An other-worldly landscape, intertwining forest greens with the nostalgic scent of cedar. Exchanging vows beneath an arbour spilling with soft pastel and aubergine blooms, the bride effortlessly romantic in a luxurious bohemian Jenny Packham gown, the couple found themselves amongst the wilderness of the woods, bathed in hazy dusk light.
LANE handpicked photographer Alice Mahran beautifully capturing every unguarded moment.
NAMES: Suzanne van der Knijff & Erwin van de Zande
WEDDING DATE: 12 August 2015
GUEST NUMBERS: 60
HOW WE MET: We first met during our college class the Autumn of 2010 and from then we got to know each other while meeting with other friends, our friendship became more special and Erwin pursued my heart during our first dates in the snow. Since we both come from two very different environments, we needed time to grow towards each other and finding a way. It took some up's and down's, but they have been so worth it.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: Erwin got down on one knee during a photoshoot in Amsterdam captured by Alice Mahran. I was so very surprised! Good friends of ours (Giel-Jan and Coralie) had arranged the styling and hid behind a tree. When I said 'Yes', they came to us to open a bottle of champagne and celebrate. So special! I will never forget this intimate moment.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: To us, marriage means that we have decided to become a team, to navigate life together. By marrying each other, we are making a serious promise to place a very high value on the success of our team, to support, love, and encourage each other, to choose to make personal sacrifices for the good of our team, and to help each other accomplish our goals. Our wedding is a way of making these intentions known and giving ourselves some accountability. It also functions, however, as a celebration of our love and having found someone we want to commit to in this way.
WEDDING LOCATION: Erwin and I live in The Netherlands, but we both knew from the beginning that we wanted to get married abroad and wanted something different from the usual Dutch wedding. First we wanted a wedding in Italy, because of the romantic atmosphere and good weather. But after doing a big search for our perfect wedding location. We decided to look for locations closer to our hometown because it seemed more practical for our guests and even for us. So we chose the Ardennes. For in this beautiful hilly area in Belgium, we visited a location which immediately felt right.
The surroundings, the styling and all facilities connected perfectly to our needs. The location was the perfect place for a laid-back party and almost every guest could have a room at the location themself. It was exciting to see whether we would get good weather, because it is often rainy in this area. Fortunately, it was so perfect, even all of our days! More beautiful than we could ever imagine. We were incredibly lucky.
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THEME/STYLE: We decided to choose a specific theme and colour scheme to create unity in the styling and atmosphere. We named the theme Bohemian Chic what did fit very well with who we are as a couple. Most of our guests really liked to look for outfits in the perfect colour and style. Everyone was so pretty!
Bottom line we just wanted our guests to have FUN in our wedding and we believe styling and good organization are very important to create this feeling. we love weddings where people can feel free to walk around and find different things to do in between the program. We were so lucky we saw so many weddings before are own because of our jobs as my job as a photographer and videographer & Erwin's videography.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography means a lot to us. From the moment we got engaged, we knew for sure that we wanted to ask Alice to capture our day. We felt comfortable with her and trusted her for 100% that she’d capture our wedding day most beautiful as possible. It was so true! Her work is eye-candy.
BRIDE’S DRESS: From the first moment I walked in the fashionable bridal store in Amsterdam, Bloomfeld, I knew I would find my perfect dress. And yes I did! Jenny Packham has been my favorite designer ever since and when the dress fitted me so well, I knew this was perfect for me. You should take a close look on these dresses. There’s so detailed and comfortable, it’s incredible.
BRIDE’S SHOES: My shoes were from LK Bennett and were wedges in silver. They were so comfortable to wear.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: While capturing the bridesmaids of one of my weddings in Norway, I saw these dresses for the first time. I loved the many different ways you could wear this dress. They’re called the Wrap Infinity Dress and I ordered them via Etsy.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: Simple nude sandals or heels
FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: Several shops, our sisters and brothers in law selected these.
WEDDING RINGS: When a friend of mine, showed me the brand Dear Rae for the first time, I was sold. These rings are so fine and unique! Especially the rings for men.
JEWELLERY/ACCESSORIES: I wanted to keep the jewelry minimal because the dress was so detailed. This is why I chose a silver bracelet and earrings bought at Bijou Brigitte store.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Erwin wore a classic tailored suit from Rietbergh. It fitted him so well. As a detail he had a black bowtie and suspenders. He chose very classic black shoes of the Dutch designer Reinhard Frans and it fitted perfectly with his suit. His groomsmen wore matching black suits with bows. We loved how chic it all looked together.
HAIR & MAKEUP: Très Jolie Visagie took care of hair and make up for me and all the girls. And even friends took care of the hairstyling of other quests. So lovely to see. I chose to curl my hair to get more volume and I combined loose hair with a fishbone braid and a garland created by Puravie. My make up was natural but more then I normally have, I loved that!
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: I can do a lot with Photoshop so I decided to make the invitations myself. I wanted it simple and clean with a lot of different cards so that the guests received a little package of cards. I’m still happy with the results. Even the menu cards and liturgies had the same styling and I love the matte paper.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: The greatest gift for everyone was the stay at the location for two nights, but besides that we also gave a mini succulent to everyone. Now and then we see them in the living rooms, bathrooms and gardens of friends and family. Really nice to see! We gave extra thanks to our parents and grandparents, including our great toastmasters Chantal and Marijn.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: I’m so lucky with the friendship I have with Chantal (Puravie). She’s one of the best florists I know and for this reason I asked her for the flowers and styling. She worked her ass off and showed so many wonderful work! From amazing bouquets to the decoration of the swing, the cake and diner tables, all the garlands, the ceremony styling and the backdrop. She did it all! Without her it wouldn’t have been all so pretty. She’s professional and has a keen eye for beauty.
VIDEOGRAPHY: Next to photography, film means a lot to us as well. We didn’t find the perfect style for us in The Netherlands, so we looked a lot abroad and decided to contact Tim Twinem (Velare) if he would come over to Europe to capture our wedding. He loved to come over and we were so happy! Jan Persoons, a filmmaker from Belgium, also contributed to the film. We haven’t seen our wedding film yet. But we fully trust it will be an very artistic impression of our lovestory.
PREPARATION: Our first look was during the ceremony around 01.00 PM so we didn’t want to see each other until that moment. It was so lovely, because we booked two houses next to each other for the wedding. Me and my bridesmaids prepared ourself in the first house and Erwin with his groomsmen in the second area. I loved this moment so, so much. We had a lot of time with friends and it felt very relaxed. Although.. I was getting nervous for seeing Erwin for the first time that day.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: I simply love flowers so a wanted a lot of this for all of the decorations. For the Italian touch, I preferred to have flowers with a lot of olive branches as a basis. Fortunately, the florist ordered these and combined them perfectly. I had a lot of ideas and Chantal (Puravie) made them even better. Think about the backdrop, the styling of the tent area, the cake table and so much more little details at the wedding location. It looked rustic with a bohemian touch.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: Chantal ten Brinke, owner of Puravie, was the best florist and stylist I can imagine for our wedding. As I wrote before; I had a lot of ideas and Chantal made them even better.
CAKE:We chose to have a table with alle different cakes and it was a huge succes! I ordered them in a lovely shop called ‘Taart’ in the city Maastricht. Additionally, we had a small wedding cake that we could traditionally cut. The cakes had such a great taste! I loved that everyone had his favorite cake. Besides that it looked stunning as well. Examples of cakes we chose are: Carrot cake, MonChou, Chocolate Cake, Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cupcakes and wedding Cake.
WEDDING SONGS: The intro song of our ceremony was Eyes Wide Open by Tony Anderson. During the height of the music I came down the stairs with my father. Following all the bridesmaids and groomsmen. It was an amazing moment.
ENTERTAINMENT: We had a lovely Jazz band led by Chris Den Dulk and Henk Kraaijeveld.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: We chose for a dinner with several courses served by “Lange Tafels in het Gras”. The atmosphere during dinner was very relaxed and the food was delicious.
HONEYMOON: Three days after the wedding we went with a last minute to Madeira (Portugal) and had two fantastic weeks there. It is a peaceful island with a lot of culture and a varied nature. Truly the perfect island for a honeymoon.
CELEBRANT: Our celebrant was Kees Kraayenoord. He’s a very talented musician and songwriter in The Netherlands and one of the pastors in our church. It was such an honor he’d like to come over for our wedding. He led the most intense part of our day: the ceremony. We both love the Lord and it was important to us to praise and thank The One who made all this happen and to lay our marriage in His hands.
READINGS: We wrote our vows the night before. We planned to do it earlier, but we were so busy the weeks before our wedding! We wrote it from our hearts and I designed special little books for these vows. I had tears in my eyes when Erwin read his promise during the ceremony. A heartfelt experience.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION: Through our work as a photo- and videographer we have seen so much of weddings. Surely, this has been our biggest source of inspiration. We chose the best of all the weddings we've ever seen and added it together in a way it suited us.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: The first look was definitely the highlight for both of us, but the whole week in the Ardennes was almost equally incredible. From swimming to relaxing in the sauna, a lovely night before with fun acts from friends and family, exploring the surroundings, big dinners and wine tastings, good talks at the campfire and just lots of love and laughter. This made the wedding day even more relaxed and fun since everyone already knew each other!
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS… Even though we have a lot of experience. If you want to organize a good party, it really takes A LOT of time. But keep in mind it is all worth it.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE… Spread your party over several days. It’s perfect.
ERWIN & SUZANNE'S CONTACTS:
BRIDE'S DRESS: Jenny Packham
BRIDE’S SHOES: L.K Bennett
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Etsy
MAKEUP: Très Jolie Visagie
MASTERS OF CEREMONY: Marijn and Chantal ten Brinke
CELEBRANT: Kees Kraaijenoord
HONEYMOON DESTINATION: Madeira, Portugal