After 5.5 years of love and happiness, we're getting married!!! Woohooooo!
We're tying the knot in the presence of our family and friends in Nantucket, on September 6th, 2014.
On a pleasantly warm Halloween night in 2008, we were both persuaded by our friends to join them for an all-you-can-drink (yes, very fancy) Halloween party in Brooklyn. Caitlin barely got in: she had to sneak by the bouncers with her fake ID. After a few Vodka-Red Bull's she came over and pulled my afro. "Is this real??" She took it off and put it on her own head. I didn't mind, because she stayed to talk to me: "Where is your accent from?!?"
I took advantage of my - at that time - obvious Dutch accent and she asked me out for a picnic two days later. It was on November 2nd, 2008 - our first date!
Five years later, November 2nd, 2013, we went back to the same exact spot in Central Park. I was really nervous. During our anniversary picnic I snuck a ring out of my backpack and asked her to marry me. She said YES!
In the beginning of 2015, we are planning to go on a delicious honeymoon together. Because not everyone can make the trip across the country (or the Atlantic!), we are asking our family and friends to make your their love and affirmation known by contributing toward the costs of our honeymoon.
As you contribute to our project by adding Halos to the canvas above, you uncover some of the fun and loving memories we had over the last 5.5 years.
Thanks a lot for your support and we hope to see you in September!
With our wedding coming up in September, I wanted to build a page for the two of us to raise money for our honeymoon. I explored all crowdfunding platforms out there but none offered the interaction and visualization I was thinking of. So I thought, why not build one for us? I spent some time to put together a 'visual crowdfunding' website, where people can post personal crowdfunding projects and where Funders can leave their footprint on the projects they support.
Wow, we've been married for almost two months already! - feels like years! ;)
Thanks to everyone who came out to Nantucket and joined us in our celebration. We think of that magical day a lot, and we're sad it went by so quickly. Some time in 2015, we'll be doing a Dutch wedding celebration as well, and you'll all be invited to do it all over again!
We're currently planning to find a good date for our honeymoon. It will probably happen some time early 2015, so we can get a nice break from New York's cold and gruesome winter. Thanks for your support in sending us to paradise! We actually never went on vacation with just the two of us... Because of your support, it's going to be EPIC!!
We've been looking at some SWEEEEEET places to stay:
And eat (!!!):
You will receive another update as soon as we've nailed down our final itinerary!
Last but not least, we received a nice 6min video of our wedding ceremony and subsequent party and we'd like to share it with you:
The videographer company is Love & Brain Films. Thanks Courtney!!!
More updates soon!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Thanks again for all your kind donations! We have been married now for almost four months and all is going well ;)
After an amazing Christmas in Cleveland, we'll be back home in NYC for New Year's eve. Ready for an awesome 2015 together!
We wanted to share our new (second) wedding video with you all:
This time with recorded audio :)
After going back and forth (for a year and a half!) on many different potential destinations, we finally picked the Island of Kauai to celebrate our marriage.
Kauai is the oldest of Hawaiian Islands, formed by volcanic activity about 6 million years ago. It is also the Island where Jurassic Park was recorded, so I've been singing the Jurassic Park theme song for the last two weeks. In case you want to hear it, here you go:
We're staying at the Koa Kea Resort, which is located on the very South tip of the Island:
In the North, there is great hiking and surfing, where we will spend quite some time as well.
We're leaving April 12th and going back on the 22nd. We planned some fun activities like snorkeling, a food tour and visiting a solar PV plant. Can't wait to go there!
More updates later!
Caitlin and Rob van Haaren
Here are updates from days 4 through 6!
You can’t go to Hawaii without at least trying to surf. With this in mind, we decided to take surf lessons at Poi’Pu beach. It was awesome! Unfortunately, we don’t have any videos for you to watch – but you’ll have to take our word for it that we both did surprisingly well.
Both of us were able to get up on the board and surf all the way to the shore! Our surf teacher, Ziggy, helped us out in the beginning with a little push to get some speed so we didn’t have to peddle that much. Later during the lesson though, we did it all by ourselves. We will probably go out again and take some videos for you to enjoy!
The rest of Day 4 we spent at the beach & pool, and in the evening we went to a Tapas restaurant on the South Shore. Below is a picture of one of the dishes that we got served!
We heard some great things about the North Shore of Kauai. One of them is that much of the Jurassic Park movie was recorded there… Do you remember this scene and location?
So we decided to go on a boat trip starting at Port Allen (South side) all the way to the North Shore along the West coast. Captain Andy’s charter company took us and about 25 others on a nice catamaran and we started sailing. We were first brought out to a snorkeling spot, where we saw some beautiful fish – but no pretty coral! For the first hour or so, everything seemed to be going well! But when we were almost halfway to the North shore, things started to get rough.. About 10 people got sick and spent the rest of the trip hanging over the back of the boat.
We did get to see some dolphins on the way there, which was pretty cool.
On the way back we picked up some delicious Shave Ice from a small local company called: The Fresh Shave. They basically take a big block of ice and stick it on a base that is manually spun and pushed onto a blade. The shavings land in a cup and then they pour some fresh, fruity flavors on top with some banana and coconut slices. Delicious!!!
Day 6 was a lazy day. Time to relax.
When we walked out of our hotel room, we saw a beautiful DOUBLE Rainbow, all the way!
Outside our hotel, there’s one of those trees with giant roots sticking out of the ground, where, in the Jurassic Park movie, Dr. Grant and the kids found some of the dinosaur eggs:
(Can you tell how much Rob loves Jurassic Park?)
We took strolls along the beach and saw some seals sunbathing.
And in the evening we saw a great sunset.
Many people gather on the beach just to enjoy the sunset. Then, after sundown, everyone goes back to whatever they were doing before.
As you know, the pictures don’t do it justice. This place is absolutely amazing.
We hear the locals say that it’s getting more touristy each year, and even though they are a very loving and sharing community, they regret to see nature slowly receding for resorts and such. I can’t believe some folks dare to come here and make it even worse by leaving their trash on the beach and along some of the beautiful trails we did!
The last update will include the rest of our honeymoon trip.. Unfortunately, we only have a couple days left..
Unfortunately, I’m typing this update from the U.S. mainland.. After being completely spoiled by all of Kauai’s delicious food, beautiful beaches and endless Maj Tajs, we had to pack our bags and go home. It was an amazing honeymoon, the perfect conclusion to our wedding celebration. For me personally, the time spent with my wife was a confirmation of how lucky I am to be with her and how perfectly we fit together. So often, we find ourselves thinking of the same joke, laughing about the same thing we see or saying the same thing at the same time. Jynx!
Maybe that’s what happens when you live together for over seven years and your minds just magically align.
We both feel blessed to be surrounded by our loving family and friends. Every day during our honeymoon we remembered our wedding day – it feels like it all happened only a couple months ago…
Anyway, here is our picture-update from the last four days. Enjoy!
Day 7: Chocolate Farm and Fruit tour
Guess what, pretty much every plant imaginable grows on Kauai. With so much sunlight and rain, it is the perfect place to grow fruit, vegetables, flowers and other flora. This is especially true for the North Shore, which gets more precipitation than other parts of the island. On Day 7, we took a tour there at a chocolate farm and tasted the different kinds of dark chocolate that they grow and make there. Aside from cocoa beans, we also tasted the many different kinds of fruit that grow at the farm. Here are some pics:
Day 8: North Shore Food tour & Private Public Beach
On Day 8, we traveled to the North Shore and enjoyed a food tour around some popular places with the local population. Most notably, we met an 18 year old girl who started her own food truck company called “Trucking Delicious” and tried some of her signature chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches (yes!). After the local restaurants, we ended up at a farmers’ market in the middle of the bushes!
After the food tour, we drove back to the South Shore but couldn’t help it to make a stop at one of the beautiful public, but difficult to reach beaches. A perfect place for a quick snorkeling and sunbathing session!
Day 9: Shotguns and Beach day
One of the items that was left unchecked on our bucket list for many years was: “Shoot a gun”. Interestingly, our romantic honeymoon became the time to do it :)
Here's my wife shooting sporting clays... She actually happens to be really good at it. I don't know if I should be happy with that or not.
Day 10: The Last Day: Relax & Dinner
The last day on the island, we decided to just relax at the swimming pool and have dinner at the Grand Hyatt…
Crazy in love since Halloween 2008, when we met at a party in Brooklyn!