On a beautiful sunny 17th of May last year, Kristian & May got married on one of Denmark’s most captivating islands. Among colorful old houses, with breeze from the ocean stroking their love fest, they celebrated their love together with friends and family. Ærø Island sure is the perfect place for weddings, and we have already placed it on our travel bucket list. Our talented danish wedding photographer, and one of our Scandinavian favorites shows once again why we love her work. Camilla Jørvad Photography knows how to capture love, emotions, and beautiful details. Let her take you along so you can long for that lovely danish feeling you too.

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FROM THE COUPLE:

How/when/where did you first meet? At a birthday party in 2004. It was ”connection” at first sight – a deep, meaningful kind of appreciation – but we started out as friends for nearly two years before stepping into romance and realizing, that we are meant for each other on every level.

How/when/where did the proposal happen? In the summer of 2013 in Aarhus, Denmark, – which is the city where we first met but we haven’t lived in since 2007. We went there on one of our beloved and rather regular love tours (a love tour is a weekend away from our three children) and during a walk in a park in the city, Kristian fell to his knee apparently tending to a mosquito bite on his ankle. I urged him to take off his sock, so I could see the bite, but instead he pulled out a beautiful ring and proposed to me. When I too fell down to throw my arms around him I noticed that he was shaking like an aspen leaf. Imagine still being nervous about asking for my hand after eight years of sharing our lives and three children.

What was the vision for your wedding, the style/color/scheme? First and foremost we wanted to create a set up which created meaningful conversations, human connections and great realizations between those we care about. We wanted our guests to get up from the table at the end of the night and feel like they had learned something, laughed a lot or simply enjoyed meeting someone new and interesting. The wedding was held over three days. On the first day we all met at the harbor in the city of Svendborg and sailed together to the island of Ærø. On board of the ferry we sang a compilation of songs, that we had put together, and we handed out a quiz about ourselves which the guests answered with an impressive focus and eagerness. Later that night, after checking in to the three different hotels and Bed & Breakfasts, we had a casual dinner during which we had hired a so-called spiritual guide to take us on first a “dream journey” with his shaman drum and later, during dessert, he read tarot cards for each and every one of our guests (something which proved so popular, that he was requested throughout the next morning up until the ceremony).

On Saturday morning, prior to the wedding ceremony, we all gathered in the garden in front of the old hotel, and sang the same three songs as on the ferry and shared stories.

Our hope was to cater a feeling of unpretentiousness and intimacy, spirituality and love throughout the weekend. The location for the two dinners as well as breakfasts and the party was an old, quaint beach front hotel kept in the original style from the 1920’s where well kept and picky guests used to spend their summer vacations strolling the beach and dining in the high ceiling spaces. Therefor we chose a dress code in that exact mindset opting for bowties, vests, casual blazers and an overall light, happy and relaxed look. We also prompted in the invitations, that our first and foremost concern was every single guest’s comfort, so no one should dress in something they didn’t feel at ease in just to fit our theme.

Our ambitions concerning the table plan were very straight forward yet somehow unconventional: We wanted just about everybody to sit with different people for the two nights and we wanted every table of 8-12 people to be a mix of someone they knew and someone new. On the first night we ourselves were seated with our parents but on the second night, the actual wedding party following the ceremony, we sat with our three siblings and their partners. Family and friend’s were completely mixed and the goal was once again to create interesting and genuine conversations.

How many guests? We invited 90 – and 88 came.

Why did you choose your wedding venue? We chose Ærø island because we love the breathtakingly beautiful island only an hours boat ride from the city where we lived at the time. It is so small, intimate and romantic, and after thinking the thought once, we never had any doubt. The old beach hotel was an obvious choice being so close to the water with the most glorious view and it fit our vision of a light, happy and honest weekend perfectly. In fact our many days on Ærø planning the wedding convinced us that this is the right place for us to live and we are in the process of moving there now. Our three children ages five and two (twins) were part of the events during the weekend.

Describe the ceremony, what made it unique/special: The reception was in many ways a traditional, Danish church ceremony – and then again far from it. My father died in 2008, so my brother, took me down the aisle. In 2006 my brother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer which paralyzed him from the waist down and I spent months, years in fact, with him in the hospital. It was only natural that he was the one who gave me away, since he is the closest I have to a male protector other than my husband. Our sister followed closely holding my oldest son’s hand, which closed the circle. My sister is my best friend, my soul mate and to have my son there seemed like such a natural decision, at the same time we had decided that our twins were too young to enjoy the experience and might even turn out be a distraction during the ceremony where we’d rather be husband and wife than mom and dad.

One of my oldest and dearest friends played her viola in the church while my brother and I walked down the aisle and again during the ceremony (where she played one of my favorite pieces; Bach’s Cello Suite no. 1) and again when Kristian and I left the church as husband and wife. I had hired a local choir to sing Kristian’s favorite hymn as a surprise during the ceremony and my sister surprised us with two beautiful wedding rings that we had chosen from a wonderful goldsmith but decided on postponing to our one year anniversary. After exiting the church with all our guests, a wonderful brass band walked us through the cobble stone town to the hotel and played happy New Orleans jazz for the next few hours while everyone danced and talked.

Describe the reception, what made it unique/special: The band. We had hired a great brass band to play New Orleans jazz while we walked from the church to the hotel through the wonderful small town and after reaching the sunbathed lawn right on the beach side, they played for two hours while everyone danced, talked, ate and laughed. One of our friends, a well known Danish actor, at one point took the mic and sang a slightly different version of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World singing, “What a Wonderful Maj and Kristian” on the chorus.

Describe the flowers used for floral arrangements: My beautiful bouquet was in fact made by our out of this world magical photographer, Camilla Jørvad, who aside form taking the most breathtaking photos also turned out to be a gifted event designer who stood by us in many of the decisions during the preparations. I wasn’t sure I wanted a bouquet at all, but she convinced me, asking: “What else will you do with your hands?” My dress was so detailed and decadent yet underplayed and elegant that I wanted an understated, natural and sincere bouquet to go with it. Camilla knew exactly what I meant.

What was the inspiration of your wedding cake? None, to say the truth. We were not in agreement whether we should have a traditional wedding cake or not and discussed the matter to the point where Kristian got so annoyed with me that he threw a sponge at me one night because I kept insisting we should go for a less formal, more casual cake – such as a traditional brownie or even just a big bowl of mixed candy. In the end we landed somewhere in between with a lovely, but not very traditional, organic wedding cake, homemade from scratch by a kind woman on Ærø who used many ingredients from her own garden.

VENDOR LOVE:

Wedding Photographer: Camilla Jørvad
Wedding dress: tailor Susse Thorseng Lærche and Sjølander Embroidery.
Our rings were from Bukkehave, Denmark.
Groom’s attire: Jacket: Ralph Lauren, Shirt: Eton Sverige. Pants: Sand, Denmark. Bowtie: Velorbis Hat: H&M Shoes: Vans
Bridesmaids dress: Day Birger et Mikkelsen
Invitation Suite, program, menu, songs, welcome notes, door signs, etc: DIY
Table Centerpieces: DIY
Caterer: Cafe Aroma, Ærø
Wedding location: Ærø island, Denmark