What do you get when you combine your future hubby’s heritage with the natural beauty of your seaside wedding venue? One unique, uber special celebration that guests won’t forget anytime soon. Infusing a Swedish style with their New England locale and flavor, these two were surrounded by everything and everyone they love – and Allegra Anderson captured it all. More in our Vault right here!
From the Bride… My now husband Dave is Swedish and ever since the first time I went to visit his family in his coastal hometown of Särö, Sweden, I have been in awe of all the natural and effortless beauty that Sweden has to offer and of Swedes in general. They are all so beautiful. Seriously. I can’t complain though because I grew up in a small New England coastal town called Rockport, MA which also rivals in seaside charm and beauty. Naturally with us both growing up in similar settings but thousands of miles apart we knew we wanted a seaside wedding and to really show our roots, and who we are as a couple. We wanted: 1. To get married on the beach (our favorite place to be) 2. To blend the two different cultures into our wedding, and 3. To have a non-cookie cutter wedding – we really wanted to infuse the charming New England laid back vibe with the beauty and romance of Sweden, so that our friends from both sides of the Atlantic could get a taste of each other’s culture.
This is when we found the Manchester Bath and Tennis Club in Manchester, MA which has its own private beach (turns out not easy to find in New England) to say our vows on, followed by a fantastic dinner and dancing on their porch and great hall overlooking the beach and the ocean. We decided what better way to introduce the Swedes to New England charm and style than by having a classy, fun clambake complete with bibs (lobsters are a REAL treat in Sweden). To capture the romantic Swedish beauty, I wanted my girls to be in blue floral flowy dresses since blue floral is a classic china pattern in Sweden and I found the perfect dresses for the occasion on reddressboutique.com for $90 each (did not want them spending $300+ for a dress they would wear once)! In Sweden flower crowns are very common and classic in weddings (and especially during Midsummer) so I wore a floral-like crown and to have my two Maid of Honors stand out, my mom made them these wonderful flower crowns to match their dresses. It was the perfect combination of Swedish and beachy.
To go with the effortless beauty look, our florist did a wonderful job of putting together our bouquets and table flowers. They looked like they were all cut from someone’s beautiful garden that morning and thrown together but they just so happened to be arranged perfectly. Our florist Sage Studio even added some herbs to our boutique to give it texture like rosemary and mint. They were absolutely stunning. We also put two candles on each table as part of the center pieces to add to the romance and simplicity.
A few other nods we had to the Swedish culture was that Dave’s dad read a beautiful poem about love in Swedish during our ceremony so that everyone could hear Dave’s native language. Also, our groomsmen and dads wore their nationality flag socks. Dave wore one Swedish flag sock and one American sock as a symbol of combining the two families. My dad wore one Union Jack sock and one American sock as a nod to our family’s British roots (my dad was born and grew up in England). My sister also carried the rings in a silver cigar box that my grandfather was gifted from the King of Siam during his visit to England in which my grandfather at the time was the head of his security detail at the Palace.
One of the most fun things we did was we imported Aquavit (which we could not find it in the US or at least not in MA). It is Swedish schnapps that is specifically used for celebrations in Sweden. I had my first taste of this at Midsummer in Sweden a few years back and thought we had to share it with everyone. We had a couple of our Swedish groomsmen hand out the bottles and shot glasses to the guests and told everyone to wait for our signal. As tradition goes, halfway through dinner, Dave stood up and gave a short explanation of what usually happens at a Swedish party. Then all of the Swedes stood up and started signing a popular Swedish drinking song which ends with taking the shot. This happened a few more times throughout dinner, as the tradition goes. Everyone LOVED it!
Our friends then surprised us with one more Swedish tradition that was a shocker! When the groom gets up to go to the bathroom all the men get up and kiss the bride on the cheek. This was unexpected and really fun I must say.
Lastly, we just had some small Swedish and N.E. nautical touches throughout the wedding which was really fun and we felt blended two cultures we love together really well. We also had our favorite desserts: cupcakes (my favorite) and an ice cream bar complete with Swedish fish as a topping (Dave’s favorite). It was a perfect day in every way for us and we really felt the day represented who we are as a couple and our cultures. Our amazing photographer Allegra Anderson captured it beautifully and all of our vendors were wonderful to work with and went above and beyond for us- we really were on cloud nine.
Photography: Allegra Anderson Photography | Floral Design: Sage Floral Studio | Cupcakes: Cakes for Occasions | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Red Dress Boutique | Catering: Chrissi's Cafe & Fish Market | Hair: Jennifer Elizabeth Weddings | Wedding Venue: Manchester Bath & Tennis Club | Bridal Boutique: Ceremony | Bride's Makeup Artist: Makeup By MollyG | Rings + Earrings: Hearts On Fire | Wedding Party Makeup Artist: Makeup Artistry, Inc.