Rose petals, smiles and cries of delight greeted Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma and his new wife Princess Annemarie after they were united in marriage during a moving ceremony conducted in Dutch and French.
Among those wishing the couple joy at the celebrations in Brussels was Princess Maxima, who was escorted by her husband Willem-Alexander and mother-in-law Queen Beatrix, the aunt of the 40-year-old groom.
Click on photos to enlarge
Despite the impressive guest list and grand surroundings – it took place in La Cambre Abbey, which was founded in 1196 and remodelled in the 18th-century – the wedding had the feel of a happy family event.
Carlos, the son of Queen Beatrix' sister Princess Irene, lived for a number of years with his grandparents, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard when his parents divorced and is consequently very close to the royal family.
Meanwhile, the 33-year-old bride, Annemarie Gualtherie van Weezel, a Brussels-based journalist hails from a distinguished political family in the Netherlands.
For her big day she arrived in a vintage Bentley, resplendent in a breathtaking ivory silk creation in a mermaid silhouette and featuring a four-metre train.
A diamond and pearl tiara lent her by the Dutch monarch and a diaphanous, full-length veil gave her a regal touch and she carried a posy of pink and white flowers.
The happy couple were married in a civil ceremony in June. But a religious blessing planned for August sadly had to be postponed because of the death of the groom's father, also named Carlos.