This fun filled wedding celebration had guests partying well into the early hours. Love knows no limits (especially distance) for our Polish bride and her American groom. Kate & Pat had their work cut out for them planning and organising a wedding to encompass two sets of traditions but they have done it so perfectly.
Pat and I met at a Polish wedding in July 2012 and we were engaged in March 2014. All this time in between we were doing a long distance between London and Philadelphia and trying to figure out how we can be together in the same country. He proposed on a skiing trip with my family in Italy, and I was super surprised! We went to the top of the mountain to take some photos of the view and since one of the cousins knew all about it, she took amazing pictures of the whole thing!
We got married July 18th, 2015 in a beautiful Polish Cathedral. One of the most important thing for us both when planning the day was to have all our friends and family together celebrating with us. I’m also religious and all about tradition so the Catholic wedding ceremony was a big deal, as well as a mixture of Polish and American wedding traditions. That’s also the reason we decided to get married in my hometown (per the custom it’s the bride’s town that’s chosen for the wedding). From American traditions, we kept the groomsmen and bridesmaids, as well as father accompanying bride to the altar. From Polish tradition, we had the 12-hour long party (it finished at 7 AM) with loads of traditional food, live band and vodka toasts all night!
The wedding was quite large, around 150 people showed up, but we invited around 200. The wedding happened in the summer so the theme colours were very bright – turquoise and fuchsia. They looked beautiful, especially when looking at the bridesmaid’s turquoise dresses with fuchsia flowers and lipsticks.
Three words I would use to describe it: spectacular, unforgettable, exciting.
THE VENUE & CEREMONY
The ceremony was in a Cathedral in Lublin, which is a very grand venue. Afterwards, we transported all the guests to a conferencing venue where we rented out a ballroom. It was the same ballroom where I and Pat had met in 3 years before, so it was very special for us. We continued to party there until the morning.
I was always a fan of big, ball gown / princess-style dresses. My wedding was the best opportunity to finally make this fantasy come true. I went to 5 different dress stores around Manhattan together with my parents and we did it over one weekend. I ended up choosing a dress from a collection that was not even out yet. Luckily that weekend they were doing previews for the next year’s collections, which I happened to fall in love with. Because of that, I had to wait for my dress to be made for a while, so I’m glad I started looking 10 months in advance, which I would definitely recommend!
GROOM AND HIS MEN
I left the groom/groomsmen attire to my husband. He decided on a tuxedo, just like all the groomsmen and both fathers. We bought turquoise bowties for all the groomsmen and my husband had a black one. Some of the groomsmen didn’t own a tuxedo, which we rented from a local rental place without an issue.
I wanted them to have the same dresses, but they could choose which one they wanted to buy, as long as it was turquoise – to align with the theme. Somehow, after a long deliberation, 5 girls from all over the world managed to all agree on the dress to wear and they all looked stunning in it.
HAIR & MAKEUP
As for the hair, I didn’t have a ‘tested’ hair stylist, who I knew would do a great job. Instead, I did some research online and found one that had great reviews and could come to my hotel in the morning of the wedding so that I didn’t have to leave my room. It turned out to be very convenient. A week before the wedding she came to my house to do the test hairstyle after which I gave her some minor suggestions on how I want to tweak it and on the day it was just what I wanted. My hair’s very fine which is why I decided to go for extensions – for the first time in my life – and it was a great choice as otherwise, my hair would get flat halfway through the wedding. My hair was absolutely beautiful and didn’t fall apart the whole night!
As for the makeup artist, I went for the one that 2 of my friends recommended and she was great! Again, few days before the wedding she did a test makeup for me to see if I like it and what I want to do differently on the day. And on the wedding day she didn’t only do my makeup but all of my bridesmaids’ as well! We all looked beautiful and were so happy with the result!
I hired somebody (HG-Studio) to do them for me just to free myself up on the days before the wedding to actually spend time with the guests. When it comes to flowers I had a specific colour in mind, not necessarily a type of flower. I wanted them to be in fuchsia, as this was another theme colour and it looks gorgeous with the turquoise. As for a bouquet, I was carrying fuchsia roses with pieces of coffee bean plant, which looked amazing! The bridesmaids were carrying a mixture of carnations and orchids also in a deep pink colour. The room was decorated with the same colour flowers – there were bouquets on the tables as well as a heart-shaped piece hanging behind our chairs on the wall. The flowers looked beautiful and ended up complementing the room perfectly, adding more colour and brightness to it.
It was a Polish cuisine. In total, we had 7 courses spread throughout the long night. We also had finger food at the tables at all times, as well as a separate section with produce from the countryside: Polish kielbasa, dumplings, pickles, sour kraut etc.
The wedding cake was a big part of the wedding – it was a custom made 3 tier white cake with a bride and groom on top of it with a pile of suitcases behind them and with an aeroplane drawn on one of the layers. Again, this was in line with the travelling theme.
We set up a wedding website using AppyCouple.com. It was a necessity because we had guests in all parts of the world. We had to translate the website into 2 languages so that everyone could read our relationship’s history, get to know the bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as keep track of all the pre-parties we organised.
As for the invitations, we contracted somebody to design them for us, and then we gave them to a stationary shop to print. We really wanted to have it in a form of a boarding pass since our whole relationship was based on travelling.
We had a lot of entertainment, mainly due to the fact that we wanted to make it special for the guests coming from abroad, but also because even we were not aware of all the surprises awaiting us.
First of all, we had a great live band – Kultowi, who are amazing performers and kept the atmosphere energetic and fun. We also had the first dance, as well as groom – mother, bride – father dances. Later on, we had two of our flower girls – my sister and Pat’s cousin singing Halo by Beyonce together (they both can sing and they both look very alike). Then to my surprise, my family (dad, twin sister and uncle) performed Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith on stage (I wasn’t aware any of them played instruments), after which my cousin, who’s a national salsa champion performed a salsa routine for us. The venue also planned a flaming roasted hog at one point in the night and of course the wedding cake, which came out with firecrackers in it.
But the most entertaining were the Polish games, which are part of every Polish wedding at midnight, where guests participated in different types of competitions to win small prizes, for example, quizzes or dancing competitions.
I found my photographer online, and thought that her photos are magnificent! Other photographers were decent too, but Kalina Ciesielska stood out from the crowd with her artistic eye and beautifully edited photographs. She’s from Warsaw – Polish capital, only 2 hours from my hometown so I booked her straight away. Before the wedding, we flew her to New York to do our engagement photo shoot, which ended up being 2 full days of taking pictures in different places around Manhattan and Brooklyn. The photos from that came out stunning too, we were very happy with our choice. Our package included the engagement photo shoot, wedding day until 1 AM, a separate photo shoot in the wedding attire after the event as well as a photo album. We were extremely satisfied with how everything turned out and we have a beautifully documented event to remind us of this perfect day.
I wanted to have a whole video recording from the wedding and so I did some research online for a crew that can professionally record and edit it. I found ArtsFrame, which is no doubt the best videography company there is. The day after the wedding they already had a wedding trailer put together for us and it was a hit! I’m still watching it now for entertainment as it was so well done. The full video was about 40 minutes and included the most important moments from the whole wedding. It’s a really great way to relive that day.
The thing that will stay with me as a memory for a while is when I realised how much fun everyone was having and to see the energy of the wedding. That’s when I realised that we have amazing friends, some of which travelled a long way to be with us on that day. It didn’t matter what country you were from everyone was having fun, drinking and dancing together. It’s the best reward you can get after a year and a half of planning and it makes you appreciate how lucky you are to have everyone, who’s special to you in one place at the same time.
BRIDE TO BRIDE
The main advice I can give to the next bride is to make sure she plans exactly what photos she wants to be taken and communicates that to the photographer or better yet assign somebody to be responsible for making sure those pictures are taken care of. On the day there will be so much to do that gathering everyone for a family photo will be almost impossible!
Ceremony: St. John the Baptist Cathedral ♥ Reception: Focus Conference Centre and Hotel
Wedding Dress & Veil: RK Bridal ♥ Shoes: Angela Nuran ♥ Accessories: MJ Trim
Hair: Ilona Kasprzak ♥ Makeup: Methea Makeup
Bridesmaid Dresses: New York Dress ♥ Cake: Sarzynski ♥ Flowers: HG-Studio
Stationery: Marit Hanson Weddings & AppyCouple
Entertainment: Kultowi & Fotobudka 4u ♥ Videographer: ArtsFrame
Photography: Kalina Ciesielska