For Paulina Antczak and Jacson Bevens of Bellingham, the language of love is Polish.
Paulina, 27, was born in Poland and moved to the U.S. when she was 7. When Jacson proposed to her, he had her mother help him write “Will you marry me?” in Polish. Jacson, 32, attached the note to Paulina’s pug. They went to Zuanich Point Park, and Jacson had friends wait in the bushes to send the pug running to her with the note as Jacson got down on one knee.
They married Sept. 5, 2015, and Poland played a role in their reception.
“I had to have a wedding without my uncles, my aunts, my cousins; they couldn’t afford to fly here,” Paulina says of her relatives in Poland. “It was important for people to understand where my family comes from. ... I wanted to have something that made my family in Poland know that, although you aren’t here, we’re thinking of you.”
The couple works together at Healthy Living Center in Bellingham, where Jacson is manager of patient services and Paulina is office manager. Paulina also works at her family’s business, Fairhaven Floors, and Jacson writes and podcasts for the Seahawks website Field Gulls.
They had their wedding ceremony on a property on Lake Whatcom and held their reception at a nearby restaurant, The Fork at Agate Bay. Following a Polish tradition, when the couple entered the reception, their parents gave them bread and salt, so they will never know hunger and their life will be full of flavor.
My favorite memory was seeing Paulina walk down the aisle. She looked incredible, like a goddess.
Jacson Bevens, groom
To honor her grandmother, who died earlier in the year, and her grandfather, who had a stroke and couldn’t travel from Poland, Paulina signed the wedding license with a calligraphy pen they had given her when she graduated from Western Washington University. It was the first time she used the pen.
She also wore a flower halo that her grandmother had sent her from Poland to wear for her communion when she was a girl. Her mom found the halo when she was shopping for a dress, and though it was a bit worn and missing a few petals, it looked beautiful with her dress.
“My favorite memory was seeing Paulina walk down the aisle,” Jacson says. “She looked incredible, like a goddess. I remember leaning over to the pastor and asking ‘Is that mine?’ I cried as soon as I laid eyes on her.”
Paulina was thankful to be able to share her culture on her big day, and grateful to Jacson for embracing it.
All of our friends just blended in with the Polish culture.
Paulina Antczak, bridge
“American weddings are a little different,” she says. “It was really important for my mom to have the bread and the kielbasa and certain foods. I knew it was important to her and he understood that. He’s so perfect for being so open to having our friends experience that.”
Their friends definitely didn’t mind the Polish touches, especially on the dance floor, where her mom busted a rug much of the night.
“Nineties rap would come on and then it would switch to Polish music, and they just got into it. It was a blast,” Paulina says. “All of our friends just blended in with the Polish culture.”
For their honeymoon, they plan to spend two weeks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in February. Since their reception was smaller, about 90 people narrowed down from a guest list of 260, they invited their friends who couldn’t make it to join them for their first week in Mexico. So far, about 45 are making the trip.
If it’s anything like the wedding, it will be an unforgettable blast.
“We just want to have a big party,” Paulina says.
Photos by JTobiason Photography