A Wedding in the Archipelago

I love weddings. They are such happy events. But the most hectic wedding season is over for me. Most of my friends are already married. About a month ago one of my best friends tied the knot, and I was waiting for his wedding like a kid waits for Saturday candy. I bought a new dress for the occasion and made sure early on to have flights booked. I myself got married in a very different way. Me and M flew to New York, got married in secret at Central Park, and had our celebration in private at a three star restaurant (Daniel). It was perfect for me, but then I really enjoy myself at other peoples family parties. 

So what is a typical Finnish wedding like? My friend S is a sailing man, so his wedding was of course in the Espoo archipelago, in a small island restaurant called Paven. The scenery was fantastic, and the wedding couple arrived to the island with a sail boat. The rest of us where hauled there with wooden carrier boats. This was the only downside all evening, we were dependent on boat schedules to get off the island. There were only three transports back to main land, and I like the freedom of being able to leave when I get tired. Not too early and not too late.

I will move on talking about the food and wine. It was a very typical wedding menu, a great example to get you into a true Finnish wedding mood. The starters were served from a buffet, with salad, boiled potatoes, fresh bread and butter and salmon in many shape and form. Salmon is really something the Finns chuck down at every single event of the year. Even the Christmas table includes slices of raw and salted salmon. This was a bit inconvenient for M as he really is not a fish man. Salmon is probably the worst he can think about after oysters. Luckily there was a bowl of meatballs on the side for him and the allergics. The wine served with the starters was a French Viognier Sauvignon Blac, Le Petit Balthazar. It had this nice freshness to it that made me think of wet rocks on the island shore.

The main course was an nicely fried Entrecote with Bernaise on top and potatoes and baked beans on the side. I think it was quite impressive that they were able to serve the meat medium and so that everyone steak was still warm. That is usually the biggest failure at big events that the main courses come to the table luke warm or even cold. So my regards to the kitchen. The wine served with the main was Mother’s Milk Shiraz. The wine is mainly known due to it’s fun label, but it will not let you down. It has the spicy and herbal notes to match a fatty steak and Bernaise (which is basically just whipped butter).

The wedding cake was a passion fruit cheese cake with some nice meringue on top. Very sweet, like wedding cakes are, but then that just means that a small piece is enough.

The program included a lot of speeches, singing and dancing; throwing of the bouquet and of course night food, which was hot dogs. If one felt like some more drinking, then there were booze bottles hidden in the bathroom. Yes, I know, that’s a bit weird; a bottle of strong liquor next to the hand soap.  By the time the dinner was over, so was the bottle. So I guess quite many people enjoyed it.

By the time the band had played half way their set, I was all ready to go home. Perhaps it was the fresh archipelago air, or the fact that we had actually been our until 2 am the previous night. Who know’s. But it was time to take the 11 pm boat back to the shore and head back to town. We were among the first to leave and from the boat window I could see how the happy party just kept on going. I wish I had more energy to stay but it is best to give up when you know the peak of the evening has passed. The archipelago was beautiful even in the dark.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention our wedding gift. As our friends are saving up for a sailing boat, we wanted to buy something fitting. We purchased a set of four Riedel O-glasses that are easy to take with to the sea. As they have no stem, the do not tip over as easy. Many people have plastic glasses on their boats, but drinking good champagne from a flute-shaped cheap supermarket glass is just wrong. So the O tumblers are a perfect compromise. Additionally they do not take so much space.

xx Soile

The happy couple arriving with a sail boat
My spot
Guess whos present is the Riedels
German Spätburgunder and Macon as entre wines
Cucumber salad
Salmon in many forms
My pick from the buffet – typical Finnish
Mothers Milk Shiraz
Entrecote with Bernaise, potatoes and baked beans
Passion fruit cheesecake with merinque
Finnish archipelago

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