Finnish Wedding Traditions


In Finland, a traditional bride-to-be walks door-to-door with a pillowcase, to receive her wedding presents. An older, married man walks with her, holding an umbrella or parasol to cover her. This pre-wedding tradition a symbol of protection and shelter for the new bride.


On her wedding day, a Finnish bride might wear a traditional golden crown with her wedding gown. After wedding vows have been exchanged, and the celebration has begun at the wedding reception, all of the women blindfold the new bride and dance around her.

She places her crown on the head of the girl next to marry in much the way beauty queens pass their crowns following their year of reign.

It is a Finnish wedding custom for the newlyweds to sit together in designated seats of the wedding reception. The bride holds a seive, covered by a shawl, into which guests deposit gifts of cash.

At some weddings, the bride's mother-in-law or god mother puts a china plate on top of the her head when the newlyweds begin their wedding dance, usually a waltz. After the plate falls, the pieces of broken china foretell the number of children the couple can expect to have.

The last dance at a Finish wedding reception is called the weaning-waltz. The women start the waltz with the bride and the men with the groom, children included. Each person dances only for a moment with the bride and with the groom. The dance's origin was a test to see how quickly the bride and groom will 'forget' each other.