Bohemian Wedding // Ilse & Corne
Welcome to the second edition of our Bohemian Weddings! This time, we’ll visit the wedding of Ilse and Corné: a festival-style wedding in a sunny orchard in Holland. With a lot of dear friends and family, decorations, cake and fun with their two children.
She’s Ilse, 37 years old and living in Beuningen, Nijmegen, with her family. She’s the mother of daughter Robyn (7) and son Dani (6). Before Robyn was born, she studied at the NHTV and worked for a company specializing in travel for disabled people. Now she’s a happy fulltime mom. She loves nature, walking her dog, cycling and running. She also loves to travel and discover exciting new places with Corné and the kids.
He’s Corné, 38 years old, interim professional and currently working at the Ministry of Social Affairs. He has studied as an accountant and is a freelancer since 2008. He loves sports; football in particular. He likes reading thrillers and watching great films with Ilse.
How did you meet the man of your dreams?
We met 16 years ago in Breda, where we both went to college. I went dancing with a friend at the Massa (a club) and met Corné there. Afterwards, we ran into each other several times. We went to the cinema once and after this first date I was madly in love! We moved in together in less than a year. After 5 years, we got the sweetest Jack Russel puppy and 4 years after that, our daughter was born. 18 months later, a son followed. We were never really inclined to get married. We felt happy and lucky enough as it was.
But two years ago, that changed. We visited the wedding of a dear friend and suddenly I saw that there were also less traditional ways of getting married. Ways that felt more personal and relaxed. I loved that!
Nowadays, a lot of people split up or get divorced, often after a short period of time. We thought it was important to celebrate that we’re still together and happy after all these years. A good enough reason have a party with our loved ones! After two years, I finally (hihi!) got asked.
The Sunday before the Christmas of 2014 we were having breakfast, when Corné suddenly told me to pack my camping gear. We were taking a trip to an unknown (to me) destination. I looked at my son and asked him where we were going. He told me: “It starts with a -m,” I didn’t know any places that started with a M, but I saw that Corné was feeling uncomfortable, so I refrained from asking any more questions. A few hours later, we were in the car, near Breda. I told my daughter that we should visit the house where she was born. And suddenly, we took the turn! Corné booked a lovely B&B at Marktdal, a special nature reservation where we always walked the dog when we still lived there. There, at a small creek, he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him, in front of our children. My daughter had made a little ring box with our picture in the front and the children’s pictures within. Our son had meant ‘marriage’ with the ‘m’…. (we didn’t even know he could spell!) It was wonderful! Of course I said ‘YES’ right away <3
How much planning did you do?
We immediately agreed on one thing: we wanted to have our wedding (the ceremony, the dinner AND the party) outisde. In a lovely, relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by nature and our favorite people. We soon decided on Slot Doddendael in Ewijk, because we fell in love instantly with their beautiful orchard!
We wanted to surprise and nurture our wedding guests. I like to decorate and style things, but I knew I wouldn’t have the time to do it myself on my own wedding day. So we hired Janina from Nina Weddings , she really achieved the ‘wow’ factor. We’d made a decorating plan for a bohemian, festival style wedding, but I couldn’t believe how beautiful it turned out. It was as if we were dreaming. We made the signpost ourselves and my sister designed the backdrop. I fashioned rings from little beads for our kids to wear, and little bracelets for the bridesmaids.
We opted to not have a traditional wedding cake. Instead we had a sweets table. Our guests could choose from mini cupcakes, macarons, meringues, brownies, blondies, cookies and vanilla-raspberry cake. Slot Doddendael provided the taps filled with homemade juices.
We love to go to Italy on our holidays, so we chose to dine on long tables and have a surplus of delicious Italian dishes. It felt as though we were in Tuscany!
Instead of having a guestbook, we opted for a Polaroid booth. Our guests could don props (moustache, glasses, clip-on ties) when they took their pictures. They turned out great and are now hanging on our living room wall, as a reminder of our wonderful day.
At night, a DJ was spinning in an old VW van and everyone was dancing. People could snack on real Indonesian satay at a food truck. It felt just like we were at a festival!
It was a magical day! Everything turned out just right, we even had sunny weather. It’s hard to find the words to describe how happy and special we felt. When we think back on it, we always have a big smile on our faces. It was just wonderful <3
What to expect (and not expect) from your wedding?
I expected to be nervous, but not at all. I was actually looking forward to it so much! I did cry when we entered the orchard and saw all our guests waiting at the ceremony. I was so grateful that everyone was there, looking wonderful and feeling happy for us. It was so special!
One thing that you regret afterwards is that you simply don’t have the time to talk to every single guest at your big day. But don’t feel bad about it, you simply don’t have the time, and everyone will understand. Little things may go awry, but let it go. Just enjoy every single moment.
Which moment most moved you?
The moment when you arrive and see everyone waiting, that’s a special moment. Saying ‘yes’ to each other in front of our children, that’s another cherished memory. You feel so happy and loved by the attention of all of your dear friends, both as a couple and as a family. That’s the most wonderful feeling of all and I will always remember it.
What couldn’t you do without on your wedding day?
Of course, we couldn’t do without our children! It was very special to share this day as a family. Robyn and Dani were witnesses, as were my sisters. They signed their names and Dani even added a race car 😉 Having them there made it the best day of my life.
We also loved our photographer Hanke Arkenbout. As soon as we saw her photographs, we knew we wanted to hire her for our wedding. She has a beautiful and unique style and knows just how to capture a moment. There was a connection between us from the start. She even helped me look for my wedding dress and gave me tips for our invitations. Looking at her pictures, we experinece our day over and over and that’s so wonderful!
What’s your ultimate wedding advice?
Stay close to yourself. Don’t do anything because you ‘have to’ or it’s traditional. It’s your day and you can make it exactly what you want it to be. And most importantly: enjoy your day! <3
Many thanks to Ilse and Corné for telling their story and to Hanke Arkenbout for sharing her beautiful photographs. Do you want to share your wedding? Send an email to blog[at]modernehippies.nl o.v.v. ‘Bohemian Wedding’.
More bohemian wedding inspiration? Check out the first bohemian wedding. And these are tips for your bohemian bachelorette party.
© Hanke Arkenbout Photography