Prince Carl Philip's Ultra-Romantic Wedding Toast to Princess Sofia: 'Today I Am the Happiest Man in the World'
"Sofia, you fill my life with love and happiness," the groom said at a lavish wedding reception in Stockholm's Royal Palace
After tying the knot in a gorgeous ceremony at the Swedish palace’s royal chapel in Stockholm, the newly minted husband and wife joined 300 guests on Saturday evening in the palace’s impressive banquet hall (dubbed The White Sea Hall) for a lavish dinner – and one romantically heart-stopping toast.
“Today I am the happiest man in the world,” the prince, 36, told his glowing bride, 30. “Sofia, you fill my life with love and happiness. With your love I will be able to overcome all challenges. Dear Sofia, I love you.”
Carl Philip, a shy public figure who has openly shared his struggle with dyslexia, rehearsed his speech for several hours the day before the wedding because “he wanted it to be perfect,” says a source.
His emotional toast was met with hearty applause and followed by a toast and surprise love song written by the stunning bride herself.
Referring to her father’s affectionate toast earlier in the evening, she remarked, “As my father said, I always walked my own way. This is from me to you. I love you!”
Singer Molly Sanden then performed a song with lyrics Sofia wrote herself, including the words, “Everything I am, everything I have, to my last breath I will always love you with every beat of my heart.”
The groom was moved to tears!
The four-hankie high point followed similarly loving speeches by Carl Philip’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, and Princess Sofia s father, Erik Hellqvist.
“I didn’t have to give my daughter away. She was fully capable of doing that herself,” the proud father-of-the-bride said, referring to his daughter s independent disposition.
“Sofia, you were always a strong and brave person,” Erik continued. “When you were young and went to unknown places, I wanted to slow you down as a father. But it was not up to me to do that. It is important that a child has the trust to be able to move into the world and find new paths.”
Addressing his new son-in-law, he said, “I remember the first time we met. It was when [my wife] Marie and I were on a bike trip and you were in a race. I was knocked down about how friendly you were and that you only wanted the best for Sofia!”
The warm tone was characteristic of the the big day, in which the former reality star finally wed her handsome prince.
“It has been an incredible day – so much love and affection,” Svenska Damtidning s royals reporter, Margareta Gotthardsson, tells PEOPLE.
In line with the unconventional church ceremony – which included music by Rihanna and Coldplay along with a gospel choir – the modern couple took a hands-on approach to food at the reception, which was created by a team of five famed Swedish chefs.
“The couple have been extremely occupied with the menu and have helped create it,” Gotthardsson says, noting that Sofia does not eat meat.
First, the guests – the women in exquisite gowns and many with tiaras, and the men in white-tie or uniform – were served white asparagus with roe and then crayfish and mussels. The main course was slightly smoked zander fish from the Hjälmaren Sea while the dessert consisted of a peach-and-raspberry tartlet with white chocolate, Champagne and peach sorbet.
Later in the evening, the bride and groom were expected to cut the wedding cake made by renowned baker Fredrik Borgskog. When PEOPLE spoke to him earlier this week, he was coy about the details of the cake except to say it “will be inspired by the Scandinavian summer.”
Explaining the creative process for the cake, he shared, “We started four months ago, and made three smaller cakes that we presented to Prince Carl Philip and Sofia. They tasted them and decided on this one. Then we developed it in cooperation with them.
After dinner, guests were set to make their way to the Karl XI’s Gallery. Modeled after the mirror hall in Versailles, it’s considered one of the most beautiful and precious rooms in the palace.
Much of the evening’s festivities were televised live on SVT [a Swedish TV network], so the entire country got to experience the royal fun.
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