So you've seen Melissa and Jan's epic wedding film already right?
If not, I'll set the scene…
Melissa and Jan made their personal, meaningful vows amongst a circle of their closest friends and family, in a glass fronted brick building in the little village of Redu, Belgium. They were surrounded by woodland which made for some truly magical, atmospheric portraits.
I love the minimalist, modern feel of the long white reception tables brought to life by bright pops of colour and charming DIY details. Check out the yarn wrapped vases, leather leaf escort cards and giant white banner signs!
There was also African drumming at their ceremony, a flag waving first dance and sparklers shimmering in the moonlight.
As a long time admirer of Jonas Peterson‘s artistic and creative approach to capturing love, I'm so pleased to share these beautiful photos of Melissa and Jan's special day. So pleased, in fact, that I may have ‘accidentally' shared a few more than I normally would. Whoopsie.
I wanted to have a vintage but classy look for our wedding day. The venue was very important, it was situated in a small village surrounded by a lot of trees. It was a moody and mysterious, so that was a plus for us. After choosing our venue we went with the colors red, pink, white, grey and mint for the most part to finish off.
I was in love with my Aspen Dress from Jenny Packham and my husband had a handmade costume from Café Costume (a Belgian shop who makes all the costumes by hand for the groom). For my hair I had a handmade piece from Sibo Designs and I choose the Eva shoes from Rachel Simpson Shoes because they had that vintage but classy look I was looking for.
I choose a bouquet that went well with the colors we choose and I added a picture of my mom who died 5 years ago to make it more personal and to have her with me on that special day.
We asked 2 friends to give a speech at our ceremony. Their wedding was the first wedding I shot as a professional wedding photographer so it was symbolic to have had them marry us. We asked them to put something together they liked.
Our parents and best man/bridesmaid gave a speech too. We wrote personal vows as well. After the very emotional ceremony we lightened up the room with a djembe (West African drum) session from Menno – the perfect way to end our ceremony!
Decor & Details
All the décor and details on our wedding day are handmade or diy. In Belgium there aren't many (good) wedding planners or stylists so we did everything ourselves. From the crossword puzzles to the name tags in Leather, the vases and the little flags. A lot of weeks were spent with arty farty wedding DIY.
We wanted to have a cosy BBQ. Everyone could take the things they liked to eat and enjoy the food. We didn’t have a special wedding cake but we had a few to choose from.
The Photography & Videography
We choose Tim of Velare Imaginarium and Jonas for the same reason: they manage to capture a story, not single pictures which don’t relate. I knew the work of Jonas for years (being a wedding photographer as well) and did his workshop in London a few months before we got married and immediately knew he was the perfect choice for us.
The work of Tim, I stumbled on while browsing the internet and I was so in love with the one wedding film he shot and played backwards – so I send him an email and booked him as well. A huge budget went into hiring them but we are very happy choosing them, not only to be there to capture our day but just for being there as “friends” as well. We hope to meet them again one day. We miss them and their creative vibes around.
The First Dance
We had a very good DJ (Ben Luyten) and our first dance song was Chocolate by The 1975. Not your typical wedding music but it was incredible! We started off slow and did some swing moves as well, the song ended with us dancing in the middle of the dancefloor and all of our friends and family members waving little flags, cheering and laughing around us! We will never forget this perfect moment and although we were nervous for our first dance, it is now one of our most favourite moments of the day.
One of our favourite moments was the first look in the woods (beautifully captured by Tim and Jonas!) – so surreal to stand there, seeing each other for the first time and knowing the big day finally arrived. Another big moment for me (the bride) was at 4 o clock at night when everyone went to bed and I was looking out of the window, all the lights went out in the guest rooms and I was able to say: I am a very very lucky married girl now. Grateful to have had such a beautiful day with all the ones we love.
Oh and there was this one moment when we almost started a fire while filming in the woods with fireworks. Hilarious now but at the moment a little scary as well ;-)
Advice For Other Couples…
In Belgium we admire blogs from the UK and USA and we all want to have weddings like that but after a while it hit me: it doesn’t matter how your wedding looks like in the end, which dress you wear or which color you have on your lips ;-) as long as you and your fiancée are there and are fully in love and showing it, it will be a perfect day for you and all the ones surrounding you. Concentrate on the things you think are really important (to us: photography and videography and a beautiful location where we could relax and make fun) and forget about the other things that make you stress out. Planning a wedding shouldn’t be stressful but still is for many of you (yes, we know)! Never forget the most important thing on your day to love, laugh and enjoy.
I couldn't agree more!
Congratulations to Melissa and Jan, it's been such a pleasure featuring your wedding on Bridal Musings!
Film Maker: Velare Imaginarium / Photographer: Jonas Peterson / Bride’s Dress: Aspen Dress from Jenny Packham / Bride’s Shoes: Eva from Rachel Simpson Shoes / Bride’s Headpiece: SIBO DESIGNS/ Groom’s Attire: Café Costume / Catering: Orange Olive / Invitations & Stationery: Melissa Milis /Djembe Music: Menno De Bruin / Hair and Make Up: Kaat Ramboer / Wedding Rings: Lies Wambacq /Wedding Website: ‘You Are My One In Six Billion' made by the happy couple / Bride’s Green Evening Dress: J Crew / DJ: Ben Luyten