So, now, we’re busily tucking into our food. Which, if it’s like 95% of the numerous Danish weddings I’ve been to, will be: a seafood or fish starter, beef or veal for the main course and chocolate cake/icecream for dessert. In Jutland (the Danish mainland) the tradition is suppe, steg og is. Soup, roast and icecream. And – being Jutland - the serving staff will always come round with a second serving of the main course. Hooray for that!
But don’t get too engrossed in the starter because – ching, ching, cough, cough – the Toastmaster has just announced the first in a very long line of speeches. Oh, you thought there would only be three speeches: the Father of the Bride, the Best Man and the Groom? Well, think again! In Denmark, everyone can join in. It could be a friend of the Bride, a former boss, Kirsten Giftekniv (the “Matchmaker”) who brought the Happy Couple together, an University chum, the Groom’s brother, the Best Man, colleagues…
Or all of the above – and more. As happened at our wedding!
And, ladies, remember those hankies! Because you’re about to discover that Danish men are actually incredibly romantic. When the Groom gives his speech, he’ll start off – selvfølgelig – with a few funny anecdotes. But towards the end the whole atmosphere of the room will change and you’ll be able to hear a pin drop. He’ll turn to his Bride and solemnly declare “Jeg elsker dig!” (“I love you!”) Sniff, sniff, not a dry eye in the house!
And, hey, let’s give some credit to the unsung hero of the wedding party – the Toastmaster. He really has his work cut out for him – working out an order of service, communicating with the kitchen staff (“Hold the roast pork, Moster Gerda is up next!”) and the keyboard player/DJ (“Stop the music, Bedstefar Ole wants to bring a toast!”) .
Phew – what a line up! And - wait a minute - our Toastmaster also needs to fit in all those songs, specially written by the guests for the occasion…
More about those next time!