Quite unremarkably, we were on the subway up to Harlem for a friend’s birthday, deep in conversation about what we saw for ourselves in the future and the kind of lives we hoped to lead. Our hopes and dreams felt very much aligned, and we have both since pinpointed that subway ride as the moment we individually knew.
Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
Janie – Our upbringings couldn’t be more different: I grew up on a high country sheep station in the Mackenzie Country of New Zealand, Matt is a born and bred New Yorker. I moved to NYC in 2017, we met early in 2019 and moved to Stockholm together in 2021. I work in user experience at Spotify and Matt is in procurement for a Swedish climate-tech startup. We very much lead our own lives and savour our independence, but together we love to host intimate dinner parties, bike around our beautiful city, dance the night away, and explore more of the world. We’re currently planning our honeymoon to Kenya (we opted for a Buddymoon right after our wedding since we had all our friends in the same place, can highly recommend this).
How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
Janie – As many great Brooklyn love stories begin, we met at a warehouse party at around 6 am waiting in the coat-check line. It was the depths of NYC winter so I had a scarf wrapped around my head to try and keep warm, and he told me I looked like a Swedish correspondent reporting from Tehran (a weird premonition to us now living in Sweden?). My first impression was that I wasn’t all that impressed about a random guy trying to pick me up at that hour of the morning. But Matt spent a week hunting down my number (it turns out we had a couple of friends in common), and after a few dates, I was absolutely besotted with this fast-talking Brooklyn boy.
Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
Janie – It was August 2020, and Matt had organised a trip to the midcoast of Maine for my 30th birthday. We went out for a beautiful dinner, which was the first time we’d been able to go to a restaurant since the pandemic began, and so naturally went completely overboard on the cocktails and wine. We were staying in a cute little cabin in the forest, and the next evening—after spending a day deathly hungover on the beach—we made a fire, opened a bottle of wine, and Matt pulled out a ring, fumbled over some well-meaning words, and I started bawling and said yes right away. It was perfectly imperfect in every way. The best part was that my friends had planned a birthday party for me the following weekend, so we got to surprise them all together!
Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
Janie – Our wedding was a four-day affair at Villa Lena, the most gorgeous hotel nested deep in the Tuscan hills. We had our guests stay on-site with us for all three nights so we could spend quality time with them. We kicked off the weekend with a pizza & spritz party by the pool with a local three-piece band to help loosen the limbs and get everyone acquainted. The following day we had a big breakfast, then optional activities on-site (including yoga, flower arranging, a pasta-making class, etc) before the ceremony/dinner/party/after-party in the evening. The following day started with an incredible brunch, and hours of lounging by the pool before yet another amazing dinner, dancing, and fireworks(!!!) to wrap it all up before we all said our goodbyes the next morning.
Neither of us feels particularly strongly about the sanctity of marriage, so to speak. Instead, our wedding was a bold expression of our love and a chance to celebrate it with the people we cherish most in the world. From writing each other’s vows (mostly for comedic effect) to having a friend read a rather odd love poem by Hera Lindsay Bird, shirtless flower boys, and a family face-off in the Swedish game of Kubb to decide our last name (the Camerons won out!), it truly was a weekend full of so much laughter and love. Much of the weekend was orchestrated by our close friends, which contributed to it being so joyous, silly, and incredibly special. We danced until the sun came up and truly couldn’t have wished for a more perfect way to celebrate our love. My mum’s oldest friend said to me: “I’ve learnt a lot about life and love this weekend” and I think that truly sums up the spirit of our wedding.
Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
Oh, you mean the Great Tambourine Saga of 2022?! We ordered 100 tambourines that we planned to have hand-embroidered with the guests’ names and used as table settings (and noisemakers) during the dinner. About 20 of them arrived in one package, but the other 80 got lost somewhere in the Italian postal system. We were checking the tracking number multiple times a day, calling various post offices (Matt’s limited Italian really got put to the test), and while the package was moving—literally all across the European continent—we had no idea when it was going to arrive at the venue. We had a late-arrival backup plan; my dad is a beautiful calligrapher and had agreed to write the guest’s names on the tambourines with a Sharpie the night before (bless him!), but alas, the tambos never showed up. We ended up with a really cute backup plan though, recruiting a couple of friends to go around the night before the wedding and take a Polaroid photo of each guest, which Dad wrote names on to use as placards. It was such a hit and maybe even better than the original idea.
VENUE: Villa Lena, @villalena / PHOTOGRAPHER: Righi Photography, @fotorighi / CELEBRANT: Our celebrant was a close friend / STYLING & HIRE: Provided by Villa Lena, @villalena / ENTERTAINMENT: We had a local string quartet play / PLANNER: Joseph Vatter / FLORA: Provided by Villa Lena, @villalena with support from Stu Fenwick of Bria Studio / CATERING & BEVERAGE: Provided by Villa Lena, @villalena / GELATO: Local Cart / WEDDING DRESS: Danielle Frankel Studio, @daniellefrankelstudio / GROOM: Götrich & Co, @gotrichco / RINGS: Laurie Fleming Jewellery, @laurieflemingjewellery; Vintage Cartier, @cartier / SHOES: Bottega Veneta
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