I know you must be thinking why I got to 16 days left back in September 2017 and then fell off the edge of the earth. Or so it seemed. Did he get married after all? Did she say no? Someone make a runner? Was he gay after all? Or did he say the wrong name? (Ross)
As you know (if you read the previous posts) it was a hectic and emotional rollercoaster leading up to our wedding day and I felt it was time to catch a break from everything and focus on my work and wife for a few months. Now we are in May 2018 and I want to show the world what came out of our plans and ideas on that memorable day, the 13th of October 2017.
The day before…
Thursday, 12th of October 2017, the Hague, the Netherlands, noon.
One of my best friends and best man Rasta (yes, you remember his private name from my previous post 16 days to go) came with his fiancee Miss B to spend some time with me the day before the big day. And as my wife-to-be Ragna had already gone off to the hotel with her maid of honour, it seemed fitting I would not spend my last day as an unmarried man alone.
Rasta, Miss B (who live in Britain) and I took the opportunity to go for a windy stroll along the beach here in Scheveningen, the Hague. It was actually pretty chilly around 12 degrees and I was clinging on to the weather forecast for the next day that predicted sunshine and about 18 degrees celsius.
After a nice lunch I was starting to slowly get the wedding jitters and I am glad I had my favourite people around that evening. Later that day my other best man Caesar joined us and together we came up with a funny activity for the ceremony involving the Bee Gee’s..
I must have scraped a few hours sleep together and before I knew it Caesar, Miss B and Rasta were in my living room dressed up and ready to go! About 10am my mate Caesar mentioned to me that my wife to be had left a little surprise in hidden at home. So after some hide and seek I found a box with inside two pictures and the text ‘see you soon’ written on one. You probably think what is so special about two pictures?
Well have you ever heard of a ‘boudoir’ shoot? Let me tell you my tailored suit was not designed to deal with a raging boner.
These two pictures showed a very scarcely dressed (if dressed at all) Ragna. Beautiful and surprising, as I would never have dreamt that she even dared to do such a photo shoot. Of course those pictures are strictly for my eyes only, sorry lads (and some gals).
What I can say is that the next day I got to see almost 50 x-rated pictures which make for good reading material on a lonely evening.
Going to the meetup location…
At noon everybody except for my bride and her two maids of honour were to convene at the Bierkade in the Hague. Here I had arranged a boat to take us through the local canals straight to our wedding location. It was great to see our 25 guests all dressed up so uniquely and fashionably get together on this momentous day. As you can imagine my nerves we now starting to take over and I did not really know what to do with myself. Mostly that leads to either talking or eating. After a half an hour or so the boat was ready and we all made our way over to the dockside. The boatsman was so kind to explain the history of our amazing city the Hague. Our destination for the wedding was the beautiful Huygens Hofwijck in Voorburg.
Arriving at the wedding location…
Exactly on time we arrived and docked at the above location Huygens Hofwijck. Originally the private estate of Constantijn Huygens 1687, now turned into a museum together with its picturesque gardens. And luckily for us a wedding location.
Before I proceed, I wish to express a special thanks to our photographer Steve Young for providing us with perfect pictures and being such a relaxed photographer to work with. And maybe also a double special special thanks to Steve for the boudoir shoot! (wink)
So there we were, the majority of the guests and I had docked at the location and started walking around the pond, where we had hung up signs like the top cover picture in this post, to guide everyone to the building where the ceremony would take place. Last but not least once everyone was seated my two best men and I made our ascent up the stairs towards the entrance of the building.
To this moment I still had not seen my bride who was hidden in a room in the same building as the ceremony. I also still had no clue as to what her dress was going to look like. And that moment was maybe THE moment I was looking forward to the most!
As you can see in the above picture I had asked my two best men to wear grey suits while additionally matching my tie colour. I was dressed in a tailor made three piece suit, big thanks to Desiré and Erik from Dutch Spirit for the creation of this majestic suit!!
The ceremony…She said ‘YES’!
Can you feel the suspense yet? There I stood in the doorway ready for the music to start. Say what? Music? Remember my comment earlier from the night before? The fun activity? Well Ragna and I have always said that some things we do not mind doing traditional but a lot we wish to improvise and have a little fun with. Fun part 1.
Together with Rasta and Caesar we had practised a little choreography for our entry to the ceremony. I had chosen the song Night Fever by the Bee Gees. But that was not all. With our backs turned to the guests we turned one by one when the music started and one by one started walking forward, not walking but grooving/dancing forward to the altar. First Rasta, then Caesar and lastly myself. The effect was that everybody laughed and the whole atmosphere was just a tad more relaxed.
After that boogie my two best men sat down and I was stood at the altar for which seemed an eternity waiting for my bride to come in. The song Warmness On The Soul by Avenged Sevenfold , by Ragna’s favourite band started playing in the background and after a long 4 minute wait Ragna entered the room with her mother accompanying her as they walked down the rather short aisle. In full glory her beautiful dress and amazing hair doo.
As you can tell from the pictures I was in awe and also did not know what to do with my hands or what face to pull (idiot). My God she looked stunning and to be honest I was not that far off with my guess about what her dress would look like. Remember my post Mr Wedding Planner: 136 days to go ? Take a look again at my guess No. 2 Lady Marmalade, that is not far off right?!! Either way it was a majestic dress and my bride looked magical from her hair down to her shoes.
The ceremony was led by the ever so charming Mrs Hutzezon who even did parts in English due to the large English contingent of guests.
I already mentioned that we liked to mix things up and do some unconventional things during the wedding. So here came another one, my rap. Oh dear, no he did not! Yep! Well, I have been a life long hip hop and especially Eminem fan so I thought I would surprise my bride-to-be. I had practiced for weeks on my personal rendition of Eminem’s The Real Slim Shady, except I had completely re-written it and called it the The Real Groom. The funny thing was that I had agreed with Mrs Hutzezon that at the end of the ceremony she would say will the Real Groom please stand up, which caused for a lot of confusion and smiles.
Now I can tell you one thing, this song is quick and in all my practise sessions I had not once managed to get my breathing and speed right. But of course it was my wedding day and Friday the 13th so what happened? Well the song went flawlessly and I did not make one mistake to my own disbelief.
Considering it was Friday the 13th something had to go wrong, it was only a small mishap but Ragna’s made of honour dropped the rings as she wanted to hand them over, ha thankfully they did not roll too far and could be saved.
So there we were, married!! What a feeling and relief! And it was also at that very moment that it felt like all those emotions, frustrations and stress came undone and that was a revitalising feeling to say the least. A proper new beginning.
As the ceremony finished all the guests left the room first and moved outside onto the little bridge while holding these little bubble-blowers. So as we made our way outside we were greeted by our guests and a rainbow of bubbles.
Nobody tripped or fell and as we moved ourselves through the wave of bubbles, we ventured on into the gardens for cake and drinks!
Cake and photoshoot…
The slightly strong wind had gone and now even the sun occasionally popped out and provided us with a very comfortable temperature and scenery. Now going back to one of my previous posts of Mr Wedding Planner I already mentioned that we had also done something a little unconventional with the wedding cake. This multi-flavoured design of wonder was standing in the gardens of Huygens Hofwijck with a little area of wedding tents. Here we had setup tables, drinks, bites to eat and the cake.
First up I would like to thank local caterer Patrick from Dish Catering for providing the lovely setup, drinks, food, tents and service. Secondly I would like to thank Sue from Sue’s Cake Creations for the amazing wedding cake, which you can see below! A piece of art!
As you can tell one side the cake was a very conventional design but as soon as you turned it around you saw a stark contrast with these awesome Superman and Wonder Woman designs. And let me tell you the taste..hmmm it was mindbogglingly delicious! Thanks Sue!
In the meantime there were bites and drinks and the bride and I started doing our photoshoot. We wanted it to be a cosy and tight knit shoot so we also got all our guests involved in the pictures, that led to some absolutely hilarious pictures, more of which you can see at the end of this post in the slideshow.
I personally loved the fact that everybody could get their picture taken and mix with other guests as they pleased. I have to say my mother behaved and Steve the photographer was very patient during this stressful exercise haha!
I almost forgot but my wife had some really cool activities prepared which I want to share with you, maybe you will consider doing it as well for your wedding.
We had bought an old school polaroid camera and made everyone take at least one picture. All those pictures are now on a big poster here at home.
We also had this board with a drawn tree and some paint where every guest could leave his fingerprint on the tree. My wife had also ordered these business card style cards which all of our guests were asked to fill in. Information about what was your favourite event of the wedding to what your connection to the wedding couple is etc… Now we have a pile of cards with wonderful messages from our guests. A great idea that was!
Before we knew it 2,5 hours had passed by and amidst the setting sun we were getting ready for part 3 of the wedding day: transport to our dinner location.
Off to the dinner location…
Dealing with a moderate group of 25 people it made it more doable to get everyone in two cars. Cars you say? You must be kidding right? No, not just any type of car.
We got a mega Hummer and Lincoln stretch to take all of us across the city to our dinner location.
Inside these monstrous means of transportation the party was going strong, my now wife and I were in the smaller Lincoln where there definitely was no shortage in booze!
So from Voorburg we drove for about 45 minutes to our last destination: ‘t Goude Hooft in the old centre of the Hague.
Officially the oldest inn in the region dating back to as early as the year 1423. A beautiful monument that would be the location for our dinner.
Now I know that most weddings will have a perfectly planned seating arrangement and plan. We did as well, but in a slightly different manner than you would expect.
We intentionally mixed everyone up spread over three big tables. We cleverly thought about who would match with who even though they themselves would probably have never thought of sitting next to that specific person if were down to free choice.
Ragna and I moved from table to table after every course so we had at least sat with everyone for a bit. Now my sister Cecile did the tremendous job of being our master of ceremony and leading this wonderful day, which has to be said she did so perfectly. Literally nothing went wrong. After every course during dinner she had arranged neatly timed speeches including our own. Yes, with a relatively small group of 25 we wanted to individually (roast) tell everyone what they mean to us and how grateful we are for their attendance. We did this in a humor filled roast type manner. Plenty of laughter, for sure.
What stood out to me were the speeches by my two best men, Rasta and Caesar. A deeply meaningful, emotional and beautiful set of speeches. Thank you once again!
Hanky panky in the suite…
This brought us to the culmination of the day, the bridal suite and the hanky panky wedding night as they say. The suite was absolutely stunning, two floors, a massive jacuzzi and king size bed and breakfast in bed the next day. For what happened that day I will leave to the imagination of the likes of Jenna Jameson and Ron Jeremy… It was like the boudoir shoot had come to life. What I can say is that my wife was steaming drunk and as soon as our heads hit our pillows we were nodding off into la-la-land.
The day after…
Now set aside the wonderful breakfast and lovely room, being hungover is a slightly less comforting feeling after such a wonderful day. So with our heavy heads we got into our taxi home and after staring out of the window silently for a while my wife turned to me.
She was holding her hand in front of her mouth and her eyes basically screamed: OOH SHIT!!! I did not have time to think because the next moment she had vomited all over me. Fortunately for the very helpful and considerate taxi driver none of the puke had gone onto his seats, no, it was all on my of course.
That absolutely rank smell of puke did however make me reminisce to those good old student days all those years ago. Let’s just say we were glad to be home and being able to get another shower. The next day we were back to 100% and were lucky enough that our photographer Steve had worked through the night to deliver our pictures already. Amazing! Writing this post has made me all nostalgic again, thinking back to this amazing day.
6 Months on…
I can safely say we are now 6 months married and still very happy together. I also wish all of you newly engaged couples the perfect day as we had it and that you may find peace and happiness together in this world full of backstabbing, selfish and hurtful people. Last but not least on behalf of Ragna and myself, I wish to thank all of guests for their attendance, great attitude, the gifts and overall influence on making this a perfect day!
As promised a few more pictures in a slideshow of that perfect day, Friday the 13th of October, 2017.