It’s no secret that I love me a bit of pink. After all, my barnet was varying shades of the colour for close to ten years straight! So when I saw Johanna and Bjorn’s Swedish wedding, but heart did back flips.
The couple met 16 years ago through mutual friends. After having two daughters together, Johanna got tired of waiting for him to propose so she asked him on New Year’s Eve by sending him an invitation to his own wedding!
“We both agreed that we wanted to have a personalised wedding”, she told me, “that would feel very much like us. We went completely with the things we like. I wore a pink tulle dress, we had a tour car from the hillbilly band Fearless as our transport, and we started the day with a good pre-drink in our own Thai bar we have in our barn!”
Intimate Halloween wedding by candlelight
By the time a lot of people get married, it is quite likely that they will have lost someone near and dear to them. I’ve had quite a few people email me about this over the past few weeks, so today I wanted to share some simple ways you can include a loved one who has passed away in your wedding day.
While many people might wince at the idea of including a memorial as part of a wedding day (for fear of it being too depressing or overshadowing the celebration), there are many ways that you can honour and include them in a subtle yet special way.
Have a photo of them in a locket, tied on your bouquet
Halloween and horror wedding
Set up a memory table with photographs of them
Doctor Who wedding
Wear something that they wore on their wedding day, or something they gave you
Sunflower and flamingo wedding
Take some fabric from something they owned and sew it into the inside of your dress or one of your accessories (maybe in the shape of a heart)
Colourful Mexican wedding
Emma and Ofer wanted a wedding that was the perfect combination of a festival of love, with great music, good food and plenty of little details. The day was held in an olive grove in Tel Aviv.
“Above all we wanted our wedding to be comfy!”, explained the bride. “We wanted a wedding where our guests wouldn’t want to leave, where every corner you looked you would see a different cuddle puddle. We were ultimately the most inspired by our home and what we envision for our future home. We’re currently city dwellers aiming for a farm family one day. So we took an olive garden with nothing but trees and brought our living room (and much much more) with us!”
The reception setting was a mixture of boho chic and some native American Indian touches. Eclectic living room furnitures from Tel Aviv’s flea market along with cactus and aloe plants were laid out. The whole set up took three days! The couple also brought along their own furniture which they built themselves.
Ania and Stach did not want a formal day or a church ceremony, but they also didn’t want to do the registry office thing, “We thought it would strip the magic away” the bride said. So instead they decided to marry on the hill near the groom’s parent’s cottage. They had the reception in a barn on the same land.
“Stach’s parents have a summer house in Suwalszczyzna, which is a beautiful place in the northern Poland. This place is especially important to us and we spend there all the time we can. The house is in the middle of nowhere and the nature there is enchanting. We thought that having the wedding there would make it a great celebration. We also wanted to show other people the place that meant so much to us – and thought it would be a beautiful opportunity. We brought 300 people from all around the Poland (and beyond) to the place they would never visit otherwise!”
Ali and Steven were married at Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland. The whole wedding party stayed there from Friday-Sunday which made it feel more like a holiday away with friends!
“We had the place to ourselves it felt really homely and relaxed”, Ali explained. “We had an afternoon tea on arrival on Friday and the bridesmaids and I decorated the space. Then we all went out for a lovely dinner at the Minishant Inn. We relaxed back at Culzean in the big cosy lounge. On Saturday we all had breakfast together then did some finishing touches to decorations, got ready and had canapes and champagne in the round room with a beautiful view out to the sea. After the ceremony there were drinks in the armoury with the musical trio before dinner in the Georgian kitchen.”
The couple planned the whole wedding themselves, and loved doing so. “We enjoyed doing it ourselves”, she continued. “It felt like a more special day and we were proud during the weekend looking at and experiencing our handiwork.”
“The wedding was inspired by my love of colour and basically anything we saw and liked online. We looked through the A-Z of having a wedding, tore out what we didn’t like and scribbled all over the rest. We kept in anything traditional that we really wanted. For example, Steven didn’t want to see me in my dress until the ceremony and he wanted to cut the cake and I wanted to do the confetti bit – its always a great picture and a fun moment for all to get involved in.”
You say that you first spotted me walking down the stairs at the dive bar we both used to frequent. I was just 16, you were 21. You assure me you can remember exactly what I was wearing – a sheer pink top with a denim pencil skirt, and freshly dyed pink tips at the bottom of my hair. “That’s the girl I’m going to marry” you turned to your friend and said. “Yeah right”, I replied when you told me this story, years later. But that is just so typically Gareth – you’re just always right about everything.
I thought you were fit but also ‘too nice’. I was still in my “I want a bad boy” stage – the cannabis smoking, skateboarding, treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen type. You were nothing like the other boys I knew.
It took me a while to give you a chance. “Hey, wanna go out for a drink?” came the text on my 18th birthday. I didn’t even remember giving you my number, but you’d saved it all that time. “What do you have to lose?” my friend reassured me, “He was cute and sweet. Go for it!”
We went to play pool. I’m pretty sure you let me win. I remember one of our very first conversations was me asking you if you liked football. You said you hated it and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.