Thursday, October 12, 2017

My NOH got Married!

NOH: Norwegian of Honor
If you didn't have one at your wedding, then you're totally missing out. But seriously, Charlotte is my Norwegian of Honor in so many ways. She has been like a sister to me for many, many years. I've known her since she was seven, but developed a much closer relationship when she moved in with my family as an "exchange student" for a year of high school. We've only gotten closer since then! She even lived with JP and I for 6 months while she interned at the Norwegian Consulate down the street from us. Like I said, she's a sister to me and I'm so lucky to have her in my life.

Now that the sap is out of the way, let's take a look at the first Norwegian wedding I've ever been too. It was beautiful and an experience that I'll never forget. WARNING: This post is long. I couldn't leave ANYTHING out. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do!


On Friday, Emily and I joined up with Charlotte's family and some other friends to help get the reception hall ready. Our main join was to blow up a million balloons and put together the floral arrangements for the center pieces!





Saturday morning started nice and early! The hair and makeup artists were there around 8:00am to get things rolling. Luckily we had coffee, mimosas and a full free breakfast at the hotel to help get us rolling.




The photo above and pretty much all of the amazing pictures in the post are by Lena Brit Photography. She was such a joy to work with and obviously did an amazing job!



At 1:30pm, the bridesmaids were all in our dresses, so we gathered all of our things and walked over to the Skibladner which is the oldest operating steamboat in Norway!





We had our own special room in the bottom of the boat to finish getting Charlotte ready and to wait for the big show to begin! Once we had the go ahead, we made our way up these tiny, steep and narrow stairs to the top of the boat for the ceremony. It was beautifully done. It was obviously in Norwegian, but I've been to enough weddings to know what was going on. One of Charlotte's friends performed a song as well that had me all sappy. I can't keep the tears at bay!





After the ceremony, everyone comes up to congratulate the bride and groom. Emily and I were kind of standing off to the side of Charlotte and Ole not sure where to go. Before we knew it, people were coming up to us after and introducing themselves! Apparently everyone wanted to know who the Americans were! It was kind of hilarious, but we loved it. It was a great way to meet everyone at the wedding and to say hi to the many friends and family members that we already knew.




After the ceremony, they passed out fresh strawberries and Prosecco to nibble and sip while everyone was congratulating the newlyweds and mingling. We had the chance after meeting everyone to walk around and explore the boat. It was so beautiful! We were also quite toasty from the gorgeous sunshiny day. So naturally Em and I were caught in an interesting position while cooling ourselves. Several people stopped to take a picture. Those weird Americans! PS Do you love our awesome shoes?!


Once we docked, we all headed off the boat. Emily and I were in charge of passing out bubbles. Everyone wanted Emily's bubbles and not mine. It was kind of sad. I swear my bubbles were just as good! When Charlotte and Ole exited, we all blew bubbles at them. It made for awesome pictures. Then we all followed them on about a 100 meter walk to the reception!



The reception location was super neat and modern. It fit Charlotte and Ole to a T. The cocktail hour was held out in a beautiful courtyard. Chloe loved having the opportunity to run and jump and play! She napped on her daddy through entire reception after all. We all hung out sipping some drinks until Em and I were beckoned for some bridesmaid pictures!









After pictures were done and the bride and groom returned it was time to head inside and get started! 




Once everyone got settled, the speeches began! Speeches are probably the biggest differentiator between a Norwegian and American wedding. Anyone and everyone can give a speech as long as the tell the Master of Ceremonies that they are planning one. Charlotte's MC was her friend Mari and she did such an amazing job spreading the speeches out throughout the night. The night flowed beautifully thanks to her! 

Another fun Norwegian tradition is that when everyone clinks their glasses they must stand on chairs and kiss. If everyone stomps their feet, then they have to go under the table and kiss! 


At one point during a break in the speeches, Charlotte's eye hook on the back of her dress broke, so I had to sew her in! Lena Brit was able to snap the sweetest picture of me and Anna helping her!


After desserts, it was finally time for someone to give a speech in English. {Yes, all the speeches were in Norwegian...we were in Norway you know! It was hard to follow along, but our friend Siri was kind of translating for us!} Someone from the States had to take one for the team and give a speech. That someone was me. I'm generally the go to person when it involves public speaking. I'm not saying that I don't get nervous because I definitely do, but I guess I love the rush I get standing in front of a crowd.

Chloe started off my speech beautifully with just one word "pink". She's not a lady of many words yet, so she left it at that. I know that Charlotte totally understood her. After that I proceeded to give my speech from the top of my head while picking up and putting Chloe down! I tried to write my speech multiple times and just couldn't. Writing our family's relationship with Charlotte down on paper just doesn't do it justice. Plus once my speech was written, it would mean the wedding was practically here and that we would be leaving Charlotte with no "next trip date" in sight. I managed to get it all out quite eloquently and all of Charlotte's friends and family came up to me telling me how great I did which made me feel fabulous.


When the speeches wrapped up...a few hours later...the dancing was finally here!




We danced so hard that we were sweaty and hoarse! There was a mixture of American and Norwegian music. When the Norwegian songs came on, we would try to slip outside for some air and to cool off. Sometimes her friends wouldn't let us and I just danced along with them! But I made it out a few times and once I finally got my picture with Chris and Stefan, Charlotte's brothers who I know and love dearly!


And before the end of the night I snapped one with Lars who is Charlotte's cousin that I've known since like 8th grade!


I'm not kidding when I say my family is in Norway. Charlotte's family is my family and I love them so much. The wedding was amazing, but it also meant that it was time for us to part way and end our time in Norway. Do you know how hard that is? Saying good bye to family and friends at 2:00am after the most beautiful wedding was terrible, but we got it done. JP had to shuffle all of us out at two in the morning after twelve hours of wedding to the bus to get us back to Lillehammer.

We made it back to our house by about 3:00am where Em and I spent at least 30 minutes getting bobby pins and tangles out of our hair before showering and packing to go! We left to walk to the train station at 4:45am and were on our way to the airport at 5:25am. It was completely and utterly exhausting, but we made it.


To Charlotte and Ole,

I love you both so so much. You are both such special people to me, and I am so glad to have you in my life. The relationship we have is unique; I'm blessed to know that you will always be there for me and my family. I wish you both years and years of happiness. I know that each day you will continue to love each other more because I know the love you have for each other. I will never forget the day that Charlotte told me about this guy Ole. I knew he was special, but who knew that my baby girl would meet her husband at 19?! {Just like me and JP!} I've seen you both grow in your relationship over the years. The bond you have is strong. Always work to keep it that way. Continue to go on adventures, appreciate each other and live life to the fullest. Again, I love you both and wish you all the happiness in the world! Now can we figure out where our next adventure is going to take us? I need a date to know I'll see youuuuu!!!

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