Cool as Ice!
Adam and Carly’s frosty reception in Sweden
When letting agent Carly Seymour and Adam Start from North Warnborough, Hampshire, decided to tie the knot, they chose the ICEHOTEL in Sweden for a wedding that was a seriously chilled affair.
Finding the ‘One’
We first met when Adam came into the property letting agency where I worked and I showed him around a house on a Friday, and by the following Monday Adam had asked me out for dinner! That first date was the start of what is now coming up to a nine-year relationship, sealed by our wedding ceremony at the famous ICEHOTEL in Sweden. When I saw Adam that first time it was definitely love at first sight!
Adam proposed during a weekend spa break at Champneys Health Resort. After dinner we went for an evening stroll around the lake in the resort’s grounds. There was a full moon that night, it was very romantic. Then he took me completely by surprise and popped the question by the lake!
When we decided to get married we wanted something unique and memorable, we are not very traditional, and doing it this way was a lot easier to manage than a full-scale family wedding. We knew we wanted to see the Northern Lights, and we had seen documentaries on the ICEHOTEL so, to be honest, we made our mind up within about five minutes of giving it serious thought.
We didn’t have a wedding planner, but the arrangements were handled by Discover the World in the UK, and in Sweden by the local lady who actually married us – she made sure we got to the Registry Office in the morning, and then conducted the ceremony in the main corridor of the ICEHOTEL in the afternoon. Our travel company, Discover the World, were very helpful with all the arrangements. It was one of the easiest holidays we have ever planned, let alone the fact that we had a wedding on top of that. We had excellent help building the comprehensive itinerary for our stay, and everything went 100 per cent according to plan. Honestly, it could not have gone any better! It really didn’t take a huge amount of planning – a few calls with the rep at Discover the World, and a couple of emails later we were done!
We went alone! Just the two of us.
Getting the look
I wore a strapless, floor length ivory gown with a white faux fur jacket with fingerless gloves. On my feet I wore pretty ballet-type shoes, but changed into snow boots for the photos before my feet froze! I also wore a bracelet that I bought from the Ice Hotel gift shop and a wedding ring and earrings made especially for the big day by my friend. I did my own hair and makeup.
Something Old, Something New
For my Something Old I wore an old necklace, my Something New was the ICE HOTEL bracelet, Something Borrowed was my fur jacket and for the Something Blue – my lips definitely ticked that box!
Groom & bridesmaids
Adam wore a Jaegar suit with a couple of unusual additions – namely his thermal ski boots and a thermal vest – well it was minus eight degrees in the ICEHOTEL!
Given that the temperature in the ICEHOTEL is so cold, flowers don’t tend to last that long, and we knew that the total length of the wedding and the photos after would be 2-3 hours. As such, I made my own flowers using artificial lilies with a ribbon to match Adam’s tie. The photos prove that this was a good decision!
We didn’t have a cake, in fact, after we were done with the photos, we had Vodka shots in the Ice Bar and then went back to our room to change before going for some dinner at the ICEHOTEL restaurant.
As we were having a civil ceremony, which precluded us from using the Ice Chapel, we chose to get married at the end of the main corridor in front of the Ice-Brick window. This gave us an excellent backdrop, and a view right down through the main corridor as we were married. It was just amazing. The ceremony lasted around 20 minutes. The local lady who married us does all the ICEHOTEL weddings. She was lovely and wore a traditional robe for the wedding, and after the ceremony finished, she presented us with homemade candles, which is a Swedish tradition.
We didn’t have any guests, and nobody ‘gave me away’ but we did have an audience of around 40 complete strangers (some we had met on the plane and on excursions and others who were on day visits to the ICEHOTEL) who let out an enormous cheer as the ceremony finished! As we were married during the day, the ICEHOTEL, which is open just for guests at night, was open to the public. We were a bit unsure about how this would play out, but in fact, it really compensated for not having our families and our daughter there – and we felt like celebrities with our photos being taken by so many people.
We didn’t have a reception. We wanted privacy after the wedding, and as we had no guests, we simply went for a meal. We ate a traditional Swedish buffet with wine, and then took a stroll around the complex under the clear skies. We saw more stars than I have ever seen before!
The photos were taken by a local guy called Kent Tunlind with his wife as the lighting assistant. It took around two hours to get all the photos done, as it was so cold in the ICEHOTEL, and I wanted to take my jacket off for a lot of the photos, so we had to keep going inside to the warm fire in an adjacent building to warm up every 20 minutes. It was an interesting experience for sure, and well worth a few chattering teeth!
Our favourite photo is one of the two of us lying on our front in the Art Suite Room where we stayed in on our first night. We like this because the Art Suites are special one-off rooms that only a few people will ever stay in, so the combination of us dressed up and in the room we slept in makes that particular photo very special to us.
Our best memory (other than the actual wedding ceremony itself) was the night before the wedding when we went on an expedition using snowmobiles, up onto a mountain where we watched the Northern Lights above us and then made our way to traditional huts with a log fire in the centre where 12 of us sat around the edge, watching our guide cook traditional Swedish fayre to warm us –including Moose Soup (which was very nice!). The funniest memory was when Adam went on a husky ride – so glad he had two people in front of him to hide behind, as 12 huskies create quite a constant and large amount of gas!
All in, with expeditions, Art Suite upgrade, wedding costs etc, it cost us around £8K, It was certainly a lot cheaper than it would have been to get married in the UK and then go on a honeymoon, so this option most probably saved us a fortune!
Discover The World
Tel: 01737 218 800