Q&A with Wedding Planner Geraldine van Oversteeg
Meet Geraldine van Oversteeg, a 40-year-old entrepreneur and owner of In Style Wedding Management, a high-end boutique wedding planning company that offers first class service for local and destination weddings and all pre and post wedding events. Geraldine married the love of her life, Richard (43 and Financial Director at Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein) in May 2016 in Tuscany and together they have two beautiful children: Roemer, who is 7 years old and loves to play football, and Kaatje, who is almost 5 years old and is a master in painting, drawing and mostly cutting paper (”With all the mini cut out parts scattered all over the house I’m not so sure we’ll stimulate this hobby!”). Having playdates with her besties is what she loves most.
How would you describe your own personal style?
As much as I love high heels and elegant clothes, I have to save that for the weekend, as during weekdays my life needs trainers and jeans. Thankfully, having worked at Dutch denim brand G-Star for a long time, I learned from the best on how to spice up the jeans making me a fashionable urban denim mummy. Well, I try at least….
As a busy mom how do you combine motherhood with your career?
Both Richard and I feel that our children are the most important parts of our lives. They deserve love, time, attention and dedication to assure they’ll grow up in to becoming warm, responsible, sociable and generous adults. I’m trying to make them understand that they should always think for themselves, never follow the crowd, and to trust their own instincts and sensibility. But sometimes putting this into practice is more difficult than I want it to be. Thankfully both our children attend a wonderful school with amazing parents who are always happy to have our kids for a play date, so if there is no other way, I can always ask my mummy friends to look after them. But the key people in our lives, the ones that make all this career stuff possible for me are my parents. I could not have built this up if it wasn’t for them, and I am eternally grateful for their everlasting love and support. I guess that’s why I want to put my children first too. I learned from the best!
If the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself but there’s no way you can balance this with being a fulltime mom, what would you do? Dream job or family?
I would do everything possible to find a way in making both possible. Why not doing the mummy job part-time with amazing nanny help? As my job is mostly about solving problems and dealing with difficulties, I am convinced there’s always a solution to any problem. If I could organize the wedding of a lifetime, I would definitely try to find a way to make that happen. But if I would see my children unhappy because of it, I would let it go in a heartbeat.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I never really realised how much I love a good deep fry, but after living in London for a few years, I longed for a Dutch bitterbal, or even better (now I’m really honest), a kaassoufflé. I can’t help it. I just love em!!
Which fashion mom you look at for inspiration?
Nikki Plessen her children attend our school and I sometimes bump into her on the playground. She always looks impeccable, even at 8:30 on a weekday morning when dropping off her children. I wish I could look like that on a morning school run but unfortunately it’s jeans, trainers and my G-Star leather jacket that will have to do. I don’t get any further than brushing my hair and doing my facial morning routine (meaning: quick face & eye crème, deodorant and perfume). I’d love to have a coffee with her to see how she does it all. I mean: besides looking ab fab, she has built up this fashion empire that she deserves all the credit for! Such an amazing accomplishment.
What is the best part about being a mom?
Best part of being a mum is that I have come to experience a different kind of love, one that is totally unconditional, both in the giving and the receiving end. I will never fall out of love with my children, and I hope my children will never fall out of love with me. Even on my worst days, loving them and receiving their love in return is the best thing that could ever have happened to me. I love one on one time with my kids. Those moments when they feel they can tell me anything, and they give me the best warm hugs a mummy could wish for. There is nothing that beats the feeling of two small warm arms around my neck and a small voice whispering in my ear “I love you, mummy”.
What inspires you most in life and where do you find creativity?
I have some amazing girlfriends who all have their struggles in life. One has breast cancer, the other is a single mum, and an other has an awful lung disease for which she recently received surgery and got a lung transplantation. They all have children and life is often hard on them. Still they seem to find positivity even in their lowest days. I have nothing but total admiration for how they continue to carry on and find strength in their children, their families and with their loved ones. They are my daily dose of inspiration and they make me realise how blessed I am that I have this wonderful family and this amazing job!
Are there any fun (childhood) traditions that you share with your kids?
When in London, we celebrated Christmas like they do in the UK: on Christmas morning. We had presents, a lovely breakfast that turned into lunch as we took our time unwrapping all the gifts and having croissants and pancakes in between. We stayed in our pj’s all day, the kids played with their new toys and we watched a movie all together on the sofa. It is one of my happiest memories of our time in London and we decided to celebrate Christmas like that as of then. Being back in The Netherlands, we will continue this tradition for as long as possible.
What’s currently on your reading list? Favorite book(s) of all time?
Favourite book of all time is The Bridges of Madison County, which is a love story between a married woman, stuck in an unhappy marriage, who meets a free spirited photographer visiting her town and looking for the covered bridges of Madison County. They fall in love and have the most intense, loving weekend of their lives together until her husband comes back and he needs to return to the city. Their love and longing for each other is so pure and intense that as a reader you feel torn and sad because you know it is never going to happen for them. The book is all about that pure rush of love. That moment when your life changes and your heart feels as if it might soar right out of your chest. The realization that you absolutely have to be with that other person no matter what, is a terrifying feeling yet wonderful all at the same time. This book really and truly shows just how deep and how strong love can be.
What keeps you relaxed in stressful times? Describe your ultimate Me-time moment.
Being alone in the house for at least 24hrs is something that rarely happens but when it does, I take full advantage of it. I love it! First I have a sleep in and read my favourite bridal magazines, and I decide myself at what time it is appropriate to get up (and not my children who wake me up at 7AM with the credo “mummy I’m hungry”). Then I’ll have a long shower, I’ll do my nails and style my hair. After that I’ll have lunch with a girlfriend, go to an exhibition or museum and then I end the day with some amazing take-out sushi on my sofa watching multiple episodes of Game of Thrones (just finished the last season and am dying for the next to start!). First thing next morning is picking up the kids. As much as I love me-time, I love us-time even more!
How do you stay healthy? Are there any beauty and lifestyle tips you would like to share?
I think that being healthy is having both spirit and body in total balance. Just eating the right food and working out regularly isn’t going to cut it. You need to find the time to also give your mind the correct amount of peace and rest. My best beauty tip would be to get enough sleep. It not only benefits your skin (as cells renew over a good nights’ sleep), but when you look in the mirror the morning after a good sleep and you look like you can take on anything, no beauty ritual can beat that!
What is your favorite holiday destination with kids?
Ekies All Senses Resort in Halkidiki, Greece. Heaven on earth and amazing with kids!
A decade ago would you have pictured your life as it is now?
A decade ago I worked as an international brand-marketing manager at Dutch denim brand G-Star. I travelled all over the world, every month another city, from LA to Tokyo, from Shanghai to New York. I managed extremely demanding projects like G-Star’s fashion shows during New York Fashion Week, grand store openings with A-list celebrities like Liv Tyler, Pink and many others. Even though I had to work hard, I loved it and it made me what I am today. Back then I was single and I lived for that job. I never would have thought I would meet my true love, have two children with him, give up G-Star and move to London and now start my own wedding planning company. I enjoyed my old life, but I love my new one. Having my own wedding planning company is a dream come true, a place where I can combine all my G-Star experience with creating amazing, memorable weddings and events.
Can you name 10 things (in no particular order) you couldn’t live without?
- My mum and dad, Richard and the kids. Not necessarily in that order!
- Home made tomato soup by my mum. A family tradition from when I was still a child, when on Saturday we always had soup and bread for dinner.
- My Ray Ban aviator sunglasses.
- My black leather biker jacket (I need a new one though, but it is hard to find that perfect one) and my black Zara scarf.
- Denim, denim, denim! Black, blue, skinny or boyfriend, as long as it’s denim.
- My bike. What is an Amsterdam mother to do without one? I always lock it properly because I simply can’t face the idea of having it stolen.
- A glass of Gruner Veltliner white wine on a Friday night with my bestie Charlotte in our favorite local London hangout.
- In Style Wedding Management. Having my own wedding planning company and being able to work together with couples who want to create a magical wedding day or destination-wedding weekend fills my heart with so much joy. Being able to combine my expertise in project management and my love for creating amazing events is truly a dream come true.
- My Nespresso machine. I need a Latte Machiatto around 11am or nothing comes out of my hands.
- My car. All these drop offs and pick ups at soccer practice, swimming class, and play dates can be done a lot more comfortably then on a bike. A mother has to pick her battles, right?
What advice would you give working moms who struggle with stress, a busy job, and family, career and time for yourself?
Plan a weekend away with your man only. No kids, just the two of you. Enjoy an outstanding dinner, order the best wines, and check in to a luxury boutique hotel. Sleep in the next morning before returning to your regular daily routine. Do it. Invest in your relationship and allow yourself some luxury one in a while. Work hard, play hard!