Thursday, July 23, 2015

Swedish Bridal Accessories

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden wears The Cameo Tiara
as her bridal crown during her wedding to Prince Daniel Westling
in June 2010. Photo ©2010 Bengt Nyman

Swedish wedding attire is fairly conventional. The bride typically wears a white gown, and the groom a tux or suit. Swedes tend to keep things simple, inviting one attendant each. The maid of honor and best man will coordinate with the bride and groom as to what they will wear. Weddings in Sweden are a formal affair, and as long as a guest shies away from the color red,{1} Sunday best or better will do.

There is a bit of Swedish flair, however, and this has opportunity to present itself in a handful of wedding attire traditions, all of which center around the bride. The most important of these traditional bridal accessories is the Bridal Crown.

Traditionally, this was a headdress fashioned from myrtle leaves, a symbol of purity and innocence. Over time, this organic coronet has been replaced by jeweled tiaras or headpieces, which are sometimes elaborate. In 2010, Crown Princess Victoria wore The Cameo Crown during her wedding ceremony. The crown features seven cameos decorated with pearls.{2} And just this past month, Princess Sofia married Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, wearing a brand new bridal crown. The tiara was a gift from her parents and featured a series of palmette motifs crowned with pear-shaped emeralds.{3}

The next tradition in Swedish wedding attire dates back at least to the Middle Ages. In those dark days, it was customary for a Swedish bride to carry a large bouquet of foul-smelling weeds as she walked down the aisle. The noxious fumes were reputed to ward off any unwanted guests, namely trolls.{4} Since trolls have been largely vanquished, the custom of carrying stinky blooms down the aisle has long been out of fashion. However, a Swedish bride might be inclined to carry a bouquet rich in fragrance as a nod to this antiquated custom.

Another requirement for a Swedish bride is that she wear her engagement band during the ceremony. In Sweden, the solid band is given at the time of engagement. Her fiance will have been wearing his from the engagement onward, as well. During the ceremony, the bride will receive from her groom a diamond ring as a token of their wedding vows.

One more ring will be presented to the bride. Some say it is given on the wedding day as a symbol of future motherhood. Others report that the motherhood ring is given to a woman, by her husband, after the birth of their first child.

Finally, there is one more Swedish bridal accessory which the bride actually carries in her shoes. A silver coin rests beneath the heel of her left foot, and a gold coin rests beneath the heel of her right foot. These are gifts from her parents, the silver token from her mama and the gold one from her papa. These coins symbolize the promise of plenty, a prayer that their married daughter will never go without.

Which of these Swedish bridal accessories most appeals to you? Will you try to weave it into your upcoming wedding?

~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer


  1. World Wedding Traditions, "Swedish Wedding Traditions," December 2, 2013.
  2. The Jewelry Insider. "A Tiara Fit For a Queen.", June 21, 2010.
  3. "Tiara Thursday: Princess Sofia's Emerald and Diamond Tiara," Order of Splendor blog, June 13, 2015.
  4. The Knot. "Wedding Customs and Traditions From Around the Globe," accessed June 15, 2015.

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