The Wedding meal
Danish wedding meals are usually a sit down three course meal. A Danish wedding seating plan appears to follow the fairly standard European top table layout. However, it is expected that guests find their places and remain standing until the bride and groom have taken their seats at the top table.
Before the meal starts, and in between courses, guests are invited to make speeches, toasts and even sing songs – even with hand outs for the guests so that they can join in! This makes a traditional Danish wedding reception meal a long and fun filled event.
There appear to be many Danish wedding reception traditions associated with kissing! For example:
- At some point during the reception, the groom will leave the room. Male guests take this as a cue to kiss the new bride. Similarly, at some later point the bride will also leave the room and all of the ladies will give the groom a kiss.
- If all of the guests tap their knives or forks on their plates, the bride and groom must kiss.
- If all of the guests stamp their feet on the floor, the bride and groom must dive under the table for a kiss.
- If all of the guests tap their knives on their glasses, the bride and groom must balance on their chairs and kiss!
Danish wedding cakes
The traditional wedding cake of Denmark is the ‘Kransekage’ – a tower of almond paste cookie rings. Another popular traditional choice is a cornucopia cake made with almonds, sugar paste and marzipan in the shape of a horn of plenty. It is decorated beautifully with intricate sugar work on the outside and filled with fresh fruit, sweets and almond cakes.
It is considered good luck for the happy couple to cut the cake together on the day of the wedding – before midnight – and for each guest to eat a piece. Often, the top ring of a Kransekage cake is saved for the first anniversary or the baptism of the first child.
The Bridal Waltz
The ‘Brudevals’, or bridal waltz, is a couple’s first dance. It should be danced before midnight on the wedding day and guests stand in a circle and clap as the couple dance. As the music continues, guests move in closer and closer until the bride and groom are surrounded by their family and friends.
The Groom’s socks
Hand in hand with the beautiful, elegant and glamorous tradition of the bridal waltz is a special tradition just for the groom. Male guests will lift the groom up in the air and cut off the toes of his socks. Some sources say that this is so that the bride’s first chore as a married woman is to darn her husband’s socks – I would imagine that in this day and age it would be the groom’s first chore to go and buy another pair!