Welcome to a Delft Wedding!
Welcome to a Delft wedding, in The Netherlands (a.k.a. Holland)! I can’t believe it’s already been a month since the wedding of my niece Sharmaine to her beloved Reinier. We were counting down the months, weeks and days for our trip back home to Delft and, in the blink of an eye (yes, you get the reference), we are back home and processing everything we experienced.
Now, obviously, their wedding is unique to them and not how all Dutch weddings are. But, there are elements to their day that you will not find in the States. I want to invite you to experience their wedding through these photos and educate you on special Dutch wedding traditions.
I’ve included more photos than normal in this blog since this wedding is so special to me and includes so many parts. There is even a Part II coming! Yes, a Part II with their post wedding photos taken in Marseille, France. Yes, I did say France. Yes, it was beautiful! (Happy Sigh.)
But, first, let’s get these two married!
Sharmaine chose to get ready in her parents’ home. This is typical for Dutch weddings. It is tradition for the groom to pick up his bride at the home of her parents. Now, funny enough, Sharmaine also wanted some American traditions in her wedding and had bridesmaids. They all spent the night at my brother and sister-in-law’s home and started getting ready bright and early.
Hair: Tamara Honsbeek
Make Up: Victoria Janssen
They even had a wedding mascot. Ollie!
The Groom Arrives
Everyone is ready and now eagerly anticipating the groom’s arrival. The groom brings the bride her bouquet. This is their first look. The bridal party/family waited for him outside and then he went in the house to have a moment with Sharmaine alone. (Well, almost alone. I got to be the proverbial fly on the wall.) They then walked out together to the cheers of family and friends. Even a few neighbors joined in! We all enjoyed a quick lunch of sandwiches before heading to the ceremony/reception location.
Florist: Mirel van Eden
My brother-in-law, Wim, eagerly waits for his future son-in-law to arrive.
I saw the way the light was hitting Sharmaine, and asked her to sit down for a quick bridal portrait. Is she not absolutely beautiful? I’m so proud of my oldest niece.
OK. Let me explain how this works. With Dutch weddings, there are different parts to the day and not everyone is invited to everything. Some people are invited to just the ceremony and short reception afterwards. Others are invited to the party in the evening. Some are invited to the ceremony & then to come back to the party later. The Day Guests are part of the entire day, which includes ceremony, reception, entertainment, dinner, speeches, and then the big party. So, we are now at the ceremony portion of our day. Normally, this would take place in the town hall, but you now have the option to choose a different location. They chose Onder Ons, on the outskirts of Delft, for their ceremony and party. Two of their closest friends were in charge of organizing the entire day, making sure everything ran smoothly. I’m sure there were some hiccups along the way, but I have to say this was the most on time wedding I’ve ever photographed! So, a big shout out to Shera and Joyce for a job well done!
After the ceremony, a receiving line was formed and all the guests congratulated the bride, groom and family. And where we would just hug or shake hands, they also have the traditional three kisses on the cheek. It’s more of a cheek to cheek thing with the kiss landing in the air but you can only imagine doing that times how many people…Whew! I well remember my own Dutch wedding reception. That was a lot of kissing!!!! Drinks and h’ordeurves were served outside on the sunny patio. And how could I forget to mention that?!? It was actually sunny on their wedding day! Miracles never cease. If you don’t know why this is significant, talk to me sometime about Dutch weather.
Sharmaine’s mom taking it all in…
A beautiful moment between Reinier and his son…
The signing of the official marriage papers…a big deal in The Netherlands!
My brother and sister-in-law congratulating the bride and groom!
This moment between Sharmaine and her Oma, my mother-in-law, touches me every time I see it.
After the ceremony guests left, it was time for the formal portraits! I’ve never had a more efficient formal portrait session. We knocked it out quickly and had fun while doing so. I was even able to make it in the family portraits thanks to some extended family who offered to click the button for me when needed!
My beautiful nieces!
A photo with all the day guests!
And, of course, there had to be a photo of Reinier and his best man, Timon, with their “best friends” hearts. LOL!
One thing I absolutely LOVE about Dutch/European weddings is the fact they carve out time in the day for romantic photographs. They pick locations that mean something to them and make time for it. Sharmaine and Reinier chose the East Gate (Oostpoort) of Delft and a beautiful hidden garden downtown.
Speeches and Dinner
After romantic portraits were taken, it was time for speeches and a delicious dinner! My brother-in-law, Wim, kicked things off with a tear jerker of a speech spoken straight from his heart.
Reinier’s Dad and the Best Man, Timon, also gave speeches in honor of the bride and groom!
Let’s Get This Party Started!!
Dinner was over..speeches were done…and a slideshow, put together by the moms, was shown. Now, it was time for the party guests to arrive. And, when I say party, I mean PARTY! These people were professional partiers. Haha! Even the venue said they’d never seen party like this where almost everyone was on the dance floor and STAYED on the dance floor! They danced, they sang, and they celebrated! Just look at this photo of two guests greeting each other at the entrance! Excited much?
The First Dance…
They danced to “Seventeen” by Ed Sheeran and Reinier surprised his beautiful bride
by singing the words to the song himself on a recording.
So incredibly sweet!
My own two kids tore up the dance floor with some awesome swing dancing!
Sharmaine surprised Reinier with a song! So romantic…
Father/Daughter dance to a song about a dad asking his daughter’s man to take care of his little girl…Sniff!
This was awesome! The last dance of the evening was to “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. Everyone stood around them and sang it to them. Wow.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a Delft wedding! It was such a memorable day in our family’s life. I left so, so many photos out because it’s just not possible to share EVERYTHING. It would be overwhelming, to say the least. However, I believe this gives you an idea of what a beautiful day it was! Stay tuned for Part II!