Emilie & Erik’s Danish American Backyard Wedding (Orange County)

This past April I made my way down to Orange County to capture Emilie and Erik’s wedding in the backyard for Emilie’s family home. I’ve said it before, but I love backyard weddings. It makes so much sense to me that a wedding would take place somewhere as intimate as a home. I had so much fun keeping up with all the Danish wedding traditions, which I definitely googled post-wedding shoot for a better understanding of what I was witnessing and documenting. All the texts below in italics are things I found online that I copied-and-pasted, to give you an idea of what I am talking about!


The traditional wedding cake of Denmark is the ‘Kransekage’, a tower of almond paste cookie rings!


“It is almost difficult to write a review because my mind is cluttered with a thousand wonderful things I want to say. I LOVE my wedding pictures. But I knew I would even before I saw them. Because the whole day of my wedding Gina was EVERYTHING i could have ever wished for in a wedding photographer. I so dreaded hiring someone for an insane cost only to have them dictate when and where and how I stand and desperately cling to the timeline. Then after searching for what seemed like forever, I found Gina. Gina is warm and approachable, but never invasive or unprofessional. Her photo-journalistic style was exactly what I wanted. Wonderful warm, candid moments that are a true testament to her talent and ability as a photographer. She captured every weird tradition and curveball with absolute grace and enthusiasm. The portfolio of our wedding pictures, everything from the detail shots, to the family portraits to the candid expressions of all the people we love, build a perfect time capsule of everything our wedding day was. All the tiny little moments you want to capture from the day – holding hands under the table, throwing your head back laughing, the embroidered handkerchief you thought you forgot to ask her to photograph, the quiet moments you stole with your new spouse — she got them all, and in the sneakiest and least obtrusive way. Thank you Gina.” — Emilie & Erik


For Emilie and Erik’s portraits, Emilie suggested we go to a trail that was 5 minutes walking from her parent’s home, in hopes that the overgrown wild flowers and wild bush from that season hadn’t been cut down by the city. We were in luck, as they were still in full bloom, in their total untamed glory, when their day finally came.


Before the meal starts, and in between courses, guests are invited to make speeches, toasts and even sing songs – even with hand outs for the guests so that they can join in! This makes a traditional Danish wedding reception meal a long and fun filled event.


If all of the guests tap their knives on their glasses, the bride and groom must balance on their chairs and kiss!


At some point during the reception, the groom will leave the room. Male guests take this as a cue to kiss the new bride. Similarly, at some later point the bride will also leave the room and all of the ladies will give the groom a kiss.


If all of the guests stamp their feet on the floor, the bride and groom must dive under the table for a kiss!


The ‘Brudevals’, or bridal waltz, is a couple’s first dance. It should be danced before midnight on the wedding day and guests stand in a circle and clap as the couple dance. As the music continues, guests move in closer and closer until the bride and groom are surrounded by their family and friends.


Hand in hand with the tradition of the bridal waltz is a special tradition just for the groom. Male guests will lift the groom up in the air and cut off his tie and the toes of his socks. Some sources say that this is so that the bride’s first chore as a married woman is to darn her husband’s socks. <—– Haaa! Nice try fellas. ;-P


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