This is quite literally the most gorgeous looking wedding, small and intimate and in the heart of summer this is truly inspiring.
Jeroen & Annika, Netherlands Country Wedding.
There are some weddings that you might see only a single frame, but you know it has a special kind of magic. They’re the ones where the beauty may not be in an abundance of lavish styling details, but the mood is authentic, honest and real. This intrinsically beautiful wedding, held on a 250 year old farming estate in the east of The Netherlands on a perfect summer day, (the kind where the sun paints fields gold) is one of them.
An outdoor ceremony and reception on gilded fields are suffused with a bohemian nonchalance. A bride is adorned in beaded Jenny Packham, a simple veil and delicate flowercrown. Styling elements (all handmade by the bride and groom) celebrate the notion that a wedding need not be lavish to be captivating. Handmade bouquets of field flowers, raw materials, wooden tables and a wedding arch draped with ivy and ferns evoke a natural sentiment. A shared meal (created by the contributions of home cooked dishes from each guest) awakens the soulful magic of outdoor dinner party with family and friends.
Told by photographer, Alice Mahran, images are bathed in light and capture candid moments of unguarded romance against the beautiful natural landscape…
HOW WE MET: We met when we were very young. I was sixteen and Jeroen was only eighteen. We met at a surfcamp held in France. We immediately fell in love, and spent time sitting by the campfire, going for ice cream and I would watch Jeroen surf and catch waves (he was amazing at it, while I was not so very much). It was so wonderful to find out that we only lived an hour away from each other back in The Netherlands, so we were so happy that we could keep seeing each other after the surfcamp.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: We grew up together and went through a lot of phases, growing into the people we are today. Miraculously we grew closer and closer as the years passed on. One weekend we went to a lovely national park and I just knew that at some point during that weekend Jeroen would ask me to marry him. We had previously spoken about it and both really wanted to get married. I can assure you – after deciding this – waiting for a proposal is nerve-racking! But at the end of the weekend Jeroen took me on a picnic by a beautiful secluded lake where we sat, talked and laughed. He asked me to close my eyes because he had a present for me. In my hands he put a small red apple that was in fact a box. When I opened the box, I saw a beautiful ring. I turned to my left to look at Jeroen and there he was, sitting on one knee and that’s when he asked, “will you marry me”. He said it so fast because he was incredibly nervous – which was really sweet to see. Of course I said, “yes” and immediately jumped on top of him. We could not stop smiling for the rest of the day. It was such a very sweet and personal moment.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Deciding to spend our days, weeks, months and years together, side by side. Always being able to find a home and a safe place wherever we may go..
WEDDING LOCATION: Our wedding took place at a 250 year old farming estate called, Het Reirinck in Groenlo, which is a very quiet place in eastern part of the Netherlands. This gave us a very natural environment to work with. We really hoped for good weather, especially because the garden of the estate was so full of natural beauty. We were slightly worried because we visited the location three times before the wedding and it rained every time. But when we arrived on the day before our wedding the sun was shining bright and on the actual day of the wedding , it looked so beautiful.
THEME/STYLE: We planned a summer wedding hoping that the weather would be warm and sunny, and we were lucky because it really was a beautiful summer day. We really wanted to be married outside, because we both are outdoorsy people and really enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer. Most of all we wanted the wedding to portray us as individuals and as a couple. Therefore, we choose the theme to be bohemian/vintage adding a lot of small details to create this theme, such as; a world globe, suitcases, field flowers, dream catchers, feathers, Persian carpets and wooden tables. We wanted it to feel like a large garden party were everyone would be able to relax in the sun, play in the grass and eat together on large wooden tables.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Our wedding was photographed by the talented Alice Mahran. Her pictures perfectly capture the emotions of the day and the little details that made the wedding so special. As soon as we saw her photographic work we fell in love with her style and really wanted her to photograph our wedding. Luckily for us she still was available for our wedding date.
BRIDE’S DRESS: My wedding gown is called the Eden, designed by Jenny Packham. Since I was three years old girl, I had dreamed about my wedding day and especially about my wedding dress – so finding the perfect dress was very important to me. I had looked everywhere, but I could not find a dress that I loved and fitted our budget. I then found out that the best bridal shop in the country was having a sample sale and I was hoping that between all of the wonderful dresses I could find the perfect one for me. After trying on four that I thought I would like (but didn’t really), I tried on one that I thought was beautiful, but maybe not really me. As the consultant put the dress on me, I saw it on her face, and when I saw myself in the mirror I fell in love with it. This was the dress! Once you fall in love with a wedding dress, there is no turning back, so I ended up buying my amazing Jenny Packham dress and still am so happy that I did. I also got a matching simple knee-length veil.
BRIDE’S SHOES: Since I’m rather tall I wanted to wear flat shoes and keep them very simple because my dress was already so detailed. So after looking everywhere for the perfect sandal, I found a nude sandal from MANGO that was simple, yet elegant.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: I let all my bridesmaids pick their own dress as long as it was in a nude tone, was not too short and would have a little bit of a vintage vibe. All the girls found a dress that looked beautiful on them.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: The bridesmaids chose their own shoes.
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: We only have one little nephew and he does not like to be told what to wear, so he wore what he felt good and comfortable in as he was bringing the rings down the aisle.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: My dress was very detailed so I wanted to keep my jewelry very simple. I only wore my engagement ring and a gold colored bracelet with two entangled hearts, symbolizing our love. I also had a simple green and white flower crown made for my hair and pink/purple colored flower crowns for the bridesmaids (all made by Indian Cress).
WEDDING RINGS: My wedding ring is a vintage engraved gold wedding band with flower blossoms in yellow gold. It is originally from the 1940s. I found in at Addy’s Vintage on Etsy and immediately knew that this would be a perfect wedding ring. Jeroen’s ring, is from DJVintageshop and is a stamped naturally oxidized vintage yellow gold wedding band. We really liked seeing the rings together, they portrayed us very well.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: The groom wore a brown and beige tweed suit with an off white shirt. Originally he was planning on wearing a completely different suit that he had purchased months ago, but the day before the wedding we went to buy suspenders for his evening look, and we found his suit – which actually looked even better on him. The color was just perfect. We didn’t really have groomsmen, but we asked his closest friends and family to all wear suspenders, and they did! They all looked great together.
HAIR: My hair was done by my hairdresser and friend Bert de Zeeuw. He is the most amazing hair stylist. I knew I wanted my hair up, but in a casual nonchalant way and he executed this perfectly. The flower crown that was made by Indian Cress completed the look. The bridesmaids hair was done by Eugène Romein, who is also a hairdresser friend of mine. Each bridesmaid could choose a look as long as it was a little bohemian and nonchalant. I really loved that their looks were all very different but complemented each other.
MAKEUP: I wanted very natural make-up that would make me look like the most beautiful version of myself and Danielle Trilsbeek did this wonderfully. With a little eyeliner and just a bit of extra lashes, Danielle created a very natural but beautiful look, making my eyes look a little bigger and brighter. The bridesmaids also had a very natural look with a focus on their eyes by using a light smokey eye. I just wanted all of us to look beautiful, nonchalant but a little angel like.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS:Jeroen made our invitations and they matched the wedding perfectly. A lot of things that where featured on the invitation also came back in the wedding for instance, jars and garlands.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: We gave our guests little jars filled with M&M’s in the colors of our wedding, with a little thank you card attached to it.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: We choose flowers that looked like field flowers to enhance the natural beauty of the location. We choose a red, pink, crème and purple color palette with lots of different flowers. I really love flowers, so I wanted to style them myself. We put little vases on the dining table, each containing only a few flowers, when all the vases were placed together it created lovely pops of color across the tables. We also had 3 huge vases filled with purple and pink flowers and lots of natural greens. We stayed up the evening before making the flower arrangements and the bouquets. I wanted the bouquets to look like we had just picked the flowers from a field in the area, so very flowy and natural. Our wedding arch was decorated with ivy, ferns and eucalyptus. It was perfect!
VIDEOGRAPHY: Lucky us! We won a prize to have our wedding video done by, I am yours now and it turned out beautifully. They made a 5 minute video with all the best moments of the day and they edited it beautifully. It really shows the story of the day and captured the love between us. We couldn’t be more happy when we saw it. It was like being there all over again.
PREPARATION: We went to the location a day before with a few of our closest friends, to prep by putting everything in its place and decorating the location. That evening we took a little time out to have pizza and beers outside on the terrace, but we had a lot of things that still needed to be done. After dinner the men hung all the lights outside and the girls started making the bouquets and flower arrangements. It was such a good feeling to be surrounded by all these wonderful people, and see them have them help and put so much effort into our day. It really made us feel so special and loved.
We went to bed around midnight, but Jeroen and I could not sleep at all because some stuff still needed to be done in the morning – plus we felt a little nervous. So we both only got about an hour of sleep, we were so excited to start the day that we got up at 6 and started decorating till 10 o’clock, when 1 had to go as my hairdresser had come to do my hair. At that point I just had to clear my head and enjoy getting ready for my wedding and spending some quality time with my girls as we had our hair and make-up done.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: The styling of the day was a very important element to the both of us, but we had to be crafty ourselves because we had a small budget. Therefore all garlands, dream catchers, decorated jars, bottles, bouquets, etc. where made by Jeroen and myself with lots of help from our family and friends. We got our inspiration from The LANE and Pinterest. We had so much fun creating all these decorations. We also hunted a lot of second hand shops and markets to find some beautiful old decorations like candlesticks, cookie jars and vases. These elements made the preparations rather stressful, but it also meant that we were really involved in every part of the wedding, making the setting a reflection of who we are. We ended up using a variety of raw materials, wooden tables, Persian carpets, natural floral bouquets and a wedding arch draped with ivy and ferns. It gave a very natural and cozy feeling to the location.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: My husband and I planned the enire wedding ourselves. It was very fun getting into all the little details and seeing everything come together on the day. The day before and the wedding day we had a lot of help from our lovely friends and family with putting everything together.
CAKE: From the moment we started planning our wedding we knew that we wanted a naked wedding cake. We aren’t big fans of frosting so that choice was easily made. We both love carrot cake so choosing the flavor was easy as well. Jeroen’s brother in-law is a chef and when we asked if he and Jeroen’s sister would want to make our wedding cake they did not hesitate to say yes. It was the most delicious cake that we had ever tasted. We also really loved that they incorporated edible flowers, because that was one of my requests. When we stood there cutting the cake they also threw those flowers over us, putting us in a rain of flowers. It was just beautiful!
WEDDING SONGS: When walking down the aisle we played, ‘Season of love’ by Shiny Toy Gun. It is such an ethereal, but happy song and we felt that it suited our wedding perfectly. When the ceremony ended and everybody threw the confetti over us, we played, ‘This will be an everlasting love’ by Natalie Cole, which is one of my favorite songs because it is played in just about every romantic movie that I know.
ENTERTAINMENT: We made a playlist ourselves containing the greatest hits from every decade because we had guests of every age. We asked them beforehand to send us 2 songs that they really loved and we incorporated some of those into the playlist as well.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: Having a smaller budget made planning the wedding a little bit more difficult sometimes, but it also inspired us to be creative and think outside the box. One of those ideas was to ask all of our guests to make and bring a bite to eat. We really liked this idea because we felt that it made all of the guests more involved in the wedding, but also because a very formal dinner just did not suit us at all. It turned out even better than we hoped! There were tables full of beautiful and delicious food, it really looked amazing! It was great to see everyone put so much effort into making us a wonderful dinner. During the day we had a cookiebar and a lemonade stand where people could have refreshments and drinks.
TRANSPORT: Because the wedding was held at one location we didn’t need any transportation, but Jeroen really wanted a car (I guess it’s a guy thing). Luckily for us, one of his uncles has a beautiful cream colored old Mercedes that he let us use on the day. We drove away when we went to shoot some photographs in the neighborhood. It was a lot of fun seeing everybody standing there, waving us goodbye.
HONEYMOON: For our honeymoon we went to Crete for two weeks. We stayed at a very secluded place and enjoyed discovering the island and looking at the stars at night from our private terrace – It was just perfect. We went snorkeling, hiking, swimming and dancing, but also spent a lot of time just relaxing by the pool or at the beach.
GIFT REGISTRY: Because we had already asked our guest to bring a dish for dinner, we didn’t really feel that gifts were necessary. But when people wanted to give us something, we asked for a contribution to our honeymoon. In the end, we had almost enough to pay for our entire honeymoon from all the generous gifts that we received.
CELEBRANT: Our celebrant was Rinske Kranen and we chose her because we had a lot of common interests and she was a very relaxed and warm person. She led the ceremony just wonderfully, providing the guest with nice anecdotes and stories about us.
READINGS: The ceremony went by so quickly – but was absolutely wonderful. We both had written a letter to each other that we read out. We told each other why we wanted to get married and why the other person was so special to us. That was such an intense and amazing moment, standing there, in the sunlight, surrounded by friends and family while looking into my husband’s eyes, it really was magical.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: Because I love everything about weddings, planning mine was amazing! I found so much inspiration on The LANE and Pinterest, for flowers, decorations, dresses and themes.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: It is rather difficult to only name one moment. If I’d had to choose I’d say it was everything about the ceremony. Walking down the aisle with my father next to me, seeing Jeroen standing there waiting for me was so special. I will never forget the look on his face at that moment. But also reading our vows/letters to each other was so very special. Being able to put into words what you feel for the other person, and saying these words out loud while standing in front of our friends and family, that is just so special. I cannot remember any other day where I felt so loved, not only by Jeroen, but by everyone who was there that day.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS…
Since I tend to romanticize everything beforehand, I didn’t think planning a wedding would be this much work. There are so many details to think about. Especially when you want to be involved in every aspect of the day. But in the end it really was worth it.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…
I read this advice before planning my wedding and its very difficult to do… try to pick three to five things that you feel are most important in making your wedding day the best day of your life, and compromise on other fronts. For me that was the dress, the location, the styling, the flowers and the photography. So focus on making those things perfect and don’t worry about every little detail being exactly the way you want it. In the end, the most important thing is that you and your guests have an amazing day and that by the end of the evening, you are married to the one you love.
I came across this on this amazing website called the lane, you can find the original article with all the links here.