A wedding is always a special event, since it marks an important rite of passage in the lives of a couple. Every couple wants to receive blessings and be admired by their families and close friends on their wedding day.
In this Finnish context, a wedding ceremony does not imply the start of a couple living together in the same house—it merely implies making the romantic relationship official. It is not uncommon to have couples in Finland co-habitating for some time before they get married.
Because the wedding day is so precious and one of the few occasions whereby Finnish couples can pamper themselves for a day, it is important to plan well for it.
After all, beautiful memories do last for a lifetime, especially when captured on wedding photographs and videos.
Something old, something new
In the 1960s and 1970s, many couples in Finland often strove to portray their wedding ceremonies as modest and simple, since “modesty” is considered an important virtue in the Finnish society. After the economic boom in the 1980s, weddings in Finland began to get a little more extravagant, as people with increased economic power started to plan for more extravagant weddings.
There are many Finnish wedding traditions with a creative modern twist today. Some traditions include the bridal sauna, the throwing of rice over the wedding couple, and the morning gift (“huomenlahja”).
It is worthwhile to note that the intention and purpose behind the items have changed. Different from the past, the morning gift (“huomenlahja”) is now not given as a form of economic reassurance to the bride, but as a form of appreciative and beautiful gesture marking the first day as man and wife.
The involvement of parents in a couple’s wedding preparation process has also greatly decreased over the years. In the early 19th century, it is the norm that parents have a strong influence over their children’s marriage, with the proposal and engagement process being a big deal.
Indeed, we would only expect wedding ceremonies to evolve even further as time passes, and this would be an interesting phenomenon to observe. Intercultural marriages are also on the rise, as Finland gets more and more globalised. Come 2017, gay marriages will be legalized in Finland, and we just cannot wait to see many more happy couples getting married! 🙂