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Hi, I'm Michaela, the heart behind Lovely & Planned. This blog is all about elopements and destination weddings, but you'll also find general tips and advice on wedding planning. I'm so happy to have you here! Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while!

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5 Things Nobody Tells You About a Destination Wedding in Amsterdam

One of the first steps when planning a destination wedding is to decide where you would like to get married. So to help you make a choice, here are 5 things about the charming European city of Amsterdam, that nobody ever tells you.

1. Amsterdam has more to offer than Tulip fields

Yes, it’s true, Amsterdam is famous for its Tulip fields. They are gorgeous, without a doubt. Colorful flowers stretch as far as the eye can see. Beautiful. However, did you know that the tulip season is only from March to May? 

Also, there are so many other gorgeous, enchanting, exciting, historical places that Amsterdam has to offer! 

Here are just a few of the many possibilities:

  • Get married in Amsterdam’s botanical garden De Hortus
  • Tie the knot in a museum like Museum Van Loon, with it’s gorgeous “hidden” garden
  • How about an industrial romance wedding in an old factory building like Westerliefde
  • Get hitched on a boat during a canal cruise along the famous Amsterdam grachts, e.g., with Smidtje Luxury Cruises
  • Say YES in Amsterdam’s only remaining 17th-century country estate Huize Frankendael

[Related: 7 Tips on How to Find the Right Vendors for Your Destination Wedding]

Wedding Canal Cruise with Smidtje Luxury Cruises I Image by Nancy Twickler Photography

 2. It’s always cold and rainy in Amsterdam 

Unfortunately, that’s a fact. You might be one of the few lucky people visiting Amsterdam during extraordinary beautiful, sunny days. But more realistically, it will rain at least once during your stay. Even in summer, the temperatures hardly rise above 25°C (77 °F)

That said, is there anything more romantic than getting married on a rainy day? Taking gorgeous pictures under a clear umbrella and snuggling up in a romantic city hotel room after saying I-Do?

And by the way, in Hindu culture, rain on your wedding day even symbolizes good luck! 

3. Amsterdam is such a romantic city 

Romantic might not be the first adjective that comes to your mind when you think about Amsterdam. After all, there is Paris THE European city of romance. But don’t be mistaken; Amsterdam has so much more to offer than coffee shops, the red light district, and raw fish.

Here are some of my favorite romantic things to do as newlyweds:

  • Walk along the Amsterdam canals early in the morning and watch the city come to life before you have breakfast in one of the many cozy brunch places. 
  • Have a picnic in a park. The most famous one is Vondelpark, but many more are just as beautiful. For example, Westerpark. This park was originally established in 1891 and if it starts to rain, you can check out the arthouse cinema or have coffee at one of the cafes that are located in the park. 
  • Visit De Hortus, one of the world’s oldest Botanical gardens. With its greenhouse, exotic plants, and hundreds of butterflies inside the butterfly greenhouse, it’s a true romantic sanctuary in the middle of Amsterdam’s city center. And remember, you can also get married in De Hortus.
  • Have lunch in the enchanted garden of Huize Frankendael’s restaurant Merkelbach. It’s a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of the city where you can enjoy delicious traditional and seasonal food. 
  • If you have more time for a day trip, head to one of THE most gorgeous and enchanting castles in Europe: Kasteel de Haar. You can easily get there by public transportation. The fairy tale castle is surrounded by parkland with impressive trees, old gardens, and ponds. Just magical!
Wedding in the garden of Huize Frankendael I Image by Marielle Kokke Fotografie

4. You cannot get legally married in Amsterdam

Unless one of you is Dutch or has a resident visa, it’s impossible to get legally married in the Netherlands. At first, this might seem like a big disadvantage. But think about it this way, you don’t have to deal with all the paperwork and bureaucracy of a foreign country, and you save yourself the trouble of getting your wedding legalized in your home country. 

Instead, you can have a quick and simple wedding at home and enjoy a romantic, fun, truly unique symbolic ceremony in Amsterdam. 

[Related: The Benefits of Destination Elopement Packages]

5. The Netherlands is huge on lgbtq+ rights

Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1811. In 1927 the first gay bar opened in Amsterdam. In 1996 Amsterdam organized its famous Gay Pride Festival for the first time. And in 2001 the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

These are just a few of the milestones that make Amsterdam one of the gay friendliest cities in the world and a top destination for LGBTQ+ couples. You don’t need to search for gay-friendly hotels, restaurants, or activities as the entire city is open and welcoming living by the saying “live and let live”.

Image by Lukas & Sophia

To finish off, here are three fun facts:

  • Everyone speaks English! Even if you want to speak Dutch to improve your language skills, as soon as Amsterdammers realize that Dutch is not your first language, they will speak English- always, all the time.  
  • The most popular wedding gift is money.
  • Married women in the Netherlands tend to keep their own names.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any questions about planning your Amsterdam destination wedding, send me an email at michaela@lovelyandplanned.com or get in touch with me right here

Love, Michaela


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