Finns and their wedding traditions

Wedding has been and must be one of the most important and long awaited celebrations in Finland. In this article I would like to tell you more about Finnish wedding traditions, influence from other countries and cultures.

Before the actual wedding day there is usually a tradition, as in many other countries, to organize a wild bachelor party, which everyone will remember for the rest of their lives. Or forget about it once and forever. Bachelor parties were usually organized a night before the wedding and it was not a surprise at all if bride or groom appeared drunk at their own wedding.
A Finnish bachelor party is called polttarit, poltterit, polttikset or bolttikset. This word has arrived in the Finnish language from the German word Polterabend. Polterabend means a wedding party and the word itself means to rumble, to make noise. That is all about bachelor parties: making noise and getting drunk with friends. Saying goodbye to a single life and welcoming a new life. This tradition has arrived to Finland from Sweden and also from Saint Petersburg, where a lot of German speaking people lived.

Another interesting tradition in Finnish weddings is wedding twines. Usually young couple tied on this thick twine groom’s old shoes, bride’s old dolls and also some cans. All that was hung on exhaust pipe. This is an old tradition, which showed to everyone in town, that a young couple is getting married and leaving behind their previous lives.

Wedding veil was and still is, even though it has lost a bit of its exact meaning, a symbol of purity and virtuosity of bride. It was made of a thick fabric, so that brides could not see trough it. Usually bride’s father walked her to the altar.
Until the beginning of the 20th century black was a typical color for wedding dresses, especially in the countryside. In the 1860 instead of hymnals, that brides used to carry with them to the church, wedding bouquets became more popular. These beautiful, humble bouquets completed their beautiful appearance…


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