Allegra Banquets of Villa Park | Chicago Wedding Photographer Bozena Voytko
On the last weekend of August, I accepted an invitation to document a gorgeous traditional Polish wedding. Certainly, it was extremely dear to my heart since it made me think of my nation and Polish customs.
Despite the fact that I have been a wedding photographer in Chicago area for a while, this was the first Polish wedding I photographed this year. I was ecstatic to take part in that fantastic occasion.
Getting ready to walk life together.
The day began at their home where Justina was getting ready with the rest of her ladies. Zach and the guys prepped at the Hyatt Rosemont.
Despite many couples choosing to do a first look prior to the ceremony, Justina and Zach first saw one another as they walked down the lovely aisle. Superstition holds that seeing the bride in her bridal gown can cause a bad luck.
To make the atmosphere really special, we had musical accompaniment. The band brought a unique mix of folk songs for all to enjoy.
According to tradition, the bride is selecting the wedding dress together with the bridesmaid and keeps it a secret. Zack’s face lid up when Justyna walked into the church. He was astonished by how gorgeous she looked.
Ceremony at St. Hyacinth Basilica Chicago.
Their ceremony was in the heart of the Chicago Polish community “Jackowo” in St. Hyacinth Basilica Roman Catholic Church. The remarkable architecture of the church dates back to 1894! The Polish Cathedral style church, in its opulence and grand scale, made the wedding feel royal.
Wedding Portraits around the Lincoln Park Zoo Honeycomb
Justyna and Zack had their portraits taken at The Lincoln Park Zoo’s Honeycomb on the nature boardwalk in Lincoln Park, Chicago. The honeycomb is a gorgeous setting on a sunny day. The view is incredible!
You can rent out the honeycomb in Lincoln Park Zoo for events. This is a very common spot for Chicago wedding photographers to do engagement session. As well one of my favorites.
In late April the green is at its full bloom on the trees, so we primarily used the Honeycomb for portraits.
Few traditions of Polish wedding you will never forget.
It appears to be one of the most significant and well-established traditions, and it may also be the most heartfelt part of the entire wedding day. Parents, grandparents, godparents, and witnesses assemble in the home before the wedding ceremony. According to Polish tradition the young couple kneeled before their parents. The parents typically address them in a few phrases about a new way of living before blessing them by dousing their heads with blessed water and handing them a cross to kiss. After completing this important ritual all family and guests proceed to the church.
Welcomed with bread and salt.
After the ceremony, the couple was welcomed with bread and salt before the wedding began. This custom is to ensure prosperity, happiness, and eternal love for the newlyweds. Bread is the staple food and salt is a food preservation component. Hence, its presence ensures that love will last.
Additionally, the tradition is that bread and salt are washed down with water or vodka. Superstition says that the person who chooses a glass filled with alcohol will rule the marriage. After making a toast, the young couple throws their glasses behind themselves. The more broken glass fragments, the happier the marriage will be.
Another funny ritual on polish wedding is to create so cold “gates”. Usually, family and friends of the bride would put up a roadblock of some type to keep her from going. This is just a performance. The groom will then try to “bribe” them with some vodka or money, in order for them to let her pass through the gate and leave with him.
The wedding gate has introduced a lot of laughter and relaxed everyone. Despite some may think that this is a gaudy and unneeded component of pre-wedding games all guest simply loved it!
Allegra Banquets Chicago venue an perfect location for reception.
From Lincoln Park we rode to an astonishing Chicago venue Allegra Banquets of Villa Park. Their food is delicious, the speeches were sweet, and the live band was incredible.
Dancing and fun to the end of days.
Further down the day, the big moment has arrived. The bride and groom shared their first dance. This performance was particularly incredible as the couple seemed to hover over the Avalon banquet floor. Once people started to feel happy, loose and well-fed that’s when the dancing began.
Big thanks to Justyna & Zack having me to photograph their wedding, and to all the incredible Chicago wedding vendors who helped pull off this wedding day. Enjoy looking through these wedding photos.
Venue:// Allegra Banquets
Officiant:// Fr. Tom and fr. Dan
Florist:// Ogrodek Flowers Inc.
Portraits location:// Lincoln Park Zoo Honeycomb
Bride’s gown:// Reddington bridal
Shoes:// Jimmy Choo
Hair:// Daniella Kosta
Make up:// Daniella Kosta
Cake:// Hannah’s bakery
Jewelry:// James and sons
DJ:// Sound of mind
Bridesmaids dresses:// Dessy.com
Photography:// Bozena Voytko Photography
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