I can’t believe it’s been a year since our wedding, on the one hand it seems like it happened yesterday, but on the other hand it could also be years ago. COVID-19 really makes me lose all sense of time.. and because of it, I was able to complete our wedding album! As I cannot show it live, I decided to dedicate a blogpost to the most beautiful day of our life 😉 This blogpost is going to be way too long as I have so many pictures to share and writing this blog is an amazing trip down memory lane!
I’ll start with the not-so-good-part. While Hielke liked wedding planning, I definitely did not enjoy the process. Though we had the best bridesmaids and groomsmen, I experienced a lot of issues along the way. I always want to balance my own needs and everybody else’s needs and that just doesn’t work while planning a wedding. Several companies and locations let us down while we were just starting to plan and we were even being lied to about costs and possible wedding dates. We finally decided to book our location independently from our caterer, which created extra insecurities, but in the end it worked out. Our location was a basic nature location, which offered guests the opportunity to stay over in a tent, which is exactly what we wanted. In the weeks before the wedding I became incredibly nervous regarding the weather and I just couldn’t deal with weather updates anymore. In the case of bad weather we needed an extra tent, which would cost a lot of extra money and would take away some wedding vibes.
Our caterer took care of the decorating, as it turned out I am incredibly picky when it comes to decorations and furniture. I found that so many locations had ugly furniture and I immediately wanted to redecorate the whole place 😉 I liked that Welna was like a blank canvas and that our caterer enabled us to pick from all sorts of furniture and decorations.
I found deciding on the guest list for our wedding the most difficult thing to do. In the end we invited most guests for the day portion and dinner and aunts and uncles left when the party started.
We decided on doing a photo shoot at nature reserve “The Veluwe” for our wedding invite. Luckily one of our groomsmen knew some good locations where we could do this shoot and is a good photographer!
We got married at “Het grote huis Welna” in Epe, in the Veluwe. Hielke asked me to marry him in the Veluwe and we also had one of our first dates here, so it made sense to get married here. We liked the idea of having an outdoors Italian wedding and Welna had enough space to accommodate two large dinner tables to create those vibes. We were also allowed to have a campfire and have guests stay in tents after the wedding, which was something that was important to us. I was incredibly happy that we were able to have the location for the whole weekend, as we could get into the right atmosphere with our family, bridesmaids, groomsmen, mades of honor and best men. Our bridesmaids cooked for the whole group the night before our wedding and it felt like our wedding day already started in an intimate setting.
Already being at the location took away most nerves for our wedding day, as we were able to see all the decorations come together and met up with our photographer the day before. In the end this helped me relax during my wedding day, which is worth a lot. In the planning phase we noticed that Welna is not used to having large wedding parties and we had some communication issues as well. I would not recommend booking a location that is unknown to your caterer, but as I won’t get married again I cannot use that knowledge 😉
Luckily the weather predictions for our wedding day were perfect, the day before the weather was a bit dreary, but we had a perfect day with sufficient sunshine and about 23 degrees celsius! We really lucked out with that one, as the day after our wedding it started pouring in the afternoon.
I was super lucky that two of my friends were able to help me with getting ready for the wedding as they did my hair and makeup. I loved sharing this special moment with people who are dear to me. Before the wedding we practiced the hairdo and makeup and I decided on having bohemian curls and earthy makeup. I almost wanted to do my hair myself, but I would have never had this spectacular result if I did it myself!
I had no problems picking a wedding dress, I thought of picking a vintage dress or buying a fancy dress online but ended up buying a “normal” wedding dress. My mother, sister and I went to a wedding dress store just to have a look at a few dresses, but I ended up specifically loving one dress, so we bought it on the first try.
Hielke and I didn’t buy a set of rings, we went to Antwerp for a weekend, where I bought my wedding ring. I didn’t have an engagement ring with a stone, so I decided on a wedding ring with ethical “diamonds”. Hielke matched the color of the ring and a bit of the style. Our photographer took these lovely pictures of our rings.
We had our wedding photo shoot before our actual wedding, as we did not want to leave the wedding while all the guests were present and being an amateur photographer myself, I wanted sufficient time for this moment. I found choosing a photographer is a scary thing, but we went with our gut and booked Anouk Strijbos a year ahead. Anouk lives close to our wedding location and loves shooting in nature and she ended up being the perfect choice. She was able to catch lots of special moments during our day and was very easy to work with.
Before the ceremony we had lunch with a small group. This definitely added a lot of relaxedness and quality time to our day. As we had sufficient time during lunch we were able to have some unplanned photo moments with our family and the wedding party!
Our ceremony started with us strutting to “Is this love?” by Bob Marley, a song which brings back holiday memories. We wanted our ceremony to be really personal and we asked a friend, my sister and Hielke’s father to write speeches for the ceremony. Our wedding officer was given the smallest role possible and he held himself to that promise!
We truly enjoyed the speeches that were given and yet again I found this an incredibly relaxing moment, just having to listen and reliving these memories.
One of the things I was the most excited about, was reading my vows to Hielke. I finished writing my vows months before the wedding, as I love to write and do love professions to Hielke. I was a bit tense when receiving Hielke’s vows, as I don’t like unexpected things, but I ended up loving them. Hielke memorized his vows, while I decided to read them, which shows how different we are when it comes to these things.
We were so excited about our vows that we already shared a little kiss before we were married officially.
After the ceremony we had an informal drinks setting, where guests were able to congratulate us. This actually gave us the opportunity to speak to a lot of guests after most of the congratulating was done. Instead of a cake we had a tower of macaroons in pastel colors. We created a bohemian playlist to play in the background, but hardly anyone heard that we played the super shocking “Je t’aime moi non plus”.
For dinner we had two beautifully set up tables with Italian food. As pizza is one of our favorite dishes we had to have it on our wedding day! We even had an old school ice cream cart of which ice cream was being served as a dessert. After dinner Hielke and I took a little moment to ourselves. This gave us the opportunity to practice our wedding dance in my super tight wedding dress, which worked surprisingly well 😉 I switched by gold heels for my holiday shoes, just to be able to dance at the party!
One of the most important things of our wedding day was of course the party! While I hadn’t been too interested in a lot of the wedding planning, I loved creating playlists for the party 😉 One of our masters of ceremonies knew DJs that were keen on playing music as requested by the wedding couple, which sounded perfect to us. We spent weeks preparing playlists with our favorite music, even forbidding specific songs to be played.
I was pretty nervous for our opening dance. We didn’t hire an instructor to help us with an opening dance, but we made up a dance ourselves as we have some experience with salsa dancing. One of our favorite latin singers is Marc Anthony and we chose “Viva mi vida” for our first dance. Luckily, our DJs were able to slow down the rhythm, so we could actually dance in sync with the song 😉
We preferred to have a party in a barn, which was one of the reasons we picked Welna as our wedding location. As our location was in the middle of a nature reserve, we had strict decibel limits and we had to end the part at 12.30AM. Luckily the party immediately got started after our opening dance, so we could dance for hours!
Bonfire & breakfast
After the party we had a bonfire, to close off the day in a relaxed way. Some people stayed over camping and we had lots of beds in the main house, so the next morning we had breakfast with about 35 people. Our caterer set up a little breakfast, so the masters of ceremonies were off duty during breakfast as well. It was a super sunny morning, so we were able to enjoy the breakfast outside, which was an added bonus. After breakfast it was time to say goodbye to everyone and to take our presents home 😉 We received so many super thoughtful and original presents, some of which are presented in our home or garden reminding us of this beautiful day!
Thanks to everyone who joined us on our wedding day, we loved having you with us to celebrate our love!