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Poor misled guy. Obviously, he has powers, though. By the time we got home to Atlanta, he'd somehow managed to have his name and picture added to our high school yearbook. Even some words addressed to me. I STILL dunno how he did that ...

The secret to a happy marriage: Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, good food and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.  [Red Skelton]

                             Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. As in opera, strife flees a jolly polka. A lovely wedding. My compliments on your anniversary as well!

  2. First of all, Happy Belated Anniversary!

    Second of all - men hate weddings. We only PRETEND that we like them!

    Third - I thoroughly enjoyed your description of the Polish wedding. It sounds like it was a delightful event (even more so, because I didn't have to attend).

    As for old high school classmates: most of mine are probably senile by now and wouldn't remember me.

  3. And a good time was had by all. Lovin' the theme wedding.

  4. I love old traditions. I have become one myself.

    Loved your hair and what a fun thing to all get into the theme of the wedding.

  5. Hahhahaa! Your new banner pic is beauty! Love it.

    Especially like the old WWII love letters thing. How lovely. My granddad sent some postcards to my grandma when he was stationed in Spain... he wasn't fighting (looking after a tiny library up on a mountain!) and he didn't write much, really. But I love those old black-and-white postcards they gave me.

    Looks like one very happy family. Lovely to see. :)

  6. Geo- Isn't that the truth? There's something inherently happy about a polka that just naturally makes you feel good. (And invigorated, if ya do it right!)

    Jon- I know men aren't crazy about weddings, and at ours, I told my hubby he could wear whatever he wanted to wear. He wore his Army uniform, and his best man wore brown corduroy slacks and a sports jacket. I don't even remember what the other groom wore. It simply didn't matter. We were all about having fun that day, and we did. (Even the men!)

    Delores- Me, too. I never went to a themed wedding before, but it was really fun.

    Arleen- Love it! Yeah, I reckon I'm a tradition, too. (Good thing I like antiques, huh?) Thanks. I am soooo lousy at doing hair, so I was tickled it turned out so well for the wedding.

    Carrie Boo- Thanks for mentioning the banner. I know it looks silly, but I had fun doing it. It's my Summer Yam.

  7. Sus, ah, this was such an enjoyable post! First off, I emailed your opening quote to my beloved husband! :)

    Secondly, I loved the photo of you and your niece but then saw many more treats in that vein awaited! I love the rolls in your hair and the crimson lipstick -- yes!

    Last night, a friend told me she'd been to her husband's grandparent's 62nd wedding anniversary and the grandfather said his secret was that he doesn't even hear the arguments, anymore, he just smiles and nods. ;)

    Congratulations to your beautiful niece -- thank you for these lovely pictures and finally WHAT A GREAT NEW BANNER!

    Really enjoyed my visit, here, today.

  8. sounds like a lovely wedding! wishing the bride and groom a lifetime of happiness:)

  9. "My hubby and I won a lovely bouquet of flowers for being old farts." LOL! I'm glad they found a more diplomatic way to phrase it!

    The pictures are beautiful! Best of luck to the bride and groom!

  10. Happy Anniversary, Old Farts!


  11. Suze- Thanks! (all the way around) The liberty rolls were surprisingly easy to do in my hair, after practicing it a kazillion times. Your friend's grandfather sounds like my husband. He always says the secret to our longevity is two little words: "Yes, dear"... whether you mean 'em or not. I'm glad you like my silly banner. Everybody else has such pretty pictures on theirs, but silly suits me better.

    Nutschell- It was! Thank you so much.

    Dianne- Being old farts isn't so bad. (The flowers were reeeeeally pretty!)

  12. Janie- Oh, you have such a lovely way with words! Thanks.

  13. Love your hair! (I don't know how women used to do all that every day- my mom wore the same hairstyle from 1939, done with pincurls, her entire life.) What a great wedding. I wish them every happiness. Congratulations to you two on 43 years of fixing things! Amazing!

  14. I loved your post, but the quotes and the comics really had me rolling! Since I'm so far behind in my revisions, I can really use a laugh. Thanks!

  15. I once shared a flat with a Polish guy, and his father used to ensure that we were always swimming in fruit flavoured Vodka. Interesting times.

    Congratulations to all concerned.

  16. How cool...all the special traditions. Congrats on your 43rd! That's quite a testament to marriage these days. Love the patriotic, WWII theme, and your rolled hair. The marriage badge at the end is wonderful!

  17. 100+ degrees sounds nice!

  18. Austan- Thanks. I reckon your mother must have found a "do" she really liked, huh? Or maybe it simply got to be a habit. Once upon a time, I used to wash and roll my hair every stinking day. PBBBBT! on that.

    Arleen- Thanks. I'll take that as a compliment, because she looks a lot like me.

    Lexa- Thanks for stopping by and signing on as a follower. Glad I was able to provide you with a little bit of comic relief, dear lady. (Now, back to work!)HA! I'll be popping by to visit your blog asap.

    Cro- At the Polish grocery here, you can even buy chocolate candies filled with vodka. Goes together like kielbasa and sauerkraut.

    Mare- Glad ya liked it. When my husband and I first got married, his mother had a photo on her wall of some relatives... taken on their 75th anniversary. Ever since then, it's been my goal to make it to that milestone.

    Al- That's only 'cause you're such a cool guy.

  19. What a lovely wedding! The Polish traditions sound wonderful. May the bride and groom have a long and happy life together. :)

  20. Linda- It really WAS a lovely wedding. Thanks.

  21. What a lovely, sentimental wedding theme! The reading of the love letters from the bride's grandfathers to her grandmothers brought tears to my eyes. Absolutely brilliant.

    LOVE your "victory rolls" hairdo! You rock!

    But I have to say my fav part of your post is the groom in the silly hat! Amazing tradition and it works well for their marriage and for everyone else, too! Hahaha! Love it.

    And most sincere congratulations on 43 years of marriage, Susan. You're obviously doing many things quite right. xx

  22. I.K.- You're right; the wedding and reception were both very sentimental, especially the reading of those letters. And how can people NOT be happy around such a silly hat, right? Thanks. We both work at it. (And have lots of fun, too!)

  23. LOVE themed weddings. Especially when they can tie all the guests into an era or color. :)

  24. what a fun wedding!! looks like fun for everyone! and happy anniversary..good for you!! you definitely get the prize. and you look great too!

  25. Juli- This was my first experience with a themed wedding, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Annmarie- It was a lot of fun. Thanks.

  26. Hi Susan .. suddenly needing to learn the nuances from another nation - glad everyone helped you out ... it does sound like a lovely time - the wedding they wanted.

    Oh gosh going back in time too .. to our day .. have we really got a few gray hairs?!

    They look wonderfully happy .. cheers Hilary

  27. Hilary- It really was a lovely wedding, and no, ma'am! I refuse to have gray hairs. They're simply hairs with a little less pigment than the others. They mean nothing... nothing!

  28. What a lovely couple! I so love your post! Thanks for sharing this one.
    I so love reading your blog.