Take advantage of Katarzyna Gajek’s valuable advice - she’s a wedding industry expert and a woman with passion!
Agata Piasecka: What types of weddings do Polish women dream about?
Katarzyna Gajek, a wedding planner*:
Some of them dream of royal parties. For this one day and this one night they want to become princesses. Sometimes they want to make their childhood dreams come true. Others prefer to celebrate in nature, in an eco-style.
But there are also ladies who prefer a modest family celebration in a historic barn or in tents. However, there is a common denominator of all these ideas. Every woman dreams of a successful wedding and reception, without any problems, wonderful elation, stunning photos and impeccable appearance, as well as Italian weather.
What is the most common bone of contention when planning a wedding?
People differ in preferences, tastes, expected aesthetics or attitudes to spending money. For many young couples, planning a wedding is often the first “joint project”, so during its implementation the partners get to know each other better, argue and work out compromises. Weddings are a woman’s world. Which doesn’t mean men don’t take marriage seriously. The discrepancies concern whether it is to be a modest or sumptuous party, or whether the wedding is to be civil or concordat. In 90 percent of couples differences arise in terms of expenditure. What is obvious to women dumbfounds men.
What is the average wedding budget?
According to Central Statistical Office’s data, it is PLN 40000. However in my experience, that amount is higher, it fluctuates around PLN 50000-60000 for a wedding for 80-100 persons. During wedding weekends, filled with attractions and taking into account guest accommodation as well as travel costs, etc. sometimes it is well over PLN 100,000. Polish weddings and receptions are quite expensive.
Are parents still paying for the wedding?
Since I have been organizing weddings, that is for over 10 years, most of my clients are couples who finance their wedding and the reception by themselves. One in every 20 couples have significant financial assistance from their parents. Statistics show that Poles decide to marry later and later in life, when they are usually independent and, apart from some minor involvement of their parents, they pay for everything themselves. For many parents, however, it is a point of honor to make a financial contribution and they try to do so as best they can.
How long does it usually take to plan a wedding?
It has been assumed that it is worth to start the planning process 12 months ahead of schedule. However, the duration of the planning process depends on whether we act independently or decide to be supported by the wedding planner. When planning a wedding by ourselves, I strongly recommend that you allocate more time for the preparations. Me and my team often work with couples who come to us 6 months before their set date, and sometimes even 2-3 months before it. Although we also plan events 1.5 years ahead of schedule. The more time we have, the wider the range of possibilities.
What does “last minute wedding” mean?
Last minute is in Polish realities about 2 months ahead of schedule. In a very short time, you have to make a lot of decisions.
What is the most fashionable wedding gift nowadays?
A request not to gift flowers is becoming more and more popular. Instead, we like to get books, lotto tickets or wine. When it comes to gifts, couples often ask for cash. Although some believe that it is not appropriate to ask for money directly or suggest what you would like to receive. A lot of couples get married while already living together, so I recommend creating a gift list. An interesting solution is also to collect cash for a predetermined purpose, e.g. a trip to New Zealand or a work of art. And so one thing is chosen by the couple, and the guests gift cash or make bank transfers to purchase it.
What is the most popular wedding theme?
The outfits and hairstyles of the Bride & Groom are influenced by current trends from the catwalks. The decorations are influenced by current architectural or interior design trends. Recently, outdoor wedding ceremonies and receptions became very popular, so natural, eco, vintage or DYI motifs are very trendy. As are natural colors and materials.
Do a lot of couples choose outdoor weddings?
Many couples dream of outdoor weddings, outside of a registry office. Favourite outdoor choices include gardens, palaces, mansions, castles, as well as beaches or mountain halls. Of course, several conditions must be met for such a wedding to take place: the place and conditions must be safe both for the official and for the guests, the place must be worthy of the rank of the ceremony. You also need to have a plan for weather surprises.
What is the most extravagant wedding?
Is it extravagance to organize a wedding in the middle of winter and additionally at 7.30 a.m., because that was the numerologist’s advice? Is it extravagance to organize a three-day wedding weekend for several hundred guests? Probably yes. Although these types of requests do not surprise me at all.
*Katarzyna Gajek, a wedding planner, organized weddings of Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Katarzyna Zielińska and Marta Żmuda-Trzebiatowska. Author of the book “Perfect Wedding – a practical wedding planner’s guide for couples planning a wedding and reception”.
Wedding Fair at the National
This weekend, the PGE National Stadium will transform into a place dedicated to weddings. During the Wedding Fair, the future married couples will be able to get advice on any matter from a wedding rings choice to the wedding wreath. It will be especially worth seeing a wedding dresses show or a fashion show of the Paprocki & Brzozowski duo – Saturday at 3.30 p.m. Admission to the fair – PLN 20.