The only tradition I’ve seen that is still practiced when you google dutch wedding traditions is the wishing tree. Here’s some interesting tidbits about modern dutch weddings:
One practice that is done a lot is the bride and groom arriving to the stadhuis together. The bride usually gets ready at her parents house (where there is usually refreshments for the wedding party which normally consists of parent, grandparents, witnesses and their partners) and the groom comes in the wedding car and picks her up. The wedding party is then transported to the stadhuis where all the guests wait for the arrival of the bridal couple.
The wedding party and a lot of times all the guests get a special “corsage/boutineer” to show they’re part of the wedding. It’s very common that the parents, witnesses, grandparents, and masters of ceremony each get a different type of arrangement to show their role in the wedding.
Normally dutch weddings don’t have a bridal party like we do in American weddings. There is a witness for the bride and for the groom. If they like they can each have 2 witnesses for a total of 4 witnesses. The other very important role is the Master of Ceremony. They are heavily involved in the planning of the wedding since they are the “go to” person on the day of. They also usually deal with late RSVPs and questions. Along with the witnesses they help arrange the stag/hen parties.
The couple almost always has some sort of special transport to the ceremony location. Be it a classic car (we’re doing a 1928 rolls), horse and buggy, bike, or a wedding cow (I found it while searching for trouwautos, don’t ask).
There are also 2 “weddings” if a couple wants to be married in church. By law, every couple has to have a civil marriage before a religious ceremony as a religious ceremony isn’t a legal marriage. Most dutch couples, if they even bother getting married (they can simply get a partnership contract without the ceremony) just do the civil ceremony at the stadhuis.
The reception is very different from an American reception. Usually the ceremony is followed by a 2-3 hour “reception” where some appatizers (bitterballen and other heavy, greasy finger foods) are served or cake is served. After 2-3 hours the wedding party slips off for dinner. Everyone being invited for dinner is more of an exception than a rule and it is considered pratical and not rude or tacky.
Receptions are usually filled with speeches from the parents about their children’s lives growing up and the relationship between the couple from the time they started dating to the marriage. Wedding guests also like making sketches, songs and poems about the wedding couple (this is outlawed at our wedding LOL).
Gifts are also dealt in a very different way than in the US. When guests receive an invite to the wedding there is usually a little sticker or icon indicating if the couple wants an actual present or an “envelope” of money. This is also considered very pratical and not tacky or rude.
I can’t really think of anything else right now. 😉