Today we are so excited to share a beautiful story from Liana Östberg. We swooned over Jonatan's and Liana beautiful story of love that spanned across a few different countries, and now we are so excited to see them tie the knot! We love hearing wedding stories, but this story was particularly captivating because both Liana and her now-husband were able to pull off a surprise wedding! Fall in love with their amazing story and be inspired by their lovely, simplistic wedding complete with touches of floral, pink, and intimate settings. Here is her story:
On December 29 my husband and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary and I still can hardly believe it. As the saying goes, “it feels like it was just yesterday.” What’s even harder for me to fathom is that we were actually able to pull it off. See, no one even knew we were getting married until five days before the ceremony. How crazy were we to plan a surprise wedding?! Did I mention it was at Christmas, I was living in Sweden and planning the wedding 6,000 miles away in California and that I even managed to sneak my wedding dresses (yes, I had two!) into my carry-on on the long flight from Sweden to California without anyone noticing?!
See, I’m from California, but for the past four years I’ve been living in Sweden. When my (now)husband (who is Swedish) and I decided we were ready to take the plunge, we were unsure of exactly how we wanted to do it. Being a bi-continental family, things can get complicated. Where would we have it? California? Sweden? Somewhere else? Who would we invite? Would everyone even be able to come? It became quite stressful and we almost decided not to do it at all. Well last year, as luck would have it, my husband’s family decided it would be fun to spend Christmas in California (to soak up some sun while Sweden is nothing but snow and darkness). Even better, my family was planning a mini-reunion with my aunts, uncles and cousins. So for the first time, both of our families would be all-together in one country at the same time. We jumped at the chance.
Instead of making a big hype though and getting too many people involved, we decided to keep our plans secret. We really didn’t want to turn our wedding into too big of an event, and anyways, can you imagine everyone’s faces when we finally reveal to them what we are going to do? Two months before our trip to California we planned everything and did it completely online. I have to say, our wedding is a perfect example of the glories of the internet these days. We picked and organized our photographer, found a restaurant, scheduled my hair and makeup and even ordered my husband’s suit all completely online (I almost ordered my wedding dress online as well but got lucky on a shopping day here in Sweden).
The craziest part about all this is that no one even had a clue it was going to happen. This made absolutely no sense to me as our families have been asking us for years when we were going to finally tie the knot.
It was for the best though, because the day we told them—Christmas Eve 2013—their reactions were priceless. First, we showed my diamond ring and announced our engagement. Then we said the cliffhanger, “We have another surprise…” I thought my dad was going to pass out! Luckily he didn't, but when we told everyone we would be going to the church in five days to say our vows, no one could believe it. “What?! WHAT?!” they kept screaming (or “Vad??” in Swedish). It was awesome.
While I was excited to give the news, I was equally nervous and scared. What if my parents were mad about us not telling them? My mom didn't go with me to find my dress—will she be heartbroken? Well I had nothing to worry about because everyone was ecstatic. And the best part—they all jumped on the band wagon and helped us put the finishing touches on our day to make it the best ever: my mom ordered us a gorgeous cake (something I hadn't even thought of), my dad got us a limo, my mother and sister-in-law got me gorgeous gifts at an impromptu bridal shower with my grandmother and best friend and on the day of the wedding, when my pre-ordered flower crown wilted into disarray, my mother banged on the door of the closest flower shop until they let her in and saved the day with a new crown and matching bouquet.
Some things are meant to be and sometimes timing just works. Our wedding was one of those times, and it was one of the best, most exhausting and amazing days of my life.
Not only is Liana's wedding story amazing, we can't get enough of her vintage-inspired bridal gown and reception dress! The touches of pink and lovely use of flowers in her pink rose bouquet and crown are like the sprinkles on top of a cupcake. Want to see what Liana is up to today? You can learn more about Liana and her adventures on her blog!
Photography: Eva Baker Photography, Venue: Postino's Restaurant in Lafayette, CA and Gustafsbergs Badrestaurang in Swenden, Flowers: Forget Me Not Flowers, Cake: Cake, Liana's Dress: Aspera Alicja Eklow and Zara, Hair and Makeup: Juliette Grange-Piccolotti, Jonatan's Suit: Charles Tyrwhitt.
Do you have "real wedding" photos you'd like to share? We’d love to see them! For your chance to join our Blogger Family and become featured on our blog, send your wedding photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to browse our bridal Pinterest account too for even more wedding inspiration!