Norway is a beautiful Scandinavian country boasting snow-capped mountains and a beautiful North Atlantic coastline, home to its famous fjords. Norwegian weddings, often held in the summer months, are colourful and exuberant affairs full of fiddle music and traditional wedding costume (Bunad).
A typical Norwegian wedding is smaller than a typical UK or US wedding. This, of course, will mean a smaller and less complex seating plan, as generally children are not invited and only close family and friends are invited to attend.
Skål! – Wedding meal toasts
Toasting plays an important part in a Norwegian wedding reception, and toasts are often given throughout the wedding meal. Toasts may be given by a great many guests, the order of which will broadly correspond to:
- father of the bride;
- the groom;
- the bride;
- maid of honour;
- best man;
- groom’s father;
- bride’s mother;
- groom’s mother;
- friends; and finally
- “takk for maten-tale” (thank you for the meal). This speech compliments the food thanks the chef and waiting staff.
A table just for cake!
After dinner coffee is usually served alongside a huge selection of cakes and pastries laid out on their own table, and often supplied by the bride and groom’s friends and family. Popular choices are Bløtkake (cream cake), almond cake, cheesecake, and chocolate cakes.
A traditional Norwegian wedding cake is a Brudlaupskling – a floury bread cake covered with a mixture of cheese, cream and syrup dating back to the days when white flour was hard to come by. A Kransekake cake, a famous conical almond ring cake decorated with edible flowers and sugarwork, is another Scandenavian wedding cake. The Norwegian flag is a traditional topper for a wedding cake.
Music and dancing
Norwegian brides will wear a traditional silver or gold grown, with small spoon-shaped bangles hanging from it. During the wedding reception the bride will dance energetically, so that the silver charms make tinkling music to ward off evil spirits.
Night food menu
Norwegian wedding receptions are expected to continue into the wee small hours, and guests are offered a Nattmat – a night food menu – to keep the celebrations going. It is a simple menu, often consisting of something like sausages, soup and bread or sandwiches.