Monday, February 04, 2013

Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Have any other 3 years passed so quickly or been as packed to the gills!

Tomorrow, 5 February, Astrid and I celebrate 3 years since we became legally married here where we live in Gorinchem, Netherlands.  Back then, I wasn't yet making collages or video clips, so I have decided to embellish the memory this year, just for the record.

The wedding party and photographers met at our apartment before our 2 p.m. ceremony at City Hall.
It's when we put on each other's corsages and made sure we all were buttoned up and zipped.
Let's just say we were all trying to loosen up!  HA!

Ingeborg is Astrid's best friend who stood up for me (bottom left above)
Jeroen is Astrid's son (21 at the time) who stood up for her.

From the apartment we all drove to the Gorinchem City Hall a mile away to prep the wedding room.

It was a rainy day but as you see, nothing rained on our parade.
Were we nervous?  HA!
(at the back door of our senior complex)

At the front door of City Hall...yup, still nervous!

Once inside the lobby, the kiosk proclaimed to everyone this important event.

Wedding guests were already congregating in the City Hall lobby while we prepped the room.

Every Dutch city hall has a wedding room because city hall is where marriages are legalized.
You CAN get married in a church if you wish but you HAVE to get married first in City Hall.
The church does not legalize marriage in the Netherlands.  City Hall does.

Astrid and I met up with Cora, our City Hall officiator, for last-minute details.
Days before she had  spent a couple of hours getting to know us in our apartment.

Daughter Amy from Atlanta ordered a wonderful bouquet of tulips which was placed dead center.
I felt her presence, representing my American family, throughout the day.

 The wedding service began at 2 p.m.
Astrid and I walked in last, after Cora, to the strains of Anne Murray singing,
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life.  YES!
By the time we sat down, I was bawling like a baby (bottom left above).

Wim Brik (top) was our 80-year-young videographer...and next-door neighbor where we live.

There were 34 of us total, mostly friends of Astrid from her tennis and soccer teams.
A few friends joined us from our senior center, after 2 months of knowing us.

During the service, Cora was dead-center officiating.
If you were in the audience, the 2 witnesses (Ingeborg and Jeroen) were seated on the left.
Astrid and I were seated on the right.  Very Dutch typical.

When it was time to say our vows and exchange our rings , Cora asked us to stand in front of her.

This is long and more for Astrid and me.  I'm including it for us to remember.
The main thing is that I wrote and said my own vows in Dutch and English to surprise her:

"Astrid Martha Alida Wijdekop. Ik hou van jou met mijn leven, mijn hart en ziel. I love you with my life, my heart and soul. Jij bent mijn Liefste; jij bent mijn Amazone. You are my Dearest; you are my Amazon Woman. Jij bent NU mijn vrouw; ik ben nu JOUW vrouw. You are NOW my wife; I am now YOUR wife. Ik ben zo trots op jou; ik ben zo trots op ons. I am so proud of you; I am so proud of us. Ik hou heel erg veel van jou. I really really love you. Met alles wat ik in me heb. With everything within me. Wij zijn getrouwd. We are married. NU kussen! NOW we can kiss!"

 Right then and there, in the middle of the service, the documents were signed by the 5 of us, in duplicate,
while Anne Murray and Dave Loggins sang Nobody loves me like you do.
(And yes, we picked our own music for the entire ceremony.) 

This part alone was quite educational for me.
What I liked is that the audience witnessed this signing by everyone,
including Cora, the last "official" signature.

If you make it to the end of this clip, Jeroen finally lost it and broke down in tears.
I wanted to take him in my arms and hold him forever and tell him it would all be okay.
 It was, of course, and he and girlfriend Eva are part of our life.
We were then surprised when City Hall presented us with this symbolic glass-sculpture gift.
The painting in the back of the wedding room shows that others have gone before us.

It will remain one of our most prized possessions forever!

Then it was time for the reception line!
(with k.d. lang's version of Hallelujah in the background!)

Notice how the Dutch greet each other:  3 kisses, left-right-left!
3 kisses is a charm, you know.  :)

It was the first time for me to meet many of Astrid's friends.
And BTW, that's Wim and Jan Willem in the bottom center image...our videographer and photographer.

The last ones in the reception line are friends from De Lindeborg, where we live.
That was very special.  They still remain our friends!

After the reception was just us....

...with Cora, the City Hall officiator.
Are we all RADIANT or what!

 And then, right outside the wedding room, we all gathered on the City Hall stairway.
Apparently it's become a famous photo-op for weddings over the years.

The voice you hear mid-way is Wim's, the 80-yr-young videographer.
He's actually a real nut-case!  More alive than a lot of people I know!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

It was now time for the reception at our nearby neighborhood 't Grand Café Gelagh.  Astrid and I had reserved most of the restaurant for the mid-afternoon toast.  Instead of a wedding cake, we did the typical Dutch thing:  appeltaart with koffie and tea.

 All 32 of us (minus Cora and her assistant) joined us for our reception toast.

As guests arrived, they gave us their gifts.

Then we had the wedding toast...the PROOST!

And finally...all was sealed with appeltaart and koffie or tea!

Our dear Wim, videographer, made a video of all the clips (many not shown here) as his wedding gift to us.  Guess what we'll be watching tomorrow on our special day!



  1. What a wonderful record of an amazing day for you.

    Happy anniversary to you both!

    1. Thank you, dear Anne. We are still pinching each other. :)

  2. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to you both! Must seem like those 3 years have simply flown by ... Geoff x

    1. Thank you, Geoff, and YES. The 3 years have flown! I wonder will we'll be doing these next 3 years! :)

  3. This post is a big surprise. Yes, the 3 years went by, in a blink of the eye. Happy as ever. It is wonderful to see pictures and small movies from the day of the wedding. You did a wonderful job by making those wonderful collages.
    A day to remember, a day to celebrate.
    Dank je wel mijn lieve schat, ik hou van jou.

    1. I was hoping to surprise you, MLMA, so I'm glad I did! :) I want it to be here at our fingertips, not in an online album somewhere or on a DVD. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.

  4. Dear Ginnie and Astrid – what a beautiful wedding ceremony! I remember looking at your wedding pictures 3 years ago and cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by. What a treat to watch the videos. I watched all of them and certainly had a little cry during your vows – how moving and lovely. It was a precious and touching ceremony with all your good friends around you. Thank you so much to let us share your joy and happiness. Happy Anniversary!

    1. You're a sweetheart, Vagabonde. Thank you for taking the time to watch the videos. Every time I watch them I smile, laugh and/or cry! :)

  5. Oh, you beautiful, lovely women ... you wives ... I'm so proud of you, too! Thank you so much for sharing your special day, I admit that I got a bit teary! I wish you both many years of happy, wedded bliss.

    1. You sure know how to say it, Susan! Thank you. Even 3 years later I watch the videos and have a tear and a smile. It was the happiest day of my life and still gets better. Nothing about it is ho-hum to us. We still pinch each other. I think this is what happens when joy comes in one's latter years?!

  6. Happy Anniversary to you Both!!

    Beautiful photographs to remember the beautiful day :)

    1. That's so sweet of you to stop by here, Sarito. Thank you very much.

  7. congratulations you two! three years already? time passes quickly when you're having fun no?

    btw i remember the post about this 3 years ago, i'm glad you were able to create collages now to remember that wonderful day.

    1. Time does fly when you're happy, Maria, indeed! And yes, back then I was still making photo albums. The collages make so much more sense...more at our fingertips, so to speak. Thank you.

  8. Such a wonderful post. Made me tear up when you both said your vows. Truly, is LOVE really so hard to understand? Someday I pray our world will catch on to this very simple premise. Here's to three years packed full of joy and here's another toast (yes I have a glass of wine) to many more as we travel along with you here on your blog :) Happy Anniversary.

    1. You sure know how to make my day, Margaret. THANK YOU. I raise my virtual glass to yours!

  9. Watching the videos just brought the tears! To see two people so in love!! Happy Belated two very special people that I'm so lucky to know! xoxo

    1. Actually, Robin, the videos bring tears to MY eyes, too! :) Thank you for watching them. You know we are so in love and so very happy, yes. We keep pinching ourselves!

  10. What a wonderful way to commemorate your 3 years together... wonderful videos... wonderful photos... wonderful memories. You have so much joy together... it is BEAUTIFUL to see!

    1. Thank you, thank you and thank you, Victoria. We DO have so much joy together. We keep pinching ourselves!!!

  11. What a wonderful way to commemorate your 3 years together... wonderful videos... wonderful photos... wonderful memories. You have so much joy together... it is BEAUTIFUL to see!