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Sharmaine & Reinier: A Delft Wedding

July 27, 2016

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!

Getting Ready

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
Dress: Anastasi

Wedding dress hanging in home in preparation for a wedding in Delft.Bride and her sister getting ready for the Delft wedding.


They even had a wedding mascot. Ollie!

Dog becomes the wedding mascot in Delft.Beautiful flower and a bride being made up before her wedding in Delft.Detail shot of shoes, jewelry, perfume and garter for the bride.The hairdresser putting the last touches on the bride's hair on her wedding day in Delft.Detail shot of the make up and the bridesmaids dresses in Delft home.Bride admires her wedding gown.Bride puts on wedding gown in living room.Bride puts on wedding shoes.Bride puts on earrings and bridal perfume.Group shot of the Bride with her bridesmaids in Delft.Sister of the bride takes a cell phone shot of the Bride.The Bride with her family.


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.

Father of the bride waits outside his home to welcome the groom.Bridal party awaits the groom.Groom arrives in convertible for wedding in Delft.Groom prepares to meet his bride carrying the bouquet.First look between Bride and Groom.Groom cries when he sees his bride.Bride and Groom exit the home to cheers of friends.Detail shot of the Delft bridal bouquet.Intimate shots of the bride and groom in black and white.


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.

Beautiful bridal portrait of the bride in black and white on her wedding day.Bride and groom hold hands.Groom gazes adoringly at his Delft bride.Bride and groom prepare to leave for their ceremony in Delft.Shots of bride and groom wearing sunglasses.Bride waves goodbye as they head to ceremony location.



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.

Bride and Groom arrive at Onder Ons Party Centrum in Delft.Bride walks down the aisle at Onder Ons.Groom cries at the sight of his bride.Shot of ceremony in Onder Ons Party Centrum located in Delft.

Sharmaine’s mom taking it all in…

Mother of the Bride watches the Delft wedding ceremony.Bride and Groom listen to the magistrate during the ceremony.Delft Bride and Groom share a laugh during their wedding ceremony at Onder Ons Party Centrum.First Kiss at Delft WeddingBride and Groom exchange rings at Delft wedding.


A beautiful moment between Reinier and his son…

Groom hugs his son during wedding ceremony.


The signing of the official marriage papers…a big deal in The Netherlands!

The signing of the official marriage papers by the Bride and Groom during Deflt wedding ceremony.


My brother and sister-in-law congratulating the bride and groom!

Bride and groom hug Bride's parents in the receiving line.


This moment between Sharmaine and her Oma, my mother-in-law, touches me every time I see it.

A beautiful black and white photo of the bride with her grandmother.




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!

Bride and Groom with their parents in Delft.


My beautiful nieces!

Bride photographed with her sisters after her wedding in Delft.

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!

Romantic Portraits

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!



delicious dinner at Onder Ons.



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!


[…] 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 […]

Sharmaine van den Hoek - Janssen

Marie, thank you so much! We had so much fun with you during our shoots and at the same time you are so professional! We enjoyed every minute of it. You really have an eye for detail and you make the most wonderful photo’s. You were so well prepared on any scenario and you really helped us during this day (and in France)! There aren’t enough words to say how happy we are with you as our photographer. We couldn’t be happier with our photo gallery and we are so grateful that you did this for us! So thank you sooo much. We love you and can’t wait to see you in December!

This is beautiful Marie, you did an amazing job. Thank you so much, I’m very proud of you. You can see the emotions and love in the pictures. Thats the secret of your succes. We have another wedding next year. Hope you can make it again.

Wow this is beautiful! I’m so proud of you. You did an amazing job, thankful you so much!
Even our little Ollie is on your blog

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