In the last month I have tripled the amount of weddings I have attended. The last four weekends = four weddings, and I ain’t even complaining. Well, I am lying a bit. There were actually three weddings, where one of which where held over two different weekends. They were all very beautiful, but that is (mainly) not what I am going to talk about. Oh no, we have a serious matter at hand: Danish wedding traditions.
The Danes have mostly the same traditions as the rest of Scandinavia, but it seems like they didn’t think it was enough, so they added some of their own. Since I have been to two Danish weddings and one Norwegian during the last month, I have gotten to study this more closely.
I really don’t know where to begin. There are so much craziness going on at these weddings.
We get to the venue of the wedding dinner and party and everything seems normal. There’s a couple of speeches and the usual awkward specially written songs. Suddenly someone starts tapping their glasses and plates with their cutlery. I know this one, it means the newlyweds have to kiss. And they do and everyone cheer. But then they start making other noises and the couple have to crawl under the table and up on the chairs. I don’t even… Don’t they know how awful it is moving in a corset and crinoline? It’s torture! Let alone crawl around?! What is this sadism on the poor bride?!
The Danes are apparently very fond of kissing. At one point I was told that I had to go up to the groom and kiss him, although I have met him once before in my life and he is a complete stranger to me. Not to mention that he got married today. This was the most awkward tradition. The tradition is that whenever one of the couple leave the room, the rest of the party is supposed to kiss the person still sitting at the table.
I survived the dinner with just a few embarrassments. Then there were time for the bridal waltz! I have always thought this was such a romantic moment. And it was.. until the party surrounded the couple so they couldn’t move, then they picked the groom of the floor, ripped of his shoes and cut his socks. Yeah, you heard me, they ruined the probably quite expensive and probably brand new socks. Why, you ask me. I cannot find a reasonable answer. (Then again, the Danes aren’t known for being extremely logical.. just take a look at their number system). I did some research and it turns out that they are supposed to do the same with the bride’s veil. The more ripped up it is, the more happiness they get. Lucky for the them they didn’t wear a veil.
And then there are some traditions which I didn’t witness, but have later read about. I think it’s mainly old traditions though (or so I hope), because I would be pissed if this happened to me at my wedding: The couple have to sneak away from the party without anyone noticing so the groom’s friends won’t follow them. They also have to keep the wedding night venue a secret so the groom’s friends won’t find it. If they do they will ruin the room, spread bread crumbs over the bed and generally try to ruin the wedding night as much as possible. I guess the groom didn’t have such good friends back in the day.
This last one I am pretty sure is really old, because it would be looked upon as very kinky in modern age. You know there is always someone who plays the role of witnesses during a wedding? Well, their true purpose was to witness the wedding night so that they would know that the wedding was legally binding. Yeah, I would think that was pretty kinky to, but if you’re in to that kind of thing, who am I to judge?
But all jokes aside, I love traditions and it’s so beautiful to be witness (not that kind of witness) to this kind of celebration of love. Hooray!