Schuyler and Grace (USA)
My first international wedding!
It was the end of December 2017 when Schuyler (Say: Skyler) asked me if I wanted to make his and Graces engagement pictures on December 24 2017, Christmas Eve. I was so excited! Because I didn’t know Grace was in The Netherlands, and I hadn’t met her before! Schuyler did a theology masters at the VU in Amsterdam and he went to our international bible study, he was in my small group for a while and visited regularly. That’s how we met and we became friends. He is such a genuine, warmhearthed, kind and nice person and he had told me so much about Grace already that I couldn’t wait to meet her! So of course I’d say yes!
Schuyler had proposed to Grace on Terschelling, an island in the North of Holland where Schuylers uncle lived (if I say this correctly, family at least) and they had just spend a couple of days there. The engagement photos were taken in Amsterdam on a VERY COLD day, with chilly wind coming in from the east and the temperatures near freezing. You can find the engagement photos of Schuyler and Grace here.
Since it was so cold that day, the three of us just had to warm up after our photoshoot. We fled into the nearest bar/cafe and ordered hot choco with whipped cream. While we were warming up Schuyler and Grace looked through their engagement photos. At some point Grace casually said: “I’d know it already, if we could make it happen I would want you to become our wedding photographer”. I knew at that moment she was genuine and for real, but also voicing a desire, of which we didn’t know if we could make it happen.
After months of remaining in touch about wedding dates and locations of Schuyler and Grace and holiday plans of my parents, we figured out we could make it work! My parents wanted to make a road trip around Lake Michigan, where we would visit Kurtis’ and Amelia’s wedding in Iowa on our way to Chicago, where I would fly to Boston, Massachusetts, where I would be picked up by Schuyler and Grace to drive to Salem, Massachusetts, where I would stay for a whole week with the whole family. Before the wedding I was taken for some cider tasting, we watched Mission Impossible 6 in the theatre, we went for the biggest ice scoops I had seen in my life!!! (2 scoops would be at least 8 in The Netherlands!) on a real dairy farm with cows. One of Schuylers friends and I went to Boston for a day, we visited Salem and did many other fun things! Honestly it was the week of my life. Schuylers’ and Grace’s family were soooo hospitable, warm, loving, kind, genuine, welcoming. They made me feel right at home!
When the day finally came I was so nervous I could barely sleep. We had talked about the wedding and the planning of the day months before, but I still didn’t know half of what I would expect. An American wedding is very different from a Dutch one. I’d say a Dutch wedding is usually pretty crammed and sometimes starts at 6AM, and has a pretty full program with 2 different ceremonies usually (state marriage and church marriage are separated) whereas an American wedding starts up slow, the ceremony usually starts later, like 16.30, but the ceremony looks pretty different from ours too. In Holland we don’t have a bridal party, grandparents and parents are not escorted to their seats and as I said, church marriage and state marriage are separated into two different different ceremonies. I actually had a list on my phone with all the different steps so I knew I was taking pictures on all the right moments!
The blog starts with a few pictures from the wedding rehearsal. I didn’t know what this was until I’d experienced this. The ceremony is full of steps which are followed into a certain order. In order to remember who does what (bridal party, officiant, couple, parents, grandparents etc) and when, a rehearsal is in order. I will tell a little more about the ceremony later. First let’s start at the wedding prep. I was with Grace and Grace’s family that morning, where Grace, but also her sisters and sisters in law, her bridesmaides, were getting their hair and make up done, and of course having breakfast or brunch and lunch. It was really relaxed and basically just spending quality time with their loved ones before the wedding started! Then Schuyler and Grace met for a quick moment before Grace was in her dress (not on the blog), and Grace was helped into her dress by her sister and the host of the place where the reception would be in the evening. Unfortunately it was raining all day, so the First Look had to take place inside. Luckily on the same location as where the party was held, there were a few awesome historical, colonial buildings where we could do the first look and some really sweet and nice looking photos of Schuyler and Grace together. Then it was time for the ceremony. Everyone was getting nervous, I could feel the tension rising. Grace was getting some last stitches on her dress and everyone was fixing their make up and getting everything in order for the ceremony. Then it was time for the official moment that everyone had been waiting for for so long! It was a lovely, sweet, beautiful ceremony and everything went super well. I really liked that Schuyler and Grace decided to host supper for all the people who were attending the church. After the ceremony we were lucky enough it had stopped raining! Schuyler and Grace really wanted to have some outdoor photos, and we were able to make some in the gardens of the location of the reception. Right at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, it was so beautiful in a really unique way! After a long day it was time for diner and SPEECHES and GAMES! Man they were so fun, it was so hard to make pictures! I almost lost it a couple of times.
To conclude this blog, Schuyler and Grace are wonderful, amazing, inspiring, brave, kindhearted, genuine, welcoming people with an equally amazing family, to host me for a full week (!!!!) with their families for their wedding. I respect and love them so much, and I will NEVER forget this amazing wedding-week!!! I am so happy I was aloud to witness their beautiful love for each other, they are great examples to me. And I’m so happy that I was able to give them a memory that will last forever! Thank so much for hosting me guys! I hope we will meet again!!!