I've been so excited to share today's real wedding with you guys, ever since I clapped eyes on it.

It's got it all. Gorgeous style, cool Scandi decor, a fun tent, amazing food, an incredible backyard setting. And lots and lots of love.

Laura & Dickie got married in her parents' idyllic garden in Garderen, in the Netherlands, with a romantic ceremony in the forest and an informal tipi wedding reception.

Their awesome bash was captured by Marilyn Bartman Photography – her beautiful, candid style was the perfect match for their cosy, laid back day.


Looking through their wedding photographs, you can just tell Laura & Dickie are a wonderful couple, who are adored by their friends and family. And their day was such a reflection of that.

From the big smiles to the free-flowing gin, (their G&T marquee sign is just awesome!), the unique free seating and standing dinner and their letter exchange ceremony – every last detail of this day feels romantic, authentic and so thoughtful.

And while their decor and setting was just incredible, I can't finish wrap up without talking about the style.

Laura's custom-made gown by Anita Gates was so chic, effortless and free-spirited, and Dickie's grey and navy suit was sharp, distinguished and stylish. And can we just take a moment to gush over Laura's hair? Let's just say, I'm a little bit jealous…


relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-2  relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-1

Our Love Story

We actually met via a blind date, arranged by friends!

Dickie was looking for a proper date for the wedding of his brother and was complaining to friends about not knowing who to bring. They thought to arrange this blind date to see if it would be a match.

A few weeks later, after work I drove from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, to meet this complete stranger and when we had dinner, there was an incredible amount of laughter, storytelling and hilarious anecdotes.

On his side, it was a clear case of love at first sight, but I was not so easily convinced (I was very impressed by the humor however). Because we had so much fun, we started clubbing, dating and dancing on a number of dates, always having a great time.

On my birthday, a few months later, Dickie came by with a full bag of romantic gifts and I really realized how crazy I was about him. I also ended up going to his brother’s wedding a few months later! 



The Location

Due to this being the most perfect dreamy and whimsical location in the forest and being the garden of my parents’ house, we had always planned – one day – to get married there.

We, as well as friends and family, love to come over to this house in summer and winter time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, fire place and cozy atmosphere, which makes this our favorite retreat away from the hustle of Amsterdam.

Obviously my dad was very happy with us wanting to get married in their garden: he spent weeks of gardening, painting the house, cleaning up and on the day of the wedding the entire location looked like a scene from a movie!


relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-13  relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-38


Advice for Other Couples

In general I would advise couples to really be mindful on the day itself as it flies by so incredibly quickly!


relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-26  relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-14



The Ceremony

For the ceremony we had both written each other a letter. I read Dickie’s letter, he read mine, both aloud.

This was very sweet and charming and my favorite part of the ceremony.







The Photography

We had seen a couple of photos from Marilyn on social media from friends and when we met her, there was a big click with her as a person, as well as with her type of photography.

During the day, we felt that Marilyn was another guest at the wedding, rather than an external party (my little brothers were very much in love with her).

She referred us to Nicolaas for the wedding film and we decided just to go with her referral, which has worked out absolutely perfect.



The Attire

A slim fit beautiful suit from Cavallaro Napoli for Dickie and a custom made wedding dress from Anita Gates for myself. Both outfits were highly inspired by looking at tons of pictures on Pinterest and wedding websites.

Unfortunately, in the Netherlands there are not many place where you can buy very romantic, boho, beachy wedding dresses with lots of lace, so I felt it would be a good idea just to create my own together with the fantastic Anita Gates.

Currently a new shop has opened in the Netherlands which has the most beautiful dresses and is – to my knowledge – one of the first to carry these types of beautiful gowns.

Personally, creating a dress, together with Anita, was a very comfortable and inspiring way to make the prettiest dress I could think of!




Favourite Details

I think that the attention to detail and trying to be very considerate for our guests.

The walking dinner, no formal seating, not to many formalities, lounge areas everywhere and good food, were very well appreciated by the guests who felt like they could really indulge and enjoy.


relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-29  relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-20

The Decor & Details

The inspiration was Garden Chic/Scandinavian Cozy. 

We first decided on the theme, looking for a cozy, warm, classy setting and decided that a combination of copper, eucalyptus and white was our preferred taste.

We then searched for a supplier that could provide the wooden lounge couches, cushions, blankets, candle’s, coper details and wooden furniture.

We found that Te Leuk Trouwen (‘Too Cute Wedding' in Dutch) offered a wide variety of supplies which we could pick and choose from their catalogue.

As we wanted to do most of the styling ourselves, this was perfect, as we could really rent anything from furniture to details from them.  For the Gin & Tonic table, we also painted the gin bottles in copper ourselves, supplemented with rentals from Te Leuk Trouwen (such as the marquee letters), which made for a pretty impressive eye catcher!


relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-60  relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-39


The Music

For the ceremony we had a singer on keyboard and for the evening party we had a DJ with saxophone.

In the meantime and during dinner, we had beachy lounge music playing in the background as this matched the lounge atmosphere the best.



The Refreshments

Good food and fabulous drinks were a big part of our wedding wish list and we wanted foremost for people to enjoy really flavorful, colorful and high quality food.

In order to really have a laid back atmosphere, with all the wooden couches and seats and tables, we decided that a walking dinner would be best so people could walk around and sit where ever they felt like.

Our caterer did a fantastic job (friends are still talking about the quality of the food) with dishes such as grilled tuna, pulled pork sandwiches, coupled with a fantastic salad bar.

As we don't really like cake or pie, we decided to not have a sweet table but to serve meringues with champagne and to create the most amazing Gin & Tonic table with eight different varieties of gins, tonics and supplies.

This G&T table was the main eye catcher in the overall styling and the guest have managed to drink all the gin until the last drop!

relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-56  relaxed-outdoor-wedding-marilyn-bartman-photography-40


The Honeymoon

A lot of airlines offer a world ticket, where you can fly to four or more locations for a fixed price.

We flew from Amsterdam to Los Angeles, to Samoa (in the Pacific), to New Zealand, to Japan back to Amsterdam in five weeks.

As we are massive travel junkies, this was our ultimate bucket list experience! The diverse range of things we did (skying, surfing, heli-hiking, Tokyo dining) was absolutely fantastic and I can highly recommend this to everyone with a bit more time on their hands.


It's so cool, right? I'm just in love with Laura's wedding day look, and the vibe of their day. Backyard weddings are always among my favourites – they just seem so fun, genuine and relaxed.

Thanks so much to Marilyn Bartman Photography and of course, Laura & Dickie for sharing their cool tipi wedding with us.

Be Inspired by More Unique Real Weddings