Not sure if the guests would be down for lutefisk and haggis ...
July 24, 2008 1:09 PM   Subscribe

What are some interesting Scottish (bride) and Swedish (groom) wedding traditions?

My family is mainly Swedish and my fiancée's is primarily Scottish. We're getting married in just over a year and would like to incorporate some wedding traditions from our various lineages. We've done a bit of searching but are interested in things people have seen that have or have not worked well.

So far we've got a bagpiper and the bride will be wearing flowers in her hair as a pseudo-bridal crown. I considered wearing a full kilt, but we decided it's a little to poseur for us and our families (but once we're married, it's totally fair game). The wedding will be outside and is not religious at all. I'll be happy to follow-up with any other details should that make a difference. Thanks!
posted by Nelsormensch to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In Sweden it is traditional for the groom to give a piece of jewlery, usually a necklace, to the bride on the morning after the wedding, it is called the morgongåva (morning gift). Origionally the bride wasn't entitled to inherit her husband, and this was what she got instead.

The couple usually enter the church (or otherwise) together these days as "giving away" has fallen out of fashion.

There may well be regional specialities I can look up for you if you know where from, otherwise, consider reading up a little on the Swedish tradition of skåling, or raising your glass to eachother, as this is ritualised and formalised in Swedish culture.
posted by Iteki at 1:56 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm scratching my head to think of things peculiar to Scottish brides, but it's difficult, as I don't know what counts. Do other countries have hen nights?

Um. You could get the bride to lead the women dancing the slosh, that's always worth a chuckle and is a Scottish thing, I think.
posted by bonaldi at 2:02 PM on July 24, 2008

You can hammer on an anvil... but I think that may be just a Gretna Green thing rather than Scottish in general. (Well, I trust you are not eloping!)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:02 PM on July 24, 2008

The couple usually enter the church (or otherwise) together these days as "giving away" has fallen out of fashion.

At my recent (American) wedding, my husband and I walked down the aisle together, and it was incredibly meaningful for the both of us (it also helped keep me from crying, as I didn't have to look at him until we were at the front). Just my two cents.
posted by muddgirl at 2:09 PM on July 24, 2008

How about incorporating traditional dances in the reception? I recently attended a Scottish/ Armenian wedding that featured performances from a Highland dance troupe and a traditional Armenian dance troupe. They also taught all the guests a traditional Armenian dance, which was a lot of fun to watch.
posted by platinum at 2:25 PM on July 24, 2008

How about a "Brudbåge", i.e. the "Bride's Arch"?

It's an archway that is covered in leaves and flowers [birch leaves, traditionally]. It is placed somewhere over the aisle in church (I've seen ones either at the far back, or in the middle of the church), and the bride and groom walk under it on the way to/from the altar.

The archway is then moved from the church to the location of the dinner, and set over the place where the bride and groom is sitting. Example 1, Example 2
posted by gemmy at 6:36 PM on July 24, 2008

At many Scottish weddings I've been to, the bride and groom share a quaich of whiskey with the piper, who then toasts their marriage (often in Gaelic). Mind you, this is more common in military marriages, not sure if it's widely done by civilians (a lot of my friends are soldiers).
posted by Happy Dave at 1:37 AM on July 25, 2008

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