Sunday, September 7, 2008

My First Swedish Wedding (other than my own)

September 6th....a special day for two wonderful couples!

Fifty-six years ago on September 6, 1952 Polly and Paul Doughty became wife and husband! On September 6, 2008, Kristofer Nilsson and Frida Emmertz became husband and wife!

Saturday turned out to be a great day for a wedding in Bosarp, Skåne...warm and overcast but not eye-squitting sunny or humid! Bo's cousin, Kristofer married his sweet heart, Frida in an old church (1847) along the eastern coast of Sweden. (We were just there with my brother 3 weeks ago.) It was my first Swedish wedding, other than my own and I learned so many new things about getting married in Sweden! We had a lot of fun participating in the festivities, chatting with family and new friends, and eating delicious food....

This post is mostly for my mom and dad...they know the couple from family parties. But if you're interested, keep reading. It was a creative party!
Follow the photos to understand the day....(left to right, top to bottom) Click on the photos for a bigger size.
1) We drove to the restuarant where the reception dinner was to be held later in the day and parked the car. We all boarded two "vintage" buses and rode together to the 1847 Vitby Church (2) on the top of a hill. (3) The minister greeted us before the ceremony and the couple walked in together smiling to all the guests. (middle photo) The ceremony was sprinkled with palms and songs, prayers and oaths, tears and smiles, rings and kisses! (4) The couple rode in an old fashioned bright red firetruck decorated with branches, balloons and bells. The two buses followed and delivered us to a park (5) over looking the Baltic Sea. At this beach side park there were bronze-age rune stones (6) set in a circle around a central boulder. Just simply beautiful and historic! The wedding families gathered for photos and photos (7)...this is the Nilsson family. (8) Maya had a little chat with her Great-Uncle Bengt on the field. (9) The amature photographers were wild outside and inside...probably 1 million photos were taken! (10) Kristofer, Frida and Kristian (groom's brother) shared in the champagne toast. (11) Maya playing around with headless Bo (the program cut him off, not me!) (12) A lovely archway photo at the church.
After the spinach and salmon mini empanadas and champagne on the cliff, we boarded the buses again and rode back to the restaurant in Brosarp. Maya's Swedish grandparents took her home to our house (about an hour and a half away) so that Bo & I could relax and enjoy the evening. The dinner was delightfully fun...I wished my Swedish was better so that I could have understood ALL the jokes and stories but I did understand the geest of most of them.

(Follow the photos again by number...left to right)
Each guest received a little booklet at their place on the tables (1 & 2) . I sat across from Andrea, the bride's little gragarious sister with a loverly voice and Kristian, the groom's big brother (3). Our seating arrangement was in the little booklet and each guest had been assigned a number (4). Also in our little booklet, beside each of our numbers was a description of us! Yes, they wrote a personal note about each of the 90 guests!!! In the description, it said who we were with...mine said "She is married to no. 42." (5 & 6) That gave everyone a starting point for conversations although we had to do a little reading first! The dinner entertainment was completely organized by the hostess of ceremonies (toastmistress), Frida's cousin. Various friends and family stood up and read poems, sang songs, told jokes, gave helpful advice, etc. to the newlyweds! It was VERY TOUCHING! So loving, personal and FUNNY! One of the ideas that I just LOVED was from two of Frida's friends (7), they passed out papers (8) with all of the anniversaries on them (first anniversary - paper, 25- silver, 50- gold, etc....), we were to pick an anniversary then on another piece of paper write a note, wish, saying or whatever to the couple about the anniversary we picked, then place our personal message in an envelope with the number of anniversary on the outside. The two women in charge of this are going to send Frida and Kristofer the envelopes on those anniversaries! WOW...what a committed friendship! I choose Wedding Anniversary 28 - masonite- because that will be exactly half way to my parents anniversary 56th-- the day that K & F got married. PHOTO (9) shows one of the surprise visits....a char woman showed up and told silly jokes about love and marriage and she even sang a love song to the pair! (She's actually their dog's groomer who also is a part time actress.) PHOTO (10) shows one of the weirdest Swedish traditions....each time the groom leaves the room ALL the men are supposed to go over and kiss the bride on the cheek. And the same happens when the bride leaves the room...ALL the women jump up and go to kiss the groom. As you can see from Frida's face...this is the fun part of being the bride!

Another weird tradition they have is when you clang on the glasses, the newlyweds must kiss--OK, we have that in the USA, too...but here they must STAND ON THE CHAIRS! (I was nervous for Frida each time she stood up on the chair with her long train and high heeled shoes!) And if the guests thump on the table tops, that means the couple must go UNDER the TABLE to KISS! Poor bride! I was thinking if I was to get married again with a dinner like that I'd wear a sweatsuit bride's dress with all that climbing around! he he

After the dinner, we had cake and coffee and liquors....then the band started playing at 11:30pm. We watched for a while but as Bo is not a dancer, and I wasn't ready to make him start dancing...we decided to head home, arriving around 1:30 am....then we chatted with my in-laws for an hour before going to bed! What a fun evening!

It was a WONDERFUL event and I'm so glad that Bo and I went to ALL of it! And now I'm joining my friend Natalie in waiting patiently for my daughter's wedding...'cause I want to be involved with creating something like the wedding I went to on Saturday! (oops, I guess Maya should be the one to decide, huh?!) OK...someone else's daughter needs to get married soon! Let me know...I've got new ideas for you!


ranch100 said...

Carol - Hi, it's Steve in ATL! Found your blog by searching your name and Sweden. Things are good here. Two in high school and another almost there. Paul is married with two children and currently in Mobile. He's a career Aviator in the Coast Guard. Send me your email and I'll send pics.

Lori S-C said...

beautiful pictures
great looking couple! Thanks for sharing the customs!