Leave it to my friends and me to giggle every time we see a street sign with the word “fart” in it. Some adolescent tendencies are just too fun to let go.
Silliness was aplenty on my trip to Sweden last month. When I wasn’t giggling at fart signs (FYI “utfart” means exit/way out – quite fitting if you ask me), I was being magically turned into a pig with no legs, or hopping like a frog around a flowery, phallic-looking maypole, or prancing fancifully through a flower meadow.
Silly moose-ing around with Jeanette’s farfar (grandpa)
Silly Princess Isabelle donning her flower basket tiara
Silly Jared, mean-muggin’ in his tree-cuttin’ threads
Silly me with Isabelle, pondering sticky leafy thingamabobs on our noses
Some things in life just can’t be explained. Take it from me, though, that all the silliness that made up my Sweden trip was indubitably fitting for the occasion.
That occasion being Jared and Jeanette’s wedding!
How gorgeous are they?
And likewise, how fantastically SILLY are they?
Jared has been a dear, dear friend of mine for the last 10 years, and I can honestly say there is no one more right for him than Jeanette. He really married his perfect girl!
So you can imagine what an honor it was to be his Best (WO)Man. Admittedly, I bombed my speech and was so nervous on stage, I actually forgot to TOAST the happy couple altogether, ug. Who does that?! I’m terribly embarrassed.
But I did get a consolation prize: I caught the bridal bouquet! Yay me!
‘Twas a beautiful and joyous celebration of Jared and Jeanette’s love.
Photo credit: #josefineeej
Photo credit: #jeanetteemmy
Their romance has been an international one, spanning three countries: they met in Santa Monica, USA, got engaged in Shanghai, China and tied the knot in the bride’s hometown of Kvarnbacken, Sweden! Here is a love story map I made for them:
(A post-wedding version of this would show their honeymoon in PARIS and their new home in DALLAS! And turns out my Chinese and Swedish translations were a bit off. Oops! I tried.)
As if their romance couldn’t be any more charming, Jared and Jeanette got married on Midsummer’s Eve, one of the most celebrated holidays in Sweden. The annual summer solstice tradition involves wearing flower garlands (“krans” in Swedish), eating pickled herring, singing silly songs and doing a series of whimsical dances around a maypole. Basically, more Swedish silliness, which was delightfully perfect!
Photo credit: #brent.earles
Video stills courtesy of Tomas Hedström
If the maypole looks to you like it has a set of balls hanging from it, well…it might have something to do with the maypole being a symbol of fertility and procreation!
In addition to the wedding, I got to spend my time in Sweden as honorary member of both sides of the family, explore the region and enjoy other Swedish traditions. It was such a treat!
Kvarnbacken on a map
(the nearby town of Umeå would become the farthest north I’ve ever been in the world!)
Jeanette’s childhood home, where her mom Carina and sister Isabelle currently live
Isabelle welcomed me with a lovely drawing and even loaned me her princess bedroom for a couple nights. Thank you Isabelle! (Or shall I say, “TACK!”)
A warm välkommen (welcome)
Both the US flag and the Swedish flag flying proudly together
Mormor and Ivan also make an amazing “sill” aka pickled herring. I’m OBSESSED!
A group of us enjoying sill with Kent, the bride’s father (on the left)
The bride and her farfar
Jared and his new sister-in-law at Grundsunda Church
Brent photographing Grundsunda (built in the 14th century!)
Grundsunda Hembygdsgård, the cultural center
Kent and Brent: A budding bromance between the bride’s and groom’s fathers (adorable!)
A friendly game of Kubb aka the throwing of wooden sticks at other wooden sticks
Isabelle showing me the special addition to mormor’s and Ivan’s barn
Psycho – I mean Sakja – our Husum housemate
The bride’s sisters at grandma’s playhouse
Picking flowers with Isabelle
A day in Umeå
Hearts all over Umeå!
The region’s largest town: Örnsköldsvik
A couple shots I took around Husum, which was my home for two weeks
The sun didn’t fully set the entire time I was there. Here’s the sky at 10:50pm:
Here’s the sky again at 3:37am. Crazy!
We did an awesome day hike in the High Coast at Skuleskogen National Park to Slottdalsskrevan, a mountain crevice formed during the ice age
Photo credit: #jeanetteemmy
Our last dinner together: Public Restaurant in Örnsköldsvik
Left to right: Ivan, Josefine, Brent, me, Kent, Jared, Isabelle, Carina, Jeanette, Mormor, Farfar, Jane
I miss them all already! Watching these two families become one was a really beautiful thing. And to be embraced as a part of this family made it extra special. So much LOVE!
To both families, a warm and heartfelt TACK. And since my silly self forgot to raise a toast at the wedding: SKÅL!
More wedding photos can be found on Instagram: #earleswedding.
Click here for Jared and Jeanette’s wedding video! Courtesy of Tomas Hedström (his first-ever wedding video, and he did a beautiful job). Also, you can see me catching the bouquet at the very end!
For more on the Swedish Midsummer tradition, check out this adorable video: Swedish Midsummer for Dummies.