Have you ever dreamed about having your wedding in the Netherlands? Or wondered what the best time of year to visit for your honeymoon? We are joined by Netherlands Wedding Photographer Ruud Claessen from RUUDC Photography who gives us some incredible insight on the perfect spots to take pre-wedding day photographs as well as recommendations to beautiful venues for unforgettable backdrops when capturing the best day of your life. So if you have ever wanted to see what the Netherlands has to offer read on and enjoy!
Q1: How long have you been a photographer?
A1: 2017 will be my 10th season as a wedding photographer. I started doing photography as a hobby around 2004-2005. I did my first paid assignments and my first 2 weddings in 2007, and things went uphill from there. In 2011 I quit my part-time job and I’ve been a full-time photographer ever since.
Q2: What are the best months of the year to have a pre-wedding shoot in the Netherlands? Any Recommendations on where to go?
A2: The Netherlands is a rather unpredictable country when it comes to the weather. It can snow in March, but it can also be very sunny in November. But in general, the best weather will be in April to September.
The Netherlands does offer quite a bit of variety when it comes to venues. There are some beautiful forests and nature reserves like ‘De Hoge Veluwe’. For a really typical Dutch landscape, the so called ‘Bollenstreek’ is very well known, because that’s where many of the famous Dutch tulips are grown. Another piece of typical Dutch scenery is ‘De Zaanse Schans’, with its windmills. There’s also some very nice beaches and large sand dunes along the Dutch coast, especially in the provinces Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. The province Zeeland is also know for its beaches and for the Dutch Waterworks. I live in the province of Limburg, which is know for it’s beautiful hills and old castles. I’d highly recommend that as well. Lastly: Cities. Off course, everybody knows Amsterdam, and it’s a very nice city to do a couple’s session. Some other nice cities are Den Haag and Utrecht. A bit closer to where I live is Maastricht, which is also very nice.
Q3: How’s the weather in the Netherlands year round? What should we do to prepare if we want to go on our honeymoon there?
A3: Like I said in the previous question, the weather is very unpredictable. But in general, the winters are cold (between -5 and +5 degrees centigrade). There’s not a lot of snow in winter, only when you’re lucky. Spring and summer (april-september) are probably the best seasons in terms of weather, but autumn with it’s warm colors can be beautiful as well.
Q4: If I want to have my destination wedding in the Netherlands, do you have any suggestions? What kind of things should I consider?
A4: Since the Netherlands is quite a diverse country, it would be very wise to think about what you want. Do you want a beach wedding, or do you want to get married in a more rural environment? Or a beautiful city maybe? The Netherlands has it all.
Always do keep in mind that there are no guarantees in terms of sunshine and beautiful weather. If you get married in The Netherlands, make sure you have an option to do the wedding indoors. Luckily most venues have indoor options as well.
Q5: Do you have any suggestions for any nice venues for a wedding reception in the Netherlands?
A5: There’s so many different venues in the Netherlands, but I’ll give you a couple of awesome venues that I’ve enjoyed visiting:
– Château Neercanne
– Erve Beverborg
– Het Everloo
– Kasteel de Hoogenweerth
– Landgoed de Salentein
– Kasteeltje Hattem
– Sunset Lounge
– Beachclub Degreez
– De Theeplaats
There’s a bit of everything in there. There’s beautiful castles, beach clubs and more rural venues.
Q6: What are some Dutch wedding traditions?
A6: I sometimes wish that the Dutch culture was a bit richer. There’s very few real Dutch wedding traditions. Some traditions that you see a lot are actually derived from other cultures, like the rice throwing, ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’. In the Netherlands, it’s quite common that the bride is given away by her father, often during the (church) ceremony. During the end of the day, it’s common for the newlywed couple to officially open the dance floor by doing a first dance, often followed by a dance with their parents.
Q7: What the average cost of having a wedding in the Netherlands?
A7: I don’t know the exact numbers, but I think the average wedding budget is around 15,000 Euros.
Myself in 5 words:
Curious, passionate, impulsive, creative, precise
I own a dog (a Shiba Inu named Yuka), a cat (Elmo) and chinchilla (called Mouse). I love my pets dearly!
Off course, photography is also a hobby of mine. I love to shoot analog every now and then. Other than photography, I’m a music enthousiast. I play some guitar as well. I am a sucker for good food (I’m crazy about sushi) and I love touring around with my oldtimer moped. I’m also fascinated by space exploration, and especially the Apollo program in the 60’s and 70’s. Yes, the moon landings DID happen.
I grew up in Linne, a small village near the city of Roermond. It’s a small, rural village, where I was raised and where my love for nature and wildlife grew.
There’s too many. I love traveling, even though I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like. But if I had to pick a spot, it would be the bench next to a pond, in my favorite nature reserve. It’s such a nice and quiet place. I love it!
Where I’d like to travel:
I haven’t seen enough of the world yet. High on my list are: India, New Zealand, Japan, USA, and Sri Lanka.
Sushi! And also I can really enjoy a good and properly cooked steak.
That’s a tough one! I love Apollo 13 (not a surprise), I love the LOTR trilogy, The Terminal, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Shutter Island. I can’t just pick one ;-)
My bucket list:
I’d love to shoot some nice cultural weddings far away from home. Traveling to the countries I mentioned earlier is high on my list. And a very specific thing: I’d love to visit the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, to see the Apollo 11 capsule in real life.
Advice to myself:
For the first 5-6 years as a photographer, my progress was slow. I was getting better, but at a slow pace. If I could go back to that time, I’d push myself a bit more to grow and become a better photographer. I have been doing that the past couple of years, and it has really paid off. I only wish I hadn’t progressed so slowly during my earlier years. And also: Never let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. You can, and you will.
The Netherlands has so much to offer and we are truly honored to get to know and receive such great recommendations from photographer Ruud Claessen. Thank you!