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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Comments

  1. I feel like I never see anything about swedish speaking finns for the most part. Seeing this makes me proud to be one!!!

  2. i mean, what's cooler than sailing (instead of riding the regular car, like the one in my country) right after the wedding ceremony?

  3. I don't know who was Finnish, but I'm more Finnish than my mom. So, it was on both sides. I know that Finnish people are very genetically, unique. But, it's an ethnicity that always pops up on all of my tests.

  4. Wait is the island his families property or like are his grandparents just from a village on that island? I am confused.

  5. Wow, this was such a beautiful, authentic looking wedding. But i'm going to guess pretty expensive, with how many their guests were and how they needed to travel back and forth, amenities, etc. I want some kind of destination wedding as well, but being from a big family where culture dictates that you invite a lot of them, it's going to be hella expensive lmao

  6. That wedding looked like so much fun and her grandmothers dress is stunning! I love how it looked on her – beautiful

  7. I'm finnish and about 5.3% of the finnish population are finnish swedes which means that they mainly speak swedish but they live in finland. The part of finland they went to (Åland) is mainly finnish swedes so that's why they spoke swedish 🙂

  8. Happy to see they pulled it off. I am from Argentina, my boyfriend is Danish, and we live in Sweden, and whenever we bring up marriage we get so overwhelmed with all the preparation it would entail, we just agree to elope. Or do one wedding in Denmark and another in Argentina. So much work!

  9. This is beautiful. I love the two cultures, and traditions mixed. How they chose to represent the two especially with the hanging boat in the church is really interesting. There should be more weddings like this, and less uncultured, or generic type weddings. It's nice to see this.💖

  10. OMG my beautiful home island made it to Refinery29, I'm almost crying with happiness and pride 😭❤️🇦🇽
    Put Åland on the maps! ✌🏻

  11. Listen, I’m not asking for much. I’m just asking if he has a brother/cousin whatever that is in his mid/late 20’s.
    I just think they need to add a South African to the fam. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

  12. Ummm they are a BEAUTFUL couple. Victor is fine as hell and Abbi is stunning. What an amazing wedding, it looked perfect.

  13. finland and åland are almost like china and taiwan.
    both have a on going discussion whether or not taiwan/åland should be their own independent countries.

  14. "I come from a family of farmers"
    "I come from a family of fishers"
    Complete opposite.
    Most of us: none of those. Technically speaking, those both are a primary industry so

  15. If i have a wedding, imma have games too. Wife one including (Theres a controversy going on about it right?)

  16. This wedding took place in Åland, which is an archipelago province in Finland. In Åland, just about everyone speaks Swedish as their mother tongue. The culture is quite different from mainland Finland. In general, about 5.3% of Finns speak Swedish instead of Finnish as their mother tongue. Swedish is also our second official language alongside Finnish.

  17. First of all the couples gorgeous! Love all the traditions they incorporated! Wish them all the happiness..! Nothing like having your best friend to share your life with. ❤️

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