Florida native Meredith Stark left the United Stated behind in pursuit of her Master's degree in Hospitality Management at the Rotterdam School of Management and the Hotel School the Hague in the Netherlands. While the plan was to continue her education, she never expected to find love abroad. That was, until, she met Camille Oostwegel in September of 2010. Just six months later, Meredith and Camille was officially a couple. Four years later, on August 16, 2014, the pair was enjoying a stateside dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns when Camille popped the question. "It was just the two of us alone when he asked me," Meredith says. "I was quite surprised."
Although they were living in New York at the time, Meredith and Camille knew they wanted to wed in the Maastricht region of the Netherlands where the groom's family owns several beautiful properties. "We thought having our wedding there would provide a unique setting and travel experience, especially for our guests from the States and other counties that would be visiting Holland for the first time," the bride says. They spent just over a year planning their stunning destination wedding and invited 155 loved ones to join them for a celebration on September 12, 2015. Lucky for us, photographer Anouschka Rokebrand was on hand to capture their whole day. Keep reading to see how their day came together.
Meredith and Camille planned their wedding almost entirely from afar. "It took a lot of Skype calls, many emails, and just two in-person visits to pull it off," the bride says. Their first visit came was in January of 2015, and the couple took advantage of their time in the Netherlands to meet their planner, discuss their vision, and get as many of the big details taken care of as possible. By June they had their entertainment booked, invitations created, and selected the menu. "It was challenging from afar, especially in the weeks leading up to the wedding date since it would have been nice to finalize the details and day-of schedule a bit more in person."
While it was difficult to imagine how some of the pieces would come together — like the layout of the venue or what their rentals would really look like in the space — the couple couldn't have been happier with the final results. "Looking back, it's best to just go with you instinct from the start and avoid wasting time with doubts or uncertainties," says Meredith.
The bride approached dress shopping with an entirely open mind. Since she didn't have her heart set on a specific shape or style, she was willing to try just about anything on a shopping trip with her mom and sister. Meredith narrowed it down to just three silhouettes, and ultimately went with a strapless Vera Wang trumpet gown with a lace bodice, crystal beading, and a multi-tiered organza skirt. "It just felt very bridal," she says of her wedding dress. "It didn't feel too traditional and was elegant in the front and more dramatic in the back."
Her multi-colored rose bouquet featured blooms in shades of lilac, lavender, and pale pink to match their reception décor.
Meredith's bridesmaids wore gowns in those same three hues. They chose mismatched airy chiffon dresses from Amsale and carried smaller versions of the bride's bouquet.
Camille and his groomsmen wore morning suits with gray vests and ivory shirts, the traditional wedding attire in Holland.
The couple's ceremony was held in St. Gerlachus Church, where the couple decorated the ornate space with plenty of white flowers. There, the pair exchanged traditional vows that they customized with readings they selected together. After Meredith and Camille were pronounced husband and wife, a group of three vocalists sang "Here Comes the Sun" while the newlyweds made their exit.
Next up: The reception (or rather, cocktail hour, as we typically call it stateside). The party moved to Château St. Gerlach for drinks and snacks in the orchard. Due to weather, the couple made the decision to tent the space, but flowering wreaths, high-top tables beneath umbrellas on the grass, and plenty of floral arrangements helped Meredith and Camille's garden-inspired vision come to life.
There, guests enjoyed a variety of Dutch cheeses, honey from the estate's garden, a seafood bar, mini burgers, tuna tartar, and a fresh juice bar. Meredith and Camille created two signature cocktails for the occasions: hers, an Aperol Spritz, his, Remy Ginger.
The party moved once more; this time to the wine caves at Château Neercanne for dinner and dancing. Long tables were covered in pastel-hued centerpieces, lilac napkins, and lots of glowing candlelight. After a multi-course dinner of mozzarella and tomato salad, lobster from the shell with seasonal vegetables, venison fillet, and pan-fried fish, everyone settled in for dessert.
Meredith and Camille's five-tiered wedding cake was displayed in the center of the room. Beneath layers of patterned fondant, guests found vanilla and chocolate cake with salted caramel filling.
Before she joined Camille for their first dance to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," Meredith slipped away to change into her party dress. She chose a strapless Monique Lhullier ball gown with lots of volume for the party. The couple's guests joined them on the dance floor for a non-stop party that was interrupted only for late night donuts.
"Plan ahead and divide up tasks," Meredith recommends. "We didn't feel so overwhelmed or that just one of us was planning the wedding."
Ceremony Venue: St. Gerlachus Church || Cocktail Hour Venue: Château St. Gerlach || Reception Venue: Château Neercanne || Wedding Planner & Florist: La Sensa || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Vera Wang || Bride's Party Dress & Headpiece: Monique Lhuillier || Accessories: Jennifer Behr || Jewelry: Buchwald Jewelers || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Kim Maes || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Jaquests || Invitations: Ceci New York || Music: The Mood Squad; Soulbeach; Michael David || Cake: Sugar Lips Cakes || Donuts: Bread & Delicious || Photographer: Anouschka Rokebrand
Want to see more destination weddings? Then watch another couple tie the knot in Italy in the video below.