02.08.2008 - 02.08.2008 18 °C
They're married! Turns out a Finnish wedding is very much like an American wedding. The bride wears white, they play 'Here Comes the Bride', and there's plenty of food and dancing at the reception. The ceremony was at a beautiful brick church at 5:00. Then the bride and groom were driven away in a Jaguar as church bells pealed and the guests moved on to the reception hall. The biggest difference was how long the reception goes on. First awaiting the arrival of the couple in the parking lot before entering the hall. Then the receiving line, 150 guests, one at a time. Then the photo slide show, narrated one picture at a time. Then dismissal one table at a time to the buffet line (Great Finnish food, prepared by Henna's mom, a cafe owner/caterer). Then a music performance, etc. etc, all the usual wedding stuff, but with 20-40 minute breaks between each activity. At an American wedding, the guests would drift away with every downtime, certainly after a couple of hours. But here everyone stayed until 1:30 in the morning, even danced every dance. And the most glaring difference was the competitiveness to catch the garter toss - they actually want it! Nick was about tackled in the stampede to catch it! So alas not the next to get married. But it's a definite glimpse into authentic Finnish culture. The people have been absolutely wonderful, and we exchanged email addresses with all our new friends in hopes of visiting the U.S. someday. Especially Jarno's parents have welcomed us like family. It's so neat to be included in such a special occasion.