I Got Married On My Fiancé’s Family Island In Finland | World Wide Wed | Refinery29


The town I’m from, it’s so flat and so dry. Whereas I come from a place where it’s just water, and it’s so wet. My family are farmers. My family all used to be fishermen. Complete opposites. Yeah. I’m so excited to show the blend of Finnish and Australian traditions. Take fourteen. I’m from a really small country town called Coonamble. Which is in rural, New South Wales, Australia. I come from the Åland Islands, which are independently governed part of Finland. The island where I grew up is called Kyrkogårdsö. And it’s a very small island surrounded
by 30,000 other very small islands. I’m actually the 17th generation to come
from this one island. We have people coming from every side of the world. It’s not an easy place to get to. It’s at least a six hour journey from the
mainland. We decided to start our journey together in Australia. But because this Island is a big part of my heritage, we thought to bring this wedding to Finland to show our little slice of heaven. At the island, our tradition is to have a three day wedding, because it’s so hard for people to get out there. Once everyone arrives, we’re having a big
welcome dinner and we’re gonna have songs that are part of festivities in Swedish speaking Fins. The tradition of Snapsvisor means that we are all sitting around long tables. We sing together, and then we drink snaps. It’s a big part of my culture. All the women stand up and say, “Hallelujah”. Then, it’s the guys turn. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! The next day we’re holding a mini championships, where we’ll be taking the Finish World championship events, which is some crazy things like wife-carrying competition, and Nokia phone-throwing competitions, and then we also including axe-throwing and clay shooting. Island life basically. One of the traditions I really wanted to uphold, which logistically quiet hard, was not see each other the day of the wedding. My bridesmaids and I will have to travel the night before the wedding to the island where the church ceremony is going to take place. Victor and his groomsmen will be getting ready on his family island. I’m just so excited. I’m just so ready. I’ve chosen to wear something very sentimental but I can’t really discuss it. I know that Abi sort of brought in a few
traditions from Australia. She is going to wear our grandmother’s wedding dress, that had been sitting in my grandmother’s closet for many years. Grandma can’t quite make the journey across so I think is a nice way of bringing her to the wedding. We will do this wedding ceremony both in English and in Swedish. The boats hanging up in the church do have a cultural significance. A lot of the men from the Åland Islands used to be seafarers. And they used to work on these massive tall ships that were actually stationed to go between Europe and Australia. And my dad when I was younger actually made a very clear point that, make sure you go to find yourself a wife from a far away island. Don’t go to a neighboring island because
they’re going to be your cousins or something so… One tradition, quite typical for the Åland
Island is actually to have a wedding rug. Coming from the fact that it used to be quite cold in the winter and newly wed couples would need the rug to stand on and stay warm. My sister is going to join the local
violinists and play in front of us as we are walking down from the church. It’s a tradition that the boats and
sail to the wedding reception. Sailing there is actually a cultural thing
for the Åland region because you just have to travel by boat from one island to another. Is it going to get caught on the snairs? We have to face the wind now. Oh no! Ahh! This is so much fun! Wow! Now we can sail! For those of you who don’t know, I did all
the chasing. And when the time finally came, and I thought he’d kiss me goodbye, he gave me a high five. I’ve actually been offered by Victor’s family to wear his family crown. Which has been in their family since 1946. My grandma wore that, and my Aunty wore it as well. It’s a very big honor for us. It’s our wedding Abi, let’s do this! I really wanted to have a blend of what the
island itself is really strongly embedded in and also bringing my background. I think it’s important that we remember our
traditions and now when we have two cultures colliding that we can show each other the different
traditions we have. Thanks for watching World Wide Wed. Subscribe to Refinery29 to never miss an episode.

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