Norwegian Language Blog

Norwegian Wedding Preparation Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 in Culture, Traditions

There are few places more beautiful to hold a wedding than in the various beautiful and romantic landscapes of Norway.

In Norway, the brudgrom (groom) traditionally wears a hand-made woolen suit known as a bunad. The bunad consists of a white silk shirt, short pants and stockings that come up to the calf, a vest and topcoat. The bunad is covered with intricate and colorful designs, each of which is unique to the district of Norway where the brudgom was born or where the brudgoms ancestors came from.  I always think it’s fun to see a man in a bunad just because it is so different from anything else men wear on a regular basis.

Groomsmen and the best man traditionally wear their bunads, which come in a variety of colors, giving the wedding a traditional as well as colorful look and feel.

The brud (bride) traditionally wears a white or a silver brudekjole (wedding gown). It is also common to wear a silver or silver and gold krone (crown). Dangling around the krone will be small spoon-shaped bangles. The bangles produce a melodic  musikk when she moves her head. Norwegian tradition holds that the music from the brud’s bangles will ward off evil spirits. During the bryllupsfeiring (wedding reception) after the bryllup the brud will dance and the bangles will scare away the evil spirits which try to spoil the brud’s happiness.

Traditionally the brudepiker (bridesmaids), dressed similarly (but not the same) as the brud will confuse any evil spirits and further help protect the brud from evil influences.

 brylluper will use the traditional Norwegian tune “Come to the Wedding” and often the happy par (couple) will be escorted out of the church after the seremoni (ceremony) to the music of the trekkspill  (accordion).

At the conclusion of the seremoni the brud and brudgom exchange gold or silver gifteringer (wedding rings) and the traditional bryllup kiss (wedding kiss), which symbolically seals the relationship between the mann (husband) and his kone (wife). The round ring, with no beginning and no end traditionally represents never-ending love and the kiss historically represents the exchange of a portion of each other’s souls.

A lavish bryllupsfeiring follows the seremoni. At the reception there are many, many taler (speeches) as guests and family wish the new couple much happiness, and there is a great deal of music and dance as well. The tables at the reception are often decorated with blokaker (layer) cakes or with a “brudlaupskling” wedding cake which is a flour cake covered with a mixture of cheese, cream and syrup.

Then, finally, two small fir trees are planted on either side of the door to the couple’s home as a symbol of the children to come.


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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. Heidi:

    This is a wedding of the very traditional type that not many people have, but sure.
    “Bryllup kiss” is a strange mixture of Norwegian and English, and I’ve never heard it used as a word.
    “Blokake” would translate as blood cake. You may be thinking of bløtkake…