15 typical Dutch wedding traditions

Reading Time 6 Minutes

Published On: 12-10-2022Last Updated: 01-12-2022By Categories: Bruiloft, Tips, Tradities0 Comments on 15 typical Dutch wedding traditionsTags: , ,

15 typical Dutch wedding traditions

Reading Time 6 Minutes

bitterballs on a wedding photobooth

Typical Dutch wedding traditions

Whether you are a purebred Dutchman or a foreigner, you will be surprised how many wedding traditions the Netherlands has. Some traditions we have "borrowed" from other countries and some traditions can only be found in this cold little country.

bitterballs on a wedding photobooth

1. Bitterballs

Always a success! Together with pieces of cheese, the bowl of these appetisers will survive for a maximum of 10 minutes on the reception or dance floor.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence for her shoe.
garter something blue

2. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence for her shoe.

We see this tradition coming back more and more in the Netherlands and originates from England. Each object has its own superstition.

  • Thus, something old will give protection to the future baby.
  • Giving something new a positive outlook.
  • Another couple's borrowed object gives happiness.
  • The colour blue represents honesty.
  • The English silver coin represents prosperity.
Children's deed

3. A child's deed

After the adults have signed the tradition is to get the children to sign too. Download a children's deed here. In small children, an impression of the finger is often taken.

First look wedding day
Wedding photographer

4. The first look

Or "the first look" After sometimes up to a year of waiting, the bride and groom finally get to see each other. It is always exciting how they react. There are a number of places where the bride and groom will see each other for the first time:

  • The bride's home.
  • The start of the photo shoot.
  • The ceremony
Wedding day ceremony
Giving away wedding

5. Giving away the bride

Giving away the bride by the father to the groom is seen as handing over care and protection. Sometimes the fathers say they are not giving the bride away but borrowing it for an unlimited time. "After all, you don't give away something so beautiful, do you?".

Commemorating wedding

6. Remembering the deceased

A lovely tradition is the commemoration of deceased people. This often involves parents who can no longer be there, or someone who has meant a lot to both the bride and groom and the families. There are several ways to commemorate a loved one:

  • Post one or more photos during the ceremony.
  • Releasing everyone one balloon at a time.
  • Light a candle during the ceremony.

7. Releasing pigeons

Releasing white doves represents honesty and giving freedom. This is often gift given by parents.

Champagne sabring
Champagne sabring

8. Champagne sabring

When sabring champagne, the cork and the top of the bottle are knocked off by a sabre. Because of the pressure on the bottle, every bit of glass is blown away. The top can travel far, so do not aim at people. When the champagne is poured, a toast is customary.

The first bite of wedding wedding cake

9. The first bite

After cutting the first piece of the wedding cake the tradition is for the bride and groom to feed each other a piece of wedding cake.

Naked wedding cake with edible gold leaf
Wedding cake with marzipan and roses.
Wedding cake dried flowers

10. Saving the top wedding cake layer

Before catering the wedding cake out, you can choose to keep the top layer. The tradition is to keep it in the freezer for one year to eat it when the bride and groom have been married for 1 year.

wedding speech

11. Speeches

Speeches are often given at Dutch weddings. this is a time to tell everyone what is so special about the bride and groom. In a speech hear what someone has been through in both good times and not so good times.

Speech wedding Castle de Haar Justin Manders Photography

12. A. b. c.

In an A. B. C., people go down the alphabet and for each letter a word is made up that suits the bride and groom such as: A stands for Altime because the bride and groom stay together forever.

A tip for an A. B. C. is that it has to be quick otherwise it gets boring. For example, hand out the letters to all the guests so that everyone is involved.

Shoes game wedding Hook of Holland Justin Manders Photography

13. shoe game

The shoe game involves asking questions to the bride and groom while they both have a shoe from each other. For example, questions are asked "Who can cook best?". In which the bride and groom choose either themselves or the other.

Shoe game questions:

  • Who says "sorry" the most?
  • Who said "I love you first"?
  • Who is the most thoughtful?
  • Who spends more money on themselves?
  • Who remembers important dates?
  • Who dresses better?
  • Who is quicker to be jealous?
  • Who snores more?
  • Who can drive a car better?
  • Who has had more accidents?
  • Who is more artistic?
  • Who sleeps faster?
Bride and groom open wedding party with an opening dance
Opening dance at the Coach House

14. Opening dance

The opening dance is often the moment when the evening guests see the bride and groom for the first time. The entrance and dance is also the beginning of the wedding party. Without a opening dance the party will be less likely to get going, which is why it is a good idea to do one. It doesn't have to be long or complicated as long as the bride and groom are the first on the dance floor.

In addition to the first dance, the second dance is often given to the parents of the bride and groom.

Bouquet throwing Wedding Justin Manders Photography

15. Throwing the bridal bouquet

Who it bridal bouquet captures will, according to superstition, be the next woman to get married. Sometimes the girls jump to the bouquet and sometimes they just jump away. Their boyfriend's reaction can also vary a lot. This makes it an incredibly fun moment. Would you rather keep the bouquet yourself? Then throw some flowers of decorations or have a mini bouquet made.

There are many more Dutch wedding traditions. Do you know any that are not included here? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author: Justin Manders

Since 2013, I have been working as a professional photographer in the Westland region. I received my training at the fotovakschool and continue to develop myself continuously through continuing education and keeping up with the latest developments in the field of photography. My specialisation lies in capturing wedding reportages, where I know how to capture the unique moments and emotions in a beautiful way. If you have any questions about marriage or photography, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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