Princess Madeleine Gets Married {Swedish Royal Wedding}

Princess Madeleine got married yesterday to Mr. New York man Christopher O’Neill. He’s refused Swedish citizenship and the title of HRH so it will be interesting to see what will happen with the couple.

In the meantime, I loved Princess Madeleine’s wedding gown designed by Valentino. It is made with lace and has a four feet train. I know a lot of people have been making fun of her gown but I love it. ‘

LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Swedish Princess Madeleine Wedding dress by Valentino

Her wedding was not full of pomp and circumstance like her sister’s Princess Victoria’s wedding, which had a LOVE Stockholm week dedicated, but it was fun nevertheless.

Anyway, here we are to photos!
Princess Madeleine Swedish royal wedding

rincess-Madeleine-of-Sweden-wedding-kiss

Swedish Royal Wedding Dinner

Princesss Madeline Sweden Wedding Cortege

Hedvig+Elisabeht+Charlottas+krona+crown+TheRoyalCourt+photo+Alexis+Daflos

Princess Madeleine of Sweden Wedding Photo

Congratulations Princess Yummyboobs. We love you!

Our Indian-America-Swedish Wedding Photos – Finally!

For the past year, I left you all in suspense regarding our wedding photos. They’ve been around for a while, but I was too lazy to share them. You did get a sneak peek to the madness but now here’s the real deal.

There are boatload of photos, so be ready for a long fika!

Being glamourous

madness

my new ears

back in the days

phone time

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haldi ceremony - before i become yellow

Haldi Ceremony Collage

haldi on my hands and head!

discussing bridal mehndi - oh, how much to do...

waiting hand and foot

white man + indian mehndi = epic

Indian Bride getting ready for the Sangeet

a couple's hands

the man is popular

the guys & I

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is it okay to stab the cake?

sneaking a bite of cake - i didn't do it!

rangoli flower

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praying

dare you to get the garland on!

the sacred fire

the bride's family gives her away

crazy eyes

see my panetar!

Photographs are by Christopher and Andrew. Also thanks to Kate, Sabina, Tinna, and many more for contributing.

Wacky Hats at the Royal Wedding

I can’t help myself. I watched the Royal wedding between William and Kate on Friday. It was amazing to see Brits freaking out over the royal family. They’re rockstars in the UK!

Anyway, besides the fun of the wedding, I had to say British women are crazy for hat. They’re mad hatters!

What’s what the obsession/fascination with hat at British weddings?

Here’s my favorite trainwreck hat by Princess Beatrice. Perhaps an idea for the demotivate Sweden contest?
princess-beatrice-435

I thought Princess Victoria’s dress at her wedding was better but her coral dress and pedestrian hat for the Royal Wedding was a bomb. Oh Princess :(
swedish british hat

And speaking of weddings, this week I’ll post our wedding photos! Yayyy!

A 10-10-10 Wedding in Sweden

We did it! Got married at the Gothenburg City Hall on 10.10.10 day. Pretty awesome, eh! Along with thousands of couples, including an IKEA wedding. We still have a wedding in India but we needed to be legally married somewhere.

drinking champagne

Since getting legally married in India would be a nightmare and a half, we figured Sweden was easier. If you already have a personummer, you just need to fill out a vigsel anmälblanketten and send it to Skatteverket. Then you need to make the application to the rådhuset in the city of your choice. Stockholm rådhuset for wedding has a four month waiting period. Holy crackers.

Be aware, wedding days are only on Saturdays in Sweden. As it turned out, Göteborgs Rådhuset was closed on October 9th and allowed for weddings on October 10th instead. When Þorbjörn and I got engaged, we thought it would be awesome to be married on 10.10.10. We could never forget the date.

So we filled out our forms, I attached a “please let us marry on October 10th 2010!!” note and voilà, we got our date!

As usual in Gothenburg, Saturday was a lovely and sunny day and Sunday was overcast and blah. Blah blah swedish weather strikes back. But no one was going to stop the bride from champagne and a Swedish-American wedding.

We had brunch at Skansen Kronan, a cool old fortress tower in the middle of the city with an awesome view. Wait staff was friendly and food was delicious. Skansen Kronan was romantic and dark inside and appropriately, I ate Swedish waffles. Because that’s what a bride can do. Eat delicious waffles and lots of whipped cream (sadly no Nutella!!!).

And then 30 minutes later, the waffle irons blew the circuit and the kitchen had no power. The staff had to end service a little earlier. Don’t blame me; my friend had five waffles. He broke the waffle iron.

kiss

Afterwards, we packed up the car with tons of crap and returned home at midnight. Since parking on Sunday night is impossible in Stockholm, he returned the rental car. And dropped the keys into the drop box.

When Þorbjörn came home, he asked: “So where is the vigselbevis?”
Me: “Uhhhhhh…. I think it is in car”
Him: “Oh Shits…”

At 9am I ran off to Hertz to check the car. Car was fine, he was loaded on a tractor rig with 12 other cars waiting for their adventure to the airport.

Whoops…

The guys who worked at Hertz were really nice. They found the car on the rig and found the marriage license.

Phewww. Leaving our marriage license in a rental car was my first accomplishment as a wife.

And by the way, happy 42 day! (101010 in decimal is 42) The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

BTW, since I’m posting this on 10-11-10 (or 11-10-10 for you Europeans), I should say a big congrats to my parents who are celebrating their 30th anniversary together. And they’re still together driving each other crazy. Just kidding. :D

Here is a photo from their wedding day, 30 years ago:

Swedish Royal Wedding Weekend

I was a bad American-Swedo. I skipped out on the Swedish Royal Wedding and Love Stockholm in favor of Germany. It wasn’t my idea, the Swede wanted a weekend away from the festivities.

Instead, my friend Andrew attended the Kortege and snapped some spectacular photos. He also is a blogger and photographer at Ett Foto. Unfortunately, he was not invited to the delicious banquet dinner to eat Norwegian lobster, cod, chilled green pea soup, whitefish roe, char, poached quail egg, asparagus and beetroot from Gotland, veal sirloin from Stenhammar, strawberry mousse with rhubarb and vanilla ice cream in white chocolate. Mumms! Except the green pea soup.

It’s beautiful to see Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding go through without a hitch. Her younger sister, Princess Madeleine, spent the past two months in scandal when her douchebag ex-fiance cheated on her; ending the engagement and canceling their royal wedding.

Royal Swedish Airforce

Swedish Flags flying high

Royal Submarine at the wedding ceremony

Crown Princess Victoria and husband, but not frog, Prince Daniel

The 250kg wedding cake made of strawberries, champagne mousse, pulled sugar, and soft almond meringue.
swedish wedding cake
The speech by Prince Daniel. It was really beautiful and lovely. Brings chivalry backs to Sweden and sets the bar high for all the Swedish men.

The transcript to Prince Daniel’s speech. He did speak in both English and Swedish.

För nio år sedan hade jag förmånen att lära känna en ung kvinna med en härlig humor, en stark pliktkänsla och dessutom väldigt, väldigt klok.

Vi blev vänner. Ju mer jag lärde känna henne desto mer oemotståndlig blev hon.

De här åren med dig Victoria har flugit förbi, har varit de bästa i mitt liv.

There have been times when Victorias official duties have separated us. Often taken her to faraway countries and continents. I will never forget some years ago when she left for one of her many trips, this time to China.

We were going to be apart for a whole month. The night before she left she got home late after an official engagement, and she had many preparations to make before the long month of duties ahead. Instead of getting some valuable sleep she stayed up the whole night writing.

In the morning after she had gone I found a box. And in that box I found 30 beautiful letters addressed to me. One for every day she would be away.

This romantic gesture is typical of you Victoria. It says everything about the loving person you are.

Once upon a time the young man was… perhaps not a frog, in the beginning of the fairytale… as in the story first told by the Grimm brothers. But he was certainly not a prince.

The first kiss did not change that. His transformation was not possible without the support of the wise king and queen, who had ruled the kingdom for many years, and who were full of wisdom, experience and had good heart.

They knew what was best and guided the couple with a gentle hand, generously sharing all their experience.

Jag känner en stor tacksamhet mot eders majestäter kungen och drottningen, för ert helhjärtade stöd, och för det sätt som ni har välkomnat mig in i er familj. Mina tankar går givetvis också till min egen familj. Till min mor och min far, och min syster och hennes döttrar.

Mor och far, under hela min uppväxt har ni givit mig er villkorslösa kärlek. Ni har hjälpt mig med er klokhet, och ni har hjälpt mig att bygga en stark självkänsla och trygghet genom sunda värderingar som har väglett mig genom livet.

I dag, när vi färdades genom Stockholms gator, då möttes vi av en otrolig glädje och värme. Ett minne vi kommer att bära med oss djupt inne i våra hjärtan, för alltid.

Under de år som Victoria och jag har haft tillsammans har jag känt ett stort stöd från människor som jag har mött. Det har varit väldigt viktigt för mig.

Tack.

Jag känner en djup respekt inför de uppgifter som ligger framför mig. Det kommer utan tvekan att bli en stor utmaning. Jag ska göra mitt yttersta för att leva upp till de förväntningar som kommer att ställas på mig. Jag kommer göra mitt yttersta för att stödja min hustru, Sveriges kronprinsessa, i hennes viktiga gärning.

Älskade Victoria. Jag är så stolt över det vi har tillsammans. Jag är så lyckligt att nu få vara din man. Jag ska göra allt jag någonsin kan för att du ska förbli så lycklig som du är i dag.

Victoria, störst av allt är kärleken. Jag älskar dig så.

BTW, happy summer solstice! 18h 38m 25s of daylight. Sunset at 22.09 tonight. If any single Swedish boys are mingling on Midsommer, be sure to say hi.

Swedish Feminism 101: Don’t Let Daddy Walk You Down the Wedding Aisle

As Sweden gears up for the Royal Wedding between Crown Princess Victoria and douchey looking Daniel Westling, plenty of scandals surround the wedding.

First up, Daniel had a kidney transplant last year therefore his health is poor now. Supposedly. If he says he’s ready for the wedding, so be it.

Next annoyance is that Swedes are feeling less inclined to pay for the wedding. While the Swedish media exclaimed, “all the hotels in Stockholm are booked!” the reality is different. I searched on Expedia and several top hotels are available during the wedding weekend. No shortage there. Festivities being paid for by the city and taxpayers is more than 10 million kronor (and the king putting in another 10 million).

And, the feminists are angry. And so is the archbishop performing the royal wedding ceremony.
He said,

“Giving away the bride is a fairly new phenomenon that occasionally happens in the Swedish Church…I generally advise against it, since our wedding ritual is so clear when it comes to the equality of husband and wife.”

Because feminism in Sweden is strong, this is considered a serious lack of judgment on the Princess’ part. Unlike American feminism where women quickly place a double standard, Swedish feminism sticks to its goals. The Crown Princess wants her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf to walk her down the aisle at the wedding ceremony. While this is common practice in the United States, in Sweden it is customary for the couple to walk down the aisle together.

Annika Borg, a priest and theologian, believes Hollywood’s movie weddings influences Swedish brides to have the American way. She says, “It’s unfortunate that Sweden’s future head of state has chosen to follow a practice that is not Swedish tradition.” That’s because only 1 in 10 Swedish weddings “give the bride away” by the father.

Of course the view by the Royal Court is different.

“This has a bigger dimension. This isn’t a father giving away his daughter to another man. The symbolism is that the king is leading the heir to the nation’s throne to the altar — and to the man who has been accepted.”

I understand the Hollywood sensationalized fairy tale weddings. There’s no movie where bride’s father didn’t walk her down the aisle. And they are beautiful. If I had a western wedding, I want both my parents to walk me down the aisle or no one at all. Because both my parents participated in my upbringing, they both have the right to take part in this important tradition.

While some traditions last, others are subject to change. A dowry was traditional for thousands of years, but no longer common practice. And there’s the obsession with dads and daughters. Forgetting the cute ‘daddy’s daughter’ ideology, the real traditional wedding is about about cutting an expense, the daughter, for a price to the new owners (a dowry). That’s why patriarchal power still exists with the man in such weddings, they “give away” the daughter. I prefer my parents to say “we give our daughter blessing to marry this man” than “we give our daughter to this man.” See the difference in semantics?

Of course, Victoria should do what she wants but I find it strange to not follow Swedish traditions. I want to know why she came to such decision. The Royal Court’s statement justifies a practice that is archaic and American.

Does it make sense for the King to lead the future Queen down the aisle and give her to the common man? Or maybe the issue is not about feminism but about traditions, should this still happen anyway?

I wonder if more Swedish brides will be “given away” after the royal wedding or will stick to Swedish traditions.

Indian Engagement Ceremony Photos

Indian Bridal Mehndi and Bangles
menhdi hands - indian engagement

Traveled with Air France on an unusually nice flight. We survived an Indian engagement ceremony. In India. With Swedes. And an occasional stomach problem.

Now that we have our Swedish engagement done, it was time for the Indians to take over and show what a Hindu engagement is about. An Indian engagement can be a large or small affair. A small involves 30-50 people. Okay, that is not small for Swedish standards but considering in India, we invite everyone for a wedding, 30 people is super duper small.

Giving Blessings
Blessings - Indian Engagement

We invited only family, i.e. my dad’s brothers and sisters and their family, my mom’s brothers and families and my grandmother’s in laws. Despite having a few extra people show up, we still had only 40 people.

For the ceremony, there are two parts: introduction and ring ceremony. We did this in a mainly Maharastrian style. How it differs from other Indian engagement ceremonies is anyone’s guess. The first part of the ceremony took 20minutes and involved giving blessings to the bride and bridegroom’s family, exchanging gifts and changing. I wore a very typical Maharastrian Paithani sari.

After the changing, we exchange rings and mithai (sweets). Traditionally you exchange sweets to ‘live a sweet life’ but modern tradition is to exchange rings as well. For the second part, I wore a typical Gujarathi chenia choli. This chenia choli is hand made Kutchi style with embroidery, ablah (mirror work), and bandhani (tye dye) design.

Both were lovely!

Grandmothers
Indian Grandmothers
Respectfully bowing to my maternal and paternal grandmothers. They are awesome.

We’ve come a long way since last year when he met the indian family for the first time. And now we’re planning a wedding. Strange how the puzzles in life fall into place.

A Swedish Engagement on Blue Monday

It happened! The little Swedish boy proposed. O M G! OMG OMG OMG

The back story…

Today is our two year anniversary of first meeting. Since we started dating right after we met, well we are using the 18th as our anniversary. And as a friend pointed out, today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. Take that Blue Monday!

We decided on Sunday to take a nice walk around Södermalm in the afternoon. We went home shortly after sunset, drank Pol Roger champagne, did home pedicures. I had this really cool scraper to clean my feet, an osthyvel for the foot!
Södermalm Frozen
Anyway, we had dinner at the Italian restaurant nearby, came home and chatted. Then I decided to head to bed (because I love the comforter) and we played silly question games like, “If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be?” Hehe, I know. Totally lame.

I was almost falling asleep after drinking lots of champagne and dreaming of dancing oranges (don’t ask why).

Then a shy boy asked:

So i’ve been thinking all day, and just couldn’t figure out a good time. but since it’s our two year anniversary…will you marry me?

He even had that cute swedish boy look.

It was at home at midnight. He didn’t get down on one knee or whisk me off to Finland on a boat. But it was perfect, and Swedish: a quiet, intimate, loving way to say the best “I love you”

Stay tuned for a monsoon wedding and preparations.

PS: There is no ring yet. We’ll get there soon!