I have had the privilege to attend a Swedish wedding when my good friends Anna and Jörgen got married in 2012. With the royal wedding that just happened, and with my own wedding planning starting for 2016, I have weddings on the brain!
I knew some Swedish wedding traditions from my own experiences, and I decided to look up what other traditions I may have missed. Here is what I found.
1. The Bride is Not Given Away By Her Father
I think this is so very, very, cool. The bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together. In fact, when Crown Princess Victoria got married and wanted her father, King Carl, to walk her down the aisle, there was a bit of an uproar (if you think about it, it is kinda sexist).
While my American fiancé isn’t down with all the traditions, I am going to steal this one a bit. I plan on walking down the aisle by myself (or I may have my bonus kids give me away).
2. Simplicity: One Bride’s Maid, One Groom’s Man
Sometimes it is best to keep it simple. In Sweden, there is not the tradition of having a huge wedding party. Instead, if there is any wedding party, it is one for each the bride and the groom.
Sweden. Simple and elegant. Love it.
3. The Bride Has Coins in Her Shoes
She has a silver coin in her left shoe and a gold coin in her right shoe (or perhaps vise versa), given by her parents. The tradition is, that with this, she will never be without.
4. Serve Your Own Cake
I remember that I was very impressed with at Anna and Jörgen’s wedding. When it was time to serve cake, we didn’t have anybody serving it for us. We all went up and grabbed a piece, cutting our own slices. I remember being worried, as I watched the line and the cake dwindle. Of course, in perfect Swedish fashion, everyone took just enough and not too much. There was probably only one or two pieces of cake left after everyone had taken a slice. I was very impressed!
5. Pay Your Way
I absolutely love this tradition. When I received the invitation to this wedding, instead of gifts they were requesting that I paid for my food for the wedding. Anna and Jörgen already lived together, they didn’t need any housewarming gifts. Why not help them save money for their celebration?
6. Three Rings
I thought this was a fun tradition as well, which I didn’t know about. In Sweden, instead of getting two rings, women get three. One for the engagement, one for the marriage, and then one for when the couple becomes parents. Who wouldn’t want another ring?
7. Kiss the Bride
It’s not only the groom that gets to kiss the bride in Sweden. Apparently, if the groom ever leaves the room, then the bride is open to receive kisses (usually on the cheek) from anybody who is willing. Same goes for the groom as well when the bride leaves.
Now I had no idea this was a tradition of sorts, but this is exactly how Anna and Jörgen’s wedding was. Instead of having one long table, the wedding seating is usually in a u-shape. Not only that, but Swedes tend to mix things up with the seatings so strangers have the chance to get to know each other.
9. Throwing of Rice
Well, I know this is common in America too. (or maybe less because rice is supposed to be bad for birds. Apparently, that isn’t true though.) Throwing rice at a couple when they leave the church is a tradition in Sweden. Apparently, it goes way back to the Roman times, and was either done to help the couple be fertile or to banish evil spirits. In any case, it is a fun tradition.
10. Don’t Wear Red
Wow, I was lucky I didn’t pick out a red dress for the Swedish wedding, cause I didn’t know about this. It seems that if a woman wears red to a wedding in Sweden, it means she slept with the groom. Is it normal to be that obvious though?
What is your favorite wedding traditions? Is there anything I’m missing?