So far we have written about general Danish celebration traditions. Although most of those are also true for a Danish wedding (particularly the speeches!), there are a couple of other traditions that are worth knowing if this will be your first experience.
The first time I attended a Danish wedding I was surprised as to how much of a spotlight the wedding couple was under and that as a guest I felt more of an observer than a participant (rightly so, you may say – this is their day). What about you? Have you been to one? And if so, what surprised you? These are a few other things that surprised me.
Let’s Stamp and Clink
You may be expecting an uninterrupted dinner with pleasant conversation with the people sitting next to you. However, if the speeches haven’t already put paid to this expectation, there is one more thing you have to keep an eye (or ear) out for. During the meal, at random intervals, the guests will either stamp their feet or clink their cutlery against glass or plates. If the stamping happens, the couple have to go under the table and kiss. If the latter, they have to stand on chairs and kiss.
You may kiss the bride (or groom)
If the groom leaves the room you will see all the guys get up as well. They will quickly queue up to go and kiss the bride, and vice-versa; when the bride leaves the room all the girls will rush to give the groom a cheeky kiss. So don’t worry – you will be kept active as well!
You may be looking forward to cake following dinner (and all the activity around it). However, If the cutting of the cake is a major event in your culture’s weddings, you will probably be disappointed. Instead, a major occurrence is the first dance. This has to happen before midnight (as otherwise your wedding day is over), but also close to midnight, as this is when the couple changes status from unmarried to married.
As a guest you do not only watch. You also have to get involved! As the couple dances, the guests surround them, clapping in unison and getting closer and closer to the couple until the couple can no longer move…and they kiss amid (thunderous) applause.
The Cutting of the
Back to the cake! The cake will be cut, but even more importantly is that the socks are cut! After the first dance, the guys often pick up the groom, take off his shoes, and cut his socks. Apparently it is for the guy to see how good his new wife is at sewing. Let’s just hope I am never put to this test!