Weddings in Scandinavia

We had the most amazing trip this summer to Scandinavia and the Baltic Countries.  And, as usual, along the way we looked for weddings and things that are wedding-related.

Early in the trip, we visited the small island of Marken outside of Amsterdam, Netherlands.  In our walk around this old fishing village, we stopped at the home of a woman who has created a small museum to keep the history of the island alive.  We were treated to pictures in a book, and then actual wedding outfits from the 18th Century.  The best part: the beautiful hand-carved wooden shoes the groom made for the bride.  They couldn’t get married until he finished carving!

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Also, in Amsterdam: the Rijksmuseum, and the famously beautiful painting by Rembrandt of The Jewish Bride  we also viewed a lovely painting of a wedding couple in the Jewish Museum there.

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photo 3aWedding Portrait in Jewish Museum Amsterdam

Our visit to the Van Loon House Museum was fascinating.  The canal house is owned and operated by the same family since the mid-1500’s. The back of the house opens onto a lovely garden. They rent the space for weddings and were in the process of doing the set up, so of course I couldn’t resist taking some photos!  Sorry we couldn’t stay long enough to see the wedding.

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In Copenhagan we had dinner at a very contemporary restaurant with an avant garde menu….and of course, we saw the wedding dinner and met the wedding couple!

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It’s always fun to see a store window with wedding gowns, and to find that styles are not so different than they are here in the U.S. (and, having a sale as well!)

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In Klaipeda, Lithuania we toured the marina, and saw a bride and groom with their photographer.  Where are they going?  Oh … they come here to take pictures a few days before the wedding!  They don’t have enough time on the wedding day, so they get all dressed and do it ahead of time.  Wow!  (so you get to wear your dress twice – nice!)

photo 11 Klaipeda

photo 12 KlaipedaUpon arrival in Helsinki, we took a ride with our guide out to the charming village of Porvoo.  In the small, old stone church there, what did we see?  A wedding rehearsal, of course.  Same as here!!

Photo 13 Porvoo Cathedral Wedding Rehearsal

Another couple – this time in St. Petersburg, Russia.  In the gardens at Catherine’s Palace Museum, and then outside another museum. This is the “the thing” to do in St. Petersberg.  They rent a limo, have friends and lots of champagne, and go all over town taking wedding photos in famous places.  What fun!

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photo 16 Bride Groom & Photographer

photo 16 Bride

Also in St. Petersberg, we visited the Grand Synagogue, and saw their beautiful and very impressive wedding room.  We have never seen that in any other synagogue.

photo 17 Synagogue Wedding Room

We continued our adventures with a driving trip in Sweden.  Such a beautiful country, and such lovely people!  In Gothenburg, we chanced upon a church where they were having a baptism.  It was lovely; we enjoyed the music and sitting over on the side and just watching.

photo 18 St Marias Baptism

photo 19 St Marias BaptismOur trip ended in Stockholm, Sweden.  On a tour of the Stadshuset (City Hall) we were allowed to walk thru the “Wedding Room” where couples can make a reservation to be married.  It is very special, with centuries-old tapestries.  Everyone wants to be married here, and the wait list is quite long.  So the couples have a choice of the the 3 minute ceremony or the more expensive 7 minute ceremony.  (oh my!!)

photo 20 C & Stadshuset Civil Marriage Room

Next came the banquet halls.  The lower banquet hall/ Foyer is where they hold the dinner for the Nobel Prize Winners (remember- we are in Stockholm). …. Impressive, to say the least.

photo 21 Stadshuset Decorated Stairway

We were delighted to see the large banquet hall upstairs.  This stunning hall, which can be rented for special events, was being set for an event that evening.  (that’s why the staircase in the previous photo was being decorated)  These photos should look familiar to all of us!

photo 22Stadshuset Banquet Setup

photo 23 Stadshuset Banquet Setup

photo 24 Stadshuset Banquet Setup

It is so much fun to travel, and to keep an eye open for things that are personally interesting to us.  Some people take pictures of special birds, or jewelry or architectural features.  I am always looking for life-cycle events and especially weddings!

Till next time……