Our Big Fat Polish Wedding Ceremony

My bridesmaids and I arrived at the church at 2:30pm, thirty minutes before our ceremony was to start, greeted by hundreds of people lingering around from the previous 1pm wedding (to my great dismay).  My DOC, Katie from Dettagli Weddings (fantastic, by the way), quickly ushered me inside to the bridal suite where I passed the just-married bride along the way.

All of these lovely images are by Missy Photography.

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Heading into the church escorted by Katie, my DOC, of Dettagli Weddings

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Passing the earlier bride on my way into the bridal suite

Minutes before I walked down the aisle, my uber-talented florist Jozef Cross presented  us with our bouquets and the flowergirls crowns at which point I literally cried because they were EXACTLY as I had envisioned them.

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Bridesmaids’ bouquets lush with white and green hydrangeas, accented by crisp foliage, tied with burlap and twine; and my bridal bouquet flushed with creamy peonies and framed by crisp foliage.

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Groomsmen’s boutonnieres of hydrangeas and groom’s peony bud.

Our bilingual ceremony was amazing and personal, as we  incorporated Polish and American Roman Catholic traditions. The church itself blew me and our guests away with its endless murals and amazing acoustics.  (When I asked our florist if I should add flowers to the ceremony, he looked at me seriously and said “I can’t compete with St. Mary’s.  That church is so beautiful if you spent 10 grand on it, no one would notice.  Save your money).  Love him. Our groomsmen looked dapper, our bridesmaids looked stunning, our parents regal, our flower girls and ring bearer were outrageously cute…

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My nieces and nephews in Polish folk costumes. Note my niece nephew walking barefoot.  LOL.

…and my husband was just damn-right smoking in his ivory jacket and tux.

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My handsome groom waiting for me

The thirty minutes before the ceremony were the hardest of my life.  The anticipation was insanely uncomfortable and I just wanted to be left alone.  As soon as I saw my groom though, that all changed.   I immediately became relaxed and very, very, VERY happy.  The pictures will speak for themselves (because Missy takes AMAZING ones).

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Entering the St. Mary of the Angels with my father, framed by the two angels on both sides, with my cathedral-length veil blowing in the wind; minutes before we got married

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Our amazing church, St. Mary of the Angels, Chicago, IL.

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Saying our vows with our faithful bridesmaids in tow.  (I’m very happy to report that 5 of my bridesmaids had already re-worn their JCrew dresses in the month after the wedding!); just moments after we were declared husband and wife!

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Woo hoo!

As we walked back up the aisle to the trumpet blaring, right after we were presented for the first time and husband and wife, we were greeted on the church steps by thousands of bubbles and by our extremely talented Polish Highlanders folk band looking festive in their folk costumes and singing their hearts out.  We and our guests lingered on the steps dancing and laughing away while the band played on (thankfully the weather was completely clear this whole time and it didn’t begin pouring until after we left the church), before we were finally ushered into our trolley for picture time.

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The Jan Bobek Trio Polish Highlanders

The pictures of us coming out of the church remain some of my favorites because there is just so much natural joy in everyone’s expressions that is impossible to duplicate.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, courtesy of our amazing photographer Melissa Murphy of Missy Photography in NYC, whose services we won on a wedding blog.

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My husband can’t look at these pictures without hitting himself on the head b/c his bowtie was crooked.  I think its cute.  It’s just us :)

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There were so many fabulous photos taken by Missy, it was hard choosing which ones to post! Next up: Time between the Ceremony and Reception (aka Party on the Trolley)