Lost in translation. Some words simply do not translate. Take “sambo” for example, in Swedish. A sambo is your significant other with whom you share a home, but are not engaged to be nor are married. When trying to look up an equivalent for this word in English, I found the following; live-in, roommate, cohabitee, common-law-wife or husband. Nej tack! Nothing that we use on a regular basis and nothing that sounds particularly attractive to call your better half. I definitely prefer the word in Swedish over any of the previously listed English alternatives and this is how I am referred to by my boyfriend when with his family & friends. (If you haven’t already figured out, he is from Sweden).
This past weekend I flew LA to Stockholm for a shotgun weekend of his brother’s wedding festivities. The wedding was A BLAST and I loved seeing all of the different (and similar) traditions between Swedish and American weddings. At a Swedish wedding the dinner lasts a reaaaalllly long time. Like 4 hours long. But it is very lovely & personal and there is a “toastmaster” who is in charge of getting together a list of guests who will make a toast to the couple (at least a dozen if I counted correctly), and the couple themselves also give a toast to their family and new spouse. It’s entertaining as well. And lucky for me I sat next to someone who would give me the synopsis of each speech, since of course, they were in Swedish. Oh, and you sit with people that you don’t know so you meet new people. Pretty cool tradition, I thought!
One of the ways that we were asked to help with the wedding was by making a photo booth and a S’mores station for a midnight snack. I made some signs to put up in the venue. First, I painted a piece of plywood with chalkboard paint. I was originally going to use chalk for the lettering, but with transporting these to Sweden, I decided to use white acrylic paint. So to give the photo sign the chalk effect, I wrote out the saying and then used a hand towel to erase it. Using a small paint brush I painted the sign & wrote down the hashtag they were using for the wedding (of course I wrote it wrong so had to do a last minute fix the morning of the wedding & that’s what Sharpies are for)!
I went to the closest costume shop (lucky for me I live in LA) and raided their sale section and got some of the necessary crazy hats, light up glasses, & money. I also thought of the couple and their interests.They love to sail so I bought a sailing cap and the groom flies small airplanes so I bought a flight cap and aviators. I also made my own cut-out construction paper mustaches, glasses and lips and superglued them onto wooden sticks. This way if they got lost or ruined it didn’t matter. I had a matte from a picture frame that I didn’t want and wrote their names and wedding date on it so people could hold it up and be in the frame. For this wedding, I used a selfie stick with a remote and put my own personal phone on the end and allowed people to go to town. If using a tripod with an actual camera you would get better quality photos, but not have the ability to Instagram or social media-ize it with the hashtag until later, unless you have a handy dandy wi-fi cam.
To make the S’mores sign I was a little more technical. I printed out lettering in the size and font that I wanted to use. On the back of the printer paper I colored in the letters with a pencil. I then turned the paper front side up and laid it out who I wanted it on the sign and taped it down. I colored in the front of the letters with a pencil and when I lifted the paper from the sign, I had a type of stencil that I could use to follow when painting. I used the white acrylic to paint over the letters and voila. No need to free hand it. I owe this to a friend who showed me how to do it and it was so easy and time saving!
We were going to put everything in jars and use skewers, but in the throws of the crazy amount of dancing and too much photo booth fun, I ended up throwing everything on 2 trays. And no one seemed to mind. People were happy to have some sugar at the end of the night! The wedding was a ton of fun with lots of mingling, dancing, and of course, booze. The next day there was a brunch and Swedish games like Bacci, Kubb (you try and knock blocks over & might be called Viking chess) & some other interesting games like Viking wrestling, aka ass hooking.
Other awesome things about the weekend were going out the the archipelago and picking & eating fresh potatoes and fresh fish, and checking out this awesome handcrafted bench made by my Sambo.
Thought it was super short (3.5 days), it was totally worth the trip.
I leave you with some travel quotes to chew on.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”-Mark Twain
“Viajar es imprescindible y la sed de viaje, un síntoma neto de inteligencia” -Enrique Jardiel Poncela