Invites and Paper

Should We Do A Program?

We are having a fairly short ceremony, but it's going to include at least a couple of elements that some guests won't be that familiar with.  Namely, in Viking tradition, the couple exchanged swords, along with rings, which we are doing.  I'm also hoping to have an Old Norse marriage blessing as our singular reading, and I was thinking of putting the English translation in the program.

I'd rather not do programs, just because they are a waste of money and paper, but I also don't want guests to feel confused or like they have no idea what is going on.  Maybe I could have the officiant say a few words about the sword tradition and then scrap the Old Norse version of the blessing and just do it in English?  Other suggestions?

Additionally, if we DO have programs, are there any requirements for what has to be in them?  I wouldn't mind mentioning the individuals in the wedding party, musicians (my brothers) and reader, but do I then have to mention my parents, etc?  There are some complicated family dynamics that I don't really know how to handle in that regard which is another reason I wanted to avoid programs entirely.

Re: Should We Do A Program?

  • Are you Vikings?!? I think not, because no one is. I think it's inappropriate to borrow traditions that aren't yours. Did your parents exchange swords? Anyone in either of your families? 
    CMGragainInLoveInQueens
  • kwiksilverkwiksilver member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited March 15
    We are having a fairly short ceremony, but it's going to include at least a couple of elements that some guests won't be that familiar with.  Namely, in Viking tradition, the couple exchanged swords, along with rings, which we are doing.  I'm also hoping to have an Old Norse marriage blessing as our singular reading, and I was thinking of putting the English translation in the program.

    I'd rather not do programs, just because they are a waste of money and paper, but I also don't want guests to feel confused or like they have no idea what is going on.  Maybe I could have the officiant say a few words about the sword tradition and then scrap the Old Norse version of the blessing and just do it in English?  Other suggestions?

    Additionally, if we DO have programs, are there any requirements for what has to be in them?  I wouldn't mind mentioning the individuals in the wedding party, musicians (my brothers) and reader, but do I then have to mention my parents, etc?  There are some complicated family dynamics that I don't really know how to handle in that regard which is another reason I wanted to avoid programs entirely.
    Do you and your FI have connections/beliefs in Viking traditions and the Old Norse language? And do any of your guests share these same beliefs? If not, read through some past threads on using elements of culture and beliefs that the couple doesn't practice/live in for their wedding ceremony. 

    That said, if you are using a language or elements of a ceremony the majority of your guests are not familiar with it is a good idea of having an explanation of those traditions and a translation so your guests understand what is going on. The simplest way is programs, but you could do a large board at the entrance to he ceremony as well. 

    If you do use programs it's fine to include information on the ceremony participants, and leave out information that is not relevant to the ceremony. Although I'd caution if you include one set of parents it might (depending on family dynamics) cause hurt feelings if you don't include all parents. 
    My family is almost entirely from Norway.  Tracing our lineage back to "Viking times" has always been a source of great pride for us, particularly my grandfather, who had a significant hand in raising me.  My FI and I are also Viking reenactors, (as are a good number of our friends who will be in attendance) and I have tattoos written in Old Norse.  I'm sensitive to the issue of cultural appropriation, but I don't believe that's what this is.  FI and I discussed the traditions we wanted to incorporate into the ceremony, and he wasn't interested in adding any from his side because his family doesn't have much connection to their heritage.

    We would definitely not be including any of the parents, except for FI's dad, who is the best man.

    ETA missed words
  • I would not just include finances dad. 
  • Are you Vikings?!? I think not, because no one is. I think it's inappropriate to borrow traditions that aren't yours. Did your parents exchange swords? Anyone in either of your families? 
    My family is all of Scandinavian decent.  I practice Asatru/Heathenism.  My parents did not exchange swords because my Grandmother was raised Catholic and so they adopted those traditions.  My FI and I aren't "borrowing" anyones traditions.  These are the traditions of my ancestors, thank you.  Just because my immediate family doesn't practice them, that does not mean I am not allowed to reclaim them.
    Australian_girl_in_ParisSP29
  • I would not just include finances dad. 
    He would be included as part of the WP.

    The problem is, I have 3 sets of parents, due to adoption, divorce, remarriage, etc.  There are some bad feelings all up in there, and I really don't want "Parents of the Bride" to be literally a LIST.  It's just easier to have none of them.
  • I would not just include finances dad. 
    He would be included as part of the WP.

    The problem is, I have 3 sets of parents, due to adoption, divorce, remarriage, etc.  There are some bad feelings all up in there, and I really don't want "Parents of the Bride" to be literally a LIST.  It's just easier to have none of them.
    Then I wouldn't include the wedding party at all. I think you might be better having the officiant explain the swords and reading a translation of the old Norse reading so people can understand. I get not wanting to list all the complicated family, but having just one on there is prob going to bug someone. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensMairePoppy
  • I would not just include finances dad. 
    He would be included as part of the WP.

    The problem is, I have 3 sets of parents, due to adoption, divorce, remarriage, etc.  There are some bad feelings all up in there, and I really don't want "Parents of the Bride" to be literally a LIST.  It's just easier to have none of them.
    Then I wouldn't include the wedding party at all. I think you might be better having the officiant explain the swords and reading a translation of the old Norse reading so people can understand. I get not wanting to list all the complicated family, but having just one on there is prob going to bug someone. 
    That's fair, thank you.
  • We are having a fairly short ceremony, but it's going to include at least a couple of elements that some guests won't be that familiar with.  Namely, in Viking tradition, the couple exchanged swords, along with rings, which we are doing.  I'm also hoping to have an Old Norse marriage blessing as our singular reading, and I was thinking of putting the English translation in the program.

    I'd rather not do programs, just because they are a waste of money and paper, but I also don't want guests to feel confused or like they have no idea what is going on.  Maybe I could have the officiant say a few words about the sword tradition and then scrap the Old Norse version of the blessing and just do it in English?  Other suggestions?

    Additionally, if we DO have programs, are there any requirements for what has to be in them?  I wouldn't mind mentioning the individuals in the wedding party, musicians (my brothers) and reader, but do I then have to mention my parents, etc?  There are some complicated family dynamics that I don't really know how to handle in that regard which is another reason I wanted to avoid programs entirely.
    Do you and your FI have connections/beliefs in Viking traditions and the Old Norse language? And do any of your guests share these same beliefs? If not, read through some past threads on using elements of culture and beliefs that the couple doesn't practice/live in for their wedding ceremony. 

    That said, if you are using a language or elements of a ceremony the majority of your guests are not familiar with it is a good idea of having an explanation of those traditions and a translation so your guests understand what is going on. The simplest way is programs, but you could do a large board at the entrance to he ceremony as well. 

    If you do use programs it's fine to include information on the ceremony participants, and leave out information that is not relevant to the ceremony. Although I'd caution if you include one set of parents it might (depending on family dynamics) cause hurt feelings if you don't include all parents. 
    My family is almost entirely from Norway.  Tracing our lineage back to "Viking times" has always been a source of great pride for us, particularly my grandfather, who had a significant hand in raising me.  My FI and I are also Viking reenactors, (as are a good number of our friends who will be in attendance) and I have tattoos written in Old Norse.  I'm sensitive to the issue of cultural appropriation, but I don't believe that's what this is.  FI and I discussed the traditions we wanted to incorporate into the ceremony, and he wasn't interested in adding any from his side because his family doesn't have much connection to their heritage.

    We would definitely not be including any of the parents, except for FI's dad, who is the best man.

    ETA missed words
    Are you Vikings?!? I think not, because no one is. I think it's inappropriate to borrow traditions that aren't yours. Did your parents exchange swords? Anyone in either of your families? 
    My family is all of Scandinavian decent.  I practice Asatru/Heathenism.  My parents did not exchange swords because my Grandmother was raised Catholic and so they adopted those traditions.  My FI and I aren't "borrowing" anyones traditions.  These are the traditions of my ancestors, thank you.  Just because my immediate family doesn't practice them, that does not mean I am not allowed to reclaim them.
    I think this sounds appropriate, it is your heritage/traditions/beliefs and in that case include them as you like!

    I am with Starmoon on the WP in the program then, if there's a possibility of hurt feelings I might just leave them all off. 
    kwiksilverILoveBeachMusicSP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 15
    Look, I am a direct double descendant of Rollo, the Viking, who was the first in line of the Norman princes.  I also 1/4 Danish.  No way in hell would I go to a wedding that had this modern revisionist Viking stuff.  Leave it to the script writers on "Vikings".  I have had enough of that romantic, sensationalized crap.   I would feel that my own heritage was being insulted and altered to fit your wedding vision.
    Leave your "Viking Reenactor" days to other times.  Think about it!  JMHO.

    If you really want a traditional Norwegian style wedding, have a nice Lutheran Church ceremony.  This is what most Norwegians have done since the 11th century and the time of St. Olaf.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    Look, I am a direct double descendant of Rollo, the Viking, who was the first in line of the Norman princes.  I also an 1/4 Danish.  No way in hell would I go to a wedding that had this modern revisionist Viking stuff.  Leave it to the script writers on "Vikings".  I have had enough of that romantic, sensationalized crap.   I would feel that my own heritage was being insulted and altered to fit your wedding vision.
    Think about it!  JMHO.
    A wedding invite isn't a summons.  If people aren't into it, that's their prerogative.  Since it's my heritage, and I feel a connection to that part of my ancestry, I don't find it inappropriate in the least.  Thanks for sharing though!
    charlotte989875Australian_girl_in_ParisSP29
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 15
    This is not your heritage, or mine, either.  It MIGHT be your ancestry, but that is quite different.   You can have a pretend Viking wedding if you really want, but remember that there will be people who may be insulted by it, as I am.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 15
    Yes, heritage and ancestry are different, but is it appropriate for you to judge either of hers? If her ancestors practiced any elements of these old rituals, then it's her culture, no? If ancestry is a person's lineage and heritage the customs/beliefs/practices that stems from culture then is reasons that if any part of her culture has practiced these rituals then she is free to also practice them. Assuming these are customs/beliefs/practices that are not being adopted just for a wedding ceremony. 

    Additionally, telling someone to have a religious ceremony after they have stated their religious preferences is pretty rude, IMO.
    I am not judging hers.  I am judging MINE.

    The "traditions" come from a website of modern ideas for reenactors.  They have not been handed down for generations.  There are some very nice Norwegian wedding traditions, such as bridal crowns and solje brooches, that are authentically traditional.  No swords.  Lutheranism is also the State Church in Norway.  That is the only reason I mentioned it.


    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    Look, I am a direct double descendant of Rollo, the Viking, who was the first in line of the Norman princes.  I also 1/4 Danish.  No way in hell would I go to a wedding that had this modern revisionist Viking stuff.  Leave it to the script writers on "Vikings".  I have had enough of that romantic, sensationalized crap.   I would feel that my own heritage was being insulted and altered to fit your wedding vision.
    Leave your "Viking Reenactor" days to other times.  Think about it!  JMHO.

    If you really want a traditional Norwegian style wedding, have a nice Lutheran Church ceremony.  This is what most Norwegians have done since the 11th century and the time of St. Olaf.

    CMGragain said:
    This is not your heritage.  It MIGHT be your ancestry, but that is quite different.   You can have a pretend Viking wedding if you really want, but remember that there will be people who may be insulted by it, as I am.
    I'm not Lutheran.  Also, the reason Lutheran weddings became popular among Norwegians is because Christianity almost eradicated all traces of our indigenous religion.  Suggesting I should bend to such things, when I have already stated my own personal beliefs, is extremely rude.  It's also quite insulting to the Lutheran religion, that I should just "adopt" it for my wedding, when I don't hold true to any of those beliefs.  I can't believe you would suggest something so disrespectful while claiming to be insulted that I would practice ancient traditions that are meaningful to me.
    charlotte989875Australian_girl_in_ParisMairePoppy
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 15
    I apologize for suggesting that you should have a traditional, Christian wedding, even if it IS traditional in Norway.  I was wrong.

    You don't seem to mind adopting traditions that haven't been practiced for at least 800 years, if they ever were.

    I am taking this personally because it is MY HERITAGE, too.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    Yes, heritage and ancestry are different, but is it appropriate for you to judge either of hers? If her ancestors practiced any elements of these old rituals, then it's her culture, no? If ancestry is a person's lineage and heritage the customs/beliefs/practices that stems from culture then is reasons that if any part of her culture has practiced these rituals then she is free to also practice them. Assuming these are customs/beliefs/practices that are not being adopted just for a wedding ceremony. 

    Additionally, telling someone to have a religious ceremony after they have stated their religious preferences is pretty rude, IMO.
    I am not judging hers.  I am judging MINE.

    The "traditions" come from a website of modern ideas for reenactors.  They have not been handed down for generations.  There are some very nice Norwegian wedding traditions, such as bridal crowns and solje brooches, that are authentically traditional.  No swords.


    Have you read Germania by the Roman historian Tacitus?  Swords are mentioned, more specificially the the bride was to pass on an ancestral sword, presented to her by the bridegroom, to her children or grandchildren.  Please, some of us learn about our history from more than just the Viking Answers Lady
    Australian_girl_in_Paris
  • CMGragain said:
    Look, I am a direct double descendant of Rollo, the Viking, who was the first in line of the Norman princes.  I also 1/4 Danish.  No way in hell would I go to a wedding that had this modern revisionist Viking stuff.  Leave it to the script writers on "Vikings".  I have had enough of that romantic, sensationalized crap.   I would feel that my own heritage was being insulted and altered to fit your wedding vision.
    Leave your "Viking Reenactor" days to other times.  Think about it!  JMHO.

    If you really want a traditional Norwegian style wedding, have a nice Lutheran Church ceremony.  This is what most Norwegians have done since the 11th century and the time of St. Olaf.
    Slight correction, Lutheranism didn't exist in the 11th century. This year is the 500 anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 thesis on the door of the church which means that the Reformation started in 1517. Norwegians might have had Catholic ceremonies prior to this date.
    CMGragaincharlotte989875
  • ILBM is correct.  Last year I visited many churches in Norway, both ancient (originally Catholic) and modern.  I was disappointed that I didn't get to see a stave church.  Fascinating frescoes on the ancient church!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 15
    A tradition is something that it handed down from mother to daughter, father to son in a family. Vikings blended into the general population of western Europe and Russia about 800 years ago.  Most of their traditions were not handed down.
    You can resurrect the sword thing at your wedding, but it is not something that has been done in Norwegian culture for hundreds of years.  That means it is a revival of an ancient practice, not a tradition.
    I won't be around today to argue this.  I find it offensive, and I am busy today. Early in the last century, Scandinavians were sometimes treated poorly in America, and called "Dumb Vikings".  Not very nice.  Some of us are sensitive about the new image portrayed in modern reenactments.  The whole Viking reenactment wedding idea makes me angry.  Also, I don't understand why authentic Norwegian tradition isn't good enough for you.  I have been to quite a few traditional Norwegian-American weddings.

    About Tacitus:  He wrote about the German peoples in about the first century AD, not the Vikings.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Hi, KwikSilver I'm going to try to pull post this back to what you had actually asked.

    So I went to a traditional Sri-Lankan Buddhist wedding just recently. Half the guest we're not Sri-Lankan (The Buddhist ceremony is different in different parts of the world and is more a cultural ceremony dependent on where you are than a strictly religious one) so they had a page printed up explaining each part of the ceremony. I thought it was a good idea because it explained the significance of each part. They also had an Uncle of the Bride who was officiant (officiating?) name each ritual and explain a little, the in-depth explanation was on the sheet. I thought that was good. So you as a guest can understand what's going on and the significance of each part.

    I'm also thinking of doing a small sheet with explanations - I converted to Judaism and my FI is also Jewish - but most of our friends and my family are not. So I'm thinking of having a small sheet made up with the explanation of the 7 circles and the breaking of the glass etc. Maybe you could just do that instead of a full program. Eliminates the problem of including family? 


    I would add just a small note that occasionally on this forum people have strong ideas about etiquette and what you do and do not do at Weddings. I'm often surprised.  Honestly as isn't it about coming to celebrate two people making a commitment to each other? If you wanted to jump around in pink tights and scream I love you because it meant something to your relationship I think that's a great idea. So if for you the ancestry, history, your family story and your life lived together connects to this I think its great. There is no reason I can see for you having a Christian ceremony (are you even Christian?)  I think it's really rude to suggest they're having a 'pretend Viking wedding' what they're doing is meaningful to them the same way the breaking of the glass is meaning full to me - but I'm sure means nothing to someone else. But that's ok because it's about being there to support the two people making the commitment to one another.

    Honestly if your offended but a post about programs maybe stop reading it? Just and idea.
    kwiksilverKnot1ahoywedding
  • Hi, KwikSilver I'm going to try to pull post this back to what you had actually asked.

    So I went to a traditional Sri-Lankan Buddhist wedding just recently. Half the guest we're not Sri-Lankan (The Buddhist ceremony is different in different parts of the world and is more a cultural ceremony dependent on where you are than a strictly religious one) so they had a page printed up explaining each part of the ceremony. I thought it was a good idea because it explained the significance of each part. They also had an Uncle of the Bride who was officiant (officiating?) name each ritual and explain a little, the in-depth explanation was on the sheet. I thought that was good. So you as a guest can understand what's going on and the significance of each part.

    I'm also thinking of doing a small sheet with explanations - I converted to Judaism and my FI is also Jewish - but most of our friends and my family are not. So I'm thinking of having a small sheet made up with the explanation of the 7 circles and the breaking of the glass etc. Maybe you could just do that instead of a full program. Eliminates the problem of including family? 


    I would add just a small note that occasionally on this forum people have strong ideas about etiquette and what you do and do not do at Weddings. I'm often surprised.  Honestly as isn't it about coming to celebrate two people making a commitment to each other? If you wanted to jump around in pink tights and scream I love you because it meant something to your relationship I think that's a great idea. So if for you the ancestry, history, your family story and your life lived together connects to this I think its great. There is no reason I can see for you having a Christian ceremony (are you even Christian?)  I think it's really rude to suggest they're having a 'pretend Viking wedding' what they're doing is meaningful to them the same way the breaking of the glass is meaning full to me - but I'm sure means nothing to someone else. But that's ok because it's about being there to support the two people making the commitment to one another.

    Honestly if your offended but a post about programs maybe stop reading it? Just and idea.
    Thanks!  I think a little paper with some explanation is a good idea.  I have never had the pleasure of attending a wedding that was way outside of my own culture, so I've never seen a program at one myself. That's probably why I wasn't sure if we needed it. 

    And thank you for your kind words of support. 
    OurWildKingdom
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited March 17
    Kwik Silver - You could have little cards printed with the English translation of the Norse blessing, with your names and wedding date. This would probably be a simple do it yourself project or an inexpensive project for VistaPrint. As a guest, I would enjoy hearing the blessing in the original language. The officiante could offer a brief explanation of the sword exchange. I don't think programs are necessary.

    Your wedding ceremony should represent your own beliefs about marriage. I don't see how anyone could take offense with that.
                
    SP29charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • SP29SP29 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Kwik Silver - You could have little cards printed with the English translation of the Norse blessing, with your names and wedding date. This would probably be a simple do it yourself project or an inexpensive project for VistaPrint. As a guest, I would enjoy hearing the blessing in the original language. The officiante could offer a brief explanation of the sword exchange. I don't think programs are necessary.

    Your wedding ceremony should represent your own beliefs about marriage. I don't see how anyone could take offense with that.
    Agree with this. I think you can get away without programs- just have the officiant give a small blurb explaining the exchange. I like the idea of printing the translation on a card and make that a sort of favour with your names and wedding date.
    ILoveBeachMusicOurWildKingdomJen4948
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