Ever since she was a little girl, Shari was entranced by the beautiful gowns in the costume dramas her mother watched. Years later, she still has a passion for historical fashion and makes custom clothing at her atelier, La Rose Couture.
It all started with a Victorian ring in a tower. Mark had surprised me with a trip to Venice, a place we had long dreamed of visiting. After a romantic day filled with lunch at Café Florian, a gondola ride and walks around the city, we went to the Campanile, the famous bell tower of San Marco Basilica. As we looked down at the city, Mark got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes!
Since Mark and I love to dress up in historical costumes and I have my own historical fashion atelier, we knew that our wedding would have a historical theme. After considering several eras, we chose the 18th century. We needed a fitting location, so once we were back home in The Netherlands, we began to search. Mansion Waterland in Velsen-Zuid suited the theme and the size of our celebration perfectly.
After some deliberation, I chose not to make my own gown, but Mark insisted that I make his suit. Etsy helped so much with finding the right pieces for our wedding. My jewelry came from Annamall, and Mark’s jewelry and hair adornments were from Elegant Curiosities.
All of our wedding decor was handmade or vintage. Lovebirds and birdcages were a theme we thought fitted with 18th century decadence, and decorations from Rhonda’s Originals helped set the scene. The top of our cake was an actual birdcage, and we set out other birdcages filled with birds, flowers, hearts and more. Gold birds were scattered between busts of Marie Antoinette and candelabras. Beautiful vintage and antique coffee and teacups were transformed into rose-scented candles and placed all over the mansion.
On the day of the wedding, the weather was uncommonly warm and sunny. Our closest friends and family members gathered around us in the light as we said our vows. My parents-in-law handed us our wedding rings on pillows I had made. Afterwards, we toasted with glasses of Prossecco with hibiscus flowers. The grounds surrounding the mansion and the mansion itself enhanced the 18th century feel — we literally felt transported back in time.
Dinner was served out on the grounds. To be surrounded by our loved ones, enjoying wonderful food and beautiful weather in such a setting, was an unforgettable moment. After our luxurious feast, Frank Perenboom gave a wonderful court dance workshop. After a lot of laughs and a few bruised toes, we danced either in pairs or in a big circle, and it was a delight to see and do.
The rest of the evening was spent dancing, talking and enjoying the surroundings. It was a perfect ending to our 18th century dream wedding!
All photographs by Eline Spek.