Real Life Wedding: Anna & Blake – Sweden

Anna Gahm and Blake Sandilands wed in Anna’s hometown in Sweden at Åtvid’s Old Church, followed by a reception at Trädgårds Hotel. Their gorgeous wedding was characterised by a lot of DIY details and soft styling inspiration.

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How did you meet?

We met at a bar in London. Anna (from Sweden) was over there working at Harrods, and Blake (from Brisbane) was travelling through Europe and working in London at the time.

Tell us about the proposal…

Blake had set up a romantic setting at home, cooked a three-course dinner and proposed on a Friday night. I was so surprised and didn’t see it coming.

Why did you choose Sweden for your wedding?

As I grew up in Sweden and still have my whole family over there we decided to get married in my home town, Åtvidaberg. We had 32 two guests travel over from Australia and 32 Swedish guests.

DIY details

I wanted to have a very personal wedding and made most things myself, from the “save the date” invitations to decorations and the ceremony program.

What was your key styling inspiration?

Keeping everything soft in white and pink and keeping it personal to reflect us.

Where did you splurge and where did you save on your wedding?

We wanted everyone to have a great stay because they travelled so far, so we spent a lot on accommodation and food and alcohol for our guests. Being a photographer, I didn’t want to compromise on the quality of the photos as they are the most important memory you keep from your wedding in my opinion. Doing most of the details and prints myself saved us a lot of money.

What gifts did you give your guests?

We ordered personalised hard rock candy with our names on it that we placed in small brown paper bags for a rustic feel.

What was the funniest moment of the day?

When we were having our photos taken a man fell into the lake right next to us!

What was the most special memory from the day?

All of the speeches. In Sweden we have a tradition of having many speeches at any party so we had about 10 speeches and songs dedicated to us on the night. They were all so beautiful and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.

What did you do for your honeymoon?

We went on a “buddy moon” with some of our friends that had travelled to Europe for our wedding. We spent a few days in Copenhagen and a few days in Istanbul.

Special thanks to…

Queensland Brides & Strictly Bridal. I was the lucky winner of Strictly Bridal’s $5,000 wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses and we can’t thank them enough! I felt like a princess in my beautiful dress.

What advice would you give other brides-to-be?

If you decide to do a lot of DIY, take your time and start preparing early. Do a bit each week so it doesn’t get too stressful right before the wedding.

Groom’s Suit

Roger David

Groomsmen Attire

Roger David

Flowers

Birgitta Åsljung Svensson

Hair

Karlee Sandilands

Makeup

Carin Gahm

Rings

Michael Hill jewellers

Cake

Birgitta Gahm

Photographer

Matilda Söderström

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Matilda Söderström