TSO: Hi Julia! Tell us about your journey in becoming a bride…
JB: “It was quite a long one! Stefan and I have been together for over 10 years and got engaged in the Dominican Republic about 3 years ago – so long before the pandemic. Stefan proposed with a beautiful ring from Completed Works, who also made our wedding bands. When we first got engaged, we wanted to honour Stefan’s Swedish heritage with a destination wedding – but somewhere where no one else had been, so in July 2019, we went out there on a location hunt. We settled on Skåne in the South of Sweden, situated in the most beautiful countryside. Initially we were due to have 150 friends attend. Come 2020; everything had to change.
I was in Italy when the pandemic hit. One night I sat up in bed and thought, “Oh my god, we’re going to have to cancel the wedding!” So we postponed it by a year, thinking it would be fine, but it wasn’t, of course.
TSO: So what happened next?
JB: We were always originally going to do our legal ceremony at Hackney Town Hall; we’ve lived around East London for the past ten years and wanted a straightforward ceremony, followed by an intimate lunch. In the end, we decided to make the London wedding a little bigger.
We booked the whole of the upstairs restaurant for lunch at Bistrotheque and initially planned our evening do at Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. Then, a week before the wedding, the government restrictions got moved again, so we ended up having to slash our guest list further and move the evening-do to Bistrotheque so we would be there all day.
Neither of us is particularly romantic about marriage; we love each other and have been together for so long, so marriage wasn’t a huge deal for us – we just wanted a big celebration – so when that kept getting cut down, it was upsetting. But when we did have the ceremony, it was really emotional, and we realised how much it meant to both of us.