Wedding Annika & Jeroen

't Reirinck - Groenlo - the Netherlands

From the moment that we started planning our wedding, which was about 8 months before the big day, we knew that we wanted the day to feel as a big garden party, celebrating our love for each other with all our friends and family. Our wedding day was on July 23th, which was exactly 7 years after we first met each other and fell in love while on holiday in France. We planned a summer wedding hoping that the weather would be warm and sunny, and we got lucky because it was a beautiful summer day. We really wanted to get married outside, in nature, because we both are outdoorsy people and enjoy the beauty of what nature has to offer. We wanted the wedding to portray us as individuals and as a couple. Therefore we choose the theme bohemian/vintage adding a lot of small details referring to this; a globe, suitcases, field flowers, dream catchers, feathers, Persian carpets and wooden tables.

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. were made by Jeroen and me. The inspiration we got from different wedding blogs 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, vases and a lots of other things. 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.

Having a smaller budget made planning the wedding a little bit more difficult sometimes but it also made inspired us to be creative and think of some very nice ideas. One of them was to ask all of our guests to make and bring a bite to eat. Some were asked to bring a main dish, others to make a dessert. 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 that everyone put so much effort into making us a wonderful dinner.

There was only one thing that did not really stayed true to the budget, the dress. Being a girl that has dreamed about her wedding (and thus my wedding dress) since I was three years old, finding the perfect dress was very important to me. I had looked all across the internet and in some bridal shops, but because I wanted the dress to fit into the bohemian theme, I just could not find a dress that I loved and fitted into our budget. Then I read online that the best bridal shop in Holland had a sample sale and I thought to myself, I have to go. Hoping that between all these wonderful dresses I could find the perfect one and actually be able to afford it. Well, when I walked in the cheapest dress was already above budget, but I thought to myself, I’m here now, let’s try on some dresses. After trying on four that I thought I would like (but didn’t) I tried one that I thought was beautiful, but not really me. As the consultant put the dress on me I already saw it in her face, and when I saw myself in the mirror I fell in love. This was the dress! But, it was way too expensive (more than twice my budget). Long story short, I was able to buy the dress due to a very wonderfully timed modeling job that I booked. Thank god, because once you fall in love with a wedding dress, you just have to buy it. Luckily, my fiancées suit was very well within the budget and he looked stunning in it. But then again, I think he looks good in everything.

Now some more details on the big day! We went to the location a day before with a few of our closest friends, and started with putting everything in its place, and decorating the location. We than had pizza and beers outside on the terrace, but not for long because a lot of things still needed to be done. After dinner the man went on with hanging all the lights outside and the girls started making the bouquets and flower arrangements. I was so nervous to make my own bouquet but it turned out exactly the way I wanted. It also was such a good feeling to be surrounded by all these wonderful people, seeing them put so much effort into our day. It really made us feel so special and loved.

We went to bed around midnight, but my fiancée and I could not sleep at all because some stuff needed to be done in the morning and we felt a little nervous about that. Therefore we both only got an hour of sleep but we felt so excited to start the day that we got up at 6 and started decorating again. In the end, not everything went perfect but at 10 o’clock I really had to let it go because my hairdresser came to do my hair. I then put everything out of my head and enjoyed some quality time with my bridesmaids while getting ready. A lot sooner than expected the first guest started dropping in just as I put on my dress. It was about then that I started feeling very nervous, but than my dad came to see me and standing there waiting while holding his arm, really calmed me down.

Walking down the aisle towards my husband to be, hanging on closely to my father’s arm was such a special moment. The ceremony went by so quick but was absolutely wonderful. We both had written a letter that we read. It was about why we wanted to marry each other and what made the other person so special. Standing there, in the sunlight, surrounded by friends and family while looking into my husband’s eyes, really was magical.

After we walked down the aisle together through a rain of confetti straight towards the lemonade stand and the cake which was an amazing naked cake with edible flowers (carrot lemon flavored), the reception began. The rest of the day went by in a blur, talking to our wonderful friends and family, enjoying all the food that our guest made, dining at large wooden tables under high oak trees that were decorated with lights and garlands, listening to the wonderful speeches and getting tears in our eyes from laughter because of the funny acts our families did. It was perfect! The last hours of the evening were enjoyed by bonfires, roasting marshmallows, enjoying a water pipe while others felt more like showing some dance moves and were dancing the night away. It was even more perfect than we imagined it. Not because everything that we planned went or looked as we imagined it (because it didn’t), but because the entire feeling of the day was so warm and intimate. When we looked around we only saw happy people, enjoying the food, the weather, the surroundings and the conversations they were having. It really was one of the most wonderful magical days of our lives!