Tom and Linda's Wedding

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Tom and Linda got married on March 3, 2003 in Ebeltoft, Denmark.

Why that particular day? Well, Tom, planning for his old age, decided that 3/3/03 would be easy to remember. And 3+3+3=9, which is a very auspicious number. 

Why Denmark? Well, both Tom and Linda trace their ancestry back to Denmark. Linda is an Andersen - with an E - as in the story teller, Hans Christian Andersen - and Tom's Uncle Ernest traced the family name, Gambell, back to the Danish word "gamel" which means "old" or "elder." While neither of us has any known relatives in Denmark, we both wanted to do something unusual and  memorable. So off to the shores of our ancestors we went.

Why Ebeltoft? Well, it's among the oldest towns in Denmark (tracing its history back to the 1100's) AND it's the home of the Ebeltoft Old Town Hall, which is where we wanted to get married.

Why the Old Town Hall? Well, since neither of us wanted a church wedding, we knew we were probably going to end up getting married in a town hall somewhere and we didn't want just any ole town hall. As it turns out, the Old Town Hall is the oldest and least altered town hall in Denmark. The original Town Hall was built in 1576 (427 years ago!). By the end of the 1700's it needed to be rebuilt, so in 1789 (214 years ago!) a "new" town hall was built in the same style as the first one. In 1906-09 it was completely restored to resemble the original town hall that had been built in 1576. Today it functions as a museum and is, if not THE MOST, then one of the most popular places in Denmark to get married.

We spent two wonderful weeks in Denmark, relaxing and sightseeing. Most of the time we stayed on a farm in the small village of Elsegarde which is just outside Ebeltoft. The name of the farm is Blushhojgard (pronounced "bloosh hoi gaard") which translates to "Signal Fire Hill." It got its name because the highest hill in the area was where signal fires were lit to let people know when it was safe to come ashore. We picked it because it was near the ocean and was ecologically conscious (organic farming).

During the time we were there, we became the "talk of the town" because no one could figure out why on earth anyone would want to come from sunny, warm California to overcast, cold Denmark in the winter to get married. And why Ebeltoft? And why Blushhojgard? Nowadays Ebeltoft, with all its preserved old buildings and streets, is mostly a tourist town and the winter is not the season when anyone comes to Ebeltoft as a tourist. So two American tourists, from California, getting married... quite the curiosity.

Ebeltoft Old Town Hall.
It don't get more romantic than this.

The room where the ceremony took place.
Looking on are all the former city officials.

The Ceremony.
L to R: Holly, (Linda's daughter), Tom (groom), Kit (Ebeltoft city official), Linda (bride), and Jens (Danish friend). We asked Kit to read each sentence first in English and then in Danish - which she did wonderfully.

Listening intently and waiting to say our "I do's."

We did.

Tom giving Linda her wedding ring.

Linda giving Tom his wedding ring.

The happy couple.

Obviously giddy with love.

As part of our vows, Linda and I recited an African blessing given to us by Noel and Anyanakai.
We alternated lines....

Linda: "Keep giving each other sweetness."
Tom: "Always more sweetness."
Linda: "Never enough sweetness."
Tom: "When in doubt..."
Linda and Tom together: "Sweetness."

The newly-weds with Kit after the ceremony holding roses that Jens brought.

The whole gang.
L to R: Shirley (Holly's friend and photographer),
Holly, Tom, Linda and Jens.

At the end of the ceremony, Kit gave us a beautiful crystal candle holder which was shaped like a lotus blossom opening, compliments of the City of Ebeltoft.

The reception.
Unbeknownst to us, Dorte, who owns Blushhojgard farm where we stayed,  along with Helle and Randi from the Egeltoft Tourist Bureau were waiting outside to shower us with rice and gifts.

The happy newly-weds pose on the steps of the Old Town Hall the day before they begin their return journey home together.

Notice the glow....

Tom and Linda are totally in love.

Copyright © 2005
Tom Gambell
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