Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Rebellious Trip Advisor for Aeroe

So, you've decided to get married on Aeroe, the Las Vegas of Europe without the plastic. Now let me give you some advice: don't rush off when you get there. Enjoy the romantic city of Aeroeskobing and let the Danish Caribbean take your breath away. Make it your honeymoon location - no need to fly to the Seychelles! Here are Rebellious Bride's recommendations on where to stay in the capital of THE wedding island.


1. På Torvet, owned by the lovely Gunnar and Lili 

At På Torvet, right in the town square of Aeroeskobing, you will be at the heart of doing everything very Danishly. In the self catering holiday apartments you have everything you could possibly need. If you are lucky enough, you may even get to enjoy some live music in the cafe downstairs.

Gunnar Schmidt Hansen, an AC/DC fan, was Rebellious Bride's host.

Check out the video tour of apartment No 10, where Rebellious Bride stayed in På Torvet!  

2. Pension Vestergade No 44, owned by the fabulous Susanna 

At this patrician house and gorgeous garden with huge trees, you feel as though you are in England, but without any of the hassle! Susanna Greve is the No 1 English Lady of Denmark if you ask me. She makes you feel at home as soon as you walk through the door. It is not a surprise Susanna's place is also the winner of Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice 2016.

Susanna Greve and Rebellious Bride met over the most perfect bottle of wine.

Susanna's Pension Vestergade No 44 has an artistic but warm feel.

3. Andelen Guesthouse, owned by the very charming Adam and Anne

Andelen Guesthouse is the Tuscany of Scandinavia. Just look at the views! The historic house has been lovingly restored by Adam Hobbs, also from Britain and by Anne, from Denmark. Andelen also plays home to a tiny cinema run entirely by local volunteers: http://www.bio-andelen.dk

Fun and laughter at Adam's place. Andelen Guesthouse also plays host to the annual Aeroe Jazz Festival

For more on the choice of accommodation on Aeroe, go to: visitaeroe.dk. Read also parts one and two of Rebellious Bride's series of blog posts from the wedding island: From the Danish Caribbean with Love and Danish Island Weddings - fairytales for 150 nationalities

Friday, 17 June 2016

Danish Island Weddings - fairytales for 150 nationalities

What does a Finnish woman living with an Australian man in Dubai do if she wants to get hitched? She contacts a wedding agency on the Danish island of Aeroe. In fact today she could contact four of them. Louise Moloney runs the oldest one, Danish Island Weddings, founded in 2008 when there were 200 weddings on the island per year. Today, with around 3000 weddings on Aeroe per year, she employs her husband, two sisters and a part-time beautician and stylist.

Louise Moloney with her company mascot. Nice choice of colour!  

Louise is an Aeroe girl born and bred. After working as an air hostess for Japan Airlines she returned home to the island for the Aeroe life - no crime, stress or traffic jams - the kind that is hard to even imagine. Unless you live in Denmark, the happiest country in the world.

- I always thought this place was perfect for weddings. And after 1300 of them we certainly know how to take the stress away from couples so that they can enjoy and learn to "let go". It's back to basics here on Aeroe really, back to what's really important in life, Louise knows. It doesn't take long to understand why everyone on the island loves her so much.

Louise with her sister Yuki in the "nerve centre" of Danish Island Weddings.

The good thing about getting married on Aeroe is that you can get married whenever and wherever you want - no-one is going to get an allergic reaction if you pack your own ideas with you. There are the gardens that make you feel like you're in Tuscany, the beach with the colourful wooden beach huts, the lighthouse, even a plane that can take you up in the clear blue skies for your vows. Unless you own your own private jet, of course (which some of Louise's more extravagant customers do).

On Aeroe the new social reality really comes to the fore: non EU brides and grooms marrying each other, rich Russian and German men marrying much younger women, rock stars wanting to get married in secret, a poor Albanian couple sleeping in their car just to get the official part over and done with. Louise and her colleagues on the island have seen it all. On the wall in Louise's office is a world map with pins on it to mark the 150 nationalities Danish Island Weddings have joined in matrimony, so far. Where you are from really has little significance on this island.
The world map in Louise's office.

Danish Island Weddings is also very popular with same-sex couples. Rebellious Bride had the joy of witnessing the wedding of Rona and Michelle whose story I will share with you here as soon as the happy couple are back from their honeymoon. Usually couples arrive on the island the day before the wedding and leave the day after - and come back for a holiday after falling in love with it.

The island of Aeroe offers many a romantic setting for making things official.

"With goodness you always get goodness back"

- Louise Moloney - 

With so many weddings each year, how do Louise and her family team manage to make all the couples feel special and not like they're on a marriage production line?

- It can never be routine when it is someone's wedding. We always look forward to meeting all of our couples and so are the residents on the island. They actually know many of my couples by name and always make sure they feel welcome, which is lovely. Everyone here sees the weddings as an opportunity to make something good - and with goodness you always get goodness back.

Louise's husband John is also a big part of the success story that is Danish Island Weddings.

Despite being a wonder woman who can magic up a wedding in the matter of hours, Louise does not seem frazzled or stressed and neither do the rest of her family. They seem the perfect team for the job.

- I see last minute requests as a challenge and the end result always inspires me. Our record is 36 hours from first contact to exchanging rings. If there is ever a tricky situation with a wedding dress, I call my mother, says Louise.  

Fancy getting married on Aeroe? Watch a video tour of Louise's wedding rooms at the Old Merchant's Court in Aeroeskobing and see for yourself what you can expect!

Check out Louise's website www.getmarriedindenmark.com as well as visitaeroe.dk for weddings and accommodation on Aeroe. Stay tuned for more in Rebellious Bride's series of reports from the wedding island, including recommendations on where to stay when you visit. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

From the Danish Caribbean with Love

What is it like to get married in the permanent paradise of the world's happiest country? Can a place like that even exist, given the world we live in and the news we read? Well, as much as I am rebellious I can also be quite romantic and last weekend I visited the tiny Danish island of Aeroe, known also as "the" wedding island of Europe, to see for myself how a community of around 6000 people have turned challenging financial times into blooming wedding business.

Monique from the US and Sacha from Germany married on Aeroe on Saturday.

I bet the mayor of Aeroe will never regret his decision to get back to basics and prioritise on romance. He wanted to start marrying couples on the island with the same level of easiness as they'd get in Las Vegas. The only difference being that breathtakingly beautiful, quaint and peaceful Aeroe could not be further from the tackiness that is the real Vegas.

In Aeroe you get a bit of the Seychelles, Tuscany and Denmark wrapped into one - and without the cost and hassle of travelling to the other side of the world for your big day. So it's not a surprise it is being held as the Danish Caribbean. (There are even t-shirts to prove it.)

On Aeroe you can "I do" anywhere: in one of the beach huts, in the garden or on a plane above it all.

Aeroe - the product of its people

A big part of Aeroe's appeal to a reality-loving bride like me is the fact that things haven't always smelled of roses. I believe that this might also be one of the reasons why people on the island clearly appreciate what they have. On Aeroe, you don't hear anyone moan.

- Around five years ago the financial crisis hit the island. Tourists were going away and shops were having to close, says Louise Moloney, the island's No 1 wedding planner. Louise had started her business, Danish Island Weddings, in the capital Aeroeskobing in 2008 and as an entrepreneur came up with the idea of giving a former Spar market a new lease of life. Together a group of local people turned it from a sad sign of recession into a now bustling coffee shop and food hall for local produce. The concept, now employing five people, was created simply because residents refused to just stand there and watch businesses around them die one by one.

Louise Moloney, the woman behind Danish Island Weddings, outside her office in Aeroeskobing. 

Today weddings bring around three million euro to the island each year and there are no "sorry we're closed" signs catching the eye. As much as the smiley, happy people of Aeroe are the product of their gorgeous and easygoing environment so is the success story of the island the product of its people.

In my special series of reports from the Las Vegas of Europe (without the plastic) I will be introducing you to a few of those people. I will also be taking you for a visit to Louise's world of weddings on a video tour! If you are looking to get married somewhere special but without the usual shenanigans, do not miss this and the story behind Danish Island Weddings.

The residents of Aeroeskobing having a street dinner party on Aeroe Day.

Aeroe - the well kept secret

Last year over 3000 couples from 130 different nationalities got married on Aeroe, largely thanks to Denmark's hassle-free marriage laws. Many of the couples arrive on the island the day before and leave the day after the wedding, some bring families and friends with them, some want to get married in total secrecy. In Aeroe secrecy, too, is possible as the island in itself is one of the best kept secrets of Scandinavia. Not that the Danes have anything to hide:

- In Denmark the law is not as strict as in many other countries. Couples need to have a passport or visa to Schengen (EU). They do not need to show their birth certificates, they just need to fill out a notice of marriage and prove they are not married already. If they are divorced or widowed, they need to provide proof of that. If they are divorced or widowed in a foreign country, then some of them need an apostille or legalization, registar Joan Lykke Ammersboll explains.

For those who are either forced to or want to marry without friends or family as witnesses, there is even a local team of voluntary witnesses to help. The ceremonies are conducted in Danish, English or German and take 15 minutes on average.

Louise and her sister Yuki assisting the registrar with documents on Michelle and Rona's big day. 

Aeroe - the fairytale that's real

As part of my series of blog posts I will also be sharing with you some very special moments from a wedding of two beautiful ladies from Israel (above). As much as you might imagine an island to suffer from island mentality and certain narrow-mindedness, Aeroe couldn't be further from it. Same-sex marriages are on the rise and people on the island welcome LGBT couples with open arms. Denmark legalized same-sex marriage in 2012.

- People here have learned to take people for what they are. We don't have crime, we don't do traffic jams or stress, so we have the time and the energy to focus on the people and what they want. It is quite real here in a fairytale sort of way, smiles Louise. And even though on Aeroe it is possible to marry any day of the week, Louise likes to keep Sundays to herself and her family. The focus on what's really important applies to everything and everyone.

                                                      Visitaeroe.dk to see for yourself!

Preparations for the annual Aeroe Day, the island's "thank you" for its people. 

Follow Rebellious Bride's posts from Aeroe on www.raggarimorsian.fi, Facebook and Twitter. Email: toinenkertablogi@gmail.com.  Take a look also at the Rebellious Wedding Guide (Raggarimorsiamen hääopas), written by journalist and author Minna Dufton and published by Gummerus. 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Näin vältät tyylimokia juhlapöydässä

Raggarimorsiamen ja "Tyylitohtori", imagokonsultti Päivi Lehtovuoren etikettivideosarja on edennyt juhlaruokailuun. Enää ei tarvitse arvailla, millä haarukalla tai veitsellä hää- tai juhla-ateria aloitetaan tai mihin syömisestä aiheutuvat "roippeet" tyylikkäästi piilotetaan. Myös juhlalaukun valintaan annamme idioottivarmat ohjeet.  Katso videot ja jaa! 

Seuraa Todella Kauheeta -sarjaa Raggarimorsiamen YouTubessa!

Jos oma tyylisi kaipaa raikastusta tai haluat varata ajan Päivin etikettikurssille, klikkaa tästä.

Lue myös Päivin analyysi morsiamen käsilaukun sisällöstä Raggarimorsiamen hääoppaasta.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Nainen! Kaivele hampaitasi oikein!

Raggarimorsiamen ja "Tyylitohtori", imagokonsultti Päivi Lehtovuoren etikettivideosarja jatkuu. Todella Kauheeta -sarjan toisessa osassa opetellaan kaivelemaan lihapaloja hampaista etiketin mukaisesti. Koska let's face it: jokainen suomalainenhan on kohdannut juhlapöydässä joko nenän tai hampaiden kaivelijan. (Tai harrastaa julkista kaivostyöskentelyä itse.)

Seuraa sarjaa Raggarimorsiamen YouTubessa ja jaa kaverillesikin!

Jos oma tyylisi kaipaa raikastusta tai haluat varata ajan Päivin etikettikurssille, klikkaa tästä.

Lue myös Päivin analyysi morsiamen käsilaukun sisällöstä Raggarimorsiamen hääoppaasta.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Brokenships kertoo eronneiden häämuistot

Jokainen joskus eron kokenut tietää, että esineisiin latautuu enemmän tunteita ja kokemuksia kuin haluaisi myöntää. Joko pidämme esineistä kiinni aina hamstraukseen asti tai sitten hankkiudumme niistä eroon välittömästi. Perjantaista 13.5. alkaen Helsingin Kaupunginmuseossa voi nähdä omin silmin, millaiset esineet kestävät rakkautta pidempään. Joukkoon mahtuu myös häämemorabiliaa aina vihkiraamattuun asti.   

Jo useita vuosia maailmalla kiertänyt Museum of Broken Relationships avaa tällä viikolla Helsinkiin jo 40. kansainvälisen näyttelynsä. Näyttelyn Suomen keruukoordinaattorin, Aino Maria Pitkäsen mukaan Brokenships on tavallaan sekä parisuhteen hautajaiset että eron juhlistamistilaisuus - tilaisuus päästä liian monta merkitystä saaneesta esineestä eroon arvokkaasti.  

- Tässä näyttelyssä halutaan jakaa jotakin hyvin perusinhimillistä ja se tekee siitä erityisen. Monelle näyttelyyn esineitä lahjoittaneelle on ollut terapeuttista huomata, ettei se oma ero aina välttämättä olekaan paha asia, vaan esineisiin on saattanut liittyä jotain hyvääkin, Pitkänen kertoo.

Näyttely on kiertänyt aiemmin mm. Berliinissä, Buenos Airesissa, Taipeissa ja Lontoossa. Näyttelylle ominaista on, että se kootaan osittain paikallisten ihmisten lähettämistä esineistä. Pitkäsen vetämä Suomen Brokenships -keruuprosessi tuotti erityisen paljon hääpukuja, joita joko omistaja itse tai joku läheinen toimitti museolle. Kaikki puvut eivät edes mahdu näyttelyyn, vaan osa tullaan näkemään 13.5. avattavassa nettinäyttelyssä. 

- Hääpukua käytetään vain yhden päivän, minkä vuoksi siihen latautuu hurjan paljon tunteita. Häiden jälkeen puku on sitten muistuttamassa siitä kaikesta joko omassa tai äidin vaatekomerossa. 

Hääpuku varusteineen
4 vuotta
Helsinki, Suomi
Tyttäreni Roosan varusteista on kysymys ja toimin hänen valtuuttamanaan. Ihastuttavan hääpuvun hankintaan liittyi monia vaiheita: puvun kokeilu, hurman tuntu kahisevan materiaalin laskeutuessa pitkin ihoa, prinsessana kerran -tunnelma. Vitivalkoisen korsetin, sinisen sukkanauhan, stay up -sukkien traditio ja sensuaalisuus, tunne siitä, että tämä on kerran elämässä juttu. Varusteiden myynti tuntuu vulgääriltä, säilyttäminen surulliselta. Siksi ne ovat mamman kaapissa ja odottavat arvokasta poistumista maisemista.

Hääkakun koriste (sulhanen, morsian ja kaksi kissaa)        
11 vuotta         
                        Helsinki, Suomi                         
Menimme naimisiin pitkän parisuhteen päätteeksi. Puoli vuotta häiden jälkeen aviomies ilmoitti haluavansa erota. Oli kuulemma vuoden päivät asiaa miettinyt eli jo reilusti ennen häitä. Uskon kuitenkin hänen hääpäivänä tarkoittaneen kaikkea, mitä sanoi ja ainakin meillä oli hyvät bileet. Hääkakun päälle olin tilannut näköisemme koristeet; jopa kaksi kissaamme olivat mukana. Karvaiset lapsemme ovat eron jälkeen asuneet vuoroin kummankin luona ja välimme ovat hyvät, mutta etäiset. Tänä päivänä olen kiitollinen kaikesta, mitä suhteemme ja eromme opetti.

Hääpuku ja morsiuskimpputaulu
35 v
Jämsä, Suomi
Tavarajaossa erossa kaikki mikä oli omaa lähti mukaani. Kaikki yhteinen jäi taakse. Itse tehty puku ja kimpputaulu oli silloin tärkeää. Vuosien jälkeen ne eivät ole enää tärkeitä. Olen jättänyt entisen elämän taakseni osin omasta tahdosta, osin pakosta. Eron myötä hävisi myös kolme synnyttämääni lasta elämästäni. Koko aiempi elämäni oli mitätöity. Tavaroiden pois antaminen on vain askel muistoista luopumiseen.

13 vuotta         
Turku, Suomi 
Se tapahtui 11. hääpäivänämme 10 kuukautta sitten. Elämäni rakkaus esitti minulle kysymyksen: "Erotaan vai tapan itseni?". Menimme naimisiin toukokuun ensimmäisenä päivänä vuonna 2004 odottaessani ensimmäistä lastamme. 19.1.2016 perheemme tuomittiin eroon. Tänään avasin vihkiraamattumme ensimmäistä kertaa. Sen molemmat kirjanmerkkinauhat oli asetettu avioerosta kertovalle aukeamalle.

10 vuotta         
                Vantaa, Finland                         
Huntu on juuri sellainen millaiseksi olin sen unelmissani kuvitellut. Itse ommeltu, äitini maalaamat kukat. Äitini viimeistä kertaa tekemässä minusta prinsessaa. Tuo huntu edustaa minulle uskoa, uskallusta, päättäväisyyttä ja kauneutta - ja erityisen arvokasta ja rakasta päivää elämässäni. Ympärilläni oli kaikki mitä toivoa saatoin; rakkaat ihmiset, tanssia, aurinkoa ja merituulta. Huntu hulmusi ja aurinko paistoi silmiin, kun katsoin tuona päivänä tulevaisuuteen. Ei ollut yhteinen tulevaisuutemme kuitenkaan unelmiemme kaltainen, mutta sen avulla opin jotain suurta - rakastamaan itseäni. Mitä elämältä muuta voisi toivoa? Ikuisesti kiitollinen.

Pilleri, eron uusi symboli? 

Pitkäsen mukaan Helsingin Brokenships -näyttelyssä nähdään muiden koskettavien tarinoiden lisäksi myös totuuksia suomalaisesta medikalisaatiosta. 

- Saimme näyttelyyn lahjoituksina jonkin verran lääkkeitä - tyhjiä lääkepakkauksia. Ne kertovat surullista tarinaa siitä, kuinka paljon lääkkeitä Suomessa joudutaan nykyään käyttämään ja miten medikalisaatio vaikuttaa ihmissuhteisiin, Pitkänen paljastaa.  

Alunperin Kroatiasta lähtöisin olevasta, Olinka Vištican ja Dražen Grubišićin ideoimasta ja paljon kiitosta keränneestä näyttelystä löydät lisätietoa täältä. Näyttelyn ehtii nähdä uudessa Helsingin Kaupunginmuseossa 13.5. - 11.9.2016 ja sinne on vapaa pääsy.   

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Happy Birthday to me!!!

The time has come for me to sing happy birthday to myself and to thank you, my lovely readers, for being there for the past two years. My blog, Second Time Lucky?, was supposed to be just a three-month summer project while I was getting married for the second time. Two years on and your feisty pink-haired friend is still here, with no plans on going away. To hear that Rebellious Bride has actually encouraged more encore brides to get married with their heads held up high is the best feedback I could get. Thank you to each and every one of you for your feedback. Please continue sending me your stories!

Las Vegas cake and pictures by American Sweetie.

As you may already know, I am in the process of developing a brand new website so that you could have even more fun following me. The site will be at this same address but with a Las Vegas theme. Because that's exactly what an alternative wedding blog should be at its best: a place where you can come as you are, at whatever time of day you want, to enjoy marriage information with a twinkle in the eye. Getting married should not be difficult, stressful or get you into massive debt. It should also be something that you cannot possibly sleep-walk into! On my new website getting married will be as loud, colourful and fun as my birthday cake, made by American Sweetie!

Just LOVE the attention to detail, including my trademark wellies! Jenae Seppälä of American Sweetie, you are a genious. Thank you.

Now all I need to do is actually visit Las Vegas!!! Because my live show is about to get serious. More on that, too, on the new site. Anyone in Las Vegas want to put up the Bride from HEL? ,-) 

Love, always,

Rebellious  Bride xxx