When planning our wedding in Stockholm, finding a good place for our wedding photo shoot was among my priorities. The weather in Sweden can always be an unpleasant surprise (especially in the summer), so I wasn’t counting much on taking our wedding photos outdoors. Since we decided to stick around the city centre, I was also afraid that most places would be swarmed with people, especially in case of good weather. For my wedding photo shoot I wanted a place that could grant some beautiful backgrounds to our photos as well as some intimacy during the shooting. I found the perfect place in the hotel Haymarket by Scandic.
Haymarket by Scandic lays on Hötorget square, with the famous shopping street Drottninggatan running alongside it. The historical building that houses the hotel dates back to 1882 and it is known as the PUB building. The name refers to the initials of Paul U. Bergström, who first opened a shop there and went on to become the owner of one of the major department stores in Stockholm, known as PUB. By the 1920s the building had expanded, gaining its famous façade and art deco interiors. It was here that Lenin bought a new suit on a visit to Stockholm in April 1917 and where Greta Garbo worked as a clerk between 1920 and 1922. The department store closed in 2015 to be fully converted into a hotel and opened in May 2016 as Haymarket by Scandic.
Haymarket by Scandic is the first signature hotel launched by the nordic hotel chain Scandic Hotels. As per their own phrasing, signature hotels are “characterized by their individual history and personality”. Unlike other hotels of the chain, they are marketed with their own name and the addition “by Scandic”. Haymarket, in fact, differs quite a lot from other Scandic hotels I have visited. Complying with the style of the historical building, the hotel features many art deco elements in its interiors, tastefully blended with modern design. Stepping right into its lobby feels like a trip in time back to the Roaring Twenties. It was in the lobby – on the red carpet floor and the staircase that leads to the elevators, that we started our wedding photo shoot.
I do not recall the department store PUB, despite the fact that I had been in Stockholm while it was still in operation. But I remember very well the first time I gazed through the windows of the Haymarket and saw that wonderful explosion of gold and red and that Great Gatsby feel. It was when we travelled to Stockholm to meet up with two friends a year ago. We had just visited the antique market that takes place on weekends on Hötorget, the square that lays right in front of the hotel. For a moment I peeked through the large windows at street level of the hotel and it left me staring in awe.
It was actually during that very weekend in Stockholm that my then-fiancé and I decided to get married at the Stockholm City Hall. We had been engaged for a couple of months and had already decided that we would get married in Stockholm. But at the time we were still considering various options, including an open air wedding in the nature in the outskirts of town. Then that weekend we took our friends up on Monteliusvägen, where you get the best view of Kungsholmen and the City Hall. As we watched the sun set over that beautiful part of town we decided that we wanted to make that landmark even more important to us by getting married there. Fast forward to one year later, and it was the Stockholm City Halls the place where we eventually tied the knot. And that shiny Great Gatsby hotel became the setting of our wedding photos.
The first accessory we bought for our wedding day was my husband’s watch band. We wanted all the small details to match, so the next thing I bought were my shoes, in the same shade of burgundy. Then it was my nail polish, my jewellery and of course his bow tie. All those burgundy details perfectly matched the velvet sofas of the hotel bar Americain, where we took the rest of our pictures.
We did not just visit the hotel for the photos, but chose to stay at Haymarket by Scandic for our whole wedding weekend. I am so glad of this decision, as we had a great stay there. The staff proved really helpful in pointing out the best time of the day to take our wedding photos. This way we were able to carry out our photo shoot with the right level of intimacy I had hoped for. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
While the hotel’s major asset in these photos were of course its shining colours, I was able to achieve some great results even by toning down the colours or turning the pictures to black and white. The art deco style shines through nonetheless, and the less vivid colours give the pictures a feel like they were taken somewhere back in time.
Our wedding photos were taken by two friends, while I took care of all the editing. Our friends also happen to be two great artists. Although both specialized in illustration, I have worked with both of them on some photography projects in the past. As a wedding photographer myself I must admit I really enjoyed being on the other side of the camera for once. Even as a bride, though, I couldn’t restrain myself from giving directions during the photo shoot. After all, I had been imagining these photos since I discovered this hotel. And I couldn’t be happier with the result.
You can see more of my artist friends’ work here: