Eternal vows and evanescence have a magical attraction for couples from around the world. Each winter, about 150 weddings are celebrated at ICEHOTEL, Jukkasjärvi. Perhaps it is because, in this unique setting, in the here and now that only happens once, the act of exchanging vows and rings is treated with extra special reverence. We met Eva Lundqvist, who is responsible for wedding arrangements at ICEHOTEL, to talk about love and passion in subzero temperatures.
"I have the world's best job. Just image what it's like to plan, give advice and participate in one of the greatest days in so many people's lives. And then meeting them here, witnessing the love and joy at first hand when their plans are realized. It is a very great privilege and something for which I have the utmost respect," says Eva Lundqvist.
Eva has worked at ICEHOTEL since 1995, managing guest contacts and bookings. At the turn of the millennium in 2000, a wedding in the ice church in Jukkasjärvi was broadcast worldwide on TV. That was the starting point for weddings at ICEHOTEL.
"The first working day in the New Year, we were overwhelmed with calls. People were calling from all over the world. Hundreds of couples wanted to get married in the ice church at ICEHOTEL. I took charge and, together, we built up an organization in the company. Weddings entail quite a lot of administration and paperwork. We want that part of the event to run smoothly for the couples, so they can concentrate on the other, fun aspects of their big day," explains Eva.
Most of the couples choose to marry in the ice church that is built, each year, directly adjacent to ICEHOTEL. Civil wedding ceremonies are also popular, for example, in an art suite or amid the columns in the spectacular main hall.
"It is entirely up to the couple to decide. The wedding is a memory for life and, naturally, it must be planned and carried out precisely according to the couple's wishes," says Eva Lundqvist.
During the planning stages, many questions and practical details including everything from catering to floral arrangements must be dealt with. Obviously, one of the most common issues is the question of attire. Especially for the bride, who may have concerns about bare shoulders and beautiful high-heeled shoes. How do you keep warm and still look lovely in a church made of snow and ice?
The indoor temperature in ICEHOTEL and in the ice church is more or less a constant -5°C. I usually recommend warm garments close to the body and, preferably, a shawl or cape over the shoulders, as well as a pair of warm shoes. Dinner is served in one of our restaurants, so bare shoulders, sheer stockings and high heels are perfect," explains Eva.
"Common to all couples who choose to marry in the ice church at ICEHOTEL is that they are looking for a special, out-of-the-ordinary setting. People want to make their wedding a truly unique event. Many have never experienced winter before. ICEHOTEL's surroundings, with the Northern Lights and sparkling white snow, provide a lovely setting that, despite the cold temperatures, creates a warm and lasting memory," concludes Eva Lundqvist.