National Wedding Traditions: Scandinavian Wedding

Scandinavian Wedding Traditions Wedding in Scandinavia is only the final stage of the long engagement which may last for three and even more years. This is done in order to let young people to know reach other better. This makes the marriage very serious and well-considered matter. Wedding traditions in Scandinavia date back to the Middle Ages. Traditionally, the wedding consists of three main stages: engagement, wedding ceremony and reception party. There is a tradition in Denmark to build a so-called Gate of Honor – pine arch of branches in front of the bride’s family house. During the wedding reception the groom disappears for some time to let the unmarried men kiss the bride. Later the bride disappears to allow unmarried women to kiss her groom. Another widespread tradition in Scandinavian countries is the cutting of the wedding cake by the couple who hold the knife together. All guests should eat the piece of cake, and this symbolizes the luck for the new family. Finnish bride wears a golden crown. An alternative to the western tradition of wedding bouquet throwing is the ‘crowning’: a bride in Finland is blindfolded and dances in the circle of the unmarried women – the one whom the bride crowns with the golden crown will marry soon. Norwegian brides wear silver crowns with small amulets hanging all over; the sound produced by these amulets is expected to frighten off the evil. Pine is honored in Scandinavia as the symbol of fertility and wellbeing. Norway tradition provides that the friends of the newly married plant two pine trees on each side of the front door of the newlyweds’ house. Prosperity in Sweden is provided by putting coins in the bride’s shoes: a mother puts gold coin in her right shoe, while father puts silver coin in her left shoe. Thus they hope to attract prosperity and wellbeing to their daughter so that she never experienced poverty. Swedish wives wear three golden rings: the first is the engagement ring, the second is the wedding ring, while the third is the ring of motherhood. Swedish newlyweds are expected to be not just couple, but a family.

Marco Douglas