Noor & Alex's Scottish-inspired handfasting in The Netherlands

Updated Oct 3 2016
 
Photos by: Roy van Kleef of WeddingReport
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Photos by Roy van Kleef of WeddingReport

The Offbeat Bride: Noor, Molecular plant biology technician (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Alex, Audio-visual technician

Date and location of wedding: Huis Bergh, Gelderland, The Netherlands — July 26, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We DIYed a few projects, and I think I saved a lot of money that way even though making the bouquet was a bit stressful. I made bomb-flowers from my favorite computer game (The Legend of Zelda) myself. Another reference to TLoZ was us walking down the aisle to the title song of TLoZ, "The Wind Waker."

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I am also pretty proud of the bouquet I made for the car, which included hops! My sister made the bunting out of jute and unbleached cotton and embroidered the thistle on the cotton ones. I made all flowers myself out of ribbon thanks to a tutorial I found on the Offbeat Bride Tribe. Oh! And the caketoppers! The wood was hand-turned by my sister, and Alex and I painted them ourselves.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
I wanted to do a handfasting because I wanted to have something more than just the legal part, which is obligatory in The Netherlands. I was worried about wanting to have a Wiccan ceremony, but not making things too esoteric for some people. So we broke that down to the bare essentials (in my eyes): casting a circle, calling upon the elements, welcoming the God and Goddess, handbinding, cake and wine ceremony, thanking the God and Goddess, thanking and sending away the elements, and closing the circle.

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Since we entered the circle through "the door" represented by the broom, we also left it by jumping the broom together. I loved that everybody who we asked to bind our wrists did so, and in that way, gave their blessing without things getting too sentimental.

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Our biggest challenge:
I did not want a receiving line. But how do you accommodate people who want to congratulate you, not forgetting anyone, and still not have people stand in a line? During the toast, after the handfasting, I just told everybody that we did not want a line and they should just sit down, relax, have a drink and we'll come to you. I think this worked out well.

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My favorite moment:
It was really meaningful for me that Alex was willing to do the handfasting ceremony in front of all our guests. During the handfasting ceremony itself each ribbon was tied around our joined wrists by family or friends. And I love the part where my parents tied the last one and worked together (my mother tying the knot and my father putting his finger on it so my mother could make the second one), I think it is a great example of how I hope our marriage will be.

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My funniest moment:
During the legal part, our officiant just repeated what I had said about why I wanted to get married: I'm just sentimental that way… and that Alex did not care much about it, but he did it for me. She said that that must be real love.

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So during to the I do's, Alex was asked the long question ending in: what is your answer to this? And he answered, "Yes, this I promise." And I was thinking that is a bit elaborate, but okay, I'll do the same, otherwise just "yes" will sound too short. So the question was asked to me, and when I thought it was finished but before the officiant said "what is your answer," I said, "Yes, this I promise. Oh no! I'm too early!" Everybody laughed and Alex gave me an impromptu kiss.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Take some time for yourself. I was actually planning to do this, but it didn't fit in the schedule. In the end, I could hardly eat during dinner and I was forced to take some time off alone. I would rather have chosen the moment myself, so please learn from me and do so.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. What the actual – I'm torn between 'ooh, awesome' and aggrivation that now, almost a month after my wedding, I found the dress I had originally wanted. The one where I randomly found a tiny jpg somewhere and searched and searched and searched… to no avail. No wonder I had fallen in love with it!
    http://www.heritageofscotland.com/Dresses-and-Gowns—women/Bella–Scottish-Silk-Wedding-Dress/pid,3376,cid,118752387,product.php

    But on topic – awesome dress. Beyond awesome. And the location? Wow. Makes me choked that I live somewhere without castles.

    • At least you didn't find the dress before your wedding but after you already bought another one. Budgetwise that would have been a tough descision for me.
      I really like to see that everybody loves my dress, initially I had some doubts, especially after seeing some other fabulous (but completely different) ones on offbeat. I guess I have to realise that even though I love all the gothic and steampunk dresses, it just isn't 'me'. And that is the most important thing. Do you have any pictures of the dress you did wear? I bet that one is great too!

      • I do indeed! It ended up fantastic and just me – though all I have available at the moment are the pictures I posted in my frantic 'I hate my dress' moments – http://tribe.offbeatbride.com/journals/2014/06/help-i-hate-my-dress-2
        (Note: I stopped hating my dress)
        I find looking at other dresses a bit strange now that I will never get wedding'd again – although I suppose we could renew our vows eventually, I'm not sure I'd want to do the whole nine yards with a super fancy dress.

      • I can't believe I found this! I found the first image (posed on the stairs) while trawling pinterest for tartan wedding inspo. I'm so glad I saw this post! I'm going to go and update the link for the pin!

  2. GUH. The dress. I just. GUH.

    Also, I'm loving the stink eye that the snappily dressed gentleman in the painting is giving them during their first kiss.

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