Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hello, and Welcome to Denmark...

This is post number two on my international journey. I have been in Denmark for 4 days. It has been a great trip so far.

I went to a Danish Wedding last night, and it was an interesting experience. Pernille's best friend Lone married her sweetheart Lars, and I got to be there. There are a number of traditions that are not present in American weddings.

The bride and groom must be the first ones to sit at the table. They must also be the first ones on the dance floor.

The traditional tapping of the glasses to incite bride/groom smooches was given a new twist. The Toastmaster provided all the guests with tiny wooden hammers that were used to tap on the metal plates on the table.

The Groom must leave the room at LEAST once a night, whether he needs to or not. At that time, every man in the room can get up and kiss the bride. The same tradition applies to the bride leaving the room, in which case the groom gets kisses from all of the women (and, in this case, at least one man, Lars' brother Kim, who smeared lipstick on his mouth and left a large amount of it on his brother's face).

The bride still throws her bouquet, but rather than any sort of garter ceremony for the men, instead, the groom's friends grab him and hold him in the air while someone cuts his socks and tie.

The men in the room cannot remove their jackets until the groom does. The same goes for their ties. A particularly sadistic groom could make for a hot evening.

The bride and groom must dance the traditional wedding waltz before 12 midnight. The entire party surrounds them, closing in until they have no room left to dance. The whole thing had a very "Shirley Jackson's Lottery" feeling to it. Bad fortune follows those new couples foolish enough to skip the waltz.

The reception is the most formal part of the entire event. While it isn't out of place to dress formally for the church, it is more important to have on your best for the reception. Pernille looked absolutely gorgeous in her gown (pictures to come) but then again, she would look absolutely gorgeous in nothing but a burlap sack.

The family and friends of the couple write songs based on popular melodies, changing the words to reflect the couple's lifen and relationship. These songs are delivered throughout the night by special delivery, which is staff members of the reception hall being heralded by the musician.

The party tends to run later. MUCH later.

There is a musician at the wedding rather than an obnoxiously loud and invasive DJ. The guy we had was GREAT. It was like having Victor Borge trapped in John Cho's body.

Though not a tradition, another nice touch was that the bride and groom stood at the head of the table and introduced every guest at the party. Being that there were 30 people at the reception, it was far easier to do than it would be at a typical American wedding. But it was a very nice touch, making the thing that much more personal.

Tomorrow we are going with Lars and Lone to a strange and enchanted place called LegoLand. Hopefully I'll make it through customs.