November 20, 2017

Helmond Castle toasts a century of weddings

Filed under: Architecture,Art by Orangemaster @ 4:51 pm


Next year, the Museum Helmond in Helmond, Noord-Brabant will be featuring an exhibition entitled ‘100 Jaar Trouwen’ (‘100 Years of Weddings’), and is asking anyone who got married at Helmond Castle, where the museum is located, to send in some wedding pictures.

Anyone who sends in pictures might be featured in their exhibition. As well as pictures, the museum will also exhibit old wedding dresses to give visitors an idea of the bridal fashion worn from the 1920s until the present day. Send in your pics at

Helmond Castle is the biggest moated castle in the Netherlands. Besides the castle, the world-famous textile company Vlisco that sells wax print textiles in African countries is also located in Helmond.

(Link:, Photo:

Tags: , ,

July 20, 2016

A house that splits in two for the divorced

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 4:07 pm


Getting divorced? Now you can split your house in half instead of inconveniencing all your friends and family with the gamble you took on a major life decision in the first place. Amsterdam’s Studio OBA’s ‘Prenuptial Housing’ offers a solution for marriages that end up in divorce.

The design consists of two prefabricated units that look like one – a bit like your marriage at some point. The building is made from lightweight carbon fibre elements and a semi-transparent wooden layer that enhances the unity – a bit like your marriage at some point. When couples feel they are drifting apart, the house initiates a ‘break up’ by detaching the two units which then go solo on the water – a bit like your divorce.

Remember, in the Netherlands, prenuptial agreements were being discussed in 2010, as community property (joint ownership) is still the norm. In fact, the term ‘prenup’ is something most people know from watching American televisions programs.

(Link and photo:

Tags: , , , ,

April 2, 2016

Amsterdam celebrates 15 years of same-sex marriages

Filed under: Dutch first,History by Branko Collin @ 9:56 pm

amsterdam-same-sex-marriageThe city of Amsterdam released a video yesterday titled 15 Years of Equal Marriage.

The video shows the city celebrating and looking back on the four same-sex weddings that were held at city hall on 1 April 2001. The weddings were officiated by Job Cohen, the former mayor of Amsterdam, at midnight.

(Video: Vimeo / Amsterdam; image: crop of a still from the video)

Tags: , , , , ,

August 26, 2015

A Dutch marriage tradition partially disappears

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 4:03 pm

Yesterday a Dutch wedding tradition was updated: the custom of ondertrouw, which is said to be the equivalent of getting a marriage licence. In the Netherlands, a couple has to go to town hall to announce their intention of getting married, a pre-marriage legal requirement in Belgium as well.

As of September 1, couples can announce their intent to marry by filling out a form online in their municipality free of charge, saving some 10 to 20 euro. I would imagine it saves time and frees up one’s diary around a busy planning period as well.

The new electronic document is still needed two weeks before the actual wedding to have the right to marry, giving bureaucrats time to check the partners’ personal details. And just like before, this ‘permission to marry’ expires after one year.

(Link:, photo of wedding figurines by ValentinaST, some rights reserved)

Tags: , ,

September 18, 2013

Get married for free in Amersfoort on 11 December 2013

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 3:26 pm

For those of you shopping for a free wedding like the ones offered in Beuningen and Arnhem a few years back, the city of Amersfoort, Utrecht (where painter Piet Mondriaan was born) is offered free weddings on 11-12-13-14-15, or 11 December (12) 2013 (13) at 14:15 to five lucky couples.

The mayor himself, Lucas Bolsius, will be handling the ceremony and every couple can have their own reception for 12 people (the rest of the guests have to pay for their food and drinks) in fun places like the Amersfoort Zoo.

Mail the city at and tell them why you should get a free wedding. The couples will be chosen on 9 October.

(Link:, Photo by ValentinaST, some rights reserved)

Tags: , ,

August 2, 2013

Have DJ Tiësto marry you in Las Vegas

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 6:33 pm

On 17 August, world-famous DJ TIësto will perform at Hakkasan at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and he’s giving his Facebook fans the chance to have him officiate and spin CDs at their wedding. He plans to pick the lucky couple who give him a good story out of his inbox, so send him some mail at by August 10.

After reaching 15 million fans on Facebook this week, it is apparently time for TIësto to give back and get even more publicity. He’s also giving a whole new meaning to the concept of wedding DJ.

(Links:,, Photo of DJ Tiësto by PauliD, some rights reserved)

Tags: , ,

June 16, 2013

Dutch working mothers are paid less than working fathers

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:34 pm

OK, this is somewhat old news (in fact, Dutch Daily News covered it two months ago), but I still want to write about it because this follows up on earlier stories. Basically what I am trying to find out is how we, the Dutch, define Enlightenment ideals such as freedom, equality and happiness. It is clear that they are important to us, but we have been pursuing aspects of these ideals hundreds of years before other Western nations did and as a result, when looking through a global lens, we seem to do everything exactly different.

As they say, Dutch women don’t get depressed.

Here is the deal. In many ways the Dutch are some of the least gender equal people in the world. Our ratio of men and women in management roles is similar to that of the United Arab Emirates—and the Arabs at least are working to improve theirs. Furthermore, 60% of all Dutch women do not make enough money to pay their way through life—but they like it that way! In fact, men want some of that part-time action too!

So now a new study has come out that adds another piece to the puzzle. It appears that gender inequality is especially strong among working parents in the Netherlands. On the other hand the income of single men and women without children who work full-time jobs are exactly the same. I thought that was interesting. You’d expect at least some old-fashioned sexism to depress even those incomes by a couple of points. Perhaps that in the parts of our population where sexism is still rife (the Bible belt, anyone?) single, childless women with full-time jobs are rare.

If everybody is happy about this arrangement, then who I am to disagree? There is a difference between women being forced into inequality and women choosing inequality. Where things get weird is in relationships. The default Dutch marriage setting is that of community property (for now). The state sees a marriage as a contract between the state and two people. When the partners dissolve the wedding, the state typically demands that the high earner keeps supporting the low earner through alimony. What kind of incentives does an arrangement like that produce?

See also:

(Link: Statistics Netherlands. Photo by ValentinaST, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

May 14, 2013

Police accused of brokering a wedding to save a girl’s family’s honour

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:09 pm

Dutch police in Amsterdam Zuidoost have been accused of acting as ‘matchmakers’ for two underaged Dutch Muslims of Pakistani and Hindustani background. Together with Fier Fryslan, a Friesland-based organisation specialising in ‘relationship violence’, the ones who were involved in redesigning women’s shelters to put them out in the open, had their hand in a religious wedding performed to save the girl’s family’s honour.

Dutch law apparently forbids religious weddings, and the couple have agreed to attend a civil ceremony when they turn 18 to make it nice and legal, but the critics aren’t happy with that at all. They argue that traditional Islamic marriages put women in a subordinate role by denying them equal rights such as divorce.

Both the police and Fier Fryslan say that the media attention is being taken out of context, as they would not actually have agreed to a forced marriage. However, a social worker in Amsterdam Zuidoost has accused both parties of acting as if they have ‘saved the day’.

(Links:,, Photo by Anthony Kelly, some rights reserved)

Tags: , ,

December 27, 2012

‘No flowers for the Pope’ on Facebook gaining momentum

Filed under: Online,Religion by Orangemaster @ 2:50 pm

After weeks of debating the ‘Zwarte Piet’ tradition during Sinterklaas, which involves blackface considered a tradition here but racist abroad, a steady number of Dutch people on Facebook are now pissed off at the Pope.

The Pope’s famous Dutch saying, “bedankt voor de bloemen” (“thanks for the flowers”), is often the first thing that pops to mind if you mention the Pope to a Dutch person. The Facebook page Geen bloemen naar de Paus (‘No flowers for the Pope’) wants to stop sending flowers to the Pope at Easter and is venting its anger at the Pope’s heteronormative Christmas speech, which angered Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans who lashed out in the media at the Pope’s ‘homophobia’:

“If every person is unique, as the Pope’s representative said in Dublin last week, then why should that unique person not have the right to stand up for their own sexual orientation? Marriage between two people of the same sex is having respect for the uniqueness of the individual.”

I for one will never, ever get over the amount of child abuse reported from the Catholic church since I was old enough to understand what it was.

The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriages, although some controversy remains over municipal officials who refuse to marry gays and lesbians on religious grounds.

Regardless, to quote a gay friend back in the 1990s inspired by the American’s first Bush administration: “Hate is not a family value”.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

November 9, 2011

The well-off like free and cheap weddings, too

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:07 pm

First, Beuningen boasted about its free quickie marriage between 8:45 and 9 am, now the city of Arnhem down the road is whinging about ‘rich’ people abusing their freebie wedding time slot. Ironically, newspaper De Telegraaf doesn’t write ‘rich’ (self-censorship, anyone?), but ‘highly educated’, as some sort of clever euphemism for people with actual jobs versus the state subsidised couch sitting set.

In Arnhem the waiting list for a free ‘I do’ is more than six months. Offering free weddings was to let the ‘less fortunate’ marry with or without a ceremony, common fare around the country, but come on, if you’re offering it for free in a country that thrives on free stuff, you have to expect your altruistic ideas to fail.

The Monday morning speedy wedding is popular with the ‘richer’ folks, although it’s very dressed down. To marry at another time costs 99 euro and the full monty service with separate room and guests costs 399. Just expecting people with more money to spend more is cute, but not realistic, crisis and all.

There’s really no story here except that some journalist apparently cannot wrap their brain around the fact that people with actual money have choices. They should either bone up on the finance section or move to a communist country.

(Link:, Photo by Anthony Kelly, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , ,