Thursday, January 9, 2020

Our wedding photos + a recap!

Happy 2020! I can't believe it's been so long since I last blogged but I figured a nice goal for this new year would be to get back into writing again. A lot has happened in the past year that I haven't written about in too much detail aside from the regular instagram caption. But I think some good solid blog posts here and there might be nice and refreshing, for me and hopefully for you as well!

2019 started out by being a bit slow, as we were waiting to start getting into wedding planning. I believe the only things we really did in 2018 were setting our date, choosing our venues and sending out a save-the-date. I have to say, planning an overseas wedding (overseas to 20% of our guests) was no easy feat and I was RELIEVED when it was all over! No one really talks about the difficult aspects of explaining travel to people who have never visited your country or your town. So that became daunting at times, as I was always so scared I would make things appear extra stressful, enough to deter people from coming, but it all worked out. 

Our wedding was on June 15th, and we had the most beautiful weather on our wedding day. The week began with picking my brother up at the airport in Oslo, and us spending some quality time together. My parents and aunt flew in a few days after that, and the rest arrived the day before the wedding. We had a rehearsal at the city hall in the morning the day before the wedding, and in the evening we invited all of our out of town guests to a welcome dinner at the restaurant where most of them were staying. It was overwhelming to see so many familiar faces in this tiny town I now call mine. I knew that I would never get to experience having my family and friends all here together again, so I really took advantage of just enjoying every moment and staying present.

Getting ready for the wedding was a lot of fun. My mom and I got ready together at my favorite salon in town, and Marie (my stylist) is THE BEST. I knew for a long time that I wanted to do some sort of bouffant but a little less extreme, and she killed it. I also wanted to look slightly like a 60s doll with the makeup and I felt so beautiful. She knew exactly what I wanted and I'm so grateful to have had her help with our big day. I also knew that I wanted a white bow and a 1950s style dress with sleeves, and it all came together. I found the dress (Zac Posen) at David's Bridal in LA and didn't have to do any alterations except for having the back of the neck area slightly tightened as it was a little looser than I wanted. The shoes I bought from Bait Footwear and they were perfect! My mom was nice and picked up a beautiful pair of studs from Nordstrom for me that I still wear every day. 

When it was finally time for me and Charlie (Max's cousin, our flower girl) to get over to the venue, we started walking and everyone in town stopped to take photos! It was quite fun and I felt ridiculous walking around in my wedding dress, makeup and shoes, but we had to get to the venue somehow! Haha.

The wedding day did not go by in a flash, to be honest! I felt like it went by at the perfect speed. I was the most nervous right before walking up to the venue to walk up the stairs with my dad for our ceremony. We had everything perfectly planned, though. Max's cousin was responsible for the music, and we had him play instrumental Weezer songs by Vitamin String Quartet on a bluetooth speaker as people found their places on the staircases. Weezer is a band that really brought us together in the beginning of our relationship, and this was the perfect music to start our wedding with. Max decided to walk in to the song "Who Put The Bomp", a very cute 1950s doo wop song, and I walked up the stairs with my dad to "California Girls" by the Beach Boys. It was really emotional sharing in this moment with my dad. I was trying to hold back tears and I think I did an ok job. I tried to dance so that I wouldn't cry, and that made everyone laugh, so success! Charlie did an amazing job as our flower girl as well.

I chose to not have a bridal party since I knew many of my friends would not be able to come to our wedding, and it would've felt like a lot of pressure to put on people. I am still VERY happy I went with that decision, and I think it was probably a relief to my friends as well. Especially to those who were there and could just relax and enjoy themselves instead.

Max's grandmother sewed our backdrop which turned out so beautiful! I had a bit of a panic about how to cover that wall because normally it has a cement bench and a large plaque there which would not look so nice for a wedding. We found the pink fabric at Joann's in LA and she ordered the gold fabric from Norway. She spray painted a long curtain rod to hold it up with and it turned out absolutely perfect!

And here we are just married! I think this is one of my favorite photos of us from the entire wedding. It captures our relationship and personalities so well.

After the ceremony, we had some time to ourselves while all of our guests waited for us so that they could shower us with rice, which was. overwhelming. Also this was totally unplanned but we stood at the bottom of the steps and all of our guests made their way down giving each of us a hug before we walked over to the boat we were taking over to the Koster Islands. It was a really nice moment to share with everyone that I was not expecting to receive so early on in the wedding festivities.

(My dad and brother. Do they look alike?)

Max's parents had decorated the boat with both Swedish and American flags, and our names were even on the marquee! That part was a total surprise. Everyone, I mean the whole TOWN, was staring at me and my dad as we made our way to the boat. It felt so weird to see people snapping photos of us from their balconies, but it was also kind of funny and sweet. I sometimes wonder what they all did with their random photos of us.

(My mom, in blue, looks like she's straight out of a fashion catalogue here, doesn't she? Haha)

The boat ride was lovely. We had snacks, champagne and tried to do our best host and hostess job walking around and talking with everyone. But it was actually quite warm and I started to sweat. Not a pretty look, haha.

Eventually we made our way to the venue. We stopped to take a bunch of photos with family and with just the two of us, and then the party began as soon as we arrived back at the venue.

Treasure this moment with our parents, my aunt, our siblings and niece.

When we came back from taking photos everyone was waiting for us with champagne!.
 The party was finally getting started here (can you tell by my intense champagne face below?)

The wedding decor was thought of and designed by both of us. We decided on the colors, designed our welcome sign, seating chart, and table numbers and had it all printed locally. The decor was actually fairly inexpensive because of that, which was great. The flowers were made by my friend Diana who owns the most wonderful flower shop in town called Hannas Skafferi. She was AMAZING and did an incredible job! I had shown her a photo of how I wanted my bouquet to look: colorful, pink, not too big and not too modern or vintage looking and it was everything I had dreamed of and more. And the table florals were to die for. We knew we wanted to have a music theme so our table numbers were actually albums by bands we both like, and our seating chart was designed to look like records that matched the table numbers.  We used one of Max's old vintage guitar cases to hold our gifts, and created a fake vinyl record cover to be our guest book. The flower vases were from Ikea, the name cards were ordered from My Perfect Day (a Swedish party supply store), and we bought a bunch of colorful party blowers from Amazon just to have something extra fun on the tables.

All links to the products can be found at the bottom of this post!

As for the reception,  there was no shortage of tear-jerking, heartfelt speeches and a LOT of dancing. We danced under the summer stars until 2 am, in fact! Looking back, I am SO happy with how everything went and we were exhausted when it was all over. Naturally. :) 

Also I just have to mention how amazing my sister in law Ida is. We asked her to be our toastmaster and she did an incredible job with her organization and attention to detail. She kept everything flowing all while keeping my then-6-month-old-niece entertained and her speech was great. We appreciated her help so much!

We had lava cake for dessert and raspberry sorbet on top (had to have something pink!). Our starter was mini sliders and fries with mini glasses of beer to go with them (local beer brewed in our town). We also had tacos as our main course with queso and chips on the side. We were happy with our food but there were some odd surprises like the ketchup for the fries actually being salsa (haha), but people really enjoyed it that way and that's all that mattered to us!

When it was time to cut the cake, Max immediately went for trying to get some on my face but I was not having it! Haha. We ordered princess cake from our local bakery, Backlunds, and had them make the marzipan be pink and green for fun. We ordered our cake toppers off Etsy and we love them so much that they now live in one of our record cabinets. Max joked after he saw his that his resembled the actor with glasses from Hot Tub Time Machine and I totally agree.

I don't think I would change a single thing about our wedding. It was perfect. If I have one regret it's that I didn't eat enough cake, or bring any home to eat the next day! Are there any details that you loved seeing? Tell me in the comments!


Hair + Makeup: Marie Kellerman 
Dress: Truly by Zac Posen (no longer available) from David's Bridal
Hair Bow: Crown & Glory
Ceremony Venue: Stadshus in Strömstad
Reception Venue: Kostergården
Flowers: Hannas Skafferi
Photography: Gert Hognert
Cake Toppers: HandmadePixieDust
Cake Stand: My Perfect Day

Monday, April 1, 2019

From Hollywood to Sweden

(This is our little amphitheater in town, what I like to call our version of the Hollywood Bowl)

I was raised in Los Angeles starting from when I was 5 1/2 (before that I had lived in NYC), and one can only imagine how strange it was for me to move out of a big bustling city to a small town in west Sweden like I did last year. I often get asked why I left LA for Strömstad (the town I live in now), and once I explain that it's because my now-fiancé is from here, people understand, but it is the number one question I get asked when I'm meeting someone new, no doubt.

I grew up in a suburb of LA called Valley Village (back when it was still considered to be North Hollywood), so the word "Hollywood" has always had a strong significance to me (not only because, fun fact!, my dad is an actor so I've grown up in the entertainment industry). I remember going on a summer trip to visit my childhood friend in Atlanta, Georgia, when I was 11 years old. Our moms had signed us both up for tennis camp (I played tennis regularly at that age), and on the very first day, as soon as the other kids found out that I was from LA, they immediately referred to me as "Hollywood" every single day for the next 3 weeks. I wasn't offended by it, but it made me realize that "Hollywood" was a special place to a lot of people, especially to people who had never been there and had always fantasized about it, like these kids at the camp. 

Do you remember watching the movie Hocus Pocus? I mean, who doesn't if you grew up in the 90s, but the main character (Max, coincidentally enough) went through the exact same thing when he moved to Salem from LA. The two guys he met in the cemetery on the way home from his first day of school teased him, called him "Hollywood" and stole his shoes. Luckily my shoes were never stolen, and I wasn't totally offended by being called Hollywood, but I always found it funny, and the older I get, the prouder I am of being from there. So when I saw this sweater on Joanie Clothing's website, I knew I HAD to have it.

Since moving to Sweden, I've discovered that I find the most comfort in surrounding myself with clothing and even home goods that make me feel connected to my old hometown, and that definitely includes this jumper. It's soft as can be, can be thrown on with a pair of denim and converse, or can be dressed up tucked into a skirt with a cute pair of flats like in these photos I'm sharing here! I plan on wearing it all spring and summer, and into the fall, too.


Link to the Oscar Hollywood Slogan Jumper can be found by clicking this link HERE