The absolute biggest celebration of them all was the wedding. At weddings, status and position could really be shown and strengthened in the face of the future.
No expense was spared, and labor power was hired on to bake, decorate, and polish several months before it was time for the wedding festivities.
The wedding would then last for several days. Hundreds of guests would be welcomed to the wedding farmhouse, always with pomp and splendor. Fiddlers accompanied their arrival with happy tones, and even the very first glimpse of the farmhouse should leave a great impression. Decorating entryways with carpentry that was especially beautiful, imaginative, and handsome became its own folk art in Hälsingland. Everyone had their own details that were only found in a certain parish; for example, an entryway from Järvsö could not be confused with one from Alfta.
At the wedding itself, of course, the bride was the center of attention apart from the farmhouse. She was adorned in a black dress, bright pearls, silk shawls, paper flowers and glittering silver. A gilded coronet crowned the top of her head. After the wedding ceremony itself, it was time for the biggest event of the day: the feast. Large quantities of food were served throughout the days of the celebration, but now it was time to bring out the whole show! Cheese curd cake, pottage, veal, puréed berries, cake, and prune soup were only a few of the treats served on beautiful pewter dishes. And that wasn’t all. In a letter from a farm in Järvsö, most likely written around 1880, there is a description of a party that concludes: “I did not drink although there was plenty of it.”
The elegant bridal couple were of course in everyone’s view during the dinner. The most beautiful of the wall paintings marked the place for the newlyweds in the hall. The priest sat closest, and the rest of the guests were placed by rank in the hall and the neighboring rooms, sometimes in several sittings. A little later in the evening, those who were not formally invited were allowed to come in to the warmth of the cottage. First came the unwed farmer’s daughters of the village. Then came the knutarna – masked men full of fun, demanding to see the bride. Social status was no longer the most important thing – everyone could come in and celebrate.