7 tips to create a Scandinavian style wedding
When it comes to style, Scandinavians know that less is more and heartfelt traditions bring warmth to the cool minimalist aesthetic. But what about weddings? How can we create that light and airy vibe, even if we're far from fjords and mountains? Today Norwegian film photographer and Fine Art Curation member Isabel Johansen shares her tips for creating a chic Scandinavian style wedding wherever you are in the world. Isabel shoots celebrations of love throughout Norway, Utah and Florida in her signature Scandi style that we know you'll love as much as we do.
Location, location, location
Scandinavians love the outdoors. Open fields with a backdrop of mountains; in front of the ocean; on a sailboat or high on a cliff. My wedding took place at my sister’s farm in Norway on a cliff in the forest overlooking a shimmering lake. The outdoors has more than enough beauty and is the perfect starting point for a beautiful ceremony.
Compliment your environment
In my previous career as a ballet set designer, I sought to minimize distracting elements so the dancers stood out and the overall scene was cohesive and coordinated. The backdrops I painted did not call attention to themselves, but supported the overall feel of the ballet. Designing a minimalist Scandinavian style wedding is very similar in that you want to incorporate colors, textures and florals from the environment you are in. Keep your color palette soft, muted and cohesive.
Texture is everything
In Scandinavian decor, texture adds visual interest to muted palettes. It creates depth and visual interest in a minimalist environment. Textures can be incorporated through the flowers, cake, wedding dress and tabletop styling. Think natural materials like moss, stones, fur, and textured fabrics.
From wildflowers covering the forest to majestic mountains and fjords; romantic composers to artists like Edward Grieg, Hans Gude and Adolph Tidemand, Scandinavia has deeply romantic roots. Don’t be afraid to add a little romanticism into your minimalist Scandinavian style wedding. Soft, simple florals and gauzy billowy linens can add a touch of romance. Candles add that beautiful warm glow and coziness, which is especially important in winter when there is little light.
Kransekake is a very popular wedding cake in Scandinavia. It is made from almond paste and baked in 20 circular forms stacked on top of each other in a conical tower. An old wedding tradition is for the bride and groom to lift the top layer of the cake and the number of rings that stick to the top piece tells the number of children the couple will have!
Crown or floral wreath
It is traditional for a Norwegian bride to wear a crown or hair flowers on her wedding day. The bridal crown along with the bride’s hair worn down was a symbol of her purity. Crowns in a more modern take are still worn in many Scandinavian weddings today.
Toasts are a huge part of Scandinavian weddings. The father of the bride, the best man, maid of honour, the father of the groom, and the bride and groom will always speak, but anyone is welcome to participate. The toasts are spread throughout the dinner and a toastmaster introduce each person who wishes to speak.
All images by Isabel Johansen.