Swedish and American Wedding Traditions

There are a mix of Swedish and American wedding traditions. Some strange and old, others part of a new world. We’ve chosen to observe a few traditions from our heritage. Read more here to know what to expect!


  • The ceremony will be a religious ceremony officiated by the Unitarian Minister who presided over Rian’s high school youth group.
  • Tossing the bridal bouquet to the unmarried ladies in attendance traditionally means that whoever catches the bouquet will be the next one to tie the knot!
  • First dance: The bride and groom will start the dance party with a first dance. Make sure to join them once the beat picks up!


  • The Bride and Groom will walk down the aisle together, arm in arm, as equals. How Swedish.
  • Groomsman Jonas Hjertberg will take on the roll of Swedish toastmaster. In Sweden, the toasts are the highlight of the evening, and often planned in advance. They entertain with humor and sweetness and are given in the order determined by the toastmaster, who introduces each person. If you would like to give a toast, please contact jonas.hjertberg@nike.com or approach him during cocktail hour at the beginning of the reception.
  • The Bridal Crown: Swedish brides traditionally wore a crown of Myrtle leaves, which today may be replaced by a flower crown or veil.
  • Minimalism: Swedish weddings often have a much smaller wedding party than the typical American wedding. Swedes generally have one groomsman and one bridesmaid (Rian will have 2!) and the average size of a Swedish wedding is 50 people. We’ve kept our wedding much smaller than the average American wedding to respect the Swedish tradition and include our closest friends and family.
  • If you’re interested in reading more about Swedish traditions, check the link here.

Our Own:

  • In the spirit of keeping things simple, we are hosting a dessert reception (with a few hors d’oeuvres) and plenty to drink with a kick-ass DJ who is sure to get the party moving!
  • We’ve opted out of a wedding cake, preferring instead to have cupcakes and other delicious treats.

Things To See and Do

Oregon, at this time of year is full o possible adventures. There are many more things to do than are listed here, but we hope these help inspire you.

Mt. Hood

The epicenter of summer skiing and snowboarding in North America (rivaled only by Whistler) Timberline Lodge operates year round and offers fabulous panoramic views of Oregon State. You can purchase a hikers pass and ride the Magic Mile Chairlift for a great photo op or rent skis or snowboards to cruise through their public park and halfpipes. Rian spent 7 summers on the glacier working or High Cascade Snowboard Camp and heartily recommends a dip in Trillium lake to swim with a mountain view or stopping in Government Camp for an ice cream at Volcano Cones or meat in a bun at Cobra Dog’s.

Hike, Run or Bike the Forest in the City

Forest Park is full of impressive trails and the calming breath of the forest in the city. Check out Portland Monthly’s guide to the best hikes in this unique Park.

Forest Park Hike Guide

Wine Country

For the last five years rumors have circulated around Oregon that Sideways 2 would be filmed in the Willamette Valley. This may prove to be an Urban Legend, but the truth is that some of the best Pinot Noir’s on the planet come from this region and there are a variety of vineyards large and small that are open for tastings throughout the summer. Dundee is one of our favorite areas just 40 minutes outside the city. http://www.oregonwinecountry.org/

The Bite of Oregon

This waterfront festival celebrates Oregon’s food culture and raises money for the Special Olympics. A great place to “grab a bite” and explore an incredibly diverse selection of food, the Bite also features celebrity chef demonstrations, cooking competitions, and other food-centric entertainment. Learn more here: http://www.biteoforegon.com/

Friday August 9th: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.

Saturday August 10th: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday August 11th: 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.

The Oregon Coast

A 90-minute drive from Portland, the Oregon Coast offers rigid but consistent waves for surfers and scenic viewpoints or hikes for nature lovers. Remember those shots of the forest flanking the seashore in Goonies? Those scenes were shot at Ecola State Park and look as breathtaking and magical in real life as they did in the film.


Oregon’s tax-free shopping is hard to beat. Start at Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the US, and spiral out from here to find a mix of local stores and larger chains. Some of our favorites nearby include Frances May, Poler, Solestruck, Sur La Table, and Anthropologie. For anyone staying at the Ace hotel, the best shopping in town is right outside your door.

Portland’s Best Happy Hour Spots

So, we are bucking tradition a little bit with an evening wedding and a dessert reception that includes a few hors d’oeuvres. The cool thing about this is that visitors to Portland will have a chance to experience the fabulous Happy Hour meals and deals that the city has to offer beforehand and once at the wedding and reception guests will get enjoy the freedom to roam around the venue rather than being stuck at one table all night. And we promise delicious deserts, an awesome signature cocktail, and perhaps your first, but not last, sip of Swedish Schnapps.

Happy Hour in Portland is traditionally from 5-6 or 7pm and the best restaurants in Portland offer fabulous food at unbeatable prices, generally garnished with a fantastic cocktail.

Blue Hour

A few of our favorites in relatively close proximity to the ceremony site include:


250 NW 13th Avenue, at Everett Street; 503-226-3394 4:00 to 6:30 Sunday to Friday

Rian’s mom’s favorite restaurant, Blue Hour makes impeccable food and has a beautiful atmosphere situated next door to Weiden & Kennedy, the groundbreaking agency that grew started alongside Nike as their first ad agency.

Portland City Grill

111 SW 5th, 30th floor, 450-0030, 4:30-6:30 & 10-midnight daily

A favorite hang out of downtown office types, and single clerical workers looking for a love connection, this happy hour spot on the 30th floor of Portland’s tallest building has a view and menu that far outweighs the downsides of the crowd. The burger is hand-pattied, huge, and one of the best in town; the mussels are fresh and the seared tuna is amazing. Choose from about 20 items (crab cakes, pot stickers, salads), and get fancy full.


1341 NW Glisan, 228-9535, Tues-Fri 4-6 pm

Exotic Peruvian drinks for $4, and food for $2. Highlights include the Solano cocktail–a combo of Makers and lime juice, plus cinnamon and clove, and food options like the parmesan crusted scallops, mussels, or their simple quinoa salad.

Clyde Common

1014 Southwest Stark Street  Portland, OR 97205 3-6 pm

Clyde Common is the restaurant housed in the Ace Hotel. Their bartenders are not bartenders, but “mixologists.” This is the place to stop if you’re staying at the Ace and appreciate a serious cocktail and an adventurous culinary experience in a cool, modern space. You can order Pork Terrine or just go with their signature burger. Great food, just be ready to battle for counter space if you show up after 5:30. Stop into the lobby of the Ace to capture the moment in their photo booth.

Jake’s Grill

611 SW 10th, 220-1850,  Fri 3-6 pm & 10 pm-1 am

The drinks may be priced normally at swanky Jake’s, but the happy hour food specials are amazing. With a $2 minimum beverage purchase, you can choose off of their $1.95 happy menu, which includes a 1/2 pound cheeseburger, salads, and damn fine oyster shooters.


1001 SW Broadway, 790-7752, 4-6 pm daily

As far as the downtown fancy hotel bars go, the Heathman is pretty middle-of-the-road, but it’s a comfy joint with a happy hour you can count on from 4-6 pm every day of the week. No drink specials, but a killer bistro menu that includes a decent burger for $3.50 and steamed mussels in a curry sauce (yum!) for $4.


2165 W Burnside, 223-1513, Daily 9:45-Midnight

Admittedly, Rian and Niclas have never experienced the two-dollar food, which includes a great burger, four oyster shooters, a big Caesar, a French dip, steak bites, etc. at “America’s Best Steakhouse,” but all reports indicate the food is great and it’s the closest spot to the ceremony. If you’re looking for a dark, classical, masculine style restaurant with good food, this is supposed to be one of Portland’s best.

600 E Burnside St. Portland, OR 97214 Friday 4:30-6:30

Conveniently located on the east side of the Burnside bridge this large bar is a perfect drop in spot for out of town guests staying at the Jupiter Hotel. Be prepared for a large open plan space filled with vintage furniture reminiscent of midwest relative’s basements and an unbeatable grilled cheese and tomato soup. The cheese fondue is also a good option. Food specials are filling and only $4 and the patio out back is a great way to enjoy Portland’s summer weather.


The Wedding Party

Maid of Honor: Jaclyn Hafner Force

Jac and Isaac

Rian met Jaclyn while working at Signal Sports in Portland. The two hit it off immediately and worked together there for a total of 3 weeks, only to become roommates a year later. Jaclyn was Rian’s closest confidant through all of the excitement of meeting Niclas and dating at such a very long-distance. Her pragmatism, ability to listen and overall calm approach to the world helped support Rian to have the guts to make this leap of faith and follow her heart. During this time, Jaclyn was falling in love with her future husband and the excitement they both shared over finding someone special created a unique bond.   Jaclyn continues to teach Rian how to put love in action and is now the proud mom of little Isaac. Jac and Rian are like opposite sides of the wheel, together they strike a perfect balance.

Bridesmaid: Marian Parsons


Marian will forever claim the title of “Rian’s oldest friend.”  The two met as teenagers in Lake Oswego and bonded over a free-spirited approach to the world that included sharing adventures on Mt. Hood, at the University of Oregon in Eugene and over phone calls and letters throughout the years ever since. Marian has always inspired Rian with her ability to be brave and pursue her own path, which has lead to the Peace Corps, a government funded trip to the surf spots of Brazil and finishing a masters degree at UCDavis. This girl is full of stories.

Groomsman: Jonas Hjertberg


Niclas met one of his oldest friends, Jonas, at Solo, the hippest place to buy denim and other clothing goods in Gothenborg at the time. They spent a lot of time being “young and cool” together. This meant snowboarding, golfing, going out to the coolest clubs and a few computer games. Then Jonas moved to Copenhagen and later NYC and the two stayed in touch despite time and distance.  Fate brought Jonas to Portland, Oregon to work for Nike around the same time that Niclas and Rian met.


Niclas and Rian have friends from far and wide. Most guests attending will either be American or Swedish. What could it mean to be Swedish besides shopping at Ikea and H&M or driving a Volvo? Here is one answer. Check it out!


Gift Registry

The best gift for us is your presence at the wedding!

For those of you who feel compelled to show your congratulations in the form of a gift, we will most likely end up in the US sometime soon so we have created a  small registry at Sur La Table, Gift cards to places like Target, Home Depot or Macy’s would most likely be put to good use or we would gladly accept contributions to a honeymoon fund. We hope this helps!

The best place to send a card or gift is:

Rian & Niclas

C/O Diane & Randy Homes

2122 Marylwood Ct.

West Linn, OR 97068