I have merely started to write about our wedding planning when I understood that this topic is so much more complicated and totally unrelated to the wedding day photographs, so I decided to tell you about the day only, because wedding day and wedding planning are two very different emotions.
I’m a romantic (I believe so) with a hint of sarcasm. I was quite indifferent to weddings (until some time), I have a lot of wedding photographers friends and while I was thinking about my wedding day I sort of felt extremely calm… Until my boyfriend proposed. Who could have known that my S. is such a romantic. I thank him for my hysterical happy tears. I will never forget the night he proposed when we both laughed and cried because we had no idea which hand we were supposed to put the ring on.
Wedding preparations include a very exceptional and unique package of nerves. I wouldn’t want to share the planning story here today, not together with beautiful photography. On the day of the wedding I couldn’t care less, I even tore my dress and noticed it later in the end, whatever! On your wedding day you will feel better, easier. Trust me! I’ve heard different stories, but I let it go in the morning when I knew – wedding is only one day, not one week like Charlotte (“Sex and the City”) wanted it, or even Monica (“Friends”), wedding is just several hours. I had one goal – enjoy the day and remember its details. That doesn’t mean that everything went perfect, of course not, but it wouldn’t be as great if it did. I would never have thought I could be so stressed months before the wedding. Just one day! and so much pressure.
Keeping my loved ones close
There were rather many guests from my side who flew in from other countries. I am so endlessly thankful that my friends could be there (unfortunately not all them). I can only imagine how hard it might be to plan a trip half a year in advance for a particular day and actually show up. My huge advantage was that my future sister-in-law owns a small hotel in Stockholm suburbs. Yes, it was quite far from the wedding but nevertheless it was super comfortable and amazing to have almost everyone gathered in one place – my family, my friends. Some of them I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. I was happy. Family is great! The getting ready was at one of my sister-in-law’s house, it was near the hotel (but far from the church we had the ceremony in). Our wedding was in Stockholm suburbs, farther from the city, where there is only nature, height, view over the lake, wood, large windows, everything like we like it.
A couple of weeks before the wedding I started to scan weather. We were lucky enough to have absolutely rainless and warm summer. It was showing sunny weather until one day, about a week before the wedding, it showed 9mm of rain on the exact day! Well, of course, right?! Considering the fact of the dinner in the wooden villa with a terrace and a photo session outside in the park – that was like… Anyway, every day I was monitoring the forecast, it changed in a range between 3 and 8mm, my fiancé assured me it was going to be fine. So, on the day of the wedding I woke up and the first thing I saw is – light rain spraying all over the grass. F*ck! I told to myself – “Nevermind, this day is gonna be awesome”, and started to get ready.
Mom and my up-do
It was 7.15 in the morning. I had a couple of hours before my mom’s arrival (she was responsible for my hair). She told me to prepare my hair (after shower) and blow-dry it according to her instructions (who knew that hair mousse dries so slow!). Mom arrived. Let me be honest, from the beginning I didn’t want mom to do my hair (although she has worked with this for decades), I was just afraid of a mom/daughter conflict. But, I didn’t find any master on such a short notice, and I asked her to fix my hair, and it was one of the best decisions I made. I was very happy that it was my mom! (We, of course, talked everything over before the wedding, however it was just a simple try-and-show in the bathroom session). Everything went great! Simple and romantic.
My dancing eyebrows
The next step was make-up. I didn’t find a make-up artist either – I decided to do it myself, as I thought about that longer before the wedding. Make-up is sort of one of my big interests. I thought it all through but nevertheless some things did go wrong… Several days before the wedding day I fixed eyelash extensions. I was afraid they would fall off (now I know that it’s nearly impossible until you tear off your own eyelid), I didn’t touch them, hardly washed my face. As a result, when I was putting on make-up I saw that my eyelids started to “flake”. Come on already! I had to take everything off and scrub my face again. That was not it. I also forgot my eyebrow gel, good that I didn’t forget the brow-pencil although it was the wrong colour (now I learned how to make my brows a bit differently, and no, I couldn’t learn that before the wedding). Anyway, I said “screw that”. And my eye brows “danced” all day (girls will understand).
Bouquet a-la rustique
Bride’s bouquet was made by my future niece-in-law. And it was unbelievably beautiful! Considering that I sent her only a few pictures on Pinterest with the colours I prefer and a rustic style I like – she did an amazing job. I was blown away and didn’t even expect it could turn out so good! So cool! She thought of everything – kept flowers in a cold place, wrapped it right, fixed it tight and accurate. My photographer said that it was one of the best bouquets of the season. So nice!
Me, dress, bridesmaid and a toilet
It was time to put on the dress. I think the moment I saw my dress I felt weird, a little bit sick. Here it was, I was getting married. Crazy… My dress was pretty, so glad I found it on the internet and then found a fantastic tailor Anna Ceornea who could make adjustments to it. Anna did a great job, what would I do without her, I actually considered sewing myself (I know I can but it would take another week of my nerves). The dress had a chapel train, the funniest thing about it was that I had to pee in a company of my bridesmaid. I can’t even imagine brides making number one if they have a huge puffy princess-like gown. Valentina held my train sitting in front of me, it was really cute, like we were kids. Best way to start the day!
50 meters walk
Well, guess what happened with the weather by the time we got ready to go? The sun came out! And it wasn’t very sunny but a bit cloudy-slash-blue sky – perfect for photos. Me and Valentina, my bridesmaid, sat into our 60s Rolls-Royce and took off to the church where the ceremony was going to be held. My nerves though didn’t want to let me enjoy the trip through the whole Stockholm, I was thinking that I was about to walk 50 meters to the altar having people staring at me. I won’t be telling you so much about the ceremony itself because this I would like to keep “closer”, but if you meet me one day you are welcome to ask me and I’d be happy to tell how it was. I can just say, it was a wonderful feeling and I remembered every single detail, standing there. I remember the altar, the sounds, not only words, but small things. The ending song was a cherry on top of the whole thing: The Throne Room – End Title, by John Williams, Star Wars. A fantastic feeling knowing that your friends will get it!
Not over yet
Here it was, done! Now there was only the photo session and the feast left. I wasn’t worried about anything at all now, I was hungry like hell! I remember people told me – Viktoria, don’t forget to eat at your wedding. It did happen anyway – everybody had an empty plate whilst I had an empty stomach. I didn’t care I guess. The evening was warm and cosy, we laughed a lot and sometimes cried. We had perfect best man and a maid of honour. They organized and planned the dinner’s programme. We wouldn’t do good without them! It was simple, funny and just enough for the dinner. By the way, the place was decorated by my sisters-in-law. So happy to become a part of the family. I always wanted to be a big family. The place looked even better than we thought it would be. They have even made some middle eastern candies that I never got to taste. No kidding, I haven’t even got time for my coffee!
Now, everything is remembered and saved by our photographer, Dima Markov, my friend. I always loved how much Dima cares about weddings. His photographs are warm-hearted, gentle, he loves his job. I was happy to have him at my wedding – as a friend, as a photographer, as a catcher of our memories. I was hoping he would sit at the table but he was everywhere but definitely not sitting, hehe. At first I was concerned how we would have so many people at our wedding. But now I see that it was the exact right amount of guests, the Swedish word “lagom” would suit perfect to explain that. Just this many. It was good. I am very thankful to Dima for our memories. We saved our story with every photograph. Because, after all, it is the photographs that get to stay after the wedding day. Memories can fade. The dress will never be worn again (although I’m thinking about re-sewing it, now that I got acquainted with a talented Anna). Physical memories are kept in photography.
I’m remembering how we were sitting next to each other, sometimes holding hands under the table. Moments like these are precious and are for us to understand that we are still there for each other, in this busy wedding day – we are together and for each other.
Tears and rain to remember
A special beauty of the evening were the speeches, toasts to be exact. There were funny ones, and serious ones, and some were sad. My cheeks hurt from laughing and forehead from holding tears. When my husband did a toast, everyone was crying, literally. If someone didn’t cry, I bet they wanted to do so. I always admired S.’s ability to form a thought in a nutshell. He knows how to say to be heard and to hide in order to make you think. I will always remember the feeling of his speech because he expresses his feelings so seldom, his toast just killed me I swear! I’m looking at our photographs and remembering how we were sitting next to each other, sometimes holding hands under the table. Moments like these are precious and are for us to understand that we are still there for each other, in this busy wedding day – we are together and for each other.
Our wedding day was coming to an end, people started to take off one by one, saying goodbyes. We had a thought to share a car with our friends but decided to stay till everybody’s gone. It rained that evening (remember I told you about the forecast? the rain fell around midnight). And there, we were standing on the porch, all packed and ready to go. I had already changed my shoes into more comfortable vans (ecstatic!). Our suitcases were waiting (we were leaving for Paris on the very next day), we called taxi. It smelled rain. The staff, girls that were serving us at the dinner, were cleaning up little-by-little, a few lights in the rooms. And then we hear a piano (there was one standing on the villa’s terrace). Slow, classic melody. It was a unique feeling. A light shadow on the porch, dark outside, damp asphalt and the sound of the piano tunes. There is no better way to end the day… there is no better way to start a new chapter in your life.