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The Big Day

On 14 August 2010 Paul and I got married. But that was not until 16:00, and a lot happened before (and after). I woke up at 7:30 in the morning, and found that it was a beautiful day outside (so phew, at least no rain immediately). As there was still plenty of time, I went for a paddle on the lovely glassy Spoorwegbassin, followed by a shower (as one doesn’t want to smell of river on one’s wedding day ;)). Around quarter past nine Judith and Arthur arrived and we went towards the hairdresser. We were about 10 mins late, because one tram got cancelled, but that was no problem. Judith went to drop off the apple pie, and Arthur started taking pictures and drank tea with me while the hairdresser started doing the magic on my hair. About halfway through Sara and Joyce arrived so the bridesmaids were complete now. Around no on my hair and make-up were ready so we got onto the tram again towards our house for a relaxed lunch with Paul and his best man, and then to put on the dresses. Around 14:00, a taxi took us to Westerpark for the photoshoot. I’m sure that every bride says that her photoshoot was the best and greatest ever, but ours was really the funniest ever. Arthur spotted some street musicians and we got them in some of the photos too, pretending to serenade us while we’re dancing. There are some tennis courts in the park, so we played a bit of tennis (not a great success with a long dress and a veil, but cool nonetheless), and we borrowed some waterguns from the big watergun fight that happened to be on in the park and posed with them as well ;). Oh and of course we also have some more serious pictures. When we used up all our poses and accessories, we met up with our guests that had started to arrive near the town hall. So we took some time to catch up with everyone, sit down and have a drink before the ceremony.  Then the ceremony began. The registrar did a great job at making the ceremony understandable to both the Dutch and English speaking guests, without doing two literal translations. Paul’s mother read two of her own poems, as well as a poem that Paul had written when he was young that she’d dug up. Our cellist did a wonderful job at playing some of our favourite pieces. And, even though the heat had expanded my fingers a bit, the ring still fit and at the end we were husband and wife 🙂 We then posed a bit outside in the sun, while awaiting our transport to the party location. Our transport consisted of three large boats for a tour through the Amsterdam canals with all of our guests. The boat tour lasted about an hour and a half, during which we got to talk to our guests, enjoyed the views of Amsterdam from the water, and received loads of cheers from people on the banks (I kind of felt like the Queen to have so many people wave and smile at your ;)). I think we also feature in many tourist pictures, at one point we were near a tourboat and all the Japanese tourists in it got up and started taking pictures of us, they probably think it’s a normal Amsterdam scene ;).

We moored behind the Rijksmuseum and after everyone made it off the boat without falling into the canal, we headed off to the Cobra CafĂ© on the Museumplein. We had agreed with them that they would keep an eye on the weather forecast and decide whether to have the party inside or outside. Luckily, the weather was amazing so they had put the tables outside, decked out with white table cloths, under the black umbrellas, which looked awesome. We were very happy to see that the guests all mingled naturally and everyone seemed to have a good time. The mediterranean buffet worked out well, and the pies (especially my grandmother’s apple pie) disappeared in no time.

Between the different courses, Paul’s dad, my brother Frank (my witness), Steve (Paul’s best man) and my uncle Leo all delivered the greatest funny, touching, and lovely speeches.

Just after midnight, after a truly perfect day, the party ended and it was time to say goodbye to all our guests who celebrated with us and made it the fabulous day it was.

Obviously, the day was fantastic but looking back it the thing we are most happy about was that all our friends and family were there. There are very few times in life when you get to bring everyone that’s important to you together to have a big party. We are so happy that we got that chance.