Bridal Crown History from Norway

The bridal crown came in use at the end of the middle ages, with the Virgin Mary’s crown at the forefront. The crown was undoubtedly the most expressive part of anything the bride would wear. It would be a symbol of her purity and virginity. Women who did not qualify in that category or who were pregnant or who were widowed were not allowed to wear the bridal crown. In some districts pregnant brides were allowed to wear smaller crowns or a modified version of the hodeplagget – a head covering that married women wore with their bunad.

Bridal crowns varied from district to district. They, as a rule, would be richly decorated with detailed silver work and, of course, would be very valuable. Some crowns could be so heavy that they would have to be sewn into the bride’s hair in order for it to sit properly in place. A very strong neck was necessary to carry this honorable head piece the entire day! Some crowns were owned privately, but many were owned by the church. Usually the crowns would be rented out and the price was usually one “daler”- Norwegian money unit prior to 1875.

We carry two Norwegian crowns that measure 3.5” at the base and flare to 5.5” in diameter. The height is 2.5”. Each crown is sterling silver. One crown has a white finish with gold spoons and the other is a silver (oxidized) finish with silver spoons. These crowns are handmade in Voss, Norway. 
The Norwegian crowns can be purchased new and can become a family heirloom.

I rented the Norwegian Bridal Crown because I’m very proud of my Scandinavian heritage and my fiance and I wanted to have a wedding that was unique to us. I made my own veil from several yards of toile and attached it with bobby pins at the back of the crown. At the reception, I kept the crown on all night, but removed the veil. I can’t tell you how many positive comments I had on the crown and my matching sølje earrings. Our photographer also got great shots of the crown and it is featured in some of our wedding photos. I felt like (and people said I looked like) a princess in the crown. Sometimes people say that they would change things about their wedding day… and this is definitely one thing that I would keep AND wouldn’t change a thing. I was never a beauty queen, but I certainly felt like one on my wedding day!

– Sara Nellermoe Lawrence, St. Louis Park, MN