Andrew and Josefin's Sweden Wedding | Michael Guccione Photography
I'm in a car with Andrew, Josefin, and Josefin's father, Stanko. We're driving to a beautiful forested spot overlooking the Swedish coast in the town of Stenungsund, about 50 Kilometers north of Gothenburg. It's cloudy, windy, and raining.
In a few hours Andrew and Josefin will be married. We are trying to get some portraits done, but the weather is not cooperating.
I tell Andrew and Josefin, "I'm going to get as many shots as I can as quickly as I can. I'll try to get you back in the car fast so you don't get cold and wet."
We pull up to the spot. We get out of the car and go to it. I pose them in as many positions as I can in 10 minutes. The wind is blowing rain onto my lens which I have to wipe every 10-15 seconds. Andrew and Josefin are great sports and endure the wind and rain with me to get the photos.
We all get back in the car and I'm very pleased to have gotten a bunch of quality shots. I take a look at my view finder and come across a particularly pleasing shot. I'm excited! I zoom in on the shot to make sure the image is sharp and that there are no squinting or blinking eyes. This is what I see...
My smart-ass friend.
I've known Andrew for about 8 years. He is one of the most unique individuals I've ever met. Our friendship originated with us both being unemployed and watching way too many hours of the 2010 World Cup together. We've grilled steaks, smoked cigars, and watched lots of soccer. When my wife and I wanted to get legally married several months before our actual wedding, he hosted us at his house. When he had surgery and needed some one to watch his son, my wife and I were there.
His was one of the last weddings I ever thought I'd be at. If you know Andrew, you know about his cynicism. Particularly for relationships and weddings.
Andrew met Josefin here in the United States while she was an Au Pair here. Their love developed quickly, with a shared interest for rock climbing, hiking, and game nights. My wife and I had many opportunities to spend time with Josefin and we realized they were pretty perfect for each other.
When it was time for Josefin to return to Sweden, Andrew made the decision to sell his home in New Jersey and move back with her. I was extremely happy for them, but sad that my friend wasn't going to be just a quick drive away anymore.
Long story short, of course they got engaged! And when Andrew asked me to photograph their wedding, I could not have been more honored and excited!
My wife and I travelled to Sweden for the affair. After a couple of days of sightseeing in Stockholm, it was time for the 4 hour train ride to the western side of Sweden for the wedding in Stenungsund.
Andrew's family also flew in for the occasion. And we were all hosted by Josefin's amazingly hospitable parents. We were treated to some delicious bar-b-que and lots of laughs.
Swedish weddings, as I found out, are a much longer affair than American weddings. After a ceremony performed by the Swedish equivalent of a justice of the peace, we moved into a cocktail hour. And then dinner was served. Dinner was highlighted by many speeches, games, and performances. This lasted for about 3 hours. At which point the DJ arrived and treated us to another 3 hours of dancing!
After all was said and done, things finally wound down around 10 (the ceremony had started at 1). I was exhausted as I had started taking photos with Josefin around 9am at the hair salon. But I could not have been more happy for my friend and his new wife.
Congrats Andrew and Josefin! I wish you a long, happy, and adventurous life together!