Anna & Jeremias' Old Hollywood Swedish wedding

October 20 |
Tack = Thank you
Photos by Anna S. at Emotionshots

The offbeat bride: Anna, customer service agent (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Jeremias, hotel receptionist

Date and location of wedding: Ceremony at City Hall and the party at Birkakällaren, Stockholm, Sweden — September 17, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: Our ceremony took less than five minutes and the only guests were our closest family and friends. Later that evening we had a big dinner and party for our extended family and friends. We focused on making our day stress-free and fun. If we didn't like a tradition or wedding "rule," we scrapped it! We DIYed a lot, including my brooch bouquet, our cake topper, my birdcage veil, the Old Hollywood-inspired table numbers, and both of our hair pieces (the groom actually made his all by himself). And I guess not many newlyweds take the subway to the reception?

Almost married

Tell us about the ceremony: Jeremias suffers from emetophobia and has a problem with being the center of attention. So standing up in front of all 66 of our guests during a long wedding ceremony? Not gonna happen. Instead, we decided on the quickest ceremony possible, which was the civil version at City Hall in Stockholm. Fortunately, that place is absolutely gorgeous so we got the best of both worlds: a short ceremony in a beautiful room.

Almost a mrs!

One of the brooches was a watch!

We managed to drop Jeremias' ring during the ceremony, to everyone's amusement. We didn't do any readings, obviously, but there were some heart-warming moments. Our rings were kept in a ring book that I had DIYed, our son kept wedging himself in between us, my maid of honor cried, and so did my father when we hugged after the ceremony.

We took the subway to the reception…

The train arriving…

Our biggest challenge: Letting go of control. Usually, I'm the one in charge and I like to do everything myself so it gets done "right." So it was really hard to let others help out. In the end, though, I just realized that the details really don't matter. As long as we walked away from City Hall as husband and wife, nothing could ruin my day. So, when we couldn't get hold of a cab to take us to the reception, we walked through Old Town, took awesome pictures and took the subway the rest of the way. Lemons to lemonade, you know?

The gorgeous ceremony room at City Hall

My favorite moment: Seeing my husband return just in time for the ceremony after walking off on his own a while earlier. He wasn't feeling well at all. He has trouble attending OTHER people's weddings so I was worried that he wouldn't be able to go through with ours. But he managed to dig deep down for strength and came back to City Hall just minutes before our booked appointment. I'm so proud of him!

The ring book
Pride and Prejudice ring book!

My funniest moment: It's a tie between two. The first was during the wedding ceremony. When it was my turn to put the ring on my husband's finger, he extended his right hand. I just figured he wanted it that way so I started to slip the ring on. Suddenly he snatched his hand back so fast that I dropped the ring on the floor. I laughed and asked if he'd changed his mind about marrying me. He laughed too, explained that he had realized the hand error and gave me his left hand instead. It really eased the nervousness we both were feeling.

Got a little captain in you?

LMFAO…

The second funniest moment was during the best man's speech at the reception. He told everyone how, when Jeremias and I first became a couple 11 years ago, he couldn't figure out why a classy lady like me would want to be with someone "not as classy" like Jeremias. But it all made sense when I, at a party at my house and everyone else but the three of us had left, pulled out an old Nintendo from a cupboard and proceeded with beating both of them at Mario Kart while swearing like a sailor. I laughed until I cried when he told us this (and was truly grateful for him not telling everyone exactly what words my swearing had contained)!

Taking a break, sipping on some Tru Blood…
Sipping some Tru Blood

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? To be honest, I had prepared myself for the possibility of not getting married that day. As I mentioned earlier, Jeremias was a mess before the ceremony so there was a risk that he wouldn't be able to make it. I was okay with it though. I had told him beforehand that if he felt he couldn't go through with it, we'd just come back another day. He managed to pull himself together beautifully though and felt great the rest of the day. All this just made me appreciate him more, because I knew that he went through all that for me.

Hanging out with the Royal Guard at the Royal Castle…

Birdcage card holder.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? When you get caught up in details, take a step back and look at the big picture. What's the number one most important thing here? Love, right? So, as long as you both say I do, who cares if the cake, cupcakes, and decorations are delivered late or none of the guests even notice the photo booth (both happened to us). You just got married to Your Person. Nothing else matters.

Picture perfect.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Oh goodness, this warmed my heart! Beautifully written– thank you for sharing the little nervous moments. Such a lovely account!

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  2. Your fair skin is soooo beautiful!!! Loved your whole look and your attitude about the wedding.

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    • Aww, thanks so much! :D

      Yeah, the skin… It took me 30 years but I've not only accepted being really white but I actually love it now. But I do admit to being jelaous of my husband and our son, their skin is so beautifully sun-kissed. Ah well. :)

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  3. OMG HI!!! :D
    how awesommmme. i was just gonna message you the other day and ask how the wedding went since we never got to talk after and you didnt post anything on the tribe either XD this is awesome. i'm so so so happy for you, you looked absolutely gorgeous and like you both had a great time.
    hope i'll get to meet you soon, and congratulations again <33

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    • Thanks! Hope to see you this Saturday! :)

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  4. I love your brooch bouquet! The venue looks gorgeous too. Congratulations!

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    • Thank you so much! The bouquet was a real labour of love (and sometimes a bit of hate). :)

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  5. WOW, this is such an awesome wedding. Absolutely beautiful bride and groom. I love his suit would love to know more about it. And I didn't see mention of the bouquet, but I have never seen anything like it! Beautiful day.

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  6. I also suffer RIDICULOUSLY badly with emetophobia and when I saw that your poor groom has the same crappy fear as me… Well, I just had to write a little consolatory post.

    Jeremias, you are awesome. You're amazing. I hope one day I have the courage and strength to walk down the aisle towards my sweetie just like you did, all on eyes on me, WITHOUT my trusty piece of ginger root clenched in my sweaty palm (we emetophobes have some straaaaange coping mechanisms, lol :P). It's horrible and scary but at least you bagged yourself a pretty wonderful gal at the end of your ordeal… And surely that's worth ALL of the day's prior pain and misery :)

    Awesome wedding guys, kudos to you both. Have long and happy (and healthy!) lives together :)

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    • Please forgive for the question, but I read the wiki and I still don't think I understand the phobia. I totally understand if you don't want to answer a question on such a personal topic but if you're okay with it please enlighten me. How would the phobia keep one out of being the center of attention at a social gathering? Is it that being the center of attention frequently makes folks nervous and nerves sometimes lead to being ill?

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      • Nah, it's fine :) I prefer explaining it to people who don't understand because otherwise, they tend to leap to assumptions about all emetophobes basically being whiny hypochondriacs or germ-freaks (totally not suggesting you think this! But it does happen sometimes, including members of my own family…).

        I can't speak for every emetophobe (including the groom in this post, obviously) but for me it's like a vicious cycle. Big important event comes up -> feel nervous -> anxiety makes you feel sick -> feeling sick makes you feel anxious -> heightened anxiety makes you feel more sick… Etc, etc. It's not the BASIS of the phobia, but a symptom. Emetophobia is the phobia of vomit (sorry to any fellow sufferers who read this; I would normally write 'v*' but I'm not sure whether non-phobics would follow).

        I'm English by the way, so when I see 'feel sick', I mean feel nauseous :P Not 'sick' in the American term of general illness.

        Hope this has helped a little… Feel free to ask more questions if needs be! :)

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        • Thank you so much! Yeah, I tailored my post so as not to say the word, I have a friend with a snake phobia so severe that she'll cry if she even sees the word snake. Definitely don't want to trigger a reaction in someone who might be ill due to it! As an American I say ill where you cay sick. Here it's unusual enough to hear "ill" that ppl know I'm not suddenly coming down with a cold.

          Thank you very much for explaining it to me I sort of figured that was the reason but I just wanted to make sure. It's something I can totally understand, I've got health problems that lead to stomach issues so I've got a touch of fear of it myself. Not going to say phobia, not that strong, but I definitely modify my activities, no drinking (or being around people who are very drunk), extreme food safety, no pregnancy. Didn't watch the movie Bridesmaids. LOL I also don't get really excited or nervous, that'll make one ill for sure. I'm lucky I suppose in that I can blame it on my condition.

          But I digress, thank you very much for sharing, I understand better now and I embrace the whole concept of lucky ginger. Have you seen the ginger perfume in health food stores? Smelling it is supposed to calm the stomach. Plus it smells GREAT! I mix it with vanilla oil.

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    • Thank you so much! Jeremias "thing" is to always have a bottle of water with him so he can sip some if he starts to feel sick. In his case the phobia is very much concentrated to public places and feeling trapped. He really doesn't like eating out at a "real" restaurant 'cause he can't just up and leave without paying the check. But he can however eat at a fast food place, 'cause he payes in advance and can leave whenever he likes.

      I guess the phobia manefests differently in every individual.

      Again, thank you so much for your words, I'll show them to the ol' hubby asap. :)

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  7. Beautiful! I love the contrast between hard and soft here– his long hair and military jacket, your fluffy dress and tattoo! I have to ask about the black and white photo with Jeremias and another man having one leg up, though– is that a Swedish tradition?

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    • Thank you so much! :D

      No, the leg up thing is just a play on the Captain Morgan-commercials. :)

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  8. A ring-book? Did you make that yourself or is there a place I can aquire one? Because I WANT!

    PS both of you looked amazing and I love the idea of riding the subway in your wedding finery. Makes for fun stories and great pictures.

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    • Yes, I made it myself BUT I totatally don't recommend going DIY on this. It took FOREVER to make. I glued every page together with the next (and man, there were many pages)and then I cut out a big chunk in the middle. It was a complete horror to make so I recommend buying one on Etsy instead. This seller makes beautiful ones:

      http://www.etsy.com/shop/SecretSafeBooks?section_id=7047477

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  9. I loved this, as we are planning a ceremony in the very place next year. We also want something small as my partner also suffers from being 'the centre of attention' and suffers from panic attacks. We wanted something intimate and small too. We are flying in from the UK so its been good to see your photos so I can get an idea about the day etc. Loved it thank you!

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    • Oh, how lovely! Well, not the anxiety thing naturally, but that you're getting married here! It really was gorgeous in the ceremony room and the rest of city hall is a great place to take pictures in and around. Best of luck! :)

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      • Thank you! Yes we are getting excited. We still have to get all the legal stuff in place. The tax office and the city hall have been helpful and I think I know what I need to do now. We are flying over in January to visit in person and hopefully that will give the tax office enough time to get it all to the city hall by the end of Feb! Are we mad to be visiting Stockholm in the winter. We were in Finland in March this year and totally loved it and hoping it will be similar. Just trying to sort out somewhere to have a meal that does not cost an arm and a leg! Its really nice to see and read a similar experience too, your day looked lovely.

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  10. Jeremias is such an inspiration!! I also suffer emetephobia and I carry water with me everywhere to sip as I become anxious. I've been really concerned about how I'm going to handle my upcoming wedding as I was recently my best friend's maid of honour and as I was so nervous about not being able to take my water with me, before I left I managed to spill my water down my dress… right before the photos!
    I thank you so much for your story. Your photos are sooo beautiful & I wish you all the happiness in the world!

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    • Thanks Sam! I knew that Jeremias needed to bring his water with him, so I bought him a hip flask that was easier to hide in his pocket. Maybe that's an alternative for you as well? There are really nice hip flasks available out there, I'm sure you could even find a white one on eBay or Etsy. Good luck with the wedding! :)

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  11. Hi Anna
    I wondered if you would be able to give me any suggestions for photographers. I don't really want the full wedding package just someone to take some nice pictures before the ceremony, during and for a small time after. I'm doing lots of websearches at the moment but wondered if you knew of anyone.
    Many thanks in advance
    Helen

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  12. I love the jacket with all the buttons that Jeremias had for the wedding. I tried to click on the link to GothicRealmUK and it didn't pull up any places for attire/clothing. Can you direct me to the site?? It is a fantastic jacket/coat. Thanks and Best Wishes. Your son is so handsome!!!

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  13. Hi just to say we did get married there in February of this year. We loved it! It had been snowing and yes the ceremony room was gorgeous! We so love Stockholm. We found a wonderful photographer and had photos taken around the city hall and I'm Gamla Stan! It was perfect for us!

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    • Oh, congratulations! Sounds lovely, is there somewhere I can see the pix? :D

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  14. I found this article after googling too anxious to attend my own wedding and I'm so glad you posted your story, it has put me at ease tremendously just to know we aren't the only ones dealing with these feelings. I know I am going to keep repeating your words in my head on our wedding day "nothing else matters" . You have really helped a nervous, frightened, introverted couple not back out of their own wedding.. You both looked fabulous and commend your husbands bravery. My fiancé suffers from PTSD from the Iraq war and gets sick for the same reasons too. If we all share our stories we can all soothe each other. Best of luck to you both!

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