We had a wonderful time at Hasse and Elja’s wedding last weekend. It really was a beautiful event, combining both German and Swedish traditions and thankfully including English along with Swedish and German as ‘official wedding languages’.
One new tradition we were exposed to was the smashing of pottery. The bride’s family sets up a smashing platform in the yard, and neighbours come by on the day and evening before the wedding to smash old pottery there. It seemed a little strange and we weren’t sure exactly where it comes from or where the symbolism is, but there were lots of neighbours that came by and many Swedes also took part enthusiastically (I also smashed a plate, although I wanted safety goggles very badly).
The ceremony was in an outdoor garden by a lake, and apparently there are no mosquitoes in Germany so this made the perfect venue. It was a little overcast but quite warm.
We got a special treat between the ceremony and the dinner – a puppet show put on by the Bride’s family and friends! It was an opera: the marriage of Figaro, by frogs. It was a fantastic idea! Super fun, entertaining, and not too serious I think I may borrow the idea if Elizabeth has a wedding… she would have exploded with cuteness. We also got a fire-stick performance in the evening when it was dark, with flares across the lake and a fire baton twirling acrobat (also a friend of the bride). Cool!
The food was fantastic, a mixture of Swedish and German specialties:a served salad with gravad lax and shrimps, then a buffet of Jansons frestelse, meatballs, croquettes, pork, and lots of veggies and salad. Dessert was ice cream with cherry and cloudberry sauce. We also got a great set of cakes, homemade in the Lower-Saxon countryside by Elja’s aunt.
There was a great mix of Swedish and German music, modern and old favourites and almost everyone got out on the dance floor at some point. The Swedes definitely ‘won the party’ in terms of the dance Olympics, but I like to think the small Canadian contingent held its own despite being plagued by illness. Graham had a real cold (guaranteed to be bird flu/SARS if you ask him), but was a super-trooper and danced it up with me and the rest of the gang until well after midnight… in time for the chocolate fountain!
All the best wishes for many years of happiness together, Hasse and Elja!