How to Hold a Polish American Wedding Reception

Anyone who is Polish-American wants to honor their heritage by including these traditions in their wedding reception.


  1. Image titled Hold a Polish American Wedding Reception Step 1
    Do the Bread, Wine, Salt and Silver Ceremony. As the newly married couple enters the reception hall, they are met by their parents who present them with a silver tray holding bread, wine, salt and a silver coin.
    • The bride and groom each taste a piece of bread to signify "may you never go hungry".
    • They next each sip a little wine to signify "may you enjoy the sweetness in life" - Luck comes to the bride who drinks a glass of wine at the celebration without spilling a drop.
    • Next, they each place a spec of salt on their tongue to signify "may you overcome the bitterness in life".
    • Last, The bride and groom each hold the coin between their right hands together to signify "may you be wealthy in good health and never be in a financial stress".
  2. Image titled Hold a Polish American Wedding Reception Step 2
    Do the Sto Lat Toast. Sto Lat, which literally means 100 years, is a Polish toast sung by the guests that signifies 100 years of good health for the bride and groom. This is usually sung immediately after the Bread, Wine, Salt and Silver Ceremony.
  3. Image titled Hold a Polish American Wedding Reception Step 3
    Do the Bridal Veil Traditions.
    • Placing of the Veil. The mother of the bride may choose to place the veil on the bride before the wedding ceremony to symbolize her last task that a Mother does on behalf of her girl before she becomes a married woman.
    • Unveiling at the wedding reception. Everyone forms a circle around the bride. Her mother takes the bride's veil off (symbolizing the bride's becoming a woman). The bride’s veil is replaced with a wreath or a lace “czypeck”. A cord with tiny doll in pink and blue is draped around her neck which signifies the woman assuming her married responsibilities. Sometimes this cord has baby dolls attached. Upon occasion, the bride will toss her veil to the unmarried females instead of her bouquet. A goofy hat is placed on the groom’s head to ensure that the marriage is filled with fun and happiness. (This hat is covered with ribbons from the bride's bridal shower.)
  4. Image titled Hold a Polish American Wedding Reception Step 4
    Hold the Money Dance (also called the Small or Apron Dance). This tradition aims to earn the new couple paper money for their honeymoon. A matron of the bride's family wears an apron and guests buy the right to dance with the new bride. Sometimes guests pin paper money to her veil or tuck bills into a special bridal purse instead of the matron's apron. Other variations include:
    • Guests throw money into the bride's veil, which is on the floor as the bride and groom stand in the middle of a circle made by the guests.
    • As the band plays a polka and guests line up to dance with the bride. The maid of honor wears an apron and collects the money given by the guest for the dance. After all guests have danced with the bride, they form a tight circle around the bride. The groom tries to break through the circle while the guests try hard to keep him out. Once he breaks through, he picks up his bride and carries her away to their honeymoon.


  • Enjoy your Polish wedding traditions as they will create memories that you will cherish throughout your life.

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Categories: Ceremony & Reception