There is no big surprise that our wedding was themed Norwegian! In honor of our eight year wedding anniversary today I thought I'd share pictures from that big day!
We did a number of things to add a Norwegian element to our wedding unfortunately not all were captured on camera so I'll talk through some as I go. One of the focal points of our wedding though was our Kransekake (Norwegian Wedding Cake). The cake was made for us by Tor's aunt Pam which made it even more special.
Here is a closeup shot of the beautiful wedding cake. I need to learn how to make these someday so I can pass the favor along to others that love Norway like us.
We were married at Big Canoe Lutheran Church just north of Decorah, Iowa. This is the church I grew up in. In fact, I grew up just a mile down the road! The church was founded by Norwegians (of course) in 1851. The first settlers were from Voss, Hallingdal, and Numedal in west and central Norway. I was once told that it was called Big Canoe because the Norwegians hung a big canoe from the rafters. I have never checked the fact, but it sounds like something they would do.
These two little ones are most certainly the cutest of the Norwegian parts of our wedding. My cousin and godson Ethan was the ring bearer and Tor's cousin Paige was the flower girl. We were lucky enough to borrow Ethan's bunad from Don and Wilma Olsen, friends of my family. Paige's bunad was made by a local woman who makes bunad doll clothing. When they walked out into church there was an audible "Ahh" from our guests.
At the reception we did a few things to make the theme special. One thing we did was to name each table after a different town in Norway. It is difficult to see in this picture, but the tables were labeled by the name of the town and each guest had to find their names listed within the tables. Many of our guests have family ties to Norway so it ended up being a nice conversation starter for people who were grouped with people they didn't know.
So adorable and such great sports! Paige's bunad has now been passed through the family and used by multiple nieces.
Another picture just because it is so dang adorable!!
These candid shots could be my favorite though. Look at those blue eyes?
Other elements of our wedding that were influenced by Norway were the stationary and desserts. We didn't end up getting a picture of the desserts which is a huge bummer really. The table centerpieces was a tray full of Norwegian goodies! We had pizzelles, kringle, chocolate kisses, and rosettes.
As for the stationary, I incorporated rosemaling on the invites to add a unique touch. I had a local woman paint a few small rosemaling elements, scanned them into my computer then enlisted a friend of Tor's to do a little digital enhancement to them. I had them printed at FedEx.
The larger rosemaling element was on what's called a "belly band". Hidden behind it was a picture of Tor and me taken inside the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis, MN. My friend Megan was the photographer so she gets all the credit for the creative view!
I used the same rosemaling technique on the programs as well. Replicating the same style as the invite, the rosemaling just changed location and shrunk a little.
During the reception we had placed trivia cards at each table for our guests to enjoy. Some of the questions had to do with Tor and me, while others were all about Norway.
Earlier I mentioned that each table was named after a different city in Norway. Above is one of the table cards I made. I tried to pick larger cities or pick cities where we have family. One of our guests even lives right outside Stavanger in the summers! She came dressed in her bunad and everything!
Lastly our save the date had some Norwegian elements as well. I had made these prior to enlisting the help of the rosemaling so I mocked up a simple sample from a book I had checked out of the Hennepin County Library.
I had a lot of fun planning for our big day, but of course I have had more fun being with my hubby ever since! We are the perfect pair and I am lucky to call him mine! Note that I did all of this pre Pinterest so I am pretty proud of the creativity. I wouldn't change a thing!