Wednesday 23 February 2011

Our Wedding

So, dear friends and readers, I will give you a short and not so detailed account of the wedding. The pictures have been taken by my Mum, my good friend M, and my father in law. Since I don't like to post pictures of people who haven't given informed consent (whew, did I just sound like a nurse...), I'll only post a few pictures of Tobias and I.

As you already know, the wedding dress (with petticoat and corset) and veil where made by me. I finished the dress the day before the wedding, with a little help from Mum. Well, finished is a loose term in this case. According to Swedish superstition the bride is thought to cry as many tears in her marriage as she’s sewn stitches in her wedding dress - those of us who make our own dresses claim that tears can be of joy as well as grief. If, however, you do make your own dress, it must not be finished on your wedding day, and that was easily solved by not finishing the seams on the inside of the dress. Saved me a lot of time too, which was good.

My sister L made the wedding bouquet and the boutonniere for Tobias, while I made the myrtle wreath, and put some baby’s breath (which in Swedish is called brudslöja, bridal veil) in it. I made my own hair. Since my hair, while long, is not very thick, I used a hair piece to add volume to it in the back. I had braided my own hair when wet the night before, to give it some body, and with a lot of teasing, hair pins and spray, it actually stayed in place all day. Wow.

I was horribly nervous before the wedding, but that passed as soon as it began, and it was nothing but beautiful; we all cried and laughed a bit. In the LDS church we believe marriage can last eternally, not just "until death do you part", and looking at Tobias, knowing he could be mine forever made me so happy I couldn't stop crying, which made me quite a sight. He cried a bit too. Luckily we had limited the number of people attending to our parents and my sister L, and as they where as emotional as Tobias and I, it didn't matter. After the ceremony we had a photo shoot on the temple grounds, and as it was below freezing it was cold.

We had a simple lunch with our families (including all of our siblings and our grandparents), with a delicious mushroom soup made by a friend of our families (who acted as waiter with the help of his wife – thank you both so very much!), different kinds of pies made by our mothers, and then the most wonderful chocolate cakes made by my grandmother, who was regrettably ill, and couldn’t come. Our fathers gave short speeches, and when the tables where cleared away before the open house began, we had an improvised first dance to the music that were playing in the background.

Well, to tell the truth, after the soup and pies, everyone where so full they couldn’t eat cake just then, so we took a short break, and went to have more pictures taken. Did I mention it was cold that day??

We had decided to have an open house, rather than a real reception. That way everyone could come and go when they wanted, without feeling rude to be late or having to leave early. It also made it unnecessary to have a fixed program, and made the question of refreshments much easier. So the only thing we provided where music and semlor (a kind of pastry consisting of a sweet wheat bun, cut in two, with almond paste and whipped cream in between and powdered sugar on top - google it to see pictures), that is traditionally eaten during this time of year. We served the buns, almond paste and cream on separate dishes, and let everyone make their own semlor, since most people have their own preference as to how much they want of almond paste and whipped cream. We also had a couple of rooms with games, movies and snacks for those children that might be bored with the wedding. It was amazing how many people came. We don’t have an exact number, but it was something around 200 people! Luckily we had enough semlor and lemonade to go round. Everyone appeared to have a good time, and didn’t seem to have any problem entertaining themselves – that most of them knew each other previously helped, of course.

And that was pretty much it – simple and delightful. I’m now married and looking forward to a long and happy life with my Tobias. So, even though I won’t change the blog name, I’m a Most Peculiar Mademoiselle no more – I’m a most peculiar Madame, with an equally peculiar husband (considering both our fathers brought this fact up in their speeches, it must be true).

Happy :)

Thursday 17 February 2011

The Day Before the Wedding

Last weekend, I came down with a cold, and was pretty much floored by it for a few days. I managed to sew a little, sitting in bed. So now, after a week of intensive sewing, and watching way too many episodes of The Nanny on Youtube (btw, the Jiddish words and expressions are contagious, they’re so good), I’m almost finished with the dress, only has to cut the skirt to the right length and hem it. My Mum will help me with that, as I won’t risk making a mistake, and cutting hems is a tricky business. After being dissatisfied with how it looked, I decided to wear the dress over a corset, and the fitting went so much easier after that. Problem is, the corset is unfinished, so that’s one more thing on the to-do list. I’ll be wearing the dress over a cotton petticoat I made years and years ago – I just have to make a new waistband, or it’ll look clumsy under the dress. I tried on the dress and veil yesterday morning, and it’ll look pretty. I didn’t have time to do any embroidery, but I like it how it turned out anyway. The look is a little pre-raphaelite, just like I wanted it too. Sorry, don’t have time to take any detailed pictures right now, I have so many things to do today, as my family will arrive, I’ll have to help with decorating the tables for tomorrow, finish the petticoat and corset, make sure someone pick up the flowers, and other stuff we’ll need to make the bouquet, boutonniere and myrtle wreath. My family will be staying in our apartment, and the combination of me having been ill, sewing intensely, and still haven’t cleared the last mess from moving in, the place is a disaster. I also have to pack what I’ll need for the wedding, and since we’re going over to Denmark for the ceremony, I can’t afford to forget anything. Then I’ll need to pack for the wedding night. No flimsy little nightgown for me, though – it’d feel weird, and we’re both too down to earth to care for such things. And, it would be good to find a little time to relax and calm down before tomorrow. Stress, stress, stress – but of a good kind.

Tobias have been wonderful, working hard with the decorations, devoted hours and hours planning, measuring, putting up wires and twinkle lights and so on. Most people thing I’m the brain behind our decorations, but I believe he’s have as many good ideas as I have.

Since you didn’t get any dress pictures, here’s a sneak peak of the decorations:

Now to hurry of again – the list of things to do is endless.

Thursday 10 February 2011

Russian Invasion

Most young men (and many young women as well) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints serve two year missions (though the women only serve for 18 months). They get sent somewhere in the world where they are needed, and very often they have to learn a new language and culture. Tobias served in Ukraine, and learned Russian. After speaking mainly Russian for two years, you may guess that the language has become dear to him, and he’s taking Russian classes at the university, to get academic points (since knowledge is often considered invalid these days, unless you have it on paper), and also to develop it. When over there, he also got a fair few souvenirs, and so, it looks like a small Russian invasion here.

Our apartment is filled with textbooks on Russian, Russian books (religious and other; one that I guess are Russian folk tales, with pretty pictures in it). There are military badges from old Soviet as well as Ukraine, a Russian babushka doll, a carved wooden morning star with the Ukrainian coat of arms on it, two fur hats (one which he wore for our engagement pictures, and one which is absolutely, insanely HUGE), the Ukrainian flag, little gifts from people he met while there, and a lot of other things. Here’s a sample:

Some of the things I like, some of them I don’t mind. The rest I can live with because I know they mean a lot to Tobias. It’s only fair, considering I have occupied a lot of cupboard and drawer space for fabrics, yarn, sewing related equipment and a lot of period clothes. Besides, I’m sure I have quite a few things he’d never have displayed if it wasn’t for the fact that I like them.

The other day he gave me a small wooden bottle, with a tiny glass vial in it, containing rose oil. He’d bought it in Bulgaria (which is apparently one of the big producers of rose oil), where he’d spent a week to renew his Ukrainian visa. He said he’d bought it with his future wife in mind, though of course he didn’t know it would be me at the time.

Some of my friends had organized a hen night for me last week. I didn’t know of it, until the last minute. I had dreaded a hen night (which in Sweden often include dressing the bride-to-be in extremely silly clothes and making her do even sillier things, like selling kisses to strangers), but it was kept very casual and proper. A dinner of pasta salad and “how we got engaged” stories from me, and the married women there, and then chocolate fondue with fresh fruits and innocent games. It was a very pleasant evening. Thanks to those who organized it, and those who attended!

In eight days we marry. I still have a lot to do on the dress. I cut the veil out a few days ago, but I haven’t attached it to the comb yet. And as always, schoolwork is a shadow of stress clouding everything, and right now I’m not exactly motivated. Nothing to do but get it done anyway, huh?

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Eyelets Finished

Last night I moved into our apartment. It felt odd… and as always on the first night of me living in a new place, I didn’t sleep very well. Until I have made it my home, I have a sort of uneasiness that is close to fright. New sounds, new smells; all of it makes me a bit skittish, and so I had a night lamp on. It felt a bit silly, but better silly than scared… It felt much better this morning.

This afternoon I finished the eyelets.

There are 38 of them, and as I’ve said before, they’re sewn with silk, which by the way is a delight to work with. I timed it, and every eyelet took two minutes to sew, and then there is time added for cutting threads, threading the needle, etc.

I also made a couple of tests on embroidery, just in case I’ll have time to embelish the dress. This is the one I liked best:

I think it could look pretty, and not too intrusive. The real embroidery would be continuous round the neck and wrists – this was just to see if the colour and thickness of the thread would look nice. What do you think? Opinions are welcome, though I’ll follow my own taste in the end :)