Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011
Coronavirus/Covid-19 and Getting Married in Denmark
Coronavirus:Covid-19 and Getting Married in Denmark

Coronavirus/Covid-19 and Getting Married in Denmark

As sweeping new Covid-19 measures and lockdowns start to become the reality once again for many countries in Europe and beyond, Coronavirus sees that we find ourselves heading into a winter like we’ve never seen before in our lifetimes.

The world feels suddenly unfamiliar and the natural human need for contact is being strongly advised against in an effort to fight the virus whose name everybody seems to know.

And yet in the midst of all this craziness here at Getting Married in Denmark the most wonderful thing is happening… We are finding couples are fighting even harder to make sure that love does not falter and their need to be together is stronger than ever.  

Scores of couples are writing to us every day asking if it’s still possible to come to Denmark to get married. Covid has separated people for long periods of time and they’ve had enough. They want to be together and it’s beautiful. 

So we wanted to put together an article for all those couples who are looking to get married in Denmark, to answer all the questions we are getting asked a lot at the moment, specifically to explain what measures the Danish authorities have put into place to keep its citizens and residents safe and most importantly to detail information about whether marriage is currently a possibility during the second wave of this pandemic.

Is getting married a worthy purpose?

 

Sadly not, marriage is classed as tourism and so therefore not ‘worthy’.

You can see the list of what the government considers ‘worthy’ here.

 

 

When can we enter Denmark again?

While we would absolutely love to be able to put a specific time frame on this, we can’t.

The Danish border police make their decisions on restrictions based entirely on the number of Covid cases for each country.

If the numbers remain high then a country will remain ‘closed’, only becoming ‘open’ again when the numbers fall to a low enough rate (below 30 per 100,000).

Can I enter Denmark if my partner legally resides in Denmark but I do not?

Yes! This is considered a ‘worthy’ purpose and is being dubbed the ‘Sweetheart Visa’.

The Sweetheartmust bring a declaration and if you come from a high-risk country within the EU, the Schengen area or the UK, or from a banned country, also a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before entry. 

What if my Danish partner lives abroad? Can we enter Denmark?

Yes! As long as you both enter Denmark together. In this case, as well, the non-Danish partner will be asked to bring a declaration and a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before entry. 

Can I enter Denmark if I quarantine in Denmark or an ‘open’ country?

At the time of writing, sadly not. The border police are just looking to see that you either legally reside in an ‘open’ country, or that you have a worthy purpose for entry and if so can produce a negative covid test. 

Can I enter Denmark if I take a Covid Test?

At the time of writing this only applies to those travelling from ‘closed’ or ‘high risk’ countries to Denmark with a ‘worthy’ purpose and those from ‘closed’ border regions. If you are travelling from a ‘closed’ country and you do not have a worthy purpose for travelling to Denmark, then you will not be allowed to enter, even if you are able to provide a negative test.

Can I travel to Denmark by car?

Yes, absolutely, however, police checks are in place and if you are stopped at the border you will be asked for documents that prove you legally reside in an ‘open’ country.

Also, be aware that some town halls have decided to only marry couples who were in Denmark before the travel restrictions were set in place and can prove they entered before the borders were closed, or have entered with a worthy purpose. 

The Processes To Get Married During Covid-19

Denmark was one of the first countries in the EU to act swiftly and decisively to bring in measures to curb the spread of the virus and as a result, was one of the first to open up its society again. 

When the authorities then felt the time was right to start opening up its borders to international travelers they put into place restrictions which are still to this date, being updated every week. 

It’s a simple method whereby the Danish authorities look at every country in the world and constantly assess the number of Covid cases per 100,000 people.

If any country’s numbers go over 30 cases per 100,000 people then cases are deemed too high and that country’s citizens and residents are not allowed entry into Denmark.

The Danish authorities reassess the number of cases every week and update the list of countries that are considered ‘closed’ and which are considered ‘open’. You can see this list along with a map of Europes ‘open’ and ‘closed’ countries here.

However, while this method is relatively simple, there does seem to be some confusion arising as the Danish authorities have also put slightly different processes in place for the Danish border regions and provinces and also for citizens of ‘banned’ countries being allowed to enter Denmark if they can show they have a ‘worthy purpose’ for travel.

Coronavirus/Covid-19 and Getting Married in Denmark - Getting Married in Denmark

Image by Kim Kjærgaard Sørensen Photographer.     Features post image by CDC

How Do The Danish Border Restrictions Work?

We always advise our couples first and foremost to contact the Border Police directly, to discuss your circumstances with them. You can do this by calling them on the following number: +45 7020 6044 

The Border Police will be able to give you the best and most current advice for your specific circumstances so you should always call them prior to travelling to Denmark. 

However, we thought it would be helpful to delve slightly deeper into the Danish Border Police’s main rules & restrictions for entering Denmark, explaining exactly what they mean and getting to the bottom of the confusion that is surrounding some of the rules. 

 

  • If you are a citizen or resident of a country where the number of Covid cases exceeds 30 in every 100,000 then you will not be able to enter Denmark until the case numbers fall below 20. 

 

This is a fairly straight forward rule but how do the Danish Border Police actually implement it? 

If upon entry unto Denmark, you are stopped by the border police, they will ask for papers that show you are legally resident in an ‘open’ country. Suitable papers include a recent relevant official document stating your address (including country) and a passport or another valid photo ID. 

If you are legally residing in a ‘high-risk’ or ‘banned’ country but travelling to Denmark via an ‘open’ country this does not mean you will be allowed to enter.  

If you have been a tourist or visitor in an ‘open’ country for any length of time, from a few days to a few months, this does not mean you will be allowed entry into Denmark and you will be required to provide papers that show you legally reside in an ‘open’ country. 

 

  • You may enter Denmark, even if you are from a ‘closed’ or ‘high risk’ country if you can show you have a ‘worthy’ purpose for travel. You must in this circumstance present a negative Covid test.

 

Is getting married consideret a ‘worthy’ purpose? Well, we’re incredibly sorry to say, it is not.

The Danish border police consider things such as job interviews, starting a new job, attending a business meeting, transporting goods in and out of Denmark, being a student, being a primary caregiver for minors, or attending a funeral just some of the ‘worthy’ purposes for entering Denmark. 

There and many more reasons and you can see the full list here.

The important point to note here if you fall into any of the above-mentioned categories is that before you are able to enter you MUST be able to provide a negative Covid test. This test should be taken no longer than 72 hours prior to your entry into Denmark. You can read more about the Covid test here.

 

  • BORDER REGIONS. Persons resident in Scania, Halland, Blekinge, Schleswig-Holstein or Norway can enter Denmark regardless of the purpose of their entry if their region meets the criteria for being classified as ‘open’.

 

HOWEVER, if your border region or province is labelled as ‘closed’ on the map, then you must present a negative Covid test, taken no longer than 72 hours prior to your entry into Denmark.

 

  • If you are a citizen or resident in a country where the cases are below 20 per 100,000, then you will be able to enter Denmark.

 

If you are travelling to Denmark and you are a citizen or resident of an open country, then you may travel to Denmark regardless of your purpose.

Currently, at the time of writing, no negative Covid test will be required from you. Please remember that proof will be required from you that you do legally reside in an ‘open’ country

Coronavirus/Covid-19 and Getting Married in Denmark - Getting Married in Denmark

So How Do You Proceed From Here?

Deciding how to move forwards from here is of course entirely up to you and your specific circumstances. 

If you have time on your side then you can still take our services, we will give you your detailed documents list, and get your application ready. You then have 2 options: 

  1. You hit the pause button. Once things improve, then at this point we process your application with the Agency of Family Law. 
  2. Or we process your application as soon as it’s ready to go regardless of the restrictions in place. 
 

We do highly recommend getting started as soon as possible with getting your documents organised and your application submitted to the AFL. Once the borders do open up, the number of applications being made at the AFL for marriage will increase hugely and wedding dates at the town halls will get booked up very quickly.

Therefore having your application approved already should give you the advantage of being able to get your wedding date booked asap. 

Once the AFL approves your application, you have 4 months validity on your ‘Certificate of Marital Status’ to enter Denmark for your wedding and further to this the AFL has said they will reopen cases and issue new Certificates to those affected by travel restrictions. 

However, it is worth noting that a lot of the town halls have now closed their doors and will not be reopening for weddings until the travel restrictions change. 

At the time of writing, this does not apply to Copenhagen City Hall, where it is still possible to book your wedding date.

Final Notes

Can you get married in Denmark right now? In November 2020, most likely No.. unless, of course, you have a worthy purpose or your partner is a Danish national or resident

BUT this isn’t permanent and you will be able to get married as soon as the borders open up again. 

So having your application already approved by the AFL will see that you are one step ahead of those who are just starting the process of preparing their documents ready to be submitted to the AFL.

If you’re unsure about where to go from here if you have any questions at all or would like our free documentation list please do get in touch with us and we would be so happy to help.

 

No matter where you were born or where you live, getting married is, for the most part, a huge life event that calls for much celebration!

Given Denmark is The Easiest Country in Europe for Foreign Couples to get Married, here at GMiD, we are constantly excited to see that this results in so many multicultural and multinational couples coming here to celebrate their love for each other! Each couple bringing with them their own requirements of ‘must have’ wedding day traditions.

We thought, because so many couples come to Denmark every year to get married, it would be great to explore some of the more common traditions that you’ll find surrounding a Danish wedding, so maybe you can decide for yourself if you’d like to integrate some of them into your Danish wedding adventure…. :-)

What Happens in the Lead up to a Traditional Danish Wedding?

Photo Credit: Protea Weddings

Prior to a traditional wedding in Denmark, there are a few customs that are likely to take place before the wedding goes ahead! ;-)

Asking For Hand In Marriage

A very ‘old school’ / old fashioned Danish wedding custom, that goes back a long way, and is actually a tradition that spans many countries and cultures, is asking the father of the bride for his daughter’s hand in marriage. 

This is often seen as a way of showing respect for your [hopefully] soon to be father-in-law! If he says yes, that is… In Danish it is called: Anmode om datterens hånd.

The Engagement Ring

Photo Credit: Protea Weddings

So, if the proposal was a success, then you are officially engaged – Congratulations! 

Danish tradition states that the engagement ring should be placed on the left ring finger. This is due to a vien that runs from the fourth finger on the left hand directly into the heart, thus earning itself the name ‘The Vein of Love’. 

This is another custom that is not only seen as a Danish wedding tradition but a tradition of many other Western countries too.

The Night Before The Wedding

A very common Danish wedding custom is that the couple should not sleep together in the same bed, or even see each other for that matter, the night before the wedding. 

This is not seen to be ‘proper’ and could even potentially be viewed as bad luck. In Denmark, the custom here states the brides stay with their bridesmaids and the grooms stay with their family or friends the night before the big day!

Æresport (or ‘Gate of Honour’ in English)

This is a very traditional Danish wedding custom (and is probably my favourite) whereby the family, friends, loved ones of the couple get together secretly the evening before the wedding and go to the soon-to-be-married couple’s house  (although some decide to go to the wedding venue or place of the wedding reception). 

They make a ‘port’ around the main door into the house of, traditionally, flowers and tree cuttings such as spruce, but can often include things personal to that couple. So, for example, if one of the couple is a teacher, the port would also include things like pencils or rulers! 

It is designed to bring the couple luck in their married lives together but also to let the whole neighbourhood know that there is something to be celebrated.

There is an additional ‘fun’ twist to this tradition though, as after the couple’s friends have made the port, they go into the house and create a mess, or what is more affectionately known as a ‘gentle ravage’! This includes throwing of toilet paper around the house, messing up cutlery draws – silly things like this! 

GMiD’s Mie is still finding dried rice in her draws, 4 years after her wedding! ;-) Rather sweetly, the tradition of making the port around the couple’s doorway is repeated again on the couple’s 12.5 year anniversary (copper wedding), their 25th wedding anniversary (silver wedding) and 50 year anniversary (golden wedding)!

The Day of the Traditional Danish Wedding

Photo Credit: Protea Weddings

The day of the wedding has arrived! It’s a very happy day indeed. There is a buzz in the air surrounding each half of the couple, getting ready, laughing with bridesmaids, hugs with family and friends. This is where in Denmark, the wedding traditions really start to get underway….

The Guests Wedding Clothes

There are actually a few unwritten rules that must be adhered to when it comes to what clothes you should wear when attendance at a Danish wedding. 

Firstly, It would be considered really rather rude if any of the female guests in attendance at your wedding in Denmark arrived wearing white. This colour is reserved for the bride alone!

Also, customarily, it didn’t used be the done thing to wear black either, as black used to be very much associated with grief and being in a state of mourning – not very ‘weddingy’ at all! 

However, these days, black is a very popular choice for outfits and it is said that if you want to wear black at a wedding, it would be courteous to check with the bride first – just to make sure it’s ok.

Lastly, gents, this one is for you… You absolutely must not attend the wedding as a guest in clothes that are ‘finer’ than the clothes the groom is wearing. So for example – if the groom is wearing a suit and tie, you should not show up in a top hat and tails! ;-)

The Order in Which Everyone Arrives

It is customary at a Danish wedding that the groom must always arrive first. 

Once he arrives, he must stand at the front of the room, before all the guests while he awaits his beloved! 

Following on from this, the bride should arrive last. Last, but hopefully not late! ;-) 

So, let’s set the scene… it’s a windy autumnul day, the guests and the groom all patiently await the brides arrival. 

A gust of wind blows the venue doors open, the groom turns around and there stands his bride, dress and veil blowing in the wind! Romantic huh?! Also, the sort of thing you only really see in films! :-)

The Brides Father Accompanies Her Down The Aisle

This is another old tradition, one that is not only seen in Denmark, and is sometimes called ‘giving the bride away! 

She is no longer to be looked after by her father, as he passes on this responsibility to his soon to be son-in-law.

Throwing Rice

Photo Credit: Protea Weddings

In Denmark, the throwing of rice is a symbol of fertility and so ensuring the newlywed couple are showered in rice as they leave their wedding ceremony is a way of hopefully seeing them blessed with the gift of children.

The Ceremony is Over and it’s Time to Celebrate - Danish Style!

So the REAL Danish wedding traditions really start to shine at the post wedding ceremony celebrations, naturally! Let’s face it, the Danes know how to party! 

Some of these traditions are firmly routed in Danish wedding celebrations and wouldn’t be considered a ‘proper’ Danish wedding without them!

The Cutting of the Wedding Cake

Photo Credit: Protea Weddings

There are a few different styles of wedding cake that you might come across at a Danish wedding. One type is called ‘Kransekage’ (this translates as wreath cake) and is made up of almond paste rings. 

Another choice though is a cornucopia shaped cake called ‘Overflødighedshorn’ (which translates as horn of plenty). This is also almond based!

The most popular though is the ‘classic’ style wedding cake which is tiered. In the case of the tiered cake, the couple will keep the top tier of their cake to eat together on either their first wedding anniversary, or in some cases the baptism of their first child.

Whichever cake is chosen by the couple, they should make sure it is cut before midnight on their wedding day and it is customary that every guest receives a piece – this is said to bring the newlyweds good luck in their lives together. 

The Speeches

It’s pretty customary at most weddings that someone will make a speech. The Groom will nearly always make a speech at a Danish wedding, but it’s also becoming more popular for the Bride to make a speech also. 

Then, if a close friend of the couple wishes, they can also stand up to make a speech. 

Often the friends of the couple will pick a famous song and re-write the words, creating a song for the wedding couple! This is always such fun and will often get incorporated into the speeches, though not always. 

The Many Many Kisses!!

This one is a sweet Danish wedding tradition, although not necessarily too hygienic in a post Covid world!! 

At the wedding party, if the groom needs to leave the room for any reason, it is a MUST that all the men will go kiss the bride! 

And the same if the bride leaves the room – all the women in the room will hurry to go and kiss the groom! 

The guests are firmly in control of when and where kissing should happen! If the guests start to bang their knives and forks on the table, the newlyweds have to kiss each other – but they must do this standing on their chairs! 

If the guests start to stamp their feet on the floor, the newlyweds must kiss, but this time under the table!!

Brudevals (Bridal Waltz) ie The First Dance

As per the cutting of the cake, the couple’s first dance or ‘bridal waltz’ must take place before midnight. 

When it’s time, all the guests will stand in a circle around the newlyweds and clap as the couple begin to dance. 

The music for this dance traditionally originates from August Bournonville’s ballet “Et folkesagn” (which translates as ‘A Folk Tale’) from 1854. 

As the couple dance, the guests make the circle smaller and smaller and eventually the couple kiss (again!). 

Then one of the more wonderful and very very Danish wedding customs is immediately carried out…

Cutting the Toes of the Groom Socks

Now this is one of those wedding traditions that you probably will never have heard of and then one day you’re invited to a Danish wedding and this happens in front of you! You might be left wondering what on earth just happend! And why?! 

So let us explain… the men closest to the groom will pick up the groom at the end of the bridal waltz, take off his shoes and cut the toes off his socks. 

This is a HUGE part of the Danish wedding for the groom and his friends, and symobilises the huge responsibility of the groom entering married life. He is no longer a young single boy. He is now a married man!

A less endearing part of this tradition is that then these torn socks can then sometimes be given to the bride for her to fix, almost as a test of her ability to ‘look after her husband’ in ways such as darning his worn or damaged socks!! Charming!

The Cutting of the Bride’s Veil

As the grooms socks are being cut off, the Bride’s Veil is also destroyed! This symbolises the woman’s exit from being a young girl who has now entered womanhood! She no longer has need for her bridal veil!

The Day After a Danish Wedding!

It’s not quite all over once midnight on the day of the actual wedding ceremony – there is one last ‘treat’ left in store for the bride….

The Morning Gift

It is customary for the groom to gift his bride with some kind of jewellery, commonly a necklace or ‘medalion’ of some kind, containing something extremely personal relating to him, such as a lock of his hair or his picture for example. 

However, this tradition goes back a long long way and stems from the fact that should a husband die ‘early on’ in the marriage, his wife would inherit nothing, with all his inheritance being passed to his parents. The poor widow would be left with nothing! 

So to ensure a newly bereaved wife would not be left totally destitute in the event of her husband’s death, a ‘morning’ gift was offered. In these old days, it would ususally be money or land or even sometimes property such as a small hut – somthing that would give her some kind of financial recompense or security, should her husband die before his parents. 

Thank goodness times have moved on since these days and women don’t need to rely on men for this kind of thing anymore, right?!

But are these Traditions Outdated?

You may, while reading through some of these popular Danish wedding customs, have wondered if they still have a place in today’s society. We know we certainly have.

Things like asking for the father’s permission for a woman’s hand in marriage for example certainly feels extremely outdated. And it goes without saying that a woman’s worth as a life partner is so much more than her ability to darn a pair of socks! 

So, take from these traditions what you will! 

But if you’re getting married in Denmark, maybe there might be one or two you’d like to add your own take onto, and bring to your Danish wedding day, possibly even creating a new family wedding tradition of your own.

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