Tanja and I tied the knot at 1930 (UTC +2) in Oulu, Finland. It went very well. We finally got the rings that very morning, after ringing Fedex and finding out where they were. A bit of advice, if you are ordering from a company online, check them out before purchasing. We ordered two rings from COI Jewerly and had nothing but trouble, they lied to us on several occasions and finally they sent it to the wrong address. When they came, they were ok, but they weren't perfect and even if they were, the amount of hassle we had with them wouldn't have made it worth it. We had the manager of the place we were to be wed email us on Thursday night to tell us out idea for fish in bowls for table arrangements were against Hygiene laws she had just been informed, I personally couldn't find anything in the law that states it but it was too late to argue.
On the Friday, Tanja and I had appointments at respective barbers. I got my hair tided and facial hair sorted, it had become quite a mess after not really shaving for several weeks. Tanja got her hair done beautifully. We got ready for the wedding and were picked up in Tanja's Brothers Mercury Comet, what a machine that is. It was here that I realised that wearing skirts is not easy, I was wearing a kilt and I mean how the hell do you sit and control all that loose fabric.
|That's right, grovel on your knees!|
The place of our wedding was kitted out beautifully and Tanja and I had several photos taken at various locations around the estate before the guests arrived. We had to hide in the 'panic room' so no one could see us, it was called that because if Tanja panicked she could run and hide there (She will probably kill me for saying that).
We had a good turnout, I think 40 guests were there, not too big and not too small I think. It did feel weird though walking up to where we were getting married, everyone standing looking at me and then when Tanja arrived, looking at Tanja and Us. We could see the flashes and hear the clicking of cameras behind us. I managed to stand in the most awkward position ever and my leg was cramping up. The ceremony was conducted in both Finnish and English, it was very well done. I felt the luckiest guy in the world and when we placed the rings on each others fingers my heart exploded with joy. We then waited by the front door to the main building so people could congratulate us. It was very heart warming to see everyone. We were then toasted and much to my suspicions it was Tar Soda, I knew I could smell tar when we were by the front door.
The food served to us by the estate was mouth wateringly tasy, could not fault it. It was buffet style but so beautifully presented. We had Ceaser Salad, Swedish Meatballs, Marinaded Garlic, Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad, Salsa, Olives and selection of bread for starters. The main course was Finnish Creamed Potatoes (Gratin Dauphinois), Roasted Vegetables and Roasted Beef with Pepper Sauce. It was then time for the speeches, her father was first up and in all his humour presented her with cotton buds (he use to find them all over the family home when she was young) and myself with a tin of pineapples (after stating I am adapting to Finnish life well, like loving Sauna and Tar Soda and understanding Finns love Pineapple..... I cannot stand the texture of Pineapple). I gave a small speech thanking everyone and embarrassing my lovely wife by telling everyone how we met and how she told me no one would marry me as I am a chef.
Soon we were taken into the back room to cut the cake, there was three Caramel topped cakes filled with Grapefruit and Pineapple Jam. Now Finnish tradition states that when the cake is cut, whoever stamps their feet first becomes the one in charge of the relationship, I was told this just as we were walking to cut the cake and 'warned' that I was not to stamp first. I stamped but a fraction of a second behind Tanja......... I had to be a good sport.
The night ended with a wedding dance in which we danced to The Rubettes 'Your Love' whilst everyone blew bubbles on us, it was very cool. We then went into the Panic Room to await everyone going outside. There outside, people were given sparklers and Tanja and I walked towards the Ari's Comet. It was very magical and even though it was cold on the way home, we were very warm inside.
But the wedding adventure doesn't end there, oh no. We opened the door to our apartment to find the doorway blocked by a web of string taped to the frame. We found our toilet filled with balloons, which is great for someone who has an unjustified fear of balloons; wrote messages on the toilet paper. We also found several notes left around the apartment. When all seemed sorted, we found one last trick that our mysterious pranksters left......... they had taken all our cutlery and put it in our bed. Whoever these people were (and I have my suspicions), very funny and well played.