Jeroen & Esther - De Schildhoeve, The Netherlands

They met whilst watching football at a bar with a mutual friend and clicked from the moment they first started talking. Almost six years later, Jeroen proposed to Esther in the beautiful setting of their ski holiday…

This is the story of Mr & Mrs Van Der Meer:

Loveshoot Hoogeveen

It all started in the June of 2012, when both Jeroen & Esther went to the same pub to watch the Dutch team play football. Jeroen had already known of Esther (through their mutual friends) and I was told that he had done his research on Facebook, before actually meeting her :)

Esther did not know of Jeroen, but tells me that there was a click between them from the very first moment that they started talking. In fact, they enjoyed each others company so much, that they never even noticed that the Dutch team had lost the match… They tell me that Jeroen liked Esther before he even met her (based on what he had heard of her and seen on Facebook) and that on that night, he tried all his charms on her to get her to like him too. Esther on the other hand, was a lot more reserved and she wanted to take her time to get to know Jeroen better.

After this night, they were encouraged by friends to exchange numbers and they started messaging each other on Twitter. Their relationship only grew from there. One month later… Esther was having dinner with some friends who lived in the apartment above Jeroen. Later that evening, whilst sitting on Jeroen’s couch together, Jeroen asked Esther to be his girlfriend :)

Loveshoot Hoogeveen

Almost six years after meeting and in February 2018, Jeroen & Esther went to France on a skiing holiday together with Esther’s parents. Jeroen had planned that this was going to be the trip during which he would ask Esther to be his wife. As it turned out, after six years of being together, Esther felt is was time for them to take the next step and she had started to drop hints about getting married.

Just before they left for their holiday, she even sent Jeroen a link about an article she read about ‘How to propose to your girlfriend on your skiing holiday’. Jeroen was gutted… He wanted this all to be a surprise and he had already made all the plans, bought the ring, prepared a speech and now Esther had sent him this…

As it turned out… Esther still did not suspect a thing and had NO IDEA that Jeroen was actually planning to propose to her! Jeroen had cleverly hidden the ring in his ski boot so that Esther would not feel it in his pocket or accidentally see it in his suitcase whilst packing. The problem was trying to remove the ring from his ski boot when dropping their kit off at the hotel upon arrival. Esther was not leaving Jeroen’s side and he could not take the chance by leaving something so valuable in an open and unattended equipment room. Jeroen was already nervous but trying to keep all the little details a secret, just added to the stress. He explains how he tried to distract Esther’s attention by asking her to look elsewhere so that he could fish the ring from his ski boot and now hide it in his pocket. Somehow… it worked and his plans stayed secret!

Nervously awaiting the perfect moment to execute his plancs, Jeroen spoke with Esther’s father a couple of days later, whilst on a ski lift. Jeroen asked him for his daughter’s hand in marriage to which he said yes and then… managed to keep it all a secret until the proposal happened the next day.

On the 26th of February 2018, they arrived at the top of the highest mountain when Jeroen took one look at the perfect views and knew that this was the perfect place! Esther’s father stood ready to film it all but Esther’s mother, thought that he was taking a photo and she wanted to get in the picture too! After multiple times of asking Esther’s mother to move out of the way, she finally caught on… when Jeroen went down on one knee :)

This is the exact moment that it all happened (film provided by Jeroen & Esther):

Esther explains that the proposal could not have been more perfect! The weather was beautiful, the views were breathtaking and Jeroen… had actually even gone down on one knee.

You can see from the Esther’s reaction in the video just how happy she was. Esther said that you cannot hear her reply on the film but her exact words were:

JA natuurlijk!!! Dikke gek!

After some careful planning to have the exact wedding which they both wanted, Jeroen & Esther were married on the 19th of July 2019 at the beautiful ‘De Schildhoeve’ in Fluitenberg.

They had their photo session at De Olde Looierij in Hoogeveen and a second ceremony at their church, De Vredehorst, after which the wedding celebrations continued at De Schildhoeve.

De Olde Looierij

It was a beautiful day with perfect weather! The atmosphere was so relaxed and the day was filled with fun and laughter where even the parents of the bride and groom took part in entertaining the little ones…

Schildhoeve Fluitenberg Bruiloft

I asked them what their favourite part of the day was, and this is what they said:

Jeroen:

The first look. It was the moment which I looked forward to for so long. The realisation that Esther was going to become my wife on this day and that she looked so beautiful… And also the opening dance which I really enjoyed!

First Look Bruiloft Hoogeveen

Esther:

The first look! The excitement building up and then you get to see each other for real for the first time and it’s so amazing. Our families were there too and that made it even more special. Reading our vows to each other were also very special. It made the ceremony so personal.

I asked them what they were most nervous about, and this is what they said:

Esther:

The first look… I could see Jeroen standing outside without him being able to see me. That was the moment which I so looked forward to and I was so curious about what he would be wearing! Also the reading of our vows to each other was quite exciting. The moment you get to tell each other why you want to be married to each other and what the other person means to you.

First Look Bruiloft Hoogeveen

Jeroen:

The reading of our vows. The moment during our wedding where you get to be totally open and speak straight from the heart to the love of your life in front of all your loved ones who are present. As it came straight from my heart, it was really intense to do. In the end, it all went really well, with a few tears of joy here and there.

Schildhoeve bruiloft

Other parts of their day which stood out to them were:

  • The flower girls, Roos & Noa. They were excitedly counting the days leading up to the wedding. Even though a lot was expected of them, they executed their responsibilities perfectly! They were so impressed by the ‘first look’ that they hardly left Jeroen & Esther’s side after that.

Bruiloft Schildhoeve
  • Walking down the isle with the flower girls in front of them. With all their guests standing and waiting for them to arrive and with the music playing in the background (Maan - Jij bent de liefde), they found the moment to be incredibly perfect and personal. That was the moment that they realised that all of their loved ones were there… just for them… to celebrate this moment together with them.

Jeroen&Esther-533.jpg
  • The ceremony. This is something they still talk about a lot. Ina, the official, made it so personal by introducing and naming everyone involved in the wedding party that the guests also felt personally involved. Jeroen & Esther loved having all the important people in their lives there and the fact that so many of their grandparents could still experience this day with them… was just so incredibly special to them. All of the above… made the day… perfect!

De Schildhoeve Bruiloft.

Overall, they experienced their day in the way their guests described it, which was “beautiful, intimate, personal and with the couple glowing all day, radiating love and happiness”. Jeroen & Esther said that they had planned so much for their big day, but they had no idea if it would work out as they had hoped and that they could only wait and see.

Looking back now, it could not have been better and they still say to each other just how perfect it all was. Most importantly…. they thoroughly enjoyed THEIR day which was done in THEIR way :)

Jeroen & Esther would like to give their thanks to these amazing people and businesses without whom, this day would not have been possible: 

Masters of ceremonies/wedding planners: Jeffrey & Janneke Pot

Bridal photo session: De Olde Looierij, Hoogeveen

Wedding venue/catering: De Schildhoeve

Wedding dress: Honey Bruidsmode

Wedding suit: Hendriksen, Hoogeveen

Wedding styling: Trouw aan jou - Bo Nagengast

Wedding official: Ina Bulthuis

Baker: Met Zoet enzo

Florist: Mirjam Moes

Music ceremony: Nine (collegue of Esther’s) & Jasper (guitarist)

Videographer: Noah de Lange (NLD video’s)

Music church: Band under lead of Esther’s uncle, Kirsten (Esther’s cousin sang a song in church)

DJ: Soundmasters

For their first dance, they danced to a mix of songs which they spent many fun-filled hours choosing and putting together with the help from their masters of ceremonies!

The mix was made up from:

Here you can see just how much fun they had opening the dance floor using this selection:

Schildhoeve Fluitenberg

Their advice to other couples planning their wedding, is to ‘Start early and give yourself the time to plan it all’. It might sound obvious that you need to take the time to plan all that needs to be done, but there are so many little things which need to be considered when making your day personal and in the way that you want it. Once it’s all planned… don’t be afraid to let things go… A good master of ceremonies (whom you trust) for the planning before the big day and then ensuring that all goes to plan on the big day… is a MUST! Once you can let things go on the day… only then can you truly enjoy your day :)

On that note… a huge thanks to Jeffrey & Janneke for all they have done before and during the wedding day to make it such a memorable experience. You are great friends and wonderful masters of ceremonies!!!

Bruiloft Hoogeveen

Jeroen & Esther, we all wish you a wonderful life together!

Here’s a few more images from their day: