I interviewed this lovely couple about their destination wedding in Sweden for Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Abroad magazine.
Laura Cherrett, 29, married Jens Henniker Heaton, 30, in Västra Götaland County, Sweden. She says:
We chose to get married in Sweden because Jens is Swedish and we wanted our day to be memorable and different. Having the wedding abroad also meant it was easier to have a small guest list without offending people. Jens grew up in Gräfsnäs, so Gräfsnäs Castle on Lake Anten was a natural choice for our reception venue. The castle has an incredible history, with connections to the Swedish royal family, and provided a unique setting for our wedding.
Hiring the castle turned out to be incredibly cheap, only around £200. It would have been impossible to hire somewhere as nice in England for so little money. Marrying in a church in Sweden is completely free; there are no extras for the organ player, church bells or other services.
As we got married in June, we used wild flowers for decorating the venue and tables, and to keep things cheap, we called in a lot of favours from Swedish friends and family, who were happy to help out.
We wanted a natural, relaxed, Swedish summer-style wedding. I chose a very simple, flowing dress from a shop back home in Norwich. It was actually a bridesmaid’s dress which I ordered in ivory.
I wanted to keep my look in style with the wedding and go very natural. I had minimal makeup and wore my hair up so that I didn’t need to worry about it during the evening.
Organising where our guests would stay was the hardest part of the wedding. As our wedding venue was in the middle of the Swedish countryside, it would have been incredibly difficult for our guests to organise their own accommodation, so we booked it for them. We booked up the only guest house, plus we managed to track down homes to rent nearby and borrowed another home from a family friend. We also created a website at mywedding.com telling everyone where they would be staying.
We created welcome packs containing food and drink for each house, and provided everyone with an itinerary for coach pick-up and drop-off times for the big day.
My advice: Make sure there’s enough accommodation locally for your guests, and that the venue is accessible. It was also important for us that there were plenty of flights at a reasonable price.