9thPolish National Meeting of Couples Who Had Non-Alcoholic Wedding Celebrations

Wedding of the Weddings 2003

LudŸmierz (Poland), 2003

LudŸmierz is a small but beatiful village in south eastern Poland in the county of Nowy Targ, some 85 km south from Kraków. It is said that LudŸmierz is the oldest village in Podhale. It is an important sanctuary of Our Lady of Podhale. The building of the church was erected by 1238.

On June 7, 1997, LudŸmierz hosted Pope John Paul II, where he said the rosary in the sanctuary's Rosary Garden.

The four day long celebrations of the 2003 Wedding of the Weddings were held in the local House of Podhalans, which is hosting a primary school and is equipped with a large conference room (visible in the photography).

But it was not the only place we visited during that event. We had a Holy Mass in the Krzeptówki Sanctuary in Zakopane where also the wedding reception was hosted. we took part in a raft excursion along the Dunajec river, visited the Nidzica castle and the nail-free wooden church of Dębne where Fr. Zšzel was baptized.

The meeting was attended also by two bishops: Bishop Stefanek, who held a conference for us and celebrated the Mass in Krzeptówki on Saturday and the Archbishof Franciszek Cardinal Macharski of Kraków on Sunday, who celebrated the Mass in LudŸmierz sanctuary and attended a conference organized by the local public authorities where also several Members of Parliament held speeches.

Several lectures were given by local sobriety activists.

The oldest participating couple married 50 years ago. The tradition of non-alcoholic wedding is that long. Attendees came not only from various corners of Poland, but also from France and Germany.

A great number of children among the participants is a special feature of Wedding of the Weddings.

First of all because the participants have more children than the country average. An abstinent family of five persons can have one more child than neighbors with same income without any decrease in the standard of living.

Then it is always risky to take children to a typical wedding, whereas a nonalcoholic wedding reception is an occasion where you can take children without any fear, and additionally the children are specially cared for during the meetings.