This summer I have three weddings to attend. I find it very special to have three wedding invitations in a row. Firstly: the Dutch are not very eager to get married, secondly: it is special when you are invited for a wedding here cause a Dutch wedding is very intimate. Not like in Indonesia when you could easily come along with your parents or friends to a wedding n’importe de qui.
O yes, the third reason; these three weddings are different. One would be held in a park, the second is an Indonesian wedding of my diajeng, my best friend J in a venue where I regularly come and the last will be held at (how original) 8-8-08 in The Openlucht Museum (it’s like TMII at Jakarta). At this third wedding we can bring our daughter (this is also special for the guests), a babysitter would then be available for the kids as the bride and the groom themselves have 2 kids.
I try to explain reason number two, an intimate Dutch wedding. This information is about an average Dutch wedding I attended before in case anyone has different observation than the following. It begins with a wedding ceremony, mostly at the City Hall. Since the last 4 years couples have been able to get married on location where they want. Some choose the church as a wedding location not because they are religious but because of the idyllic venue itself. After the couple is married, they go to another location (mostly a park, castle or everywhere else) for shooting the wedding pics. The guests would wait at location nipping their coffee, tea with some petit fours, this could be at a restaurant/café where the dinner would be served later on. At 4 o’clock a standing reception may be held for some guests. At 6 o’clock (yeah, I know, Dutch people eat their dinner early in the evening) the selected closest relatives and friends will enjoy dinner together with the bride and the groom. During this intimate dinner, gifts would be presented and some people hold speeches mostly filled with embarrassing moments of the newlyweds. Some couples don’t hold a reception, but throwing a party for all guests.
The wedding party begins with yet another speeches after that, voetjes van de vloer! It’s time to dance accompanied by a live band. The party will last till 02.00 o’clock, guests will be served coffee. At the end, when the bride and the groom will leave the venue, guests will sing Lang zullen ze leven (with the same tune as Panjang Umurnya in Bahasa Indonesia) for the newlyweds. When I heard it for the first time, I was confused. I thought “Is there any one’s birthday today?”. Now I know better, this song’s text is about wishing the newlyweds a long life together.
For all those brides to be, I wish them luck with the preparations and also nice weather at d-day itself!