This weekend saw the long awaited wedding of one of my closest friends from Warsaw which took place at the Hotel Jabłon near Pisz in Mazury. As Friday was Independence Day in Poland, we all made it a long weekend which meant beer started to be drank on Thursday night and most people stopped early this morning before driving home. This is the real difference between an English and a Polish wedding and why so many ex-pats prefer the Polish version!
For the second time this year I had the privilege of being asked to be best man. Following a successful stag night out a few weeks ago, the pressure was now on to deliver a speech in front of 80 something people. A daunting task, but I have to say I had a bit of a chuckle writing it and most of the jokes went down well with the audience.
Some highlights of the weekend were sitting around the bonfire on Friday night drinking beers, even though it was ca. 5C outside. Everybody intended to switch off for a few days and relax with the focus being to wind the groom up as much as possible before the big day. As the pressure built, it was clear the groom was nervous, but unfortunately he should have chosen a different best man and more understanding mates if he expected to receive any reassurance from them!
08:00 on the big day, four of us gathered outside the groom’s bedroom, woke him from his deep, alcohol-induced slumber and dragged him across the frost laden grass to the lakeside in his swimming shorts. A very quick strip, and with false male bravado, we all held hands (purely to ensure one-for-all) and ran headlong into the lake accompanied by various girly screams. Bearing in mind the air temperature was below zero, the water was nad-numbingly icy! We all managed to get fully submerged before legging it out to shore to dry off before our extremities fell off. All caught on video, along with the groom getting out of the water the fastest! If he was half asleep before, he was wide-awake when he left the lake.
After the short ceremony in the civil service office in Pisz, we all drove back to the hotel for the dinner and speeches, followed by more hours of drinking, dancing and general banter. Unbeknownst to me, a few of the guys had a sweepstake on how long the speeches would take. As I informed them with a straight face that there would be four speeches, each translated into 3 languages, many bets were over the 30 minute mark and way off. The final time was apparently just over 12 minutes and the winner was Scatts who kindly donated his winnings to the happy couple’s holiday fund. A good idea for the future.
As the night progressed, the bride and groom became more relaxed and the pressure seemed to lift. However, I didn’t quite think that my role as best man was complete, so I gathered a few of the guys together and we lifted their room key and headed to the bridal suite. As a result, their mattress was moved to the stairs to the next floor out of sight of their room, the bathroom light bulbs were removed and cling film was stretched tightly over the toilet seat. This morning we heard that the bride was the first to use the toilet after drinking too much vodka and that they slept all night in their bed not realising that the mattress was missing.
Ah, so many happy memories, and not just for the bride and groom. Everyone agreed it was a fantastic spot in Mazury and a thoroughly entertaining weekend with friends. Personally I think the hangover will hit on Wednesday.