This celebration was a majorly international love fest. Marina is Russian and Abbas is Azerbaijani, and they can call both Moscow and Amsterdam home. They had their wedding in Russia and threw a sweet little dinner party and reception for their best friends from all over the world on a boat cruise through the canals of Amsterdam. Their guests came from all over Europe, and two of them even flew into the Netherlands from Africa (via London) while we were cruising around - we took a detour to the town of Amstel to meet them, and soak up some of the nice afternoon light. It was really a pleasure for me to get to meet such a great group of people, and to see how happy Marina and Abbas are together - she laughs at his corny jokes, and they jumped on a bicycle built for two in the Vondelpark. There were other surprises in the park - see for yourself!
Marina is a lovely lady, and in spite of the offers of champagne, she made sure her make up was just right before we headed to the park for some portraits.
Suddenly, a wild bachelor party appeared. Toward the end of our photo shoot, we saw a crowd of Dutch guys careening toward us on rented red Mac bikes. As they came to a halt in the sandy soil, their ring leader hoisted Marina into the air and his friends attempted to share their beer with Abbas. The green of the Heineken bottles and the pink of the groom-to-be's curly wig matched Marina's bouquet. It was awesome.
We took a couple of taxis to the Piet Heinkade and passed by some more iconic Amsterdam scenes on the way.
Abbas held the bouquet out the back seat window while we were stopped at an intersection to rally the small convoy of their friends.
We boarded a spiffy boat where Marina, Abbas and their guests ate, drank and were merry (married?) as we wandered under bridges and past windmills throughout the afternoon.
A violinist (Melanie Waite) and a cellist performed classical songs for the guests as we sailed along.