Wedding preparations and the lead up to the big day!

On a quiet Friday night, just 10 days before the wedding of our daughter and son-in-law, there was a sudden and urgent banging on the back door of their house.

What was going on?! Who would be hammering on our door like that on a rather cool and drizzly autumn night during Covid times?

Hannah’s choir friends contend with the scaffolding at the back door (repointing was happening)

It was such a wonderful surprise to see three (and one on Skype) of Hannah’s choir friends who had come to give her an unexpected hen’s night!

Champagne anyone?!

This beautiful group of ladies brought champagne and wine, food (including home made brioche) and lots of gifts for the bride to be to unwrap – some fun or silly and some really special.

It was a beautiful surprise for the bride to be

We quickly gathered up warm blankets, found some wood and lit a fire outside (the government Covid advice was to keep visitor numbers inside homes to a minimum.)

Very cosy for a while but then it started to rain hard!

After a while the light drizzle turned into full-blown rain and despite the warming effect of the mulled wine (glühwein) we were forced inside.

Even the guys enjoyed the Hen night!!
Hannah and Pieter try on their undies to share gift!

Suitably socially distanced we had a wonderful time watching Hannah (ably assisted by Pieter) open her thoughtful gifts.

This delicate bracelet was very special and hadn’t been off her wrist since!

The following day we were fortunate to be part of an annual ritual/pilgrimage to Hannah’s all time favourite shop – the pumpkin store (the farmer grows each and every one on sale).

Pumpkins of every shape and size

It’s traditional in The Netherlands to decorate your house with pumpkins in the autumn. Hannah has embraced this tradition wholeheartedly and each year her displays are more impressive and prolific.

What a difficult choice!

As we stepped inside the pumpkin shop I could at last totally understand Hannah’s enthusiasm for these amazing vegetables.

Seeing these amazing specimens we totally understood Hannah’s enthusiasm!

There were pumpkins of every shape and size and of many hues of multiple colours – it was so hard to choose just a few. Fortunately with their wedding coming up Hannah and Pieter has the perfect excuse to buy extra this year.

It took quite a while to choose the ones we were going to take home
Hannah and Pieter’s pumpkin haul!
The autumn house decorations starting to take shape

Another favourite autumn ritual is to visit the local garden centre to buy autumn plants, visit the pet corner (particularly the rabbits!) and eat delicious apple pie.

No, not the wedding cake. This is actually a fruit and nut cake for birds!
One of the Christmas displays already assembled at the local garden centre

We were so happy to be in the Netherlands at this lovely change of season to enjoy all these fun traditions!

More Christmas fun!
Look at this gorgeous fluff ball
The apple tart was amazing!

The wedding was one week away – we were keeping everything crossed that it could go ahead as Covid appeared to be spreading like wild fire and the government were imposing restrictions that increased on a weekly basis.

Despite everything, the week before the wedding was filled with excitement- a trial makeup session, a visit to the hairdressers, a facial, gifts arriving and the stunning rings collected.

Make-up rehearsal!
Waiting for the facial
Hair cut in an empty shop (except for us)
Gifts started to arrive
Some beautiful fruits for the wedding breakfast
Gorgeous white roses and champagne
So happy!

The engagement ring and the wedding rings were just so special and the Delft jeweller did such a fantastic job to produce really individual and unique rings.

Aww down on one knee!

The gold for the three rings came from both sides of the family – old pieces that were no longer worn – the green-yellow tourmaline in the engagement ring was from a tie pin thought to have been bought in Burma in World War 2 belonging to Jonathan’s Dad and the white diamond was also from a family ring. Such a wonderful idea and such a precious heirloom.

She said yes!
Such a pretty ring with so many family connections – a real heirloom!

The evening before the wedding Hannah set and decorated the dining table ready for the six of us (the bride and groom and two sets of parents) to sit down for a celebratory lunch after the wedding ceremony – as you can see it looked stunning!

The table – all ready for the wedding celebrations
The pumpkins had a a place in the decorations
The florist did such a great job with the arrangement for the table

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

8 thoughts on “Wedding preparations and the lead up to the big day!”

  1. It all looks so romantic and beautiful! What a very lovely and special event – with so much love and input from family and friends and from Hannah and Pieter too. xx


  2. How lovely to read about all the happy preparations and see the photos. Love all the pumpkins! Hannah’s surprise party looked wonderful! The story of the three rings is very touching – such a beautiful way to weave the past into the present and the future.


    1. Thank you Julia! Do you feel inspired to decorate with pumpkins next autumn?! I also love the idea of using old family jewellery to make new pieces. My wedding ring is made from my original ring plus Pa’s wedding ring which I think was made from gold from rings belonging to Aunty Glady’s family.


  3. You are one of the best mums to have….love the stories you give to us. It’s keeps us connected, informed and excited for Hannah & Pieter and their future.
    Thanks Dot & Jonathon, keep your adventures real, merry Christmas, stay safe and warm hearted xxxxx


    1. Oh Tracy thank you so much. I hope you and Jeremy are keeping well and that your beautiful Ben is also doing fine. Is he in Berlin still? if so I hope he is managing – this dreaded virus is causing so much havoc. Sending big hugs to you all, I often think of you xxxx


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