Both sides of my family are originally from Friesland, a northern province of the Netherlands, and many of the Dutch and Frisian items in the shoot are family heirlooms. I’ve always been inspired by my cultural history, and I’m thrilled to share some of the traditions and keepsakes that have been passed down to me. Through this shoot, I hope couples of all different ancestries will feel inspired to incorporate their own traditions and heritage into their wedding.
Though Friesland is a tiny province (about 500,000 people), it has a rich cultural heritage. The people of Friesland are known for building the first windmills and dikes and breeding beautiful horses and cattle. It’s an incredibly beautiful place filled with idyllic villages of brightly trimmed brick farmhouses, beautiful green landscapes, and gorgeous waterways. The culture and landscape of Friesland (and the traditions of the Netherlands more broadly) inspired us to craft a fresh, vibrant, and romantic wedding.
Friesland’s red, white, and blue flag and the Netherlands’ royal orange provided our primary color inspiration. Throughout the planning and styling, we included Frisian and Dutch artifacts and customs including Delft tile inspired place settings for our dinner table, an antique Dutch coffee set, and the Frisian flag. In lieu of a guestbook, we crafted a series of small wishing trees. According to Dutch custom, guests write wishes and greetings on tags and hang them on a tree. We displayed our wishing trees on a vintage white dresser with small floral arrangements in antique pewter vessels. The Dutch love bicycles, and our bride and groom enjoyed a ride on their own vintage tandem. After their ceremony, they celebrated with the Frisian custom of a horse-drawn carriage ride. This gorgeous wedding could easily be set in the U.S. or in a Frisian village.
We chose Woodlawn Manor in Sandy Springs, MD for our location. The beautiful brick manor house, long green pastures and old stone barn reminded us of a traditional Frisian home. The natural beauty of this working horse farm paired with gorgeous floral designs, unique vintage pieces, and modern styling made for a perfect marriage.
Our bride-to-be wore a stunning cream-colored Badgley Mischka lace gown and shoes, earrings by Sara Gabriel, and bracelet by Meg Jewelry. Her Dutch-inspired braided side up-do and vibrant tulip headpiece was the perfect combination of romance and whimsy. She carried a voluminous loose bouquet of red and orange tulips. Her groom to-be wore a navy Hugo Boss suit, Burberry plaid tie, and boutonniere of complimentary orange and red blooms.
The ceremony space was set against Woodlawn’s original stone barn. To complement it’s picturesque arches, our florist crafted stunning moss walls with voluminous floral sconces. With farm-style chairs, the ceremony blended garden aesthetics and honest country details.
We set our dinner table outside the Mansion on the lawn and paired Delft style plates with royal blue glasses and a bold floral tablescape. The center statement arrangement of bright red, orange and yellow blooms was perfectly paired with soft cream jute linen and royal blue napkins. Tuscan farm chairs and wicker base plates completed the table.
Coffee and tea are staples of Frisian life, so we served up place cards on heirloom coffee cups featuring different styles of Dutch clocks. We added vintage ceramic clocks in pastel hues for color. We also set a lounge area with a vintage sofa, side table and floral chandelier near near our coffee and tea bar. The romantic floral chandelier was hand-crafted using moss and fresh cut flowers. Our coffee and tea bar also included hot cocoa alongside tempting confections of Dutch pastry, chocolate dipped spoons, sugar crystal sticks, and, of course, cream and honey. Signage included translations of English words into Dutch and West Frisian.
No Dutch wedding would be complete without pastries. Our dessert table is a delicious confection of favorite Dutch pastries: cinnamon rolls, fruit tarts, almond cookies, layered puddings, and our own special creation of “Dutch Orange” macarons.
Event Planning + Styling: Margo Fischer, Bright Occasions
Floral Design: Kelly Shore, Petals By The Shore
Catering & Table Settings: RSVP Catering
Hair And Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty
Stationery: Heather Long, Simply Designed
Horses And Carriage: Shenandoah Carriage Company
Ceremony And Reception Venue: Woodlawn Manor
Dress Boutique: Fabulous Frocks
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka
Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss
Photobooth Backdrop: Kristen Fava, REXMAKE
Vintage Rentals: Juli Wolf, Vintage Affairs