12thPolish National Meeting of Couples Who Had Non-Alcoholic Wedding Celebrations

Wedding of the Weddings 2006

Wroc³aw (Poland), 28-31.7.2006

The 2006 meeting of couples that married without alcohol, took place in Wroclaw. Wroclaw is a big city in the south west of Poland, having a long history of development and declines. The organizers of the meeting could clearly see how spreading of the culture of sobriety was needed in the town. They were unable to hire a bus at any rent-a-bus service because ... All the available drivers had so called three day run or five day run (a stage of alcoholism). As a last resort they took the driver license training bus with the instructor.

We lived in student dormitories of the famous Wroclaw University of Technology. We had breakfasts, lunches and suppers at university restaurant and the wedding reception took place at professors' restaurant there.

The children (there were over 80 of them) had a guided tour through the wonderful Wroclaw Zoo. The adults met the representatives of the city council at one of university faculties. Several reporters from local press were present there also.

We had the chance to see the Panorama Raclawicka. It is an immense painting put together in a circle so that the viewer has the impression to be in the middle of a large battle field. The depicted Battle of Raclawice was one of the few victories of the 18th century Poland fighting against the invaders that came to occupy its territory forever, and managed to rule it for the next 123 years. But the battle of Raclawice demonstrated that the invaders can be defeated in the future. It also demonstrated that the peasants are prominent carrier of the spirit of Polish Nation. Ancestors of some of the participants of the Wedding of the Weddings were among the depicted Polish peasants.

The wedding anniversary church service was celebrated in the Wroclaw achicathedral by the local bishop. In his sermon he stressed that he is abstinent himself. He pointed at the importance of the witness of the present couples because the nonalcoholic wedding is the intrinsically Christian wedding.

After the service the participants marched through the old town following a big gorale orchestra that later played for us during the wedding reception.

The wedding reception was not only a time of joy, dancing, games for children, but also a time for ripening of a great idea, that of founding the Wedding of the Weddings Association for promotion of nonalcoholic weddings, which became reality on the next day with the foundation act signed by the vast majority of participants.

Father Zazel who initiated the meetings, agreed only to become the vice-president of the Association, leaving the chair of the president to a representative of the couples.

So one of the organizers of a former meting was elected together with his wife. Now a long lasting procedure of registration had to be started, which was to be completed in ten month. In Poland we have a relict of the communism that there can exist no private society of more than 15 members. Any association needs to be approved by a court , entered into a nation wide registry together with names of the governing board (president, vice-president etc.)

The 2006 meeting ended in the Chapel of Skulls where it began. The chapel is devoted to the six victims of Katyn the skulls of whom were found in the Wroclaw University medical archive many years after world war two. Many memories of the bloody and cruel war were recalled in those days.

We thank to bishops of Wroc³aw, local and regional authorities, lecturers, preachers, artists, governmental and non-governmental organisations and volunteers for support for this event.