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Getting Married In The Netherlands: 8 Things You Need To Know

Getting married in the Netherlands

by Clover Jean

Getting married in the Netherlands? Amazingly, it’s becoming one of the most popular wedding destinations in Europe. This is because of Amsterdam the capital, steeped in rich cultural heritage, idyllic landscapes and its coveted sailing culture.

Even more exciting, combine your wedding ceremony with a honeymoon in an exclusive castle or aboard a Dutch ship. So, how do you organize the happiest event of your life?

First of all, before you book your dream destination wedding, you’ll need to sort out legal formalities to marry in the Netherlands. Here are 8 things you need to know before planning your big day.

1.    Facts About Dutch Marriage Law
Important to realize is that you can get hitched in any of the The Netherland’s twelve provinces: Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant, Utrecht, Flevoland, Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Gelderland and Limburg. The official language is Dutch. However, some of the locals are fluent in English, German and French. And so, it’s fairly easy to find a wedding officiant to suit your needs. On top of that, the main religions are Roman Catholic and Protestant (a combination of Calvinist & Lutheran).  Still, if you prefer to organize a church wedding, it’s a legal requirement for a civil marriage to take place first. 

2.    Wedding Costs
The average cost of a wedding in the Netherlands can be as little as 350 euros exclusive 21% tax for the ceremony. And up to 25.000 euros or more, with the venue added as a bonus. Included are flights, accommodation, catering, wedding outfits, officiant, priest and any other necessary essentials.  Apart from the adventure, it’s a superb way to celebrate and relevantly cheaper than getting married at home. More importantly, your honeymoon is included. Remember, before setting off on your journey, have your budget and a checklist to help you plan.
3.    Wedding Legal Formalities
Whether you are a mixed, hetero or same-sex couple, getting married in the most liberated country in the world is something special. Start by giving notice of your wedding date at the registry office. Then, register a legal union at your town hall to have your wedding ceremony legally conducted in Holland.  Once, the registrar has provided you with an official marriage certificate, start arranging your church or secular wedding abroad.  Religious marriage ceremonies in the Netherlands are permitted, provided that you’ve already had a civil marriage ceremony in your country of origin or residence. The English Reformed Church Amsterdam can arrange a service of blessing for your wedding.

4.    Wedding Venue – World Heritage Site
The Dutch adores exclusive wedding spots with stunning scenery and ambience.  Holland is a quaint country boasting many canals and waterways. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ideal for holding your nuptials on a boat, in a castle, stately home or museum. One of the famous Museum van Loon, which is great for tying the knot, dates back to the 19th century. It’s located in a canal side house alongside the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam.

5.    Fairytale Wedding Venue 
Better still, travel further and opt for Stania State in Friesland surrounded by a picturesque private park. Or arrange a fairytale wedding at the Castle Montfoort in the middle of Holland. Take advantage of the beautiful backdrops and use them for your wedding photos. Although a part of The Netherlands is below sea level, it has wonderful natural heritage and dykes. Enjoy your big day and honeymoon in one of the many affordable beach side locations, such as the Hotels van Oranje in Noordwijk to.

6.    Wedding Cruise
Additionally, because of Holland’s water-rich history, boating and sailing culture, it’s perfect for booking a wedding cruise. Holland America Line Honeymoons or the Blue Boat in Amsterdam offers you the opportunity to celebrate like a local. Otherwise, stay nearer to the Dutch coast and step on board the impressive ship Soeverein.  Book your own native-English speaking wedding officiant or just allow a family member to preside over the proceedings. What better way to add a personal and magical touch to your event. Furthermore, by choosing for a wedding at sea or on the canals, you have the freedom to invite more guests (within reason) to stay with you.

7.    Honeymoon
Finally, charming Holland is the ideal country for your secular wedding and romantic getaway. Imagine getting hitched in a boat and then cruising along the Dutch waterways. Afterwards, get dropped off at the hotel Andaz Amsterdam. Or hire a luxury canal houseboat for two on the Prinsengracht. Equally, celebrate your love at a castle and be treated like a princess. The entire grounds are for you and your guests to enjoy your ceremony, reception and party. And then fall lovingly into your partner’s arms in your deluxe suite. Wake up refreshed. Take a stroll hand-in-hand along the tulip fields, cycle and admire the windmills. Thereafter, go on a sightseeing tour to the cheese and clogs factory in Simonehoeve. Have fun together and be transformed by a traditional Dutch costume.

8.    All-inclusive wedding package
In short, extend the celebrations and book an all-inclusive wedding package. The Bilderberg Europa Hotel Scheveningen or Kasteel Vaalsbroek hotel near Maastricht, has exclusive arrangements. So, go ahead and treat you and your guests to an unforgettable wedding in the Netherlands.

About the author

clover jeanClover Jean is a wedding celebrant and singing officiant.  She lives in Amsterdam and conducts marriage celebrations all over the Netherlands and Europe. She is excited to help you plan your dream destination marriage ceremony.

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