Ruurd & Corina - Dokkum / Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

Ruurd and Corina had such beautiful wedding filled with love and traditions, merging dreams and cultures to become a wedding unlike any other. They combined their Frisian/Korean heritage with Ruurd's Military and Corina's Teaching careers... It was simply amazing! 

If you would like to read more about how they met, then please click here

Ruurd and Corina has spent so much time planning all the details of their big day. They told me that their ideas and the guest list had already been written down during their travel home from Ameland, after their weekend away during which they were engaged. 

Their wedding took place at the beautiful and historic Dokkum Stadhuis and their reception was at Riethoeve in Rijperkerk (who also provided all the catering). They danced to their first song to a beautiful and emotional 'All of me' by John Legend (Steve James Remix), which was played by LA DJ's

A few more people that helped their wedding go off without a hitch was (the most important named first!!!):

Ceremoniemeester(s): Jorrit & Audrey Greydanus

Transport Service: Taxi Waaksma

Where Dress was Purchased: Xsasa, Groningen

Cake Maker: Van Eck, Damwoude

Florist: Anemoon, Dokkum



Before telling you more about Ruurd and Corina's day, I have to give a really big THANK YOU to Jorrit & Audrey Greydanus. They worked so hard to ensure that the plan which Ruurd and Corina made (an actual real Military Op Order!) was executed... There were so many details to the day that I tried to prepare Ruurd and Corina that it might not all be possible but that the day will still be perfect, but thanks to Jorrit & Audrey... the whole day worked like clockwork! They raced ahead to prepare certain events during the day, carried and laid down blankets to protect the dress during the Bridal Portraits, brought me stepladders, cleared clutter and at one stage... Garret even washed windows :) Bless both of you and thank you for everything you have done! 


One of my favourite moments from the day, was when waiting for the bride to arrive at the Ceremony location in Dokkum, and looking up to see (what looked like) the cast from 'Reservoir Dogs' walking up the hill. 


When I asked Corina what her favorite part of the wedding was, she said:

The moment I knew Ruurd arrived in Leeuwarden and I stood there waiting in the living room, literally shaking... and the moment we said yes!!!!

When I asked Ruurd what his favorite part of the wedding was, she said:

The ceremony at the City Hall in Dokkum.

It was so obvious that they were loving every minute of their special day... surrounded by family and friends who loved them.

This was the first wedding where I saw the couple... literally 'tying the knot' in front of all their guests! Ruurd and Corina incorporated Frisian and Korean WeddingTraditions, this was both important and very special to both of them.

In the 17th and 18th Centuries, it was the norm in Friesland for a man to give the lady (of his choice) a 'Frisian Knottedoek'. Similar to a handkerchief. Inside, there would be a coin as a gift to the lady. If the lady approved of this 'proposal' and accepted the gift, she would pull on the 'knot', thus... 'tying the knot'. This relationship was then sealed and this promise... legally binding until 1838... 

To keep with traditions, Ruurd added a military coin to the knottedoek which he gave to Corina. 

In keeping with Korean tradition, two little wooden ducks also formed part of the ceremony. Mandarin ducks are believed to partner for life and if one dies... the partner dies too. These little ducks would have a special place in the couple's home after the wedding and are believed to ensure peace, fertility and a big family. 

The ducks are passed from mother to daughter and their beaks are tied together with a ribbon (because sometimes, 'silence is golden'). Traditionally during the ceremony the mother of the groom will throw the female duck (the red one) to the bride, who has to catch her in her wedding dress. If the bride catches the duck then her first born will be a son, if she misses it will be a daughter. Ruurd and Corina opted to skip this part of the tradition as they would rather not tempt fate, but.... they still incorporated the ducks into the ceremony (and it was beautiful!). 

Apart from all the beautiful above mentioned traditions, another very special part of the wedding, was the Ruurd's mother (Pytsje de Graaf), was the official, who married the couple :)

Ruurd was a little nervous about saying and remembering the poem he had to recite during one of the traditions and Corina was most anxious (and a bit nervous) about the party, hoping that people would have fun, but the outcome... was magnificent!

Ruurd and Corina's advice to other couples planning their wedding would be to stick with whatever you like and prefer, it's your day and your marriage! Take as much time as you think you need, don't rush.. enjoy and have fun :)

For their wedding, Ruurd and Corina decided to purchase as much as possible from local vendors in the vicinity of Dokkum. They thought it would be nice if their rings and clothes had a local touch. 

A few other parts of the wedding which stood out to the couple, was just taking it all in when driving together in the car during the different parts of the wedding, a special gift that Corina received from her mother (a beautiful framed gift of the clothes which she wore when arriving in the Netherlands in 1983 together with her birth card), Ruurd seeing his little brother dancing with his wife for the first time and Corina... getting back to the hotel after the wedding... realising that she would now formally be known as a 'de Graafje'!!! :)

Also worth mentioning was the Ruurd's colleagues made an 'honour guard' with their swords and later, Corina's school children did the same, with their own self made swords :)

Before I show you more photo's of their special day, I want to with the couple's final thoughts on their overall experience of their big day: 

Corina felt that there would probably never be another big opportunity like this to have such a great celebration with all the people they love and care for all in one place, celebrating and having fun. 

And Ruurd... would 'really recommend getting married!'

I think that says it all :)