Danish Wedding Customs


Customs and beliefs are prevalent everywhere. Some are the same while others are unique depending upon the region or culture. After doing some research, it was very interesting to know that Denmark has quite a number of unique practices that I haven’t heard before. They make the wedding, reception and wedding night more interesting that the usual.
The most interesting superstition I found was the tradition of cross-dressing during the wedding to confuse evil spirits and keep them away from the couple. Yes, the groom wears a dress while the bride wears her soon to be husband’s garb. This of course is rarely practiced and can be considered as an old wives’ tale, but if the couple is up for it then it should be an interesting sight.

Here is a list of other Danish wedding traditions:

  • Some couples believe that keeping strong smelling herbs such as garlic, mint and rosemary attract good luck.
  • Before the wedding, a “Gate of Honor”, which is an arch of pine branches, is built outside the bride’s home. It is attached to the front door or the pathway.
  • The groom chooses the bride’s bouquet and purchases it.
  • The traditional wedding cake is called conucopiaor kransekageis, a tall circular cake decorated with icing. It is made of marzipan, pastilage and almond paste. It is often filled with fresh fruits, candy and more almonds. The couple must also cut the cake together and all the guests must eat a piece to avoid bad luck.
  • At the reception, whenever the bride is gone, to change or use the powder room for example, it is tradition for all the female guests to kiss the groom on the cheek. This goes the same if the groom is gone. All the male guests kiss the cheek of bride as well.
  • While the couple is busy opening their presents, some members of the family and a few close friends go to the newlyweds home to play a practical joke on them. They usually take out the light bulbs and hide them. Sometimes they fill the beddings with rice or undo the bolts on the bed. The most common practice is to fill the house with strewn toilet paper –inside, outside and even over the house. All these are done in the spirit of fun to make the first night more interesting.
  • Almost all Danes dance the waltz during the reception, this though must be done before midnight because it is believed that the couple must leave before the clock strikes 12 and consummate the marriage before a new day begins.
  • As the night ends, while everyone is dancing, the guests and family of the groom join hands and circle around him. They slowly move towards him and someone hoists him up while they cut a piece of his tie and the toe part of his socks with a pair of scissors, without injuring the groom of course.
  • Not seeing each other before the wedding, putting cans on the couple’s car and wearing something old, borrowed and blue are also common practices which are shared with other cultures.

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