Walking to the ceremonyThe Offbeat Bride: Ilze, Social Worker (and OBT member “ilize“)

Her Offbeat Partner: Tycho, Computer Nerd

Location & date of wedding: Ceremony at the city counsel and reception in a Pub in Vlaardingen and party at a campingfarm in Geldrop, Netherlands — 22th of August 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We always wanted a wedding party at a camping farm, where every guest could stay overnight in big bedrooms and tents. So that was the first thing we've planned. The ceremony was normal, except for the part where Tycho got the black rings out of his pocket.

City Counsel ceremony.
City Counsel ceremony.

We've went to a few receptions and I've never liked the part where everybody gets into a row to shake the hands of bride and groom. Since you can only shake sixty hands an hour, and nobody seems to enjoy being in a row, we decided to give everybody a little windmill. The guests could wave at us with the windmill whenever they wanted to chat and we walked around and talked with everybody and had a chance to enjoy our drinks and cake like all the guests.

The parents of the groom at the pub reception.
The parents of the groom at the pub reception.
The big party was even better than we'd ever hoped for. We had a big DIY barbecue, and every guest just helped us with putting all the tables outside. We had a big campfire and it was just amazing to see how everybody enjoyed the party and fire!

Next to that, we also bucked some Dutch traditions by both wearing black — no suit for Tycho. Fake flowers/candy bouquet, “lucky doll” corsages, no special wedding car (just walked), black rings, a guestbook made of photo curtains and funny cards and lots of other small things that made our wedding offbeat and ours!

Camping farm bbq party!

Our biggest challenge: My biggest fear was the evening party…

The wedding night tent.
The wedding night tent.

We'd invited about fourty guests and they're all so different, so there's always a possibility that people won't get along, have terrible expectations or just wouldn't like to join a campsite-wedding party. We also live in Holland, where it rains a lot, so we needed to make a plan to keep everybody happy and dry. We had some trouble finding the right music — we both didn't want a DJ and a band was going to be to big for fourty people — so we finally decided to go with danceable rock/culture videos of the 80s.

But, we had nothing to worry about! We had an amazing sunny wedding-weekend and spend the whole evening outside, without any music and just the sound of burning wood. And we had no trouble with any of the guest. They all got to know each other and everybody enjoyed the party.

My favorite moment: I've got a lot of favorite moments…

Walking to the waiting guests at the city counsel, while they were all waiting for a wedding car.

The few moments we got to spend together during our wedding day.

During the reception, where a lot of people showed us they had made donations for charity as a gift for our wedding. A lot of them spent their money on adopting animals, so now we've adopted two wedding chickens, a guinea-pig, a penguin and a seal. And we got three world gifts like ‘teach the teacher', ‘teach the farmer' and school meals and books.

Around midnight, when everybody sat down around the big campfire and I could only discover happy, smiling faces and some romantic cuddles.

It was just such an amazing weekend!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Just take your time to plan your wedding! There's a lot of inspiration on sites like Offbeat Bride, but it took us a lot of time to turn the ideas into reality and made them completely ours.

When I started to read stories on the internet, I saw a lot of disappointing stories, because it rained during the wedding day. So the first thing I bought was a beautiful umbrella for me and the groom, so we couldn't stress out about that! I must say it worked perfect for us.

Forget about all wedding traditions and standards, just write down everything you've ever wanted for your wedding and try to make that dream reality!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!:

Comments on Ilze & Tycho’s from City Council to Camping Farm Wedding in the Netherlands

  1. Hi Ilze, So nice to see your wedding on the blog! Really love the laid back feel of it! And it is really nice to see an offbeat wedding in a familiar environment, makes me think tha we can pull it off too!

  2. Een hele dikke proficiat aan jullie beiden! Het ziet eruit alsof het een fantastisch, GEZELLIG en emotioneel feest was!!!

    — For all of you non-Duch speaking folks out there : 'A very big congrats to both of you! It looks as if it was a wonderful, COSY and emotional party!!!' ^_^

  3. I love love the bouquet. I was wondering what a well-composed part candy, part silk flower bouquet looked like. Bravo. I'm trying to do something similar but with paper flowers. Looks like you just used wooden skewers for the candy. Perfect!

  4. I'm sorry, but having a groomsman (?) that's wearing a DK t-shirt?!? AWESOME!!!

  5. LOVE the idea of buying an umbrella first up as part of the planning process so you don’t need to worry about the rain anymore, i am stealing this!

  6. Wow, this is SO COOL! Great to see a Dutch couple on your awesome site. Hooray!
    And Ilze, I absolutely love your black wedding dress (you look gorgeous!) and that you bought it at Assepoester.
    You go, guys! 😉

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