- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2015
We have finally received our pro pics and now I cannot wait to share them with you! First I would like to give you some insight in our wedding details as I guess this will not be your typical American-lots-of-details-with-a-full-bridal-party-that-everybody-loves wedding (which I happen to love too, don’t get me wrong!).
We are both Dutch and therefore got married in the Netherlands, our home country. A wedding day pretty looks the same here as in the US, although our days tend to start early and last all day (usually the actual ceremony is around 2 or 3 pm, ours was at 2). We don’t have bridal parties, so no groups of bridesmaids or groomsmen, it doesn’t exist here. Instead, we choose two legal witnesses each who basically play the biggest role in the wedding (apart from the bride and groom of course!) as they will sign the official papers during the ceremony. In our case, these were my sister and brother on my side, and my husband’s sister and best friend on his side. Basically a mini-bridal party! 🙂
Family plays a big role for us, so our focus was on a family oriented wedding. And friends of course. We had about 70 day guests, who attended the wedding all day, then 140 for the reception (colleagues, old friends, etc and of course those 70 day guests included), then those 70 day guests for dinner (here the reception and dinner are two separate parts), and then 140 (again some other colleagues, step-family, and of course those 70 day guests included) for the big party. Yes, big party, as the Dutch like to party! 🙂
You may think that’s considered rude to have separate invitations for various groups of guests, well, in our country that’s perfectly normal and of course our guests knew what to expect. It gave us the chance to have a relatively small group for the ceremony, but still see everyone we like to have in our lives during other parts.
We didn’t have a full theme for our wedding, but did use a bit of an Italian food and wine atmosphere as inspiration. We went to Italy on our honeymoon on the ultimate food & wine trip (I’ll share some pics too), so naturally, our wedding had to have that theme too. I had a wedding bouquet made of lavender, olive leaves and fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage and marjoram. We had a wine barrel as a guestbook to sign, and several wine crates that I painted with chalkboard paint and calligraphed several texts on them, such as the table settings.
Our venue was an Orangery, which is basically a fancy conservatory or greenhouse, on a big estate. It was such a beautiful venue and of course I completely fell in love with the blue windows and the light.
Here are some details that our photographer didn’t photograph (he wasn’t much into details, as I’ll explain later):
The wine crate lids that I painted with chalkboard paint and calligraphed. The 1 and 2 are for the table setting.
The table setting and a flower piece my mom made, with hydrangea and pistacchio leaves
Our wine barrel guest book!
My ‘Something Old’, a locket that belonged to my belated grandma with baby pictures of my husband and I
My garter, with a little bee charm attached to it, which is a reference to my new married name
My mom made a hydrangea wreath for our door
And then our photography. Being a wedding photographer myself, this was such a difficult decision. Initially, we made a list of 35 photographers that I knew, we color-coded the list invidivually, and the ones we both marked ‘green’, we compared portfolios and prices. In the end we had three top choices, met with them and made our decision. We fell for this photographer with a great portfolio, a little on the journalistic side. He really tells a story. And now that we finally have his pictures, I am so in love with them, because the photos tell OUR STORY! All emotions of us and our guests are beautifully captured. It is amazing!
So, here they are, our wedding photos… I still can’t believe this was OUR WEDDING!
(Out of privacy reasons I will mostly post photos of my side of the family and not my family-in-law).
I started the day early, around 6 am, and went to the hair salon with my mom, sister and my brother’s girlfriend. People who remember my various threads on the Bee about my hair and make up will be happy: My make up was superb! The hair a little less, it was actually better on the trial, but I didn’t mind it so much and we didn’t have any time to change it anyway. But I do think (hope) I looked like the classic bride I wanted to look!
All of our family members had arrived at our house, and I was ready to get ready! Everybody was still getting dressed and I was just waiting, hanging around in my oh-so-sexy spanx, just casually chatting away with the photographer. But then my (still) fiancé already arrived for our first look at our home, so I had to get ready. I had hung my dress on my book case (I love books) in my home office, where we had beautiful light. So that’s where my mom and sister helped me prep.
My mom and sister helped me prep
My super sweet and proud mama
My 18 year old stepsister was super surprised to see me
Proud brother and sister
Drinking elegantly wedding style! 😉
My parents are divorced (but get along really well luckily), so once I was dressed, I asked if my dad, stepmom and baby sister (she’s ten but still my baby sister) could come upstairs for a first look with them. It was so touching. I had a little gift for my baby sis which I gave to her so that she could remember this day.
Sweet baby sister!
And then our first look! We bought a beautiful home last year and moved in January (yes, moving and getting married in the same year is not the best idea, but it’s feasible!), so we definitely wanted to do our first look in our own backyard, on our dock by the water. Super romantic! I walked down the terrace stairs and there he was, my beautiful groom!
For the photo shoot we had picked some very awesome locations! First, we went to this old church which has been converted to a beer brewery. I love it! Being a photographer myself, I had to get a little used to being in front of the camera instead of behind the lens. So.. what better to do than get a beer, even though it’s only 11am? It was our wedding so we could do as we wished! I loved this, this was totally us!
We then went to an old bookstore in town, where we took some photos amidst all books. Did I mention I was a book lover? We were in a bit of a hurry by then so we didn’t take many photos, but I still love these.
Our third photo location was outside, near a meadow. Here we met with my father in law, who brought over the wedding car. It was a really old pre-war classic, which my fiancé loved of course. Since we left the bookstore so early, we now had a little time left. So we took some shots of just the two of us and just me as well.
My beautiful dream dress: Lara by Sottero & Midgley
My Italian inspired wedding bouquet with lavender, olive leaves, rosemary, thyme, sage and marjoram
And then… it was time for the ceremony! All of our friends and family had gathered at our wedding venue for our arrival. When we arrived, the car stopped but started smoking. My fiancé and father in law had already climbed out, but I couldn’t…. Help!
Luckily it was nothing serious and I hopped out of the car. We walked our way towards the venue. Everybody was clapping and smiling and crying and it was seriously the best moment of the day. I could hardly look at people’s faces or I’d start crying. It was so emotional and I loved it.
Once inside, we got ready for the ceremony (with a quick bathroom break; the pre-ceremony beer wasn’t that smart after all!). If you want to indulge yourself in an emotional experience, feel free to click on the music that we used to walk down the aisle and read along! 🙂
Max Richter – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Recomposed: Spring
First my fiancé walked down the aisle with his mom, and then my dad and I walked down the aisle. Again, I saw all those big smiles and puffy teary eyes of our guests, I saw my hostmom and sister from the US, friends whom I have known since high school but also new friends, my old neighbor, my grandma, my aunt, and my sweet mama. So emotional and so lovely. I gave my dad a big hug and the ceremony started.
Earlier that day, my fiancé had texted me if we would decide on an inside ceremony. Initially, it was our dream to do an outside ceremony, on the path facing the venue. But it was 17 degrees Celcius (62 F) with a bit of wind and even though it was dry, we didn’t want our guests to be cold. So we opted for an inside ceremony instead, which luckily we could still decide on the day itself.
And the ceremony space was so beautiful! It was very light and bright and refreshing, with the windows open so there was a light breeze. All the blue hydrangea pots were arranged so beautifully and it had just an amazing ‘light’ feel to it. Definitely made the right choice for the inside ceremony! It really felt ‘outside’ too, because at some point during the ceremony, a butterfly flew right down the aisle, where we had just walked. Such a beautiful sign!
Our ceremony was very personal. The officiant made some minor mistakes, but I’ve seen far worse as a wedding photographer. He addressed our dear witnesses with personal stories about them (we had told him those) and even my grandma in a very personal way, which I really liked. Of course, this resulted in much laughter and other emotions. (oh by the way, it’s common to sit as a bridal couple for most of the ceremony. Before the actual I do’s the bride sits to the right of the groom, and after you’ve officially been married, the bride sits to the left of the groom).
First row from left to right: Stepdad, mom, dad, stepmom, brother, sister. Family <3
My brother was addressed by the officiant, as he was one of our witnesses
But what made it mostly personal were our own vows. We really wanted to share our personal vows to each other and share them with everyone in the room. Our whole ceremony was in Dutch, but we have both lived in the US, so we had several American and other international guests, so we had translated our vows into English and popped them in envelopes, so our English-speaking guests could read along. We also enlarged our vows to size 18 font for my grandma so she could read along too.
My fiancé went first and it was so sweet and endearing to hear him say these words. It’s too personal to share them fully, but in short, he promised me to always be honest to me when I ask him for his opinion. He will support me in my passions, will push me to stand up for myself, and to support my dreams. But most of all he promised me to remain my comfort zone. And to tickle me until I get tired of it.
And then I went. I received many compliments afterwards that I was so calm and that they loved how personal our vows were. I will share a little bit of my vows here, just two parts of it that I really want to share with you (of course with private details omitted):
It really all comes down to this one sentence:
You are the love of my life.
And I wouldn’t be a linguistic nerd, if I wouldn’t linguistically analyse that one little sentence.
You are the LOVE of my life. You take such good care of me, always pick me up every where, always cheer me up at the right moments, cook such delicious ‘simple’ meals for me: You are just amazingly sweet, funny, happy, positive and caring.
But, you are also the love of my LIFE. Together we build a future, we go on amazing travels, have a beautiful home, are getting married now, and I’m absolutely sure there will be many more memories to come in our lives together.
And the real vows;
That’s why I will promise you, I will always love you.
I promise we will go on many journeys together, far away and closeby.
I promise you that I will always laugh at your funny jokes and silly songs.
I promise you that we’ll keep our beautiful home at least a little clean.
I promise you that we’ll always cook lovely dinners together and will challenge each other culinary.
I promise you that even though I switched to Android, I will stay at Canon. Really!
I promise you that I will keep showing interest in your work at the family-owned company, that I find it very special to see such an amazing family-run company, and that you have such a sweet family that I will belong to.
I promise you that -even though it rhymes- I will proudly pick up the phone with: “This is xxx xxx!”
And then after that I gave him a little book that I made full of short stories. He always asks me if I want to tell him a story. I’m very bad at telling stories, you have to know, but I’m better at writing. So I wrote down a whole bunch of short stories about the two of us using our nicknames Pluk and Schuim and had it printed. My aunt, who is a graphic designer, made the whole design. It’s so cute!
The little book I made for my husband: Pluk is his nickname, Schuim is my nickname, and together we go on adventures.
My awesome aunt made these graphics!
After that, it was time for the real I Do’s. Of course we said yes (Ja in Dutch), and we kissed and exchanged rings.
We then had the official part by signing the wedding papers. We went first and after that our witnesses signed. Here we played Jack Johnson’s Better Together, because this is a true family song for me, and I always sing it to my husband too. I think it’s such a sweet song.
An emotional moment for my mom, her two youngest children signing the official papers for her oldest child’s wedding
Now that we were married, I sat on the left side of my husband (in old times, this was to protect his wife)
After the signing, the officiant continued his speech for a bit and then it was time for celebration! Our families came over to congratulate us while we played the upbeat Queen song You’re my best friend. I fell into my mom’s arms, who was crying of course. It was all so sweet!
Time for champagne and cake! We had an amazing wedding cake: A green ombre cake with three tiers, decorated with some lavender, olive leaves and lemon slices. The cake itself was a lemon sponge with lemon curd filling and a lemon buttercream topping. It was simply divine and we received so many compliments about it!
The reception itself was lovely. We talked to pretty much everyone and since the weather had cleared up, many people were outside having a good time. We had great hors d’oeuvres and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves!
Signing out guest book wine barrel!
Little kids playing during the reception
Of course we had to take some group pics! I usually don’t like this part of the wedding as a photographer and nor did our photographer, but we kept the list short and the spirit up. Our family members will love those pics! 🙂
And then it was already time for dinner. Time flew by so fast! We were the first to walk in and it was just simply stunning! The whole ceremony space was changed into a full dining room. All those bottles of wine that we had collected (and drank) for months, were used as decoration, filled with little bouquests of lavender, herbs and baby breath. The tables were full of big bowls and plates of antipasti. We wanted a shared appetizer, as we love the look of those big antipasti plates. It was simply a stunning sight!
Wine bottle decoration. We drank and collected wine bottles for months for this!
Dinner was great! As mentioned, we are great food and wine lovers, so this was an important part of the day for us. We had selected an Italian red wine, of a vineyard we decided to visit on our honeymoon too! We had carefully chosen the menu, all Italian inspired. The appetizers were antipasti and for the main course we had ordered tagliata, which is thinly sliced steak, with rocket and lemon spaghetti. Instead, when it was served, we noticed we didn’t get the tagliata, but we received … well… I think it was veil. With asparagus (where did they come from all of a sudden) and dry tagliatelle instead of lemon spaghetti. So weird. Totally not what was on the menu and what we had ordered. We weren’t very upset as it was still relatively tasty, but still. No bonus points there.
The dessert, however, was simply amazing, with fresh strawberries covered in limoncello cream.
During dinner, we had five (!) speeches. My dad gave a typical father-of-the-bride speech with pics and videos of my childhood and then talking right through the audio. So endearing. My father in law gave a typical father-of-the-groom speech, focusing on his son’s achievements. My sister and brother had a little presentation on how well we go together (and now my brother is hoping to become an uncle soon!). My husband’s best friend had a really wonderful speech with great wording. And another friend of his, gave an amazing impromptu speech. It was all very nice and resulted in lots of laughter as you can see from the pics below.
My dad giving his speech
We initially wanted to do a soft-evening-light photo shoot on the estate, but our wedding planner came over during dessert and told us it was raining. We hadn’t even noticed! So no photo shoot. Instead, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and chatted with our guests. And then it was time for our opening dance, or first dance as you might call it! We had decided on Klingande by Jubel (no idea if you guys know it), a jazzy dance song. Since we had both a band and a DJ we thought that would be an awesome song to open the party with! The band started out with an instrumental intro, on which we casually danced together, and then the DJ kicked in the beat and the party went wild! I grabbed my mom and everybody started dancing!
This is our favorite photo of the day, which we will probably get printed and framed
It was an awesome party! Everybody, young and old, were dancing and having a good time. Everybody took great care of the bridal couple, making sure that we had enough to drink. A little more than enough maybe! 😉 I was dancing with everybody, my mom, my aunt, my hostmom from the US, my colleagues… It was amazing!
At 1 am our taxi was ready and we had our final dance on Kygo’s Stole the Show (thought that was appropriate) and we left. All of guests received a midnight snack (fries with mayonaise, very Dutch), and we left to go to the hotel!
Our favors: We imported little olive oil tins from Italy, in ten different flavors (such as truffle, chili pepper, lemon etc)
Three days later we went on honeymoon (which was good that it was three days later, because I was sooo hungover the day after the wedding, woops). As said, we went to Italy on the ultimate Food & Wine trip and we had a blast! We did a 9 hour cooking course, learning how to make pasta (amongst other recipes), did many many wine tastings, even received our wine diploma which we will hang in our wine cellar at home, and had lots of great dinners! We also bought about 35 bottles of wine (wow!) and they are being shipped home as we speak as we dropped them off at a business contact of my husband on our last day. We also did some non-food activities, such as renting a boat to spend a day on the Mediterranean Sea, and as we both love photography, so we wandered around those quaint Italian villages and indulged ourselves in Italian culture.
Here are some photos of our honeymoon!
Champagne on board our flight to Italy!
Some of our beautiful hotels:
We went on a 9 hour cooking class and learned how to make pasta, among other things:
We did several wine tastings and enjoyed some delicious meals too. Oh and we bought lots of wine!
Our very own wine diplomas!
We also did a food tour, where we visited a Parmigiano Reggiano factory (parmesan cheese). SO awesome!
Then we also spent some days just wandering around those quaint Italian villages taking photos:
We also spent a day on the Mediterranean on a boat, cruising on the waves and just chilling in a deserted bay, super romantic!
So now we’ve been back for quite a while already and we’ve already been married for a month and a half! So far I’m loving it. I am so happy with all our photos and all of our memories. We have such dear memories of that day that we shared with our dearest people in our lives. And most of all: We celebrated our love!