At Tjolöholm Castle for a Swedish summer wedding, 2012.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2012
Even in secular Sweden, the magic and stardust of a fairytale wedding never fades. This wedding was appropriately set in the last castles ever to be built in Sweden, Tjolöholm Slott, built between 1898 to 1904.
The relatively modern castle, located on the grounds of an older one that dates back into medieval times and beyond, is as romantic as could be. Though heartbreakingly enough the original owners, Blanche and James Fredrik Dickson never got to enjoy it together, since her husband James Dickson passed away when the building was just about to begin and only the facade had been decided on.
How apt too, that just two years ago in 2010, the Danish film director Lars Von Trier shot the exterior scenes just here, for his film Melancholia at this castle.
This church that was built in the surrounding ‘workers village’, a village of caretakers to the castle, is a short and scenic walk from the main castle grounds.
Today, visitors can enjoy a meal at a small restaurant almost next to the church, called the Storstugan restaurant where ‘Storstugan’ would translate to about ‘the largest cottage’. It was originally built in 1904, as a community hall. It is open even during the winter and holds an open fire place that makes for a cozy destination after winding walks through the grounds, during cold weather. Visitors can enjoy both traditional Swedish and British fare here.
The wedding dinner was held in the actual main dining room of the castle itself.
This Tudor style castle sits silently in the summer sun, located on a peninsula in the Kungsbacka Fjord overlooking the Kattegat sea that separates but also connects the two countries of Sweden and Denmark. Very fittingly since the couple was from Sweden and Denmark respectively.
Every now and again, its walls echo with song and dance of a grand party where the guests fill up the old rooms on the third floor – quite like today. A grand piano on auto script still stands in the green carpeted drawing room on the second floor where one didn’t need nimble fingers but rather a nimble foot to set the party going to tunes of the late 1800s and early 1900s!
One of the nice speeches of the evening alluded to the setting by paraphrasing the well known line from the Cinderella fairytale – What is it with a Ball in the Castle? and then concluded that this particular occasion, staging a grand party of the last century in this setting complete, down to the ‘enchanted pumpkin carriage’ ride through the forests and the surrounding grounds, champagne by the sea, followed by an amazing symphony of good food and wine – is certainly worth waiting for!
We couldn’t agree more with that, where for many guests this evening, a summer romance to remember, the live piano concerto continuing to the more modern notes of waltz.