Marrying a Foreigner

posted 2 years ago in Intercultural
Post # 2
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

My fiancé’s family is Icelandic, and I wasn’t too sure about modern wedding traditions, but I am including some (very old) Norse ones instead…
I also found a couple sites that talk about Norwegian weddings, perhaps they’ll be of help:
A Norwegian Wedding Vs A British Wedding

Post # 3
29 posts
  • Wedding: March 2018

Interesting that marriage is less common in Norway. Are you sure you’re not exaggerating that? Just curious! I was curious and google searched and norway definitely has the institution of marriage. My fiancé is French and marriage is becoming less common in his generation too. We need to get married to be able to live in each other’s countries, however we both are traditional and would have preferred marriage anyway. France has this new popular thing called the PACS which is like a civil union and it’s more popular with young people than full on marriage these days. Some of my fiancé’s friends have been getting PACsed and some have been getting married. What I find interesting (read: odd) is that some couples getting PACsed have parties for it, and throw events that are like a casual wedding to celebrate their PACS civil union! When my fiancé told me we were invited to a PACs party I thought it was so tacky, like a gift grab. “Then we have to go party and get you gifts again when you actually commit to each other in two years?” is what I was thinking. ANYWAY it’s all very interesting.

Sorry I didn’t even contribute to your questions! Thinking of ways to incorporate norweigan culture. I would think the food would be a good start! You could have norweigan inspired dishes on the menu, or maybe a cocktail. You can have readings done in both languages at the ceremony. Provide a text read-along to your wedding ceremony with translations. That’s what we’re doing. I would avoid the flags because it’s a wedding, not the olympics or a UN council meeting. We’re having a DJ who is an expert in vintage european hits so we’re going to have some fun 60’s French pop music being spun, in addition to other things. 

Post # 4
1851 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I agree that food is a good start!

Will there be sign during the ceremony? Maybe you could have a Norwegian song?


Post # 5
2 posts

Norwegians do get married, but marriage is not that important to us Northern-Europeans than it seems to be to Americans. We are often happy to live together without official commitment. Check out a Facebook group Bryllupsgruppa! It’s a Norwegian wedding group.

By the way, Norwegians wear their rings on the right hand. (I’m not Norwegian but from one of the neighbouring countries)

Post # 6
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I am American and married a foreigner! We actually had two weddings, one in the US (which was the actual wedding with the ceremony & everything), and a second wedding party in my husband’s home country, since most of his extended family couldn’t make it to the U.S.

For the US wedding, we had the rehearsal dinner & day after brunch at my parents house. My dad hung up an American flag & a flag from DH’s country outside our home, which DH’s family LOVED…they were taking tons of photos of the flags lol. For the ceremony itself, we incorporated elements from both of our traditions, and then in the reception we had different “themed” food stations, so there was a “taste of the south” station (we are southern) with fried chicken, mac & cheese, and other delicious southern goodies, and then there was a station with food from DH’s country, and then a couple others. 

The invitations for the US wedding were only in English, as everyone in DH’s country speaks Engish, but for the wedding in DH’s country we made them bilingual.

I wouldn’t worry too much about marriage traditions in Norway. You guys are getting married, that is what counts, not what’s the norm in your husband’s country. I would just focus on ways to incorporate Norwegian culture…like food, drink, bilingual invitations, maybe if there’s a poem or piece of literature in Norwegian that your husband loves you could work that in somehow?

Post # 7
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m Norwegian American — and bear in mind that we run a little more hard core Norweigan than the real Norse do these days — but we had a kransekake as a wedding cake.  Everyone who has ever gotten married in my family has had one, so it was a no brainer.  It’s one of those things, though, where our relatives in Norway are constantly amused by how much more we embrace Norwegian traditions than they do.

Post # 8
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I am Turkish and my husband is American. Since Turks have so many wedding traditions we  choose the ones that we like the most and combined them with American traditions that we liked. We didn’t include any flags to our wedding since we both aggreed that they are politic symbols and we wanted keep our wedding away from that. 

I think food, drinks and music are the best things that bring the cultures together. You can also choose a few words like Love, Marriage, Respect, Thank you, Appreciation and write down those words in Norweagen and place them on the dinner table. 

Good luck with planing. Multi cultural weddings are always super fun. I am sure yours will be amazing too.

Post # 9
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

emb35543 :  when are you getting married? Isn’t summer solistis a big deal? That could be a fun theme to incorporate. 

Otherwise I’d suggest sprinkling in some fun elements – they don’t necessarily need to be wedding focused. For example you could have mead as a special drink and maybe an appitzer that’s custom for your in laws to serve at parties. 

Post # 10
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

Are there pre-or post-wedding customs/rituals you could incorporate? For example, I am Indian-American and in fusion weddings I’ve seen the ceremony be a traditional American one but adding an Indian Sangeet program the night before as a way for everyone to dress up and eat different food.

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors