I have just had a fantastic few days over in Alingsas in Sweden where I photographed the wedding of Annika and Adam alongside my dear, sweet friend Petra Hall. I have never been to Sweden before and I discovered it is a truly beautiful country, with lovely people who are so welcoming. The whole wedding was fantastic - and so very different in many ways from what I am used to when I photograph in the UK and Italy.
Let me see if I can remember it all. Well, firstly, we were able to photograph Annika, Adam and their bridal party for a short time before the ceremony, which I just loved - and Annika and Adam were so much more relaxed about the ceremony when the time came because of having seen each other first.
We then went on to the beautiful church and the service started with Annika's cousins singing the song Right Here Right Now (My Heart Belongs To You) originally sung by Agnes Carlson. After the ceremony, instead of throwing confetti everyone threw rice over the couple to bring them good luck and good fortune for the future. And then we got to go off to a park, just the bride and groom and the two of us to be able to take photographs for over an hour! That just never happens in the UK, so it was fantastic to have time to work properly with the couple, and we were able to get some amazing photographs as a result.
So here is a sneak preview, I'll tell you more at the end, after the photographs.
Annika, the bride - the crown on her head was made by her grandfather and it contains family initials and gems important to the family, making up the something old and something blue.
Adam, the groom, looking a little nervous at this stage in the day.
The beautiful church in Alingsas.
Marika, the bride's sister - isn't she gorgeous? With David, one of the bestmen to the left ... yeah, ok David, you're gorgeous too!
Aren't they gorgeous?
So let's see, what else happened? Well, at the meal (which was delicious!) there were alsorts of games and songs. For example, when the groom left the room all the men in the room ran up to the bride and kissed her, and then when the bride left the room all the girls jumped and ran up to the groom to kiss him. Another bizarre practice was for the guests to chink their glasses so that the bride and groom would kiss. And I loved how there were two seats set up in front of the bride and groom so that any guest who wanted to talk to them just had to go up and sit on the seats.
When it came to the speeches anyone could put their name up to do a speech, read a poem, sing a song, whatever they wanted. And then we sang songs in Swedish and English, burst balloons, cut the cake and danced to Abba songs ... no, really, we did!
So a big big thank you to Annika and Adam for letting me experience a Swedish wedding, and to Petra for having me along to accompany her as photographer for the day. It was lovely to work with another fantastic photographer, and to meet her mum, Gun.