musicwriter 5 | 87 13 Jan 2010 #1At Polish-style wedding receptions in Toledo, one custom that has died out is "the grand march". A banquet hall and polka band had to be reserved months in advance. On the evening of the wedding day, once the sit-down dinner was over with, the invited guests would go to the dance floor for an evening of merriment of dancing and drinking. Here's how the "grand march" was done:A table is set up in the middle of the dance floor. Adjacent to it are placed two chairs, one for the bride to sit on and one for the groom. A large box with a slot in the lid is placed on the table. That's for the guests to place an envelope containing a wedding card, which has a monetary enclosure in it. Also on the table are a couple bottles of whiskey and many shot glasses. Two men stand behind the table whose job is to pour shots.The guests line up single file forming a long line that might snake around the dance hall. One by one, they drop their envelope in the box, toss back a shot of booze, women kiss the bride and groom and congratulate them. Men kiss the bride, shake hands with the groom and congratulate them. During all this, the band is playing a march, usually 'Jak to na Wojęce £adnie'. After passing the married couple, the guests pair up two-by-two and join hands, holding arms up (like swords were held up in an honor guard for royalty). The next couple must crouch down a bit, pass through and join hands. This line keeps growing longer as more join the line. Once the last person has passed the married couple, the people go single file with hand on the hips of the person ahead, and proceed around the hall follow-the-leader style. Sometimes they even would go outdoors and then come back in. It was great fun providing you are in good shape.Another old custom that died out was "the unveiling" (czepić in Polish) It was done like this:A silly-looking was put on the groom's head. The ladies would form a circle around the married couple who are seated. The bride's mother slowly unfastens the bride's veil while the groom just sits and watches. During this ceremony the ladies sing a 12-verse song "Twelve Angels" (Dwanascie Anioła) in Polish. The band does not play it. In later years, the song had to be translated into English because the younger generation never learned to read or speak Polish.The custom of the bride tossing the bouquet of flowers is still widely practiced, as well as the groom removing the garter from the bride's thigh.