Helsinki, 2 August 2003
Helsinki, Finland, 30-35° C. Despite of the fact that the bride comes from a well-known royal family, the groom from Finnish nobility and a royal wedding is not very often taking place in Finland there was no press to cover the wedding and there was no public. However on the stairs in front of the church there were three interested people: royalty-watcher Kaija, her husband Kari and her sister Minna, the last two came along with Kaija to make pictures for her. The bride was Princess Maria-Annunziata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, daughter of Prince Antonio and his wife née Duchess Elisabeth von Württemberg, and she married Count Fredrik Creutz at St Henry’s Church (Pyhän Henrikin Kirkko).
Among the 100 to 150 guests were, next to the closest family, the Duke and Duchess of Bragança and Duke Friedrich and Duchess Marie von Württemberg. The bride arrived in an beautiful oldtimer and entered church around 11:00 on her father’s arm. She wore a simple white dress with a short veil without tiara, and small pearls. She had her hair put up. The bride entered church at Mozart’s Excultate Jubilate. Inside the church bridesmaid Cecilia Ståhlberg and pages Linus Antell, Philipp Baumbach and Alexander Baumbach (the last two are children of the bride’s sister Maria Carolina) waited.
When the wedding ceremony started the doors of the cathedral remained open and it was easy to hear the lovely music outside and see the bridal couple walking towards the altar. From time to time tourists passed by, climbed the stairs and had a quick look at the wedding from the entrance, not knowing what kind of wedding was going on there. The one-hour service was conducted by Father William Johan Hofton, The Reverend Leo von Martens and Prior Gerald Kallenbach. The organ was played by Marki Pitkäniemi and soloist was Princess Calixta Biron von Curland.
According to tradition bride and groom had to say the names of their partner three times. After the groom had spoken out all five names of the bride correct for the first time (in Finland normally three names are maximum given) the guests in church laughed loudly, because the groom obviously was very relieved he had managed. Witnesses for bride and groom were Andreas Baumbach, Melanie Berghmans, Sofia Bruce, Count Henrik Creutz, Mahjouba El Mernissi, Barbara Randazzo and Jan Wikström. At the end of the ceremony bride and groom left on Widor’s Toccata.
A reception seems to have taken place at Malmgård (Malminkartano) Castle in Pernaja, already belonging to the Creutz’ family for ages, as Kaija’s sister Minna heard the driver of the oldtimer telling someone he was going to drive to Pernaja after the wedding.
Kaija J. thanks for the one-hour phonecall on Saturday evening full of enthusiastic stories and thanks for sending me all those wonderful photos.