Couple: Valeria and Joeri
Venue: Museum – Het grachtenhuis, Amsterdam
Date: 5th November 2017
Valeria and Joeri are a charming international couple. She is Italian, and he is Dutch. They live in Amsterdam. This down to earth and passionate pair love life and are inseparable. Their small intimate wedding day echoed the importance of a close-knit family, their special bond and ceremonial love songs. They wanted to keep it personable and exciting. The focus was the joining of two unique families and creating a special welcoming ambiance for everyone.
Valeria and Joeri went out for drinks to their favorite bar café Luxembourg and left for some fresh air. It was a crystal clear starry night. The moon was shining brightly. By the waterside at the Spui, in the centre of Amsterdam, the two love birds admired the consolations. While admiring the stars, Joeri popped the question and presented Valeria with an engagement ring.
Museum het Grachtenhuis (the Canal House) dates back to the 17th century and was a conscious wedding venue choice. Valeria and Joeri’s first encounter was at the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. So, their wish was to be married in one. It is steeped in history and nestled in the heart of Amsterdam. The beautifully decorated Andriessen Room where the ceremony took place, overlooks the Herengracht. The adjoining function room with views of a spectacular garden was the perfect backdrop for their wedding pictures.
The e-mail message I received read: “My name is Valeria. My fiancée and I are getting married this November. We saw your poster in the window of your house in the Jordaan years ago (where we live, too) and saved your number. We looked up your website and what a lovely find. It would be great to meet and have you as our singing celebrant.” So, we met in my local bar De Tuin (the garden). It was convenient for all of us and we discussed their wishes. We all got on like a house on fire.
Writing their marriage service script was pure enjoyment. Valeria and Joeri opened up about their relationship. They shared their incredible story with me. With similar active lifestyle passions, he is a basketball player and she loves walking around the canals taking photographs. Both like visiting museums together, too. They adore their family and let me on other secrets. Not all were in the final draft. But, we created a wonderful and personal speech full of spicy stuff, sheer sentiment and joy. We added a few surprise musical elements as well.
I acknowledged and thanked everyone for sharing in their joy. In addition, absent loved ones received a mention. Sadly, that caused a few tears and sighs of sorrow. The couple then uttered their vows and said, “I do”. A registrar from the town hall of Amsterdam accompanied us during the signing of the official marriage certificate. The kiss should have taken place before this, but in all the excitement it didn’t happen. Nonetheless, the day was saved because they kissed at the end of the service. I sung “We are Family” by the Pointer Sisters and the entire congregation joined in.
Valeria and Joeri had first wanted to incorporate a ‘hand-fasting’ or other form of ritual ceremony into their service. However, the happy couple wanted to save time and shorten the proceedings by opting for rings. Before they exchanged rings, the couple thanked the bridesmaids for taking good care of them. When they placed their rings on each other’s fingers all the guests clapped. And cheers filled the venue.
I contacted them both individually and asked them to write their own wedding vows separately. Presentation cards were prepared with their wedding proposal theme (consolations) on it. On their wedding day, I gave an intro about their life mottos and handed over the cards. It was a delightful moment. Listening to their heart-felt, warm and fun vows sounded so poetic. Valeria and Joeri’s family and friends were ecstatic about their gestures of love and friendship. It was an honor to witness and a real pleasure to be a part of their special day.
Venue – Museum Het grachtenhuis
Photographer – Mo Amrani
We’re back to “reality” and wanted to tell you what a wonderful ceremony you made. You were a HIT. We received compliments all night. The weather was perfect. It was all wonderful, filled with love and warmth. And now we are happily enjoying being married. Valeria and Joeri