Swedish Church London wedding
The sun shone on Saturday for Hanna and Stephen’s wedding in Marylebone, London. A beautiful, tall Swede was marrying a handsome Aussie surfer ( okay, he has a grown-up job in finance too ) and the wedding took place at Ulrika Eleonora church ( The Swedish church in London ). A small Swedish enclave in Mary-le-bone, the church was been in London since 1710, although not always in this part of the city. To quote the Swedish embassy website, “it serves the Swedish residents in the UK as well as seaman, tourists, students and aupairs…” ( Marylebone gets it’s name from a church dedicated to St Mary built on the banks of a small stream called the Tyburn. A name now infamous as the spot where convicted criminals and unfortunates were hanged – just down the road. ) The whole wedding day would take place within this smart, historical district of West London.
Hanna had emailed me back in April, having seen some of my work on the Rock My Wedding website, asking if I still had the date free. When I replied that I was, she immediately booked. I like these kinds of bookings! 🙂 They were travelling in the USA at the time, so we only met up several weeks later, before they went off again to France. When you meet them, you find that not only are they a very handsome couple together – they are the sort of good looking couple that you notice in a crowd – but also lovely, warm, funny people too. The wedding reflected this, surrounded as they were by family and friends from around the world. There was a laid back feel to the day, some of the timings did go slightly awry. This relaxed atmosphere was noticeably added to by their excellent vicar, Anders Rune, unfazed by the late start to the ceremony.
I seem to have had a good run of vicars at weddings so far this year, long may it continue. They are not all stuck in the 1950s mindset. I don’t just mean that they let me take photographs, although back in April one did say to me ” What do you need? I want this couple to remember this day and in particular this ceremony and that’s why photography is important” ( I was in shock ). But also it is their manner with the couple and the guests. On Saturday it was a perfect approach. Relaxed, funny, smiling and calming. The emphasis was upon enjoying the moment. (“If Carlsberg did vicars”…albeit a Danish beer.)
Even the layout of the church helped. The couple walked back down the aisle and off to sign the register, as their guests went outside, ready to ambush them with the confetti and pretty much block the street. There were a few tears before the couple appeared, as a flower girl lost hold of her balloon. Then it was a red Routemaster bus to The Marylebone pub in Marylebone High Street, for some cold beers and snacks before the evening reception at The Wallace Collection.
Wallace Collection wedding reception
Just a few blocks away, in Manchester Square, it houses a world-famous collection of art with paintings like Frans Hals “Laughing Cavalier” and Fragonard’s “The Swing”. But wedding receptions can only take place in the evening, hence the stopover in the pub. I was told no photographs of artworks if people not in the same shot… However, the courtyard there, where the meal takes place, is a lovely space for this, plus the speeches and the dancing.
The speeches, as with all Scandinavian weddings, were many, spread across the meal, along with the schnapps songs. There was plenty of toasts, laughter but also heartfelt emotion as close family members who could not be there were remembered. But then it was the dancing, with some, I’m guessing, pretty Scandinavian dance moves.
Here are a few images from the day at the Swedish Church in London and at The Wallace Collection…