You guys, our favorite cherry blossom brides are back! We had a look at their gorgeous first civil ceremony among the cherry blossoms and a preview of this second faery wedding. Get ready to fall in love again!
The offbeat bride: Gesche, customer care rock star and part-time crafter (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Johanna, gardenfairy and baker
Date and location of wedding: Föreningen Folk and Trädgård, Tungelsta, Sweden — June 17, 2012
our offbeat wedding at a glance: We had an intimate, sparkly, and very colourful wedding in a garden park just outside of Stockholm. After first planning a rather traditional wedding, we realized that it wouldn't feel right unless we did it our way and threw all the rules overboard. Instead of a traditional church wedding, we split it into two: the legal part and the fun part, incorporating as many of our dreams as possible We incorporated as much of both our dreams as possible. What it turned into was a romantic enchanted faery-themed wedding that celebrated our love and dorkiness more than anything.
We both wore fairytale dresses that we designed ourselves with seas of tulle, our favorite colours, and lots of sparkle. Gesche's friend sewed them for us and we customized them further with sequins, beads, and glitter. Instead of veils, we wore handmade crowns (butterflies for Gesche, flowers and berries for Johanna).
Despite an engagement that lasted for almost three years, we didn't have much money to spend on the wedding. We made the best of it by searching long and hard for alternatives until we found something that was close to what we imagined but also as close to our budget as possible. We ended up making many things ourselves with help from our friends and families, including all the decorations and centerpieces, the bridesmaids' dresses, and the invitations and programs.
We had a vegetarian/vegan buffet and dessert table, seeing as we're both vegan and many of our friends are as well. The only thing that wasn't vegan of the dessert table was the wedding cake that Johanna baked herself, filled with raspberry mousse and Hungarian chocolate mousse from Heaven. Or, you know, Hungary.
Tell us about the ceremony: Since Gesche is German and Johanna is Swedish, we tried to keep the ceremony as bilingual as possible. Johanna's father is a priest, and together we worked out a handwritten spiritual ceremony. Since we already made it legal in a short city hall ceremony, we were free to do whatever we wanted for this one.
We walked into the greenhouse of the park hand-in-hand to Schandmaul's “An dich.” Our ceremony involved a ring warming as well as a handfasting, read in turn by Gesche's mom and Johanna's dad. We were very keen on having the guests take an active part in the ceremony, and we knew we'd wanted a hand blessing of some kind ever since we got engaged, both as a recognition of our Pagan views and because we both found it beautiful and symbolic.
Our ceremony was entirely unplugged. We wanted our loved ones to be present in the moment. At the end of the ceremony, after a heavy shower of glitter from our bridesmaids, everyone got the OK to take pictures and blow their bubbles. The Vespers' cover of “All I Want is You” was playing, and we stood there swaying in our dresses. Then we all walked out together.
Our biggest challenge: We really tried to keep our cool around all the craziness, and we didn't want to get carried away by the stress of having to do every little thing ourselves and want it to be perfect. This proved to be harder than we originally thought, but we tried to follow the adage of “if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.” That did the trick. If something was causing that monster anxiety to stir, we changed the way we were going about it.
My favorite moment: Because we wrote the vows ourselves, the moment when we finally got to read them out loud to each other in front of everyone was very special. Our officiant had told us just before the ceremony that we should let whatever emotion we're having come forth and not worry about if we suddenly burst into tears or laughter. We hadn't practiced our vows (having just finished them the night before!) and we both got teary-eyed as well as giggly reading them, which was lovely. Gesche wrote hers in German, and said that she wanted to “live with you until we are crazy old ladies in a house full of cats.”
Some friends of ours had brought their guitars and amazing voices to the reception. A couple we both know performed a heartfelt acoustic version of “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, successfully making both of us tear up. A longtime friend also sang one of her own songs, which pulled at our heartstrings violently. But in a good way.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? It was pouring down the whole weekend of the wedding, so we had to spontaneously change ceremony locations. It turns out that the light and atmosphere in the greenhouse made the ceremony so much more beautiful and special than the planned park ceremony could've been. We also didn't have time to rehearse anything and our iPod-DJ died half an hour into the reception so we had to cancel the dancing. But everyone seemed content to eat and hang out together until the end of the night that nobody noticed we had dancing planned anyway.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: At some point, step away from bridal magazines, wedding blogs, movies about weddings, etc. Think about what you really want, and stick to that as much as you can. It's okay to compromise too, as long as you don't compromise on the few things that matter the most to you.
Tell your partner how much you love her/him at least once a day. And try to take time off from all the planning to do sweet, small things together. Nothing kills stress quite as effectively like quality time spent with your love.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: 2Brides Photography
- Dresses: Anna of ArtFlower
- Cake: Johanna of Örnsbergs bageri
- Cake butterflies: Etsy seller SugarRobot
- Catering: Cicada Catering
- Guestbook: Guestbook Store
- Rings: Etsy seller Plyeffects (flowery) and Två Hjärtan (thin)
- Gesche's butterfly crown: Etsy seller Neesiedesigns
- Johanna's flower crown: Etsy seller Sweetlittlesparrow
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!