The venue for the celebration was at the Thistle Inn, Thornton, Wellington, which is the oldest pub in New Zealand, the pub is full of charm and rich in history including stories of Maori Chief Te Rauparaha who used to pull up in his waka (canoe) outside the bar in the early 1840s and legend goes that bar staff were too fearful of him to charge him for his drinks, so he drank for free.
Rafal and Helen’s ceremony took place in the upper level of the Thistle Inn, aptly named the Katherine Mansfield Room, where Katherine Mansfield a famous New Zealand writer, used to write poetry in this room.
Coinciding with it being St Patrick’s Day, 17 March 2018, the Thistle Inn venue set a celebratory atmosphere.
I researched a bit (thanks Google!) and found out there are a number of different traditions at a Polish wedding, which differ from a New Zealand wedding. If you’re at a Polish wedding, the name of the month probably contains the letter "r" (in Polish, that includes March, June, August, September, October and December). It’s thought that these months will bring good luck to a marriage.
Also check out the Helen’s shoes. Tradition has it that they mustn’t be open-toed – future wealth and fortune would fly right through the open toes.
The ceremony flowers and cake featured pinks and the reception blues. Despite what some were thinking, it wasn't a wedding and a gender reveal party.... Along with a New Zealand feel by adding paua (abalone) shell to the tables.
With a five minute photoshoot and then in a relaxed setting, Helen and Rafal greeted family and drank champagne before the big moment of becoming husband and wife.
Pinky Agnew officiated the ceremony. She spoke about how Rafal and Helen chose their home town in Wellington to hold the ceremony with immediate family and also how Helen and Rafal had been through a lot already together, especially the way Rafal cared for Helen after her motorbike accident.
Everyone in the family had a role to play in the wedding, Helen’s father Chris, gave Helen away and the mothers, Diane and Wanda, presented the wedding rings for exchanging.
Rafal’s parents, Roman and Wanda, presented Helen and Rafal with bread. This gift of bread is symbolic – bread is offered so that the couple may never know hunger. They also presented the couple with two glasses – one of vodka, one of water. They selected a glass each. Tradition says that whoever ends up with the glass of vodka will ‘wear the pants’ in the relationship. Can you guess who got which glass?
We then sat down for a lovely post ceremony meal.
Rafal and Helen designed a unique personalised wedding. A lovely coming together of two families.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Janaszkiewicz! May you continue to love, support and be happy with one another.
More photos of their day are below.
Celebrant - Pinky Agnew http://www.pinkyagnew.com
Venue - Thistle Inn https://www.thistleinn.co.nz
Natalie Pasco Photography