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I have travelled my fair share but I have never been to the Netherlands before September. So when Carina and Patrick asked if I would be willing to travel to Leiden to capture their wedding in Leiden botanical gardens, I jumped at the chance.
To be fair, I would go pretty much anywhere if it involved a wedding in botanical gardens. Having an empty tropical greenhouse at my disposal was a dream come through.
Carina and Patrick are both Dutch and met in their school years. Carina later moved to England to pursue her psychology studies and research work. When she eventually got offered a research position here, Patrick followed.
As their families were both still in the Netherlands, it was a natural choice to hold the wedding there. They are such a sweet couple with a great sense of humour, which was reflected in their relaxed wedding celebrations.
Having not heard much about Leiden before my visit, it surprised me with its quaint little streets and beautiful canals. It was so easy strolling through the town – as long as I kept one eye on all the bicycles zooming by.
Hortus Botanicus Leiden (botanical gardens) is situated within the town centre and include beautiful grounds with an orangery, a tropical glasshouse and plenty of outdoor space. All wedding celebrations were held in the orangery with the ceremony in one room and wedding reception in another.
With its tall ceilings and big windows, the rooms were spacious yet still managed to create an intimate feel for all the guests. Later in the day, we took full advantage of the lush glasshouse next door for some couple portraits, once it was all empty near the closing time.
The gardens were an easy walk from Carina and Patrick’s apartment, where Carina was getting ready. Which is why they decided that Patrick will collect Carina from the apartment and they would walk to the botanical gardens together.
I loved this idea as it meant they got some alone time together before the ceremony. As they walked through Leiden streets they attracted many cheers from passers-by.
After the heartfelt civil ceremony where Carina and Patrick both read letters to each other, they took their guests for a boat ride along Leiden canals. Many of their friends came from abroad and this was the perfect way to give them a glimpse of Leiden.
They went to great lengths to make sure all their guests enjoyed the wedding as much as they did. They even hired babysitters to help entertain a number of their young nephews and nieces and their friend’s children.
I think this says a lot about them as a couple. I certainly felt very welcome among their family and friends and enjoyed the day so much. The fact I got to travel and see a new country was just a cherry on the cake.
Venue: Hortus Botanicus Leiden
Bride’s dress: BHLDN
Bride’s shoes: Rue Snob
Groom’s Suit: SuitSupply
Groom’s shoes: Russel & Bromley
Wedding Cake: Sweet Deluxe
Floral arrangements: BloeiBloemen
Photography: Maja Tsolo Photography