Multi-Cultural American-Danish Wedding // Kristin & Stefan // Portland, Oregon Photographer
I loved Kristin & Stefan from the moment I met them. We met at a small coffee shop at the beginning of January working around our schedules, mine being with family for Christmas and theirs being in town for a short time over Christmas and New Years. We found the perfect time to meet up at a small coffee shop before they headed back to Denmark, where Stefan is from. Yes, Copenhagen, Denmark! (Let the wanderlust abound! haha) I loved hearing about their life there, the Danish culture, and their love story.
When it came to the wedding day, the mix of Danish and American cultures was such a fun interplay to observe. Danish weddings typically are not very big; from what Kristin and Stefan told me, a large Danish wedding is about 75 people. As you probably know, that's on the small side for they typical American wedding. With the differences between cultural wedding traditions, the Danes were pretty excited to see and be a part of an American wedding. The groomsmen were fun to interact with and to see their reactions to the day, and explain to them how even my photographing them would work. I guess our American style of more documentarian photography doesn't extend throughout the world. I also enjoyed explaining that they should expect people in vehicles to honk at the bride as a way to say congratulations when they drove past us taking photos in the city. I wonder how many other little things were odd to the Danes about American weddings.
When it got to the reception, Kristin and Stefan really let the Danish culture shine. Some little things were, for example, when people clinked their glasses with their silverware then not only were Kristin and Stefan to kiss, but to stand on their chairs before doing so. Then when the guests would stop their feet, Kristin and Stefan were to get under the table and kiss. I thought it was absolutely fun, but it did make it a bit more difficult for them to eat their dinner, haha. Another tradition is the Danish Waltz as the first dance. All the guests participate by first standing in a large circle around the bride and groom. As the waltz proceeds, the guests clap to the music and then slowly all move closer and closer toward the center of the circle and the bride and groom. I wish photography could have captured this moment as well as video could, so here's a link to the Danish Crown Prince and Princess' dance. :) Possibly my favorite tradition was that directly after the dance some of the groomsmen picked Stefan up, took off his shoes, and cut the tip of his socks off, haha. Kristin warned me that the tradition also sometimes includes the groomsmen cutting the groom's tie and the bride's veil, but that didn't happen this time.
While I could go on for a while, enraptured with tradition and culture, I do have to say how wonderful Kristin and Stefan were. So gracious, graceful, and kind. Elegant. Beautiful inside and out. It was truly an honor to be able to get to know them throughout this process, as well as an honor to be able to photograph the outpouring of that inner beauty and love for each other. They could hardly keep away from each other and took every opportunity to sneak a kiss. It made my heart so happy. I love their love.
Congratulations, you two! May that joy you experienced on your wedding day only grow more and more throughout the rest of your lives together in marriage. With all my love, enjoy your photos!
Also, a big thank you to everyone at Saint Ursula Chapel and New Riff Distilling! You and all of the vendors helped make this multi-cultural, multi-state wedding amazing!
- Bride's Dress: Ti Adora By Alvina Valenta Bridal
- Tuxes: BlackDot (In Copenhagen)
- Flowers: Posy Floral Designs / Holly Schweitzer
- Videographer: Anderson Cinema / Joseph
- Transportation: Motortoys Limousine Service
- Ceremony Venue: Saint Ursula Academy Chapel
- Officiant: Deacon Steve Brown
- Reception Venue, Lighting, & Alcohol: New Riff Distilling, Newport, KY
- DJ: Billy Sarge
- Food: McHales Events & Catering, Northern KY
- Cake: Homegrown Cakes / Andrea Dee