Traditionally the groom wears a hand-made woolen suit known as a bundas. The bundas has a white silk shirt, short pants and stockings that come up to the calf, a vest and topcoat.
The bundas is covered with intricate and colorful designs. Each design is unique to the district of Norway where the groom was born, or where the groom’s ancestors came from. Many people think the bundas makes a man look like a Norwegian prince.
Groomsmen and the best man traditionally wear their bundas as well. Bundas come in a variety of colors, giving the wedding a traditional as well as colorful look and feel.
The bride traditionally wears a white or silver wedding gown. The bride will also wear a silver or silver and gold crown. Dangling around the crown will be small spoon-shaped bangles.
When the bride moves her head the bangles produce a melodic tinkling music. Norwegian tradition holds that the music from the bride’s bangles will ward off evil spirits.
During the wedding reception after the wedding the bride will dance vigorously, the tinkling melody of the bangles will scare off the evil spirits which try to inhabit the happy bride.
Tradition also holds that the bridesmaids, dressed similarly (but not the same) as the bride will confuse any evil spirits and further help protect the bride from evil influences.
Music is very important at a Norwegian wedding. Often Norwegian weddings will use the traditional Norwegian tune “Come to the Wedding” and often the happy couple will be escorted out of the church after the ceremony to the music of the accordion.
At the conclusion of the ceremony the bride and groom exchange gold or silver wedding rings and the traditional wedding kiss, which symbolically seals the relationship between the husband and his 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 wedding reception follows the wedding ceremony. At the reception there are many, many 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) cake 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.