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A Bohemian-Formal Wedding in Poland Complete with Farm Animals

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Bartosz Tylinski for Eelfiki Photography

Zuzanna Buchwald, a meditation teacher, model, and mental health advocate, and Count Graff Karl Ludwig Constantin Georg Julio Maria von Salm Hoogstraeten (or Ludifor short) met at a pool party in Southampton. Her Jack Russell Terrier jumped into the pool, where he was the only one swimming. We didnt date for five years, after we met, but to me, it was love at first sight, Zuzanna says. After two years of seeing each other seriously, he proposed twice! The first ask happened spontaneously during a music festival in Poland, and the second happened a few weeks later at their home in Southampton with flowers and his great grandmothers ring.

Their first of two weddings was mainly for their friends and some family in America, and their second was only for close family and friends. Since Zuzanna and her family are from Poland, the two decided to host their second in Lubin. For the ceremony, they chose the Benedictine Abbey, since the bride’s great grandmother used to attend services there. The reception was inspired by the Polish book and movie Pan Tadeusz and the Polish countryside. The venue they chose doubles as a farm animal sanctuary, so they wanted the animals to be incorporated too. With help from family and friends, they made their vision come to life. 

For her second time down the aisle, the bride repeated her first wedding dress (inspired by an Alexander McQueen runway look) and headpiece. Her reception look was a Spell dress with handmade flower crown and bouquet, made by her aunt. “I like that this dress is simple but not boring, and the lace details remind me of traditional Polish handicraft,” Zuzanna explains. The dress code for guests was “Bohemian Formal.”

The celebrations started with a short wedding mass led by Benedictine monks and accompanied by a 16-person choir. “Wedding or not, entering a small, ornate church from the 12th century run by monks is intimidating enough! Add the religious ceremony, all the guests, and the potent sound of the choir and you can imagine how nervous we were before walking into the church,” Zuzanna says. After the service, guests headed back to the property, where they were welcomed with a traditional offering of bread, salt, and a glass of mead. 

They managed to gather everyone into the courtyard for a group photo, and then the couple broke into the traditional Polonaise dance—an early first dance of the evening. For the barn supper, Polish staples were served with their vegan counterparts. “To follow tradition we had to pour the first toast (the choice was between vodka or mead) for everyone around the table ourselves for the first group toast simply to love!” Zuzanna shares. 

After dinner, Zuzanna’s father’s band, Roxana Tutaj and Good Omen, performed, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. They played the couple’s solo dance to an original song called “Fairytale.” Then, a DJ took over and kept everyone on their feet until sunrise.