Yesterday, my good friends Ola and Noora got married. About time, they've been together, er, forever, or so it feels!

The event happened in a village hall, for lack of a better term (think city hall, and apply it to a small village).

It was a very well organised ceremony and feast. It was a civil marriage, and was performed outside, on a grassy field, with a singing quartet lending their beautiful voice both before and after the ceremony itself, as well as a quartet of violin players (fiddlers?) that I think played some traditional Swedish melodies.

The groom (Ola) was dressed in a jacket with a flowery structure (oh, and pants and so on, but the jacket was the special part), and the bride (Noora) was dressed in a beautiful dress with clear medieval inspiration that she designed with some help from a friend. Sorry Ola if I seem to enjoy your bride's dress more than your jacket. Your jacket was special, but I'm more hooked to medieval stuff, so I did admire her dress more.

After the ceremony, we all went inside to mingle and to hide away from the rain that started right on time, and later on, we continued to the dining hall to have the feast. Very good food, composed of combination of meals from the north of Sweden and from Finland.

The feast went on with some singing and speaches a little now and then, effectively and beautifully coached by the toastmaster, Jimpa.

At this point, I'd like to mention a few unusual things happening.
One of them is that we all got to pair up and write something to the newly married couple and put it in a box, to be read by them in about five years. I'm not going to retell what Åsa (the lady that I paired up with, who was sitting face to face with me) and I wrote, because Ola or Noora might actually read this journal entry :-). If you want to know what we wrote, you'll have to email me and state a formal pledge of silence ;-). Oh, and I retain the right to refuse with no further explanation...
The other unusual thing was that the new couple didn't have any preset seats. Instead, they started at one table, seating themselves in the middle somewhere and stayed there to chat for a little while, then moved on to the next table, and on to the next... six tables in total. I found this to be really nice, it's a chance for everyone to connect with them and exchange a few nice words with them without having to be horribly formal about it. I'd like to spread the idea and see it flourish as a different tradition.

Well, the evening went on, there was a chocolate cake, and then dancing started. I didn't participate on most of it, as it was traditional Swedish music, and I haven't the slighest clue how to dance with it (I wish I did, I saw some people who did it beautifully, and it looked like lots of fun). I did get a crash course in "4-mansshottis", but a little late to be able to put it to good use.

After a while, the music changed to 70's and 80's style music, and I did participate in one dance. I spent much more time talking with old friends...

By midnight, it was time for me to leave and head home.

I'm really happy I was there. The whole event was beautiful and it was a blessing to participate.

Ola and Noora, may your lives together be as beautiful as it's already been, or better.

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