Are you getting married and are you curious about the experience of another bride? I love to share my personal experience as a bride and in this blog I will tell you everything about my own wedding day!
What was our day like? What choices have we made and why? And which fantastic vendors made our day possible? Here you can read all about it! And of course I’ll show you the great photos taken by wedding photographer Elisabeth van Lent.
I am very excited to share my story with you here and I hope it will inspire you in the choices you will make for your wedding day!
One of the first things we started with was finding the wedding location. As a former wedding photographer I have been able to visit many wedding locations in the Netherlands. And we soon had a list of venues for our own day.
Sinan is from The Hague and I was born and raised in Culemborg, which is in the middle of the Netherlands. We did not want our guests to have to travel too far and therefore searched for a wedding location around The Hague or Utrecht. After we had viewed a number of locations, I remembered a beautiful location in Culemborg: VRIJ.
VRIJ is located just outside the city on a dike, on its own estate. It offered everything we were looking for! A beautiful environment, lots of parking space, the possibility to hire your own vendors and spend the whole day in one location.
A piece of the advice I always give to couples is to make an indoor plan for when the weather is bad, in addition to the plan to get married outside. We got married at the end of September and because there is no way to tell the weather during that time of year, I thought it was important that the venue was also beautiful on the inside. This is certainly the case with VRIJ! In the end, our wedding day took place indoors and that was actually perfect at this venue!
All stationery for our wedding day was designed by La Lettre Kalligrafie. The complete set consists of the invitation, the welcome sign, our vows books and name cards for the dinner table.
I also love the handmade silk ribbons by La Lettre! The invitations, our vows books and the name cards are tied with a narrow ribbon in the color rose gold. Long, wide strips in the colors nude and champagne hang from my bridal bouquet.
Who I would ask to do my bridal hairstyle and makeup was not that difficult. I know Marianne Roza from The Beautiful Bride Company from my job as a wedding photographer and I love her style! Because I wanted a veil, but didn’t want to wear it traditionally, we decided to go for a low updo. My veil is tucked underneath with a comb. Marianne completed my bridal hairstyle with a gorgeous hairpin from Poirier from The Beautiful Bride Shop.
It may not be a secret to you: I love rich, refined details. And my first encounter with Bella Belle Shoes was love at first sight! I love their designs and couldn’t help but to wear Bella Belle shoes on my wedding day!
A fun fact: I bought these Bella Belle’s two years earlier for an editorial shoot and knowingly ordered them in my own size. The shoot never took place, so I decided to save them for if I ever got married myself! Most brides look for shoes to go with their wedding dress, but I wanted a dress to go with these shoes.
Way before we started planning our wedding, Sinan said he would like to get married in a suit from Hugo Boss. So he did! His three-piece suit is dark gray and along with his shoes, belt, cufflinks and glasses designed by Hugo Boss. His shirt is the same shade of white as my wedding dress and along with his tie and pocket square from Profuomo.
And do you see that gift in the photo above? A Hugo Boss watch to complete his look! Handsome!
It only took one fitting session with about eight dresses to find the dress for our wedding day! I chose a Pronovias dress, made of lace and with a high neckline and low back. The skirt has an A-line cut, my personal favorite, with a train. My mother and two friends immediately said, “This is the one!”
It was still very exciting. The dress turned out to have a fairly long delivery time and would not be there in time for our wedding. However, the fitting model I wore had only been in the studio for a few days and I was the first to wear it. It was completely new and after consultation this dress was taken from the store for me!
About half an hour before the ceremony I was all set. My dad and brother came upstairs for a first look. This will always be one of the most special moments of our wedding day for me!
Elisabeth captured the expression on my father’s face and the emotion in his eyes so wonderfully! And my little brother who comes up the stairs behind him: it is worth gold! These are two of my favorite photos from our entire wedding and prove the importance of working with a professional photographer.
The styling of our day was provided by Oh Happy Day. Soft pink pastels are combined with more robust materials, marble and gold and black accents to keep the whole thing not over-the-top feminine. Flowers by Bloom Your Life have the leading role in the styling!
Kristel (Oh Happy Day) and Marte (Bloom Your Life) have worked together fantastically on the concept for our day and realized it beautifully. I will never forget our guests reactions when they entered the ceremony! I was secretly enjoying all the admiring ‘oohs‘ and ‘aahs’ in the side room.
The Kristel envisioned the ceremony made us decide to get married indoors no matter how great the weather would be. The black steel windows of VRIJ made it possible for Marte to create an enormous flower arch. A true eye-catcher! That sea of flowers flows beautifully into the smaller “gardens”, combined with black lanterns next to the chairs of our guests.
More and more couples get married only ceremonially on their wedding day. Often because they want to stay in one location all day and don’t want to go to city hall during the day. Booking a wedding official to legally marry on location on a Saturday isn’t cheap, and unofficial wedding locations also require a permit. Slightly more hassle and costs, but we chose to arrange both. For us it was our one and only wedding day and we both felt it was not complete without getting married by law. But if you decide to do otherwise, then that is completely fine of course!
To make our ceremony extra personal and intimate, we wrote our own vows. If you are also considering this, I will gladly give you more tips!
The wedding official also incorporated anecdotes and stories from friends and family into her story. That was so much fun!
Immediately after the ceremony, we celebrated our wedding with a toast and cake. After many tests beforehand, we opted for mini wedding cakes with a larger cake to cut. The flavors of all cakes are the same. The cakes are made by the bakery of Robèrt van Beckhoven.
Robèrt does not make unique wedding cakes, but because we loved his cakes the most, we came up with a creative solution for this ourselves. We asked the bakery to leave the cake and mini tarts blank, except for the pink tuft with gold leaf and the white chocolate curl.
On the morning of our wedding day, before my hair and make-up started, I placed a fresh blackberry on all the mini cakes myself. This again creates that dark accent that is reflected in the entire styling. Bloom Your Life has decorated the larger wedding cake with fresh flowers and blackberries.
While we were upstairs saying ‘I do’, the table was beautifully set up and styled by Oh Happy Day.
While our guests enjoyed snacks and drinks, we went back upstairs for half an hour or so. The seats for the ceremony were gone and the empty space allowed us to take beautiful photos with the high flower arch in the background.
Sinan and I are both not the partying types. We prefer a nice evening together or with friends, over ringing ears and a DJ. A wedding has to suit who you are as a couple and that is why we decided not to organize a big party. Instead, we planned a leisurely afternoon with plenty of snacks and drinks and invited additional family, friends and colleagues.
We were able to talk to everyone, take pictures, slow down and enjoy the day. And still it flew by!
There were eight young kids at our wedding. To give the parents some rest, we asked Oh Happy Day to make a children’s corner where the kids could play. We also arranged a babysitter from the ceremony to the dinner. This way the parents could also enjoy the dinner in peace.
After parting with most of the guests, we had dinner with a small group of family and friends. The room where the ceremony first took place was transformed into the most beautiful dinner setting. This of course is another creation by Oh Happy Day and Bloom Your Life!
We enjoyed a three-course shared dinner and dined for a long time; exactly the way it suits us.
For us this was a perfect wedding!
Photography: Elisabeth van Lent | Styling: Oh Happy Day | Floral design: Bloom Your Life | Stationery and Ribbons: La Lettre | Hair & Makeup: The Beautiful Bride Company | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes | Earrings: Elke van Herck | Hair Accessory: The Beautiful Bride Shop | Groom: Hugo Boss and Profuomo | Wedding cake: Bij Robèrt | Venue: VRIJ in Culemborg | Catering: PUUR
This is the first story of my experience as a bride. Soon I will be happy to share more with you about the planning process, the schedule and costs of our day.
If you have any questions about my story, feel free to ask or send a message via the contact form!