When it came to their wedding day, Madelene and Peter knew exactly what they didn’t want – a stiff, traditional church wedding. Instead, the couple gathered up their friends and family, hired an officiant (complete with traditional Swedish garb), put a bow tie on their adorable pup, and got married on the beach in the rain. After their simple ceremony, the couple celebrated with a Swedish wedding smörgåsbord and Swedish cheesecake.

Keeping their wedding small and intimate allowed the couple to save lots of money (always a bonus!), but more importantly, it let them stay true to themselves and have fun in the process!

Thanks to Photo by Betsy for sending over this lovely wedding!

bride and groom portrait in the woods

Madelene, 31 & Peter, 30

Location: Vättern (the lake) in Habo, Sweden

Wedding Date: June 19, 2015

Number of Guests: 50

Wedding Cost: $1000; $2500 with rings

Wedding Ceremony Location: small private beach by Vättern

Wedding Reception Location: At our house in Habo where we put up a party tent in the backyard.

groom sitting on logs

black and white bride portrai

bride portrait in meadow

bride's feet on rocky beach

groom with hand on bride's cheek

bride and groom with arms around each other's waists

bride and groom smiling in meadow

bride and groom portrait in forest

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted to be surrounded by people that really know and care for us, people that we could be ourselves with. We did not want a traditional, stiff wedding in a church. We both love the simple life, nature, and animals so we wanted to have our dog Maui with us, and somewhere where the children could run and have fun.

groom portrait

bride and groom in the woods

bride portrait

groom portrait

groom embracing bride from behind

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait in the woods

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

It was difficult to not get stuck in the traditional way of thinking –”the way you’re supposed to get married”– and instead keep it small, really daring to do what we wanted and felt we should do.

bride and groom walking in the woods

bride and groom portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

Yes, at first. We didn’t want to exclude anyone, but when we started thinking about it, we knew who we really wanted to share our day with – our closest family and friends. We did divide our wedding into two with only our families at the ceremony. We then had two receptions, one for family and one for our friends. We loved doing it that way.

bride and groom walking through meadow

bride portrait

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom walking through meadow

bride leading groom by the hand

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Thankfully, we had no issues.

wedding guitar player

swedish wedding officiant

beach wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

The highlights were being outside by the lake, the intimacy, and that there was no stress and we could just be ourselves.

Swedish beach wedding ceremony

Swedish beach wedding ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

bride's hand on groom's back

Swedish beach wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Having two, one for family and then a barbecue party for our friends where we could be even less formal and more relaxed.

bride and groom portrait

groom portrait onthe beach

bride and groom portrait

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

There was no stress and we could be ourselves. And it was cheap!

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom portrait

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Do it! Don’t stress. Have fun.

bride and groom portrait

Vendors:

Photographer: Photo by Betsy