Through foreign eyes: a casual wedding in Denmark


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Had I known that I was going to live in Greenland instead of Denmark when I bought my flight ticket to Europe late last year, I might have done things a bit differently. It’s just too expensive to fly out of Greenland on a whim. In order to attend a special wedding in Denmark in late March, I ended up hanging around Europe for nearly two months, having a mandatory ‘holiday’ passing time visiting friends.

I did end up attending the wedding, though! This wedding (my first Danish one) was definitely sophisticated, though more casual than other weddings I’ve attended before. Some people wore jeans and sneakers to the ceremony, and there wasn’t a professional photographer in sight. In fact, it was a bit surprising to see that hardly anyone there had a DSLR camera. I do applaud that the guests were enjoying the wedding through their own eyes, instead of through the camera lens.

Due to an illness, I ended up being one of a few wedding guests who helped take some photographs at the last-minute. Here’s a recap:

Tine, the gorgeous bride wore a vintage (30s?) lace dress from the U.K. She saw another bride who was a friend of a friend wearing this dress on Facebook, and asked to borrow it!

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Ask, the handsome groom.IMG_9380

Preparing for the wedding with help from some friends.IMG_9479

Bride and ‘bridesmaids’ walking to the church with bikes in tow – truly Danish! IMG_9607The ceremony – it was a round church called Brorsons Kirken in Nørrebro in Copenhagen, so they walked around a table instead of going up an aisle. IMG_9654

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Cool holy outfit. I was clearly the only one bemused by the collar. IMG_9686Sidsel in red singing ‘Fly me to the moon’, dedicated to the groom from the bride.IMG_9723

After the wedding, they throw rice on the newly weds.IMG_9815

Braving the snow outside for a quick pic.IMG_0068Pics with the immediate family (minus the bride’s big brother who was in Greenland!)IMG_9937

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The wedding waltz – the newlyweds dance their first dance as man and wife, and the crowd circling them gradually move closer and closer….once they can’t move anymore they cut the groom’s socks up. The next two photos are taken by Kenneth.IMG_0267

Cutting of the socks – a custom that supposedly prevents the groom from ever going on “frierfødder” again…(they are literally cutting his ‘proposing feet’).IMG_0292As an aside, here’s a picture of what the bride and groom traditionally wear in Greenland. The Greenlanders wear the national costume for all special occasions, from Easter to weddings. I was told that the hunters traditionally wore something like what this groom is wearing when they are hunting seals. It’s white to blend in with the snow. The women wear richly beaded red costumes.

Wedding at Ilulissat

Wedding at Ilulissat. Image: Miki Olsen

Finally, I should say a BIG THANK YOU to Marianne and Carsten; Tine and Ask; Charlotte; Franzi; Fabi and Isabelle; Sangzi and Remy; Sofie and Kristian; Simon and Irene; and Heather and Jesper for their hospitality (and inadvertently allowing me to attend this wedding). You’re welcome in Nuuk!

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