Wedding traditions in the western region of Eastern Europe is very simple, but yet done with a sense of history in each of their wedding ceremonies and receptions. For countries such as the Czech Republic and Poland, their history's go back for hundreds of years and yet their traditions continue, to go along with a more modern take as well.
- Sometime before the wedding, friends of the bride will usually plant a tree somewhere in her yard. The tree is then decorated with ribbons and egg shells that have been brightly painted.
- Often they would place an infant child on to the couple's bed to symbolize the couple's fertility.
- Also to ensure fertility, after the ceremony, rice, peas or lentils are tossed at the new couple.
- After the ceremony, tradition is that the couple together will break plates. The more the pieces, the more success that their marriage will have. Despite the fun of breaking plates, the couple has to work together to clean up the mess to show they are in unison with one another and this represents that they are together from this point forward.
- At the reception, the couple will eat soup together. The couples are bound together and are expected to eat the soup sharing one spoon. This tradition symbolizes the couple's ability to overcome potential difficulties together.
- The groom has the choice of either doing the traditional garter belt toss or they can auction it off so that they can use the money towards their new beginning.
- When the timing is right, often the groom's friends will kidnap the bride. If the groom does not find her quick enough, he must pay for her return.
- Once the new couple reaches their new home, the ceremony officially is over.
He will carry his new bride over the threshold. Therefore, guaranteeing the demons are not awakened.
- It is custom for couple's parents to buy them rye bread that has a touch of salt on it, along with some wine. The salt represents that life will have its hurdles, the bread means the couple will never go hungry and the wine brings happiness and health.
- An old Polish tradition is that a single woman would wear her hair in one braid. The night prior to her wedding, her mom and another married relative would rebraid her hair into two braids, which now means there is now another person involved. Once the ceremony is over, the braids come out. This tradition is called the "rebraiding of the bride's hair."
- As her last duty of being the mother, the mother of the bride will place the veil on the bride before the wedding.
- In the event the wedding is in the morning, it is custom to have a short luncheon right after. Then in the evening, everyone returns for a long reception.
- The bride's bouquet is usually made up in red and white flowers to represent the country of Poland's colors. This is known to bring the bride good luck. To also bring the bride and to others involved healing, love and remembrance, rosemary and other herbs are included into the bouquet.
- Polish reception ceremonies include many traditional songs and dances. The song, "Twelve Angels" is usually played when the bride transfers her veil and the good luck that comes with it, to her bridal party. After the veil has been passed on, the bride then dons a wreath or a lace, known as a czypeck. It is a symbol that the bride is now taking on her marital duties as she wears this cord around her neck that includes a pink and blue tiny doll on it. Other dances include mazurkas and polkas, as well as poloniaise and kujawiak. The couple will dance the Polish Wedding March.
- There is quite a bit of food at a Polish ceremony. From cheeses to meats to various desserts, food is never at a loss. However, the popular Polish goulash dish is generally not seen as it is not considered a proper dish for this sort of celebratorial magnitude. The same goes for the drinking, as there is plenty of wine and spirits for all to enjoy.
- After the feast, the toasts begin. The na zdrowie is a toast that brings good health to the couple. The sto lat offers them a life of happiness for a hundred years.
- A bride that does not spill her wine on her is blessed with good luck.