Tell us a little about yourselves!
We’ve been together for 12 years. We met in high school, but we were never very into each other. After we graduated we accidentally hooked up at Pukkelpop (a music festival),haha. We were only 18, since then things just organically grew and soon we were inseparable. We both are very interested in design and interior, and we both run our own businesses. Simon does small renovations and paints (houses, not artistically haha) and I own my own bridal store. We recently bought our first house, and we’ll start renovating that together soon.
Simon asked me to marry him in my family’s vacation home at the Belgian coast. I was almost dosing off on the couch when he got the ring out, it was very cute and sweet. Just like him.
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
I always dreamed about getting married (and mostly getting to throw the party) and I always knew I wanted it to be set somewhere warm. When Simon popped the question (took him ages, we’d been together for 10 years), I immediately started searching for cool ‘wedding places’. And I randomly stumbled upon our venue Borgo Fianco a Fianco, looking at vacation homes on Home Away I scheduled a visit, and two weeks later we landed in Puglia for the first time ever. We only visited one venue (pretty dumb in hindsight, wouldn’t recommend) but it was perfect. It beamed a ‘relaxed luxury’ kind of vibe, and didn’t feel like a place where 1000 couples before us got hooked, but unique. Set among olive trees, perfect for a casual, but kind of fancy outdoor wedding. And what’s not to love about Italy? Plus: both our families got to stay in the house for a whole week with us, which was very cool and fun.
How many guests did you have?
50, we unfortunately had to make cuts due to the virus. But we were planning on keeping it small either way, 70 guests. Only our close family (parents, brothers and sisters) and friends.
Tell us about your outfits.
For my own dress: being the owner of a bridal store, naturally there was a lot of curiosity involving my gown. I personally didn’t stress out about it too much, I just wanted something fun and daring. I also picked something from our new collection at Olive & Juno, so I wouldn’t associate the dress with comments that were made by my brides’ family/friends… Overall I just wanted to look good and have fun with it, and surprise people. I opted for shoes I already owned, I wanted to be comfy. Simon’s suit: we also got his suit at Zara, I saw it online and loved the relaxed Miami Vice vibe and nice blue color. Simon has pretty standard measurements and was happy not to spend too much money on the suit, so we ordered it. He choose not to wear a shirt, to keep things a bit more casual (also because he was obsessively worried he would be too sweaty, haha). He eventually wore his Vans because he forgot his loafers from Acne. I liked that he balanced out my very ‘bridal’ dress.
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
We wanted the wedding to feel like a long weekend with friends, but fancier and a bit more special. It was important to us that our wedding had a ‘vacation feel’, and that it looked beautiful but wasn’t stiff. We wanted to treat our friends and family to some great days in the sun, drink and have some time to be carefree and happy - and we loved that everybody dressed up. The dance party was probably the most important part to us, especially since this was the first time in months we actually got to dance!
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
We really wanted the family style, long dinner table with the lights under the trees. I used my mom’s extensive vintage candle holder collection and hand painted thrift shop vases for the flowers. Our families sat down to cut the napkins and make the olive branch decorations together. A team effort. It felt magical when we actually sat there. We were absolutely not set on doing a ceremony, but did eventually because we technically already got married the year before and almost nobody got to witness that. It was important the ceremony felt personal, and we really wanted to involve our family and friends. Our ‘officiant’ Julie balanced the emotional and funny stuff perfectly. We also had one of our friends sing at our ceremony, she is a terrible singer and she picked a horrible Dutch song, but it was great for keeping the ceremony light and relaxed, and definitely a highlight of our wedding, so funny! We really didn’t want the ceremony to feel too official. We had it after our apero, we were all a little tipsy by then, which also helped!
Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during the pandemic?
I would suggest to not focus on the details too much, as long as the overall vibe is good, guests won’t notice. Saves money and time. Do focus on the ‘flow’ of your party, make sure guests know where to go and be at all times, and play music. Put someone in charge of herding the pack. And overall: don’t give up on love, we were so sick of replanning, doubting wether we could or even still should do the wedding, and in the end it was so worth it. We loved it so much.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
We didn’t have a ton of vendors, but the ones we did have, all have a special place in our hearts. Our photographer Liz Dvorkina was such a spontaneous and fun person to have around. I first wasn’t planning on taking a photographer, seeing the wedding would be smaller than anticipated anyway. She happend to be in Puglia at the time of our wedding, I ‘hired’ her super last minute and haven’t regretted it once. Our chef from Puglia Kitchen was also amazing, the best food, such a friendly presence. He helped