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Let’s be honest, when it comes to lutefisk, there really are only two camps: love it or loathe it. Fortunately, Denise Logeland and Tom Dennstedt both have fond feelings for the distinctly Nordic dish.
“Tom and I met at a lutefisk dinner hosted by my good friend, his cousin,” says Denise, who is a former editor of Viking. “We got a lot of jokes about lutefisk as an aphrodisiac.”`
When Tom proposed on New Years’ Day, 2010, the couple set about incorporating their shared Norwegian heritage (“100 percent for me, 75 percent for him,” says Denise) into their day. The location was easy: The century-old Lutheran church Tom used to attend, and his family farm in Harmony, Minn.
“We figured that ‘in Harmony’ was a good way to start out,” says Denise, who now lives with Tom in Minneapolis.
Tom kicked off the planning by surprising Denise with an antique sølje (bunad silver), which she seamlessly incorporated into the design of her wedding gown. Denise squirreled away her gift to Tom, a traditional Norwegian ale bowl, and presented it to him during the wedding reception. The two also exchanged custom wedding bands designed to resemble Norwegian acanthus carvings.
Music also played a role in setting a traditional tone. Denise walked down the aisle to “The Bridal Procession from Østerdalen,” and the couple exited to Grieg’s “Prelude from the Holberg Suite.” During communion, a bunad-clad friend played folk tunes on the langeleik, an ancient Norwegian instrument. She then took up the fiddle to escort the bridal party to the reception site via horse-drawn wagon.
At the reception, guests feasted on local roast pig—a symbol of good luck in Norway. And for dessert? Coffee, cake and pie, of course.