The Big Day
I had another nice morning of sleeping in, getting to breakfast by 10, then going across the street to the antique store to buy the canisters before I gussied myself up for the baptism service. It had been blue skies, but by the time I walked to the church it was raining so my umbrella was well-used. The service was nice, and here were 4 other local children being baptized too. I sat next to Casandra from Toronto so I could get some translation if I needed any. I wasn't able to understand the minister, but I tried to sing along fumbling through reading the Swedish. I guess I did well enough since across the aisle Teje's father, who I only met the night before, thought it was me, but didn't understand because the lady in the blue dress was singing in Swedish! haha...There were only two read-along sections for the congregation, in the back of the hymnal, and during reading them I realized they were the Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer, so I understood a tiny bit of what I was saying, but I didn't understand what I was singing. ;)
I took photos of the cathedral after the service, including the small crypt beneath the altar, and an old stained glass window in the back that looked the same design as the chunk I was tempted by in the antique store, but especially the two pipe organs, which are recent but still very cool, and since I could get so close to the smaller organ, I took closeups for Halloween project research. ;) Teje had said Tobias needed to eat before going over to the party hall, so I went back to my hotel, changed into jeans, then met them back at the hall close to 2pm for final touches. I hung her painted backdrop on the wall, picked, washed & set up the leaves on the candle trays, helped set up the red wine & set out the wine glasses for the welcome drink. By then it was 3:30 and Teje said I could have the rest of the afternoon off...haha! She said many times "I'm so glad you're here" so I must have been actual help! :) I quickly toured the museum on my way back to the hotel to change into my party dress. Quite good displays for a small local museum. There was only one pamphlet that had any English translation, so I'm not exactly sure how come the mummy is there, but I was told it was found at the abbey we had toured before. It had stayed clear but overcast all afternoon, but of course it started raining for my walk back to the hotel! I was thankful Jimmy & his sister were coming by the hotel at 4:45 to give rides to anyone who was ready, and I made sure I was! :)
We got the party, I lighted all the candles in the fireplace display, which took quite awhile, then tried to mingle. I will never remember the names of all 70 other guests, I'm sorry! I am always bad with names unless I see them written, but I did my best. Teje must have shown my website to most everyone, since when I introduced myself as "I'm Britta" they would reply, "Oh, you're the American with the website" or something similar...haha! There was a surprise scheduled, that was supposed to be a surprise to me too, but Reagan had mentioned it in English at the crayfish party, so at least Tobias' parents were still surprised. Reagan has a Universal Life Church degree, like everyone else I know in Silicon Valley, so he wanted to marry Teje & Tobias. Since they did have a legal wedding last year, this was more renewing vows, but it was still nice. It was the first time Reagan had ever performed a service as officiant so he was nervous, but he did a great job. It probably helped that he said it in English. :)
After the vows, people started sitting down anywhere they wanted which was the plan, but it left Teje, Tobias & me without a seat since I was asking Teje how I could help, so I ended up sitting with them. Tobias' family was handling the food, bringing out a giant authentic Swedish smörgasbörd for the buffet. We loaded up our plates, and I tried to get a little bit of everything on my plate, and I think I succeeded! Yes, I took a picture of my plate, since I'm hoping Teje & Tobias can point and tell me what things are called. I knew the kottbullar (meatballs) and sillsalat (pickled herring & beet salad), the sill (pickled herring) but there was a third variety of sill that was tasty so I'd like to know the variety. There were lefse pinwheels, with thick but fluffy lefse, thin meat, and garlic cheese sauce, rolled up & cut into pinwheels...very good! Also I was told I must try the smörgastorta (sp?), which looked like a vegetable cake with lettuce, thin sliced meat and tomatoes arranged prettily on top, but had a layered bread & cheesy spread "cake" underneath. Very tasty too! I cleaned my plate completely, since I never had lunch. Tobias was teasing other girls at our table that they were supposed to clean their plates, and some of them were hiding leftovers with their napkins...haha! I even went back for seconds of the sillsalat, which shocked Karin sitting across from me, since she hates the stuff. She kept saying "You really like that?!?" haha...
Dessert was assorted cookies and handmade chocolate truffles, then there were some nice toasts (I had to ask Cassandra for explanation afterwards), and the requisite embarass the groom by his sisters, with a timeline with silly photos. I chatted with the girls at my table for awhile, then I helped clear the buffet table to try to get the dancing started. It still took awhile, and I was told that Swedes have to get a lot more drunk before they'll dance, so it might be a couple more hours...haha! Finally Teje & Tobias were pulling people onto the dance floor, and there were a lot of songs I didn't know interspersed with a few I recognized. I didn't realize it was so late, but around 1:30 or so, I started getting asked to dance by Swedish guys who didn't speak much English, and hearing them try while the music was so loud made it ever harder for me to understand! There seemed to be a little competition going on, since three different guys asked to dance with me in a row...I guess I was the "exotic" foreigner? ;) I think one of them was trying to ask me to a local party after this one, saying it would easily go until 5am, but since it was already 2 and I realized I have to check out of my hotel on time vs. sleeping in, I thanked him but declined. I think Jimmy was worried some of those guys might follow me, so he wanted to walk me to my hotel to keep me safe. Very gentlemanly of him, and I appreciated that! I got back to my hotel well after 3am, so I didn't even get out my computer and just went to sleep. Unfortunately even though I was wearing my eyemask, I kept waking up, so I finally just decided to get up to update & upload photos, since I realized I wouldn't have the free wifi tonight! Since Teje & Tobias are staying through Monday but they had originally told me Sunday, they promised to find me somewhere free to stay vs. paying another night at the hotel, so I'm not sure yet where I'll be sleeping tonight. :)
I had caught Teje before dinner for a photo with me while Tobias was running around elsewhere, so I don't have both the happy couple with me, but I do have Teje & me all dressed up! :)
Bride Teje and Britta at the wedding party in Skara
Now to get ready, pack up & eat some breakfast. I'm not sure of the plan today except for more cleanup at the party hall since that place was a mess when I left at 3am. Tomorrow I'll drive with Teje, Tobias & Sixten to their house in Norway and stay there through Saturday when I fly back to London.
Until next time!