I live for weddings like these. I met up with Aili and Markus on Friday morning in the archipelago outside of Stockholm. We took the ferry to a small island called Landsort. It lives about 20 people there. There’s one tiny grocery store in the same building as the bar and the postoffice. They had booked a cute little cabin for me where I could spend the weekend. They lived two minutes walking distance from me. I knew it was love at first sight when Aili hit me up about the wedding. She told me how they’ve lived in Africa, Tanzania, they live for traveling and exploring the world, plays beach volleyball, love cultural experiences, third culture kid – all these things that we have in common. There was no question about it but I had to shoot this wedding. A crispy morning in September. The sun was shining as we took the ferry. Once we arrived, we started the wedding weekend with a traditional, Swedish fika. They brought homemade cinnamon buns and Irish coffee. The sun was shining and everything was perfect. Later on they changed clothes and we took a walk around the island, playing and taking fun photos together. We were already best friends at this time. Later on, the rest of the crew entered the island, aka their parents. We were seven people total enjoying this magical night at the only local restaurant with glorious food and wine til the clock stroke midnight.
Saturday came and the wedding happened. They had decided to get married in a cute little lighthouse. This lighthouse is famous for this island and they were the first people getting married there. Isn’t it beautiful to start you married life with an adventure? Who needs thousands of things and venues when you have all you need right here? The pastor entered and she decided to bring her husband cause why not? All nine of us went up in the lighthouse where we witnessed a beautiful marriage happening. It truly was special and perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. I live for weekends like these. Afterwards we went to their little cottage, we had lunch together, cheering with champagne and joy. I’m so happy that I got to experience this weekend. Big weddings can indeed be fun. But this was everything to me. It was marriage in it’s rawest form. I’m all for non-traditional weddings and this was surely it.
I think about the words someone once gave me that: ”Hurry is incomparable with love.” And when I look at the wedding industry today and what it has become…Brides going into post wedding-depression, much focus on money and budgets, everything having to look perfect and just the stress of planning your day and how everything needs to happen a certain time, it can be very stressful. I’ve heard so many not enjoying their wedding day because they felt stressed. Well, this was the opposite of that. It was peaceful all weekend. We could do whatever we wanted to do and however we wanted to do it. We could rest and therefore we could enjoy the love to the fullest. Cause I think hurry might be incomparable with love. I do love big weddings as well and I surely believe that those who want a big grand wedding and all that comes with it, should definitely do it. It’s not wrong at all, it’s just different. I’m all for intimacy in all areas of life and that’s why I obsess over weddings like these.
Aili reminds me of the wild in me. There’s a freedom only to be found in the wild. When you let go of perfection and open yourself up to the opportunity of things happening in their own way. You enter things with an open mind and from that place, anything can happen. Things that you never dared to dream of in your wildest imagination. From that place, nothing’s impossible and we all need that reminder sometimes. Cause life is not meant to live in fear. Life is not meant to lock us up. Life is meant to be lived and explored. We only have one life. I wanna be able to say that I lived it to the fullest.
With that being said, all of you hopefully reading this. I wanna wish you a merry Christmas with the reminder of how simplicity is so beautiful. We don’t need much to be happy, just a few friends and our family. I want to encourage you this Christmas to take the opportunity that’s been given to you – to enjoy the little things, the slow pace and the few people we are able to meet. Give them all your attention and tell them how much you love them. Leave your phone behind and enjoy this time we’ve been given. Much love from yours truly, Erika Linnea.