Weddings are events that are treasured for a lifetime, with every country and culture around the world having their own set of wedding traditions and customs. From a fun and unique twist to the ceremony itself to floral arrangements that are traditional to the Netherlands, there is plenty of inspiration to be taken from the Dutch when it comes to planning a wedding.
Flowers play a huge role in many Dutch weddings, from forming a carpet down the aisle to decorating the wedding venue. Before the ceremony begins, the bridesmaids traditionally fill the bride’s basket with garlands and flowers, using the garlands to also decorate the groom’s pipe. A bed of flowers is then laid out for the bride and groom to walk together on down the aisle, and, when the married couple is departing from the venue, flowers make another appearance, being tossed over the couple for good luck. One traditional flower that is commonly seen at many Dutch weddings is the Lily of the Valley, as each time the plant blooms, it represents a return on happiness. Whether you incorporate the flower into your big day in similar ways, or plant it in your new home for good luck, this is a great Dutch tradition that everyone can embrace.
Dutch wedding ceremonies actually begin with a mini reception, usually a small cocktail party just prior to the wedding ceremony. This is a tradition that mirrors that of other cultures around the world, and is a beautiful way to start the day. Another unique aspect of a Dutch wedding ceremony that could easily become a truly touching part of yours is the way in which the Dutch are asked to share their love story with their guests. From the moment that they first met to the ways in which their love for each other has grown, this part of the wedding never fails to draw a few tears from the guests.
Feasting after the ceremony is a huge part of Dutch wedding traditions, as well as of those of many cultures all over the world. Whether it be a sprawling banquet or an eight-course meal, the post-ceremony feast is always highly anticipated. Another aspect to the Dutch wedding feast are the five sweets that are wrapped in tulle and given to each guest. These sweets represent happiness, prosperity, love, loyalty and virility, and are a touching tribute that can easily be replicated at your own wedding. “Bridal Tears” are another Dutch wedding tradition that hold significant meaning, and consists of a spiced wine that the bride usually gifts to her guests in small bottles. In addition to the spices, the wine also contains gold leaf, symbolizing the bride’s tears.
Weddings are a joyous affair, and, if you are in the stages of planning your own, it is always a good idea to explore traditions from other cultures, as you may find one that particularly resonates with you, making your big day even more magical.