Organic Style Netherlands Wedding
September 5, 2014
Classic WeddingsUrban SpaceSpring Weddings
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.
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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.