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 traveling 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. 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. However the courtyard there, where the meal takes place is a lovely space for this, 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….

 

Ulrika Eleonora swedish church in Marylebone London

Bride has a meal with bridesmaids in the Landmark hotel

Bridesmaid applies her makeup

Bridesmaids help the bride into her dress in the bathroom

Bridemaids help dress the bride as they are filmed

Bride swigs some water in her room

Smiling bride has her hair adjusted

The ornate ceiling in the swedish church in London

Sunlight shines through stained glass to cast colourful patches of light

Groom waits for the bride

Swedish church stained glass

Groom wlaks into the warm sunshine hands in pockets

The groom fits an usher's flowers as his brother fixes his

Groom sat on the church steps with the flowergirls

Bride walks towards the church with her bridesmaids

Bride looks at the groom as she arrives

Bride has a last swig of water before entering the church

Flowergirl examines her flowers

A change of shoes for the bride before the ceremony

Bride and party enter the church

Happy groom gestures to a friend before the ceremony

Flowergirls

Smiling brdie listens to the priest

Bridal party prepare the enter

Flowergirls lead the bridal party

Bride and groom exchange galnces before the ceremony

Bride and groom walk down a balloon bedecked aisle

Bride and groom at the altar

 

Groom's sister's reading

Wedding ceremony in the swedish church

Groom punches the air in delight at getting married

Bride and groom kiss

London swedish church wedding ceremony

Groom shakes his father's hand as they walk down the aisle

Thumbs up from the groom as he walks back down the aisle

Brid and groom kiss as the register is signed

Laughing vicar at the registry signing

Bride shows off her wedding ring

Groom and bride kiss

Guests gather outside the church

A wayward balloon outside the church

Tearful flowergirl having lost her balloon

Bride and groom walk out of the church

Wedding confetti

Bride and groom walk through the confetti

Bride hugs a guest

Groom's father takes a picture

 

Bride hugs a friend

Bride leads guests towards the routemaster bus

Bride and groom smiling on the bus

Bride and groom wlak down Marylebone High Street

Drinkers watch the bride and groom walk towards the pub

 

 

 

 

( Technical Trivia: ( camera geek time ) Images taken on Nikon D3S cameras, with fast Nikkor lenses – 24/1.4mm, 50/1.4mm, 85/1.4mm and the 135/2.0mm lenses. But also the new Fuji X100S camera – but can you guess which images are from the Fuji? The dancing, with no disco lighting, just the ambient from the dancefloor LEDs and the side uplights, was using the 24mm and 50mm lenses on the Nikon D3S , both at 1/200th @ f2.0 at 8000 ISO. No flash. It was a bit dark. )

 

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