A unique wedding experience in Denmark

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The Scandinavian country Denmark is one of the first nations to legalize same-sex marriage. The wedding traditions of the country have got Western influence.

Traditionally Danish couple literally has a very long engagement, like about a year or two. An engagement usually includes proposing and the girl accepting the ring. The Danes usually follow love marriage.

A unique tradition in Denmark is the custom, called 'Gate of Honour'. It is an arc of pine branches and flowers built in front of the bride's home. The bride has to pass through this gate to her wedding venue. Denmark is traditionally a Christian dominated country, so most of them have traditional church weddings. The bride traditionally wears a white gown, but there will be an element of red in a Danish bride's wedding outfit to ward off evil spirits.

The bride is traditionally escorted to the church by her father. She would arrive at the church after all other guests are seated. Unlike in other countries the bride will remain with her father throughout the ceremony until the bride and the groom are asked to say their vows. They only need to say yes twice when asked by the priest.  But now with the Western influence the Danish people have started to incorporate their own vows during the church ceremony.

Once the ceremony is over the bride's father would swap seat with the groom. Now the priest will declare them as married couple. The church ceremony is followed by a grand reception. If you are a guest at a Danish wedding you will notice a unique tradition where guests will have to greet each other before the beginning of the wedding reception.

Another important tradition is the large number of speeches. The wedding reception is accompanied by loud music, dance and great food. In between the guests would encircle the newlyweds and encourage them to have their first dance as husband and wife. As they dance the guests will start to clap and surround them until the couple couldn't dance and they will have to kiss amid thunderous applause. 

Another tradition is that if somebody stamps their feet during the celebration the newlyweds will have to duck under their table and share a kiss. If someone clinks their glass then the bride and groom will have to stand on the chair and kiss. If the groom has to leave the banquet in between all the male guests will queue up to kiss the bride. If it is the bride who leaves the hall then all the female guests would approach the groom. The guests will also cut a part of the groom's tie and socks in a Danish wedding towards the end of the function.

The wedding cake in Denmark is called Kransekage. After the couple cut the cake together it will be distributed to all the guests. Refusing the cake is said to bring bad luck to the couple.

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