WOW! What a blast. Kees and I eloped in the Caribbean and celebrated with friends and family in Canada but never celebrated in The Netherlands. We were so fortunate, 8.5 months later, to have the opportunity to throw a party for our Dutch family and friends. All thanks to Gilbert, one of Kees’ BEST friends, and his new wife Esther, who were kind enough to SHARE their wedding party with us last weekend. Gilbert, just like Kees, has never been considered “the marrying type”, and yet, there he was, standing in a church at the alter in a suit next to his gorgeous bride.
More than 20 years after sharing their FIRST-ever kisses when they were just teenagers, life brought them back together in their tiny fisherman village of Egmond. They instantly fell madly in love all over again, like no time had passed at all. I was thrilled and absolutely wowed from the first moment I set eyes on the beautiful couple on Saturday. There were so many things that were done differently from a traditional Canadian wedding, which actually made it all that much more exciting. First, Kees and I picked the groom up at his house then went to pick the bride up at her mother’s house before arriving at the church where all the guests were waiting
Apparently not seeing the bride first doesn’t apply, haha, as they walked down the aisle together! The small church was so perfect and so much different from the young one’s you’d find in Canada. Here the stones are slick and worn from centuries of use, with carved tombstones where bodies lay beneath our feet. Big chandeliers flickered with lit candles all around us and the aisle was strewn with piles flower petals.
An overjoyed and teary Esther made for a stunning bride. After a big smooch and cheers from the crowd a parade of flowered ladies and cross dressers came prancing in to serve bubbly champagne from champagne glass skirts.
I marvelled at Esther’s stunning new ring, worn on her right ring finger, and I was surprised that the engagement ring was the band while the wedding ring was the one with the big, gorgeous diamond. Honking our train horn (literally a train horn!) as we drove down tiny cobblestone streets in our can’t-miss-it, bright yellow truck that we circumnavigated Africa in, we made our way to the beach where the rest of the guests were waiting.
I am so thankful and feel so blessed that Esther did such an amazing job planning and arranging everything, all we needed to do was show up. Since I already dragged the marriage-hating Kees around in our suit and wedding dress on five different occasions already, I just couldn’t do it to him for a sixth time. But as the second wedding couple, we needed to wear something to stand out. Choosing to match the decor, you could’ve hung me up next to the rest of the disco balls with my 36 week baby bump! Kees’ outstanding glittery 80’s platform shoes were a hit and I couldn’t BELIEVE he wore them the entire night!!!! Makes me wonder if he has a secret nightlife on the side that we don’t know about.
Located RIGHT on the beach in Club Zand, Castricum, we had the perfect view of the ocean, with our feet in the sand as we ate, drank and danced the night away.
Live music, live entertainment and an open bar enjoyed with roughly 350 amazing guests.
We welcomed a new day with a massive firework show (that lasted around 5 minutes) and lively African drumming!
I bet you’ve never seen a first dance like this before!!!
It truly was a night to remember. Thank you so much to everyone who joined us to celebrate our marriage for the LAST time (I promise Kees!), for the presents, and for giving so much love to our son. We can’t wait to meet our firstborn in a few weeks. Nearly 12 hours straight of excitement and almost all of it spent standing, I was definitely feeling a pregnancy hangover the next day. And one more BIG thank you to Esther and Gilbert. Congratulations! Gefeliciteerd!!! May you spend the rest of eternity in happiness together and spreading your love and craziness wherever you go.
Savannah Grace Kleef
Categories: Savannah Grace