How to Add a Slice of Your Scandinavian Heritage to Your Wedding

If you'd like to add a slice of your heritage to your wedding ceremony, you're not alone. Millions of couples are embrocing their ancestry and choosing to incorporate some of the best traditions from around the world in their ceremonies here at home. Here are some of the most interesting wedding traditions you might find if you attended a wedding in a Scandinavian country. If you or your family are from one of these countries, why not try adding some phrases from your ancestor's native tongue in your wedding vows for a truly memorable touch!

Origin of the original Britons, the Vikings, and Hamlet, Scandinavia is a cluster of countries with a unique set of wedding customs. In Denmark, an arch of pine limbs called a Gate of Honor is built in front of the bride's home. At some point in the reception, the groom will leave the room and all the male guests will get to kiss the bride. When he returns, she will depart and the female guests will kiss the groom.

In Viking times, the groom would pay a price for the bride, and the bride's family would provide a dowry. These combined funds were then given to the couple at the end of the marriage ceremony in order to provide a starting point for the newlyweds. Today, the parents will tuck money into the bride's shoes. The father shares silver to the left show and the mother shares gold to the right shoe. Also, the shoes are left untied in belief that this will ensure easy childbirth in the future.

Truly traditional Viking weddings are always held on Friday, which was considered the day of Frigga and therefore sacred. The couple is often sanctified at the beginning of the ceremony with a sprinkling from a fir bough dipped in wine. Rings may be presented by the bride and groom to each other on the tip of a ceremonial sword, and vows are often recited while both hands hold the hilt, reminding the couple that marriage is a lifelong commitment that is equally binding on both male and female .