OUTSIDE (cold and horrible)
INSIDE (warm and toasty)
We definitely got hitched in true Greenlandic weather!
The special day began with a few Skype calls with friends and family in the morning, before getting ready at home by myself. I then put my ski pants and a jacket on and caught the bus into the city. Luckily, I was going for a ‘natural’ look with the hair, as the wind was blowing like crazy and would have wrecked whatever coiffured hairdo I’d paid for. Poor Jonas didn’t get such a relaxing morning – he came straight to the registration after a 5.30am work start.
The registration was held in the Nuuk city hall in the official room upstairs. The room is filled with paintings by a famous writer and artist called Hans Lynge. He is somewhat of a legend here; among other things the newest primary school ‘Hans Lynge Artuarfik’ is named after him.
I’m not sure which decade the vows were written, but they were old-school. Our celebrant, the mayor of Nuuk, Asii Chemnitz Narup from the Inuit Ataqatigiit party said that they’d tried to get some Greenlanders to update it for a while, but hadn’t found anyone to rewrite it yet. We had the choice of the registration being conducted in Greenlandic, Danish or English. That aside, all we had to say was ‘I do’.
Four lovely guests attended our registration. Our two witnesses were the link to Aarhus, a gracious friend took photos and Hanne above pretended to be the crowd. =o)
The Greenlanders won’t think this is weird, but I couldn’t help but notice that we were wed on top of a polar bear fur skin.
We had to sign the papers twice because the witnesses names were incorrect. Mikkel became Peter. That made the short ceremony a bit longer.
Dum de dum.
Finally, we were married!
Our ‘official’ wedding shot above. From left to right: Mikkel and Anna, Jonas and Tanny, and Asii.
On dress code, I think anything goes in Greenland! Mikkel is a real sailor so he had to wear stripes. Anna donned a baby bump, and wore the coolest red seal skin boots. Since it was a low-key event, Jonas thought a proper suit wasn’t necessary so made for a retro groom. Likewise, I wore a 1950s shift dress bought while vintage shopping in Brighton, UK. Asii’s outfit is probably the most stunning. She’s wearing a custom-made royal blue robe with seal fur trimmings. The silver embellishments are fashioned in the shape of Nuuk’s city logo.
We snuck a kiss in, even though the Mayor didn’t pronounce ‘You may now kiss the bride!’
Many thanks to Filip Gielda (above), our talented friend who took these lovely photos!
Hanne’s probably wearing the more appropriate footwear. High heels (thanks Tine!) are just impractical in Nuuk.
Sparkling elderflower was provided after the ceremony.
The city of Nuuk also gave us a gift – a photo book of icebergs.
Then it was time to go outside. It was windy and snowy. In Danish/Greenlandic tradition, Hanne threw some rice at us for fertility luck. We didn’t prepare any, so the zany lady went outside and picked up seven grains of rice leftover from other weddings.
Braving the great outdoors.
We walked 100m to the Nuuk Cultural Center for some delicious hot chocolate and to hang out a little bit more.
After awhile, our guests left and we moved to dinner (conveniently another 50m down the road). Jonas and I had some great food at one of the two fine-dining restaurants available in Nuuk. Safarlik specialises in ‘Arctic gastronomy‘. It was delightfully tasty and rather nice to sit inside, especially since the snow storm raged so much that the buses got cancelled.
The other amazing thing? There are perks to getting married in a social welfare state; I don’t think we paid a cent for venue hire, having the mayor as our celebrant or getting the marriage certificate. In Sydney, it costs AUD $400 – $500 for a council wedding registration. Bargain!
So, Arctic wedding, anyone? 😉
- The relapse of a food photographer addict: Arctic gastronomy (thefourthcontinent.com)
- How to avoid having that big, fat traditional wedding (thefourthcontinent.com)
- Kaffemiks: every well-bred lady should know how to bake, right? (thefourthcontinent.com)
- Through foreign eyes: a casual wedding in Denmark (thefourthcontinent.com)