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Bridal Shower Flower Workshop

As a bride-to-be, this inspirational shower captured by Anouschka Rokebrand is only feeds my floral crown obsession. Filled with fragrant blooms made for snipping, the loft space of Avenue Lifestyle Studio was perfectly transformed by Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle} into a creative and casual party. Join me in toasting the future and donning a halo of blooms while scrolling through the gallery here.

From Avenue LifestyleFor this bridal shower inspirations shoot, floral wreaths were the inspiration. I wanted to create an event where the bride-to-be’s closest friends could gather together in celebration of the imminent nuptials by participating in a floral wreath making workshop. The setting was organic, natural, light, feminine and whimsical. Pretty and ever-so-slightly utilitarian. The primary elements used to convey this included wood, terra-cotta, linen and cotton.

Everything the attendees needed to create their own fresh flower headband was set out for them at their own personal workstation at one central trestle-legged work table. Each station included a pair of scissors, florist wire and tape, a custom-made note to write to the bride-to-be and a paint dipped pencil. Terra-cotta pots filled with fresh flowers and herbs lined the centre of the table, ready to be made into headbands, while cafe lights were suspended from wooden beams above the table added a touch of romance to the setting. After a productive workshop, the bride-to-be and her leading ladies sipped Prosecco while admiring their self created floral headband in an antique mirror.

For this shoot, Stijlvolle Trouwkaarten, provided us with a custom stationery suite which highlighted the organic aesthetic that I wanted to give the entire event. Simplistic yet classic with natural elements and a nod to the wreath.

A whimsical draping of the most delicate climbing blossom suspended softly above the food table, a delicious spread which ensured our busy bride-to-be and her friends were well catered for. The menu included: a salad of foraged flowers and leafy greens; goats cheese, honey and mint blinis; artichoke, pear and parma ham tartlets; balsamic and mint soaked grilled aubergine on crusty ciabata; and the most heavenly flat peach cake with vanilla and sage cream cheese icing. The food and food styling was done by the expert hand of Amsterdam based food stylist Ajda Mehmet. Beautiful bone and silver cutlery and mismatched vintage cream crockery by Hélène Millot Furnishings were used to serve all of Ajda’s delicacies, while her fine crystal vintage wine glasses and champagne flutes had the girls sipping prosecco in style!

How to Create a Fresh Flower Headband:

ONE | Start by cutting a length of aluminum wire (about 20cm long) using wire cutters after measuring it over your head from ear to ear. Prepare short lengths of florist wire for later, as well as several lengths of florist tape, cut into thin strips (you’ll thank me later when you’re not grappling to wrap a fat piece of tape around a tiny little opening). Twist a long length of florist tape tightly around the aluminum wire and press it in with your fingertips so it sticks. You should feel a sticky residue from the tape on your fingertips.

TWO | Prepare several clusters of flowers of two or three varieties each and secure by wrapping the stems in florist tape. For example, combine a spring of rosemary and a small cluster of hydrangea. The fuller you want your floral headband, the fuller these bunches can be. For a more delicate headband, use no more than three stems per cluster.

THREE | From one end of your tape-wrapped wire (about 5cm from the end of the wire), attach one of your flower clusters tightly wrapping a small strip of florist tape. Press it down to secure. Attach the second little cluster to the wire in the same way, following the same direction as the first.

FOUR | Continue adding flower clusters in the same way along the length of your wire, using the thin pieces of tape you prepared earlier to attach the taped up stems to the aluminum wire. Stems should all be going in the same direction. You might need a little more strength in some areas, in which case use a short length of florist wire and wrap it around the area, pressing it down carefully to secure it with the tip of the wire cutters.

FIVE | Keep working your way around the length of wire until you are pleased with the way it looks, as well as the balance of flowers, foliage and colour. Your final cluster should end about 5cm away from the end of the wire.

SIX | To finish off the headband, cut two lengths of natural twine (about 20cm each) and knot tightly to each side of the headband, just beneath the last cluster of flowers. Wrap the twine along the remainder of the wire on each end, knotting it off tightly and the end. Leave about 10-15cm extra twine on each end to be able to fasten it to your head. Voila! You should have yourself a beautiful headpiece made from fresh flowers.

Photography: Anouschka Rokebrand | Stationery: Stijlvolle Trouwkaarten | Assistance: Jessica Van Der Liende | Cafe Lights: Allekabels | Floral Assistance: Jennifer Laarman | Food Styling: Ajda Mehmet | Glass, Flatware & Sideplates: Hélène Millot Furnishings | Hay Kitchen Scissors & Marble Tray: Hay Amsterdam | Studio: Avenue Lifestyle Studio | Styling & Creative Direction: Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle} | Table Linens, Wooden Boards & Chairs: Dille & Kamille | Wooden Side Plates: Verterra Dinnerware

Boho Chic Netherlands Wedding at Het Reirinck

A true labor of love, this heartfelt and detail-filled Netherlands wedding beautifully captured by Youri Claessens plays out like a dream. The Bride and Groom made sure every single touch was both meaningful and styled to perfection, leaving us with a gallery that is simply overflowing with lovely. See even more here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Barn
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride…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!

For me (youri claessens) as a photographer, I loved this wedding.

Photography: Youri Claessens | Videographer: I Am Yours Now | Flowers: Handmade By Bride And Bridesmaids | Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham | Cake: Homemade | Bride's Shoes: Sandals From ZARA | Rings: Etsy | Bridesmaids' Dresses: ZARA & VERO MODA | Make-up: Danielle Trilsbeek | Groom's Attire: H&M | Bridsmaids Hair: Eugène Romein | Decorations: Handmade By Bride And Groom | Flowercrowns: Indian Cress | Hair Of The Bride: Bert De Zeeuw | Vintage Decoration: Happy Vintage Rental | Wedding Venue: Het Reirinck

Organic Style Netherlands Wedding

This wedding is a reminder that sometimes when plan A fall through, plan B is even better. It’s exactly what happened when Holly and Dirk’s library venue cancelled eight weeks before their day and happened upon a restored warehouse instead. It played backdrop to their organic indoor garden-style wedding, and the results from Anouschka Rokebrand and Ray Pluym are nothing short of stunning. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Loft
Styles
Natural

From The Bride…Our dream wedding venue (an old library) fell through 8 weeks before our wedding day. Gutted and overwhelmed, we began the search for a new venue right away and we eventually chose an industrial building featuring exposed pipes, raw concrete and natural light. What I loved most about our venue was that the walls were painted partially in olive green, which I particularly liked and felt softened the rawness of the interior. The building was split level, so we used the ground level for the reception and dinner, and the upstairs area to get ready in. I had the entire space emptied out, and got to work creating a comfortable space in which my mum, bridesmaids, my little girl and I could get ready and share a few precious moments together on the morning of the wedding.

I selected a collection of stunning vintage pieces from FabriekNL, a Dutch company that specializes in the sourcing, restoration and sale of vintage and design classics. I chose a dainty little striped sofa in pistachio green, surrounded by cognac leather armchairs and sweet vintage chairs, with touches of brass coming through in the dressing and coffee tables. I added a few pieces from home, including the rug which was a wedding gift from my mother, and two marble topped coffee tables. I stuck to colour scheme of blush, olive, cream, pistachio and fig and the results were just what I had imagined.

From the get go we wanted to create a low key, relaxed setting reminiscent of a garden party. In The Netherlands, an outdoor celebration is highly impractical due to the weather so an indoor garden party it was going to be! At long tables dotted with candlelight and lined with jasmine, we would dine with all of our closest friends and family Italian family style, where wholesome, locally sourced produce, made into simple but delicious dishes were served in a relaxed, low-key manner. I purchased about 40 vintage and earthenware bowls from second hand stores around town for the dishes to be served in, and our fabulous caterers served clusters of amazing dishes along the tables. Because there would be a lot going on on the tables food wise, I wanted to keep the rest very simple and pared down.

For the tables, I created centerpieces from clusters of fine brass candlesticks which I sourced at Amsterdam based Hélène Millot Furnishings along with the most beautiful mismatched collection of silver and bone cutlery. I wanted to keep the rest organic and simple, but with the same femininity that flowed through the rest of the scheme. I paired simple white plates with biodegradable plates by VerTerra made from fallen palm leaves to give the tables an organic quality. On top of each wine glass was a little wooden skewer with blueberries and blackberries on it, and on each place setting there was a little home made rhubarb and orange preserve infused with cinnamon and fresh ginger. My bridesmaids all helped to craft the little fabric jam toppers of different colours and fabrics. Over the tables we strung up cafe lights, which gave the industrial space a touch of romance, which was a highlight.

Because I wanted an organic feel to the tables, I decided to make my own cotton voile table runners. But because our venue had been cancelled 8 weeks before the big day, and we had no idea where the wedding would be taking place, how many tables we would be needing, or what kind of layout we would be employing, I decided to buy an entire roll of fabric at the markets that was 19 meters in length and 3 meters in width and make 4 extremely long table runners to ensure we would have enough. I enlisted the help of two girlfriends and given the amount of wine that consumed on the evening we made them, they came out surprisingly straight! And then I thought I would test how much my bridesmaids love me by deciding to make 80 linen napkins from scratch two days before the wedding. And while they all shook their heads at me and called me crazy (and I’m sure the word Bridezilla popped up a few times, too), one amazing maid jumped to the rescue and together we pressed and sewed until all 80 were finished and it was five o’clock in the morning.

To help put it all together on the day, I enlisted the help of my friend Ciara O’Halloran from the blog Style Serendipity, an amazing stylist, to help put the tables together the day before the wedding and to take care of the finishing touches on the morning of the wedding while I was getting ready.

Our bouquets were a combination of olive, eucalyptus, pink jasmine, cow parsley that was gathered from the local forest by two of my bridesmaids the day before the wedding, the most dainty white forget-me-not’s and giant coral hued peonies. I wanted something loose with a slightly wild look to them, but still soft and feminine. The olive green tones of the bouquets worked particularly well with the colour of the walls of our industrial venue. Because I had quite a specific look in mind for the bouquets, I sourced the flowers myself and ended up gathering them from thee different florists locally as well as the local markets. Knowing I would be too busy the night before and the morning of the wedding, I enlisted the help of a friend to put the arrangements together, which she did beautifully.

It is very traditional for couples to marry at their local town hall in The Netherlands. While I dreamed of a garden ceremony, I couldn’t shake the moment I first laid eyes on the city hall in Delft when I first visited Dirk here in 2008. Dating back to 1620, it is a vast and elegant structure made from limestone and featuring quaint little shutters on all of the windows and stunning Renaissance detailing all over. It is quite breathtaking in fact, and I knew it would be an experience for both myself but also for the guests traveling from abroad to have our ceremony there. And that it was. We asked our mothers to present a few words during the ceremony, which they did beautifully and reduced us both to chin-wobbling, breath jerking tears.

From the start we knew we wanted to invest in a fabulous wedding photographer, and having worked with Anoushcka Rokebrand several times on editorial shoots, I knew in my heart she was the one for the job. She has produced the most stunning images for us, which we will forever treasure, along with our wedding video by Ray Pluym Cinematography.

Photography: Anouschka Rokebrand Photography | Cinematography: Ray Pluym Cinematography | Styling: Avenue Lifestyle | Wedding Gown: Armeni | Invitations: Atelier Indrukwekkend | Ceremony: City Hall Delft | Reception Venue: Lijm & Cultuur | Shoes: Invito | Groom's Attire: Humberto | Cafe Lights: Allekabels | Catering & Cake: Hééérlijk | Cutlery And Brass Candlesticks: Hélène Millot Furnishings | Dinner Plates: Ikea | Earrings: Red Truck Designs On Etsy | Filmlab: UK Film Lab | Furniture: FabriekNL | Headpiece: Portobello Jewelry | Ring Bride: Backers En Zoon | Ring Groom: Mimi Amsterdam | Salad Plates: VerTerra Dinnerware | Shoes Groom: Nelson | Veil: SIBO Designs

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