This is the wedding story of true adventurers. Sascha&Pascal hiked through the woods with their guests, climbed giant trees for the ceremony, had a pre-wedding swim in a river, told campfire stories, toasted popcorn over a fire and most of all: celebrated their love with their friends&family!
It's a long story, so grab yourself a cup of tea/glass of wine/bottle of corona and enjoy :)
Outdoor junkies Sascha&Pascal decided on a weekend wedding in Belgium. An adventurous weekend filled with lots of magical moments. They asked me to style almost every one of those moments: an intimate picnic dinner and campfire storytime session on Friday, a lunch, the forest ceremony, an entire food festival and party on Saturday and a late (hangover) breakfast on Sunday. And of course, the styling of the venue itself. Although that didn't need a whole lot of decoration since this place in the Belgium mountains looked beautiful on it's own. Sometimes less is more. As long as the 'less' is a perfect fit!
Designing this wedding was truly a dreamjob. I have said it before, but a client that gives me complete creative freedom is the best thing that can happen to my work. And every single time, the plans turn out bigger, better and prettier than I expected. I also incorporated the tiniest details from the first interview I had with Sascha&Pascal. Without telling them, so the surprise was even better on the day itself. For example, the himmeli's you will see in the party pics are inspired by a pinterest image of a gold geometric planter I saw on Sascha's inspiration board. And the foodfestival was invaded by tiny dinosaurs because Pascal mentioned he liked a 'knights&dinosaurs' vibe (that theme didn't make it though ;)).
These faces say it all. I crashed their pre-wedding picnic dinner for a minute to wish them a good time and they both just showered me with love, hugs and kisses. With only 1 thing crossed of our to do list, that was the best start!
We (me, Stefan, Tonke and Chantal) arrived on Thursday so we would have plenty of time to set up. Sascha&Pascal and their close friends&family where also there, to help out, chill by the pool and making sure the wine was good enough for the guests ;) We felt so welcome and even got invited for a little pool&champagne party by Pascals brother but sadly.. no time! It's quite rare for us to spend so much time with a couple and their friends, we enjoyed every minute of it. We truly felt like a part of their weekend and didn't have to sneak around backstage all the time. Wedding styling may sound idyllic and romantic, we never see the big moments and are working like crazy behind the scenes. This weekend was a party for all of us (but still hard work, haha!)
Stefan (my husband) was in charge of the lights and can I just say.. he killed it with this one!
The Friday was all about chilling, after an epic picnic dinner it was time for campfire stories and popcorn toasting. And at some point, it was time for bed too. Despite a much longer day than planned (the work truly never ends), we were very happy to get some sleep without a false fire alarm setting off every hour. (that first night was hell!)
Saturday, the wedding day! Sascha started her day inside with the girls, while Pascal hiked with his best men through a field of giant ferns to have a refreshing (cold!) river swim. I'm not sharing those pictures because they are personal, but trust me, it was the perfect start of their day.
My wild flower woodsy wedding bouquet. I loved it as much as the bride did :)
Below: Before the ceremony everybody sat down for a lunch together, at our minimal but rustic tables. We found some beautiful mossy branches during a little hike on Friday and decided to use those on this tablescape. We also picked the Queen Annes lace flowers nearby. I love using local elements, because they complement the venue and its surroundings.
Even almost a year later, I can't get over the ceremony space. We went on a venue visit in Winter and decided on a spot. But when we arrived in the Ardennen 2 days before the wedding, these giant logs where exactly on that spot. My design was for an open field in the forest, not for this temporary tree parking place. I'm actually better in improvising than planning, so no problem! "What if you two climb up those logs and sit there for your ceremony?" The faces of outdoorsy couple lit up, test climbed up and that's it, we embraced this new situation. It was perfect. Without these trees the ceremony would't have been so unique and magical.
We created a floral garland to decorate the logs, put down vintage blankets for Sascha&Pascal and their bridal party to sit on, created a intimate circle of the wooden folding chairs and mother Nature did the rest. Beams of sunlight hit the exact place where the bride&groom sat, like we planned it (I swear we didn't). Told you: Magic! In the purest form.
Time to eat! During the process, the dinner on Saturday changed from BBQ into an entire food festival. We had different drink stations, like a gin bar, a whiskey corner and a small wine tasting. But the star of the show? A huge food spread, with fruit, veggies, bread, everything. It was an abundance only seen in old paintings. And to top it of, there was a roasted pig and BBQ corner in front of our beloved firevan. Tatu got a special invite to come and serve a backdrop for the food festival. He was part of the team!
A few seconds before the photos below somebody officially opened the party! Excitement is an understatement :)
Chantal and I spend a lot of time together making those gold himmeli's. I think she might still be traumatized. But we had fun, sitting in my sunny garden, eating cookies and making dozens of himmeli's. Like always, it was worth it! (right Chantal? ;))
We slept in a holiday home down the valley and could see the lights from the party from there! From what I've heard, it was a good one!
Sunday, chill day. Time for a huge breakfast, some games, more pool chillings, hula hooping, a balcony serenade with ukelele's and sadly, the clean up and goodbyes! It look a LONG time before we actually drove away, because we were overwhelmed by the sweetest words, more hugs and kisses and crying maids of honour. Love allover! I couldn't be more proud of my team, our work and this wedding. Hence the huge blogpost, haha! Congrats for making it this far and don't forget to read the awesome review by Sascha&Pascal!
Dear Sas&Pas, you know all this, but I loved working with you and wish you all the love in the world! See you around <3
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Vendors // photography: Jane Johannes, Tonke van der Sluijs, Anne van Midden / venue: la Ferme du Pere Louis / styling & flowers: Inspire Styling / bridal bouquet: Anne van Midden-Inspire Styling / catering: Annemijn van den Heuvel, Masterplan / cakes: Taart Utrecht / music: Lotte Walda, Maaike Brienne, Pierre et les optimistes, DJ Paul Bergsma, Florine (sax) / sound: DJ Rero / rentals: te leuk trouwen / firepits, swiss army blankets, axes: Bosmann Bakker / ceremony: Doekes Prakken / hair&make-up: Kimagestyle