The morning dawned, exactly 11 months after I awoke to photograph my oldest niece’s wedding in Delft, The Netherlands. Now, it was her sister Rachelle’s turn. Unbelievably, the forecast was once again miraculously sunny and wonderful. Yes, miraculously. It IS Holland, you know.
Rachelle and Simon’s Delft wedding was absolutely beautiful. It was full of traditional Dutch elements and I can’t wait to walk you through their day!
The day began bright and early at Rachelle’s parents’ home with hair and make up. My sister-in-law, Fiona, did a lovely job decorating the house for the occasion.
I love this beautiful moment when Wim saw his daughter in her dress for the first time…
Once Rachelle was ready, it was time for the family to wait outside for the groom’s arrival. It is tradition for the groom to pick up his bride at her childhood home, bringing her wedding bouquet to her.
Rachelle descended the winding staircase to greet her eager groom below. I love the look on his face. She was absolutely breathtaking…
After a quick lunch, we headed to the Stadhuis (Town Hall) where the official ceremony would take place. This building was first built in the 1200’s and renovated in the 1400’s. Yeah. Just a little bit of history. The ceremony is an interesting mix of what we would expect from the Justice of the Peace here when you get your marriage license combined with the more traditional elements.
Below, friends and family gather outside the Stadhuis awaiting Simone and Rachelle’s arrival. It was market day on the town square, so guests mingled along with market shoppers and vendors.
The inside of the Stadhuis is an absolutely gorgeous setting for a wedding ceremony…
Both Rachelle and Simon play Korfbal for a local club. Some of the youth from the club greeted them with a balloon tunnel and a song!!
The traditional group photo of the Day Guests and Ceremony Guests. Yes, people are invited for various portions of the day. Some people, usually very close friends and family, are invited for the entire day. Others are invited to the ceremony portion and evening festivities. Some are only invited to the evening festivities.
The Omas (Grandmas).
After the ceremony, it was a short walk to ‘t Postkantoor (The Post Office) for the reception.
This wonderful restaurant is housed in what used to be the original post office of Delft.
Simon’s family surprised the bride and groom with a book comprised of various photos of the couple from childhood to the present. (Fun fact: Simon and Rachelle first started dating when they were around 15 years old!)
After the reception, the wedding couple arranged for the Day Guests to take an historical boat tour of Delft while we shot romantic photos downtown. Of course, their first monumental sighting of the day was the Bride and Groom!
They met on the Korfbal field, so naturally they wanted a few shots to commemorate this fact.
After our photo shoot, we arrived at our last location of the day: Het Rieten Dak in the park, Delftse Hout. This place was beautiful, surrounded by nature and canals.
So, while scouting for a good location for family photos, I found this pretty spot. One problem: it was located next to two bike paths. I thought, “No problem. We will work around it.” Hmm. Never expected this out of the way spot to be like a highway during rush hour. I’m not kidding. It was the end of the day and apparently this bike path led to homes I had no idea existed. Even though it was obvious what we were doing, the bikers just didn’t care. They whipped around and past us like we were part of an obstacle course. At one point, a man came at us full speed and almost hit me. Actually, he did. I heard a squeal of brakes and saw his bike inches from me. I stuck out my hand and pushed back as his bike plowed into me.
Thankfully, though my hand was sore, I lived to see another day.
Needless to say, I quickly decided I’d find a new spot for the rest of the photos, away from imminent death by bike.
New spot…. Happy Day.
My beautiful nieces….
There’s nothing more powerful than receiving your father’s blessing on your wedding day!
Time for comfy shoes and dinner!!!
Um, these were just the appetizers. Have I told you how much I LOVE Dutch food?
My brother-in-law, Wim, gave a beautiful speech.
Rachelle’s aunt, Ilse, presented the couple with a beautiful gift…a time capsule. In the time capsule were cards friends and family filled out answering questions about the couple and about the future. In ten years time,
Simon and Rachelle will receive the key to open the box and read the cards!
Simon’s father also gave a very moving and uplifting speech, after which he presented the couple with their first family Bible.
Group photo of the Day Guests!
Simon is not a big dancer and they led everyone to believe there would not be a first dance. However, what no one knew is that Simon and Rachelle were taking secret dance lessons and learning choreography for the first dance.
It was an awesome surprise for everyone and they nailed it!!
My daughter Victoria caught the bouquet, causing super excitement! I have no idea why…. (ahem).