The warm spring weather marks the beginning of Sweden’s wedding (bröllop) season. Swedes like to do their weddings their own way – some will choose to be married in a church others on a boat, or a field in a converted barn.
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To a foreigner it may appear that it does not matter to Swedes where they get married, the only real concerns are how warm it is when they get hitched and that they don’t outdo anyone else. All jokes aside, we have hunted down four experts on Swedish wedding customs to help us decipher Swedish wedding customs (seder), norms and faux pas. Here’s part 1 of our three part wedding series.
The Engagement and Wedding Ring:
You can learn a lot about a country by studying the custom and norms. This is certainly true when it comes to the Swedish engagement and wedding rings. We asked Irish-raised local goldsmith and creative designer, Michael O’Dwyer of Michael O’Dwyer Goldsmith about Swedish wedding ring styles and culture.
According to Micheal jewellery in Sweden is at a crossroads, “People are trying to break away from the social shackles of the 70’s and 80’s, and become more open about displaying their individual styles and tastes. The transition of this social rebellion of not being afraid to display wealth can be seen in small steps in the jewellery world.”
The traditional Swedish custom is to purchase gold bands as engagement rings for both women and men, and then buy a diamond ring, or second plain band for the bride on the wedding day. The Western European and American way is for the woman to receive a diamond ring when the couple becomes engaged and then both the bride and groom receive a gold band during the ceremony. Now the two cultures are beginning to merge with the woman receiving a diamond engagement ring and the man getting a gold engagement band.
The second change we see happening is Swedish women opting for a more ornate style of jewellery as opposed to the more Germanic crisp sharper pieces that have been the norm in Scandinavian countries.
Ring 2: “Anvers Flower Ring ” : Michael O´Dwyer Design
Ring 3: “ The Morganite Ring ”: A Custom-made ring
Michael explains that it is not unusual in Sweden for couples to purchase all three rings at the same time. This is particularly important for the brides’ set of rings as it’s the most reliable way to assure that the set will sit perfectly together and have cohesion. Through his business in Liljeholmskajen, Michael has noticed that more Swedish couples are coming to his shop to “break away from the ‘lagom’ style of traditional jewellery” and have their own custom-made pieces created to suit and reflect their own personality.
Michael O´Dwyer Goldsmith
117 58 Stockholm
07-350 442 66
Michael O’Dwyer Goldsmith works in a more ornate romantic style, although they regularly make the Scandinavian styles to suit their customers needs. Michael is the owner and creative director of the company, and his jewellery style has been influenced by his training in Ireland, London and Belgium. The company specializes in Microscopic Setting, a tool used to ensure the pieces are created in the highest of standards. They are known for their precise stone setting, bold use of coloured stones and daring and luxurious designs.
Story by Kristan Coleman
‘Romantic beach photography’ by TOVE FOTOGRAF