We’ve already published posts about Swedish and Norwegian traditional bridal crowns. Most often, they were gold, silver, or gold-plated and very intricately made. But what if a woman couldn’t afford such an expensive ceremonial jewelry item? Did she just go down the aisle without a crown? You would be surprised about how inventive and skilled were Swedish brides and what materials they used to create wedding crowns for their bridal attire. Glass, thread, metal, birch root, and even straw. And such bridal crowns were almost as elaborate as gold ones.
Photos are from The American Swedish Institute
A bridal crown, called “brudkrona” in Sweden and Norway, was one of the most significant pieces of Swedish wedding attire. Every girl dreamed about walking down the aisle wearing a shining and ornate gold wedding crown on her head. But, of course, not every family could afford to buy or even borrow one for the wedding. The tradition dictated that brides had to wear this ceremonial accessory for their wedding ceremony. So, Swedish women had to be very inventive and smart to find substitutes for such costly jewelry. And also, there were different other reasons for brides to wear crowns made from other materials.
This is a gold bridal crown, a very expensive and intricate one.
Swedish gold bridal crown from The American Swedish Institute
What other materials exactly did they use? They found a whole variety of options. For example, wedding crowns were made from transparent crystal glass. And by the way, such bridal crowns looked magnificent – very delicate and pure, literally the classic symbol of a bride.
Here are two vintage glass bridal crowns from The American Swedish Institute. They’re museum exhibits that show us the skills of Swedish artisans.
This is a hand-blown, crystal bridal crown by Swedish manufacturer Orrefors Glassworks. It has 5 lyre-like points with balls on each end and between each point. The wedding crown also has 4 small holes for fastening the item on the head – because you had to somehow tie it to the bride’s head so that it didn’t fall down at the most crucial moment of the wedding ceremony.
This is another tiny glass bridal crown. It was produced by Reijmyre Glasbruk in 1971. It has a lovely engraved leaf pattern on each of the 8 spokes. The same as the previous crown, it has 4 small holes to attach it to the head.
Glass crowns were practically always purchased by future brides or their families from manufacturers, but some wedding crowns were made by the bride herself or by the local craftswomen.
Here is a very cute bridal crown woven from birch roots. It is woven using a baskets-weaving technique. The design is pretty, delicate, and lacy. It is made from cheap material, but it looks so traditional and skillfully created!
This is an extraordinary hand-crocheted bridal crown or brudkrona. It is adorned with 7 crocheted roses at the top, each has a shiny glass bead at the center. The crown is starched so that it lay on the bride’s head correctly. The crown is about 8 cm high (3.25 inches).
In the past, if you were skilled in traditional crafts, you didn’t necessarily have to be rich to look great on your wedding day. A lot of women made their wedding dress and accessories with their own hands. Today, this trend is also present, but much, much fewer brides choose such a difficult and labor-intensive path.