Jesper and Sara

Jesper is Danish and we met in 2006 when I was living and working in Denmark in the town of Elsinore (Helsingor), famous for where Shakespeare set Hamlet, and where Kronborg castle is located. Jesper was managing a wine store, lucky for me, it was owned by an Australian and focused on all the top drops I was missing from home! Visits to the store became more frequent when I discovered our shared love for the Dave Matthews Band, music that was often playing in the store.

Cullen in Margaret River, was an easy choice as they produce some of Australia’s most awarded wines and chef Matt Eagan is renowned for his use of seasonal and local produce. Winter is always beautiful in the south west, it is also the much celebrated Midsummer in Scandinavia and hence worked perfectly for our second celebration the following weekend in Denmark. We stayed together with our families at Cullen Homestead. Jesper got ready in the main house while I used the outside studio. It was lovely all being together on the morning and it made it easy for both families to walk across to Cullen for the ceremony and reception.

I designed and made the invitation suite which consisted of invites for the Australian and Danish weddings, in both English and Danish. We sent recipe cards as the rsvp’s, so received a recipe from all our family and friends. Upon their return I collated these into a gorgeous cookbook that guests then left a personal note for us on their recipe page.

Image by Sara Kjaersgaard

Having an intimate wedding meant we could get around to our closest family and friends. It also meant so much to us that our son Otis was part of our big day and his interaction with us during the ceremony was just beautiful. I loved walking from the Cullen homestead to the winery with my dad and feeling the most amazing sense of calmness about the proceedings before me. Seeing Jesper waiting for me, after everything we have shared it was like I was seeing him for the first time again. Hearing his heart warming vows, we both wrote our own vows so it was a surprise and such a special moment for both of us.

We really wanted to incorporate Jesper’s Danish and Swedish heritage into the wedding. We integrated references to Hamlet in the invitations covering them with pages from the play and also gave copies to our guests as favors. Similarly, references to the famed Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen were utilised through the motif of the hot air balloon, one of his infamous paper cuts on the stationery. We tied our rings to an old book of his that Jesper’s mother had given us and passed around as a blessing before the ceremony.

We used some photos we took of ourselves in a street side photo booth on Kastaniennalle in Berlin as mini canvases and placed these on our guest signing table. In addition, we used my mum’s typewriter from the 1970s, set it up with “Once Upon a Time” and guests completed the love story throughout the day.

It was the work of our amazing friend Emma from All of the Above Creative who helped bring the rest of our vision to life. She made two beautiful ribbon walls, one for the makeshift photo booth and the other to hang from the veranda at Cullen for the reception. She also used antique books for the table settings, a range of doilies and vases and then set our Hamlet favors amongst these. Emma painstakingly collected pinecones and sticks, wrapped them in yellow wool and scattered them along the tables. We bought the flowers wholesale and my sister in law, Pernille, put them together the day before.

I bought a set of woodland animal masks on Etsy and we used these as a prop for the polaroid photo booth (in Australia and Denmark) producing many silly and fun photos to accompany the gorgeous more formal ones that Maz took.

The speeches were beautiful; my dad wrote us a gorgeous poem that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house, Jesper’s dad translated his speech into English and gave everyone a copy, it went down a treat!

We also allowed the music to tie the day together. I entered to ‘One and Only’ by Danish artist Teitur, we signed to ‘Blackbird’ by the Beatles and ‘Loving Wings’  by Dave Matthews Band then exited to ‘Burden of Tomorrow’ by Swedish artist Tallest Man on Earth. We had one dance to ‘One and Only Love’ by John Coltrane and in true Danish tradition, our guests circled us and moved in on us slowly, clapping as they went until we broke away and continued the dance with our families.

Best of all, we flew to Denmark two days later and did it all again the following weekend!

All photos by the amazing Maz from Life Photography unless otherwise stated.

Video compiled by All of the Above Creative

Ms Gingham says: How gorgeous are the bubbles as a way to farewell the bride and groom. Beautiful images and a lovely wedding. Thanks to Sara for sharing her day with us!

Sara says: “In 2006 I moved from Perth to Copenhagen for a scholarship in a renowned Landscape Architectural firm. I was working in the little town, Helsingor (Elsinore) about 40km north of Copenhagen (also the town where Shakespeare’s Hamlet is set) when I met my husband to be.”