What they wrote to me
(... a few weeks after this Wedding in The Woods the doorbell rang. The postman handed me a large package. I started doing a little dance. In that big box I then found a much smaller one containing a really special necklace, a memorystick with the most amazing images on it and cards carrying a wonderfully beautiful 'thank you so much'. I am still dancing.)
Yes! We did it. What a marvellous day ... Never to be forgotten. The ceremony was magical, thanks to your beautiful, heart warming story with a touch of humour now and then. YOU MADE OUR DAY. Our guests were genuinely impressed and afterwards many of them told us what a good choice we had made by engaging you. People found it fascinating and you were 'top of the bill' or a 'topper' (as we say it in Holland). They had never experienced anything like this before! You could see and feel in the eyes and the faces of our friends and family that they felt very much appreciated too.
We would hereby like to thank you, because ... you're awesome! Just simply the best! You are a true wordsmith, welding the texts and sentences from those people who are near and dear to us into one smooth story of love. We could not have wished for a more memorable ceremony, so very intimate, so beautiful, witty and moving at the same time. We have intensely enjoyed it. For us, you are a unique gift, yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. Thanks for writing our story and making our day THE BEST DAY EVER.
Therefore and for you, Lieke, something from Rotterdam. A keepsake from us. A jewel made by a Rotterdam-based designer. With the letter "L". The L of "Dear Lieke", the L of "Love".
Jamil, Stefanie, Sef, Philou and the rhino.
What I can write about them
Sometimes I get these 'clean' emails. They start with the short question about prices and quotes – and they are followed by a short 'thank you'. Sorry to say, but these kind of e-mails invariably make me a bit gloomy. The request for sheer facts leaves me overwhelmed by a feeling of missed opportunities. Because rarely, if ever, such purely factual enquiries turn into fun stories. So long live those e-mails that make you jump with joy the very moment you read them ... Like the one Stefanie wrote me on an ordinary Monday. Her subject line immediately caught my attention as it went like this: "hip, young couple looking for smoothly talking, informal, moving ceremonial speaker with sense of humour". They would get married at a unique and special location in the Veluwe. They named their wedding: The Wedding in The Woods! (oh yeah baby). A wedding, surrounded by trees. Like those trees that you can see on the Stories by Mabel home page. Oh how my pen started dancing and swinging. Strange stroke of luck, you say? Not at all. It was like a flash of lightning ... crack, bang, boom!
Still today, I mesmerize about the fact that these two young entrepreneurs' hunger for life and change… felt so familiar with me? Talking to them on Skype, felt as if I was sitting on the couch next to them and Stefanie’s style & charm warmed my heart every time our eyes crossed. One could not but notice how Jamil thinks the world of her. And she of him. I loved seeing their little son playing for hours in my kitchen (and fell in love with a plastic rhino of my son), while the three of us were drawing up the script for their ceremony. Their daughter, whom I first saw, hidden in Stefanie's belly. Some time later, wrapped in a beautiful baby dress, I saw small Philou smile at her parents' popping/fantastic/explosive 'Yes, I do'. And that plastic rhino? It moved with them to their house and home in Rotterdam.
I was blown away by the casual nature of their "wedding in the woods". Crack, bang, boom! With beautiful letters to each other, even before they saw each other for the first time. With a men's moment (read: groom + groomsmen + whiskey & cigars) and a ladies' time (read: bride + bridesmaids + bubbles), preceding the ceremony. ... I found myself, following a small army of beautiful people into the woods. It was as if we had arrived in a fata morgana. A runner of carpets, stunning backdrop, chesterfield to sink into - and oh yes, surprise packages/fun boxes, with real handkerchiefs, party blowouts, tooters and streamers. Along with their (crazy bunch of) friends and family I was allowed to tell their story. A story that was based on a number of key words, carefully sought out by each speaker. And there they were, those life- size keywords, hanging in one of the many trees. Together, those key words made up for their story. The Story of Jamil & Stefanie.
Looking back on their story, I realize that I have forgotten to hand them three key words, for everyone to read:
Dat zijn zij.
That is who they are.
That was how the wedding in the woods felt like.
Stories by Mabel: ceremonial speaker – yay!
Photography: Nicoline Rodenburg I www.liefdeskiekjes.nl
Location: Landgoed Sollewerf
TIP: I had the great fortune to meet the wedding & event nanny’s at La Nou Nou. What a pleasure to watch Eva and her colleagues entertain the kids!