Viktor grew up in Sweden helping out on his family’s farm, while Anna was raised between and Christmas tree farm and a cornfield in Pennsylvania. So, when it came time, The Inn at Barley Sheaf, an estate with rustic views in Anna’a hometown, was a natural one. We’re loving all the seasonal details like the autumnal-hued, and dahlia-heavy florals and climbing vines by Love N’ Fresh Flowers and copper letterpress invitations by Haute Papier Letterpress. Add in some gorgeous fall foliage and Grey Collective member Asya Photography behind the lens and we have ourselves an adorable seasonal celebration.
How did you meet?
We met at a mutual friend’s birthday dinner at the Four Season’s Bourbon Steak in D.C. The dinner consisted only of our friend Ashleigh, Viktor, myself, and another friend of the birthday girl. The evening was a blur and the connection was like fireworks. Ashleigh likes to say that it was like sitting in on the most perfect first date she could imagine. We were both casually seeing someone else at the time, but we could not shake that chemistry, and so in just one week, we sorted out our other situations and then went on our first date the following week. Three months later we went on our first trip to the Luberon in the South of France where I met his family, et voila, the rest is history! We felt that Ashleigh was the most appropriate officiant for our wedding considering the story, so she married us.
Tell us about the venue.
Viktor grew up in Stockholm with much of his family running a farm near Hedemora, Sweden. He spent all of his holidays and countless family occasions at the farm and in the forest land of this area. I grew up in Doylestown Pennsylvania between a Christmas tree farm and a corn field, and have always held the charm of Bucks County farmland close to my heart. Considering Sweden would be a difficult destination for many of our friends and family, Viktor suggested that we find a farm in my hometown to honor our upbringings. The Inn at Barley Sheaf was a perfect location for us. Working in hotels, I have seen many beautiful weddings planned to include multiple locations and venues for the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, after party, etc. We wanted to create an environment that made our guests feel welcome and comfortable, for an entire day of celebration, without having to travel anywhere. BSF has done a beautiful renovation on their barn space which served both as our ceremony space, and as our after party venue later in the evening. The Manor House hosted a lovely cocktail hour on the patio facing the gazebo, and there is plenty of space for our tent to have the reception. The fall foliage, horses, apple trees and space for croquet and lawn games was an added bonus. Not to mention, the entire wedding party (bridesmaids and groomsmen) were able to stay in the sixteen rooms on site, so it really made for an all inclusive sentiment; like a home away from home for the entire weekend.
What was the theme of the wedding, and how would you describe the day? What personal touches did you add?
Halloween is a very special holiday for us. Anna has hosted an annual charity event called Violence is Scary in Washington D.C. to support local domestic violence charities in the city because of her passion for the holiday and the cause. The bride and groom bought a home on October 31, 2014, exactly one year before the wedding date. We wanted to incorporate the holiday without overdoing it, so we had a roaring 20’s/Gatsby rehearsal dinner at the Michener Art Museum the night before, and then decorated the barn for the after party with Halloween themed inspirations and a fog machine (all DIY projects from the Paper Source). The photo-booth had all handmade Halloween themed props designed for the wedding by Manic Moose on Etsy. And the dessert table was a Trick-or-Treat theme, with a variety of delicious bite sized options made by Debbie Croll, Anna’s mom. The band learned Monster Mash as the encore song for the evening.
The rest of the wedding was very seasonally inspired with light apricot, marsala and sage at the heart of the theme throughout. There were touches of Anna’s favorite, rose gold, wherever metallic appeared. It was a black tie wedding because Viktor thought it would be a fun contrast to have a black tie dress code with a farm background. We had several DIY projects with tissue tassel garland and the bridesmaids carried oversized balloons with peach confetti. The table escort cards were secured to mini Chandon bottles with a sign reading “It’s not a VJ party without bottle service” as an inside joke/tribute to Viktor’s affinity to bottle service at night clubs and bars. We had cornhole boards made each displaying the skyline of Stockholm or Philadelphia, with the bean bags embroidered with our self-made monogram AV symbol that appeared throughout the event.
Another contrast that was very important to us was to make sure that both the American and Swedish influences shined through. We had readings at the ceremony in both English and Swedish, the table numbers were displayed with hand cut wooden horses called Dala horses, that represent the region in Sweden where Viktor’s family is from. There were luminaries with the skyline of Stockholm, and we carved pumpkins to spell out the Josefsson for the evening to light the way for guests leaving after the event. There was a trick-or-treat cauldron with candy bags to take away: Swedish fish imported from Malmo in Sweden for the guests. We rented a large marquee light of the LOVE statue from Philadelphia which is one of Anna’s favorite places in the city. We finished the evening late at night with the Say Cheese food truck from Philadelphia because of Anna’s cheese obsession, featuring classic Philadelphia cheesesteaks. This was one of the biggest hits of the evening. The processional music for the wedding party was an instrumental piano version of Wake Me Up by Swedish DJ Avicii; the bride walked down the aisle to the Glasgow Love Theme from Love Actually, and the recessional music was a famous Swedish love song.
What will you remember most about your wedding day?
Viktor and I both discussed how there were several times throughout the evening where we just stopped and looked around to take in being surrounded by so many friends and family. Especially for Viktor, given that 40 family members traveled all the way from Sweden to attend the wedding. I will personally never forget my father/daughter dance when we waltzed to Sunrise Sunset, and then pretended to walk off at the end, but returned with a pompadour, Elvis glasses and a huge foam bob wig to perform The Twist. Another hysterical moment was mid-ceremony when Viktor and I looked at each other, and then over at Ashleigh as she was reading. We both noticed a small spider dropping out of the floral archway directly in front of her forehead but she didn’t see it. We tried to keep our composure, but when we made eye contact again, we burst into laughter mid-ceremony. Lastly, I learned part of my vows in Swedish to surprise Viktor, which certainly worked!
Photographer: Asya Photography // Planner/Coordinator: Bride // Florist: Love N’ Fresh Flowers, Jennie Love // Stationery: Haute Papier Letterpress Sarah Walsh, Washington D.C. / Laura Hooper Calligrapher, Alexandria VA // Wedding Dress and Veil Designer: Mira Zwillinger (Rubi Dress and Veil) // Shoes: Jimmy Choo // Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August // Makeup Artist: Beke Beau // Men’s Attire: Trunk Club custom tuxedo, Salvatore Ferragamo, patent leather shoes // Jewelry (including rings): www.tinyjewelbox.com // Cake/Dessert: All homemade by the bride’s mother, Deborah Croll (retired Pastry Chef of Hamilton’s Grill Room) // Catering: The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm // Music: The Heather Hayes Experience, Atlanta Georgia (Issac Hayes’ daughter) // Transportation: Sterling Limo // Rentals: Lighting Eventions // Apple Products (pre-ceremony greeting and gift bags): Solebury Orchards