On the morning of December 6, 2008, Belgians gathered to give and receive presents in observance of St. Nicholas’ Feast Day. That afternoon, Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria and Count Rodolphe of Limburg Stirum also took part in the time-honored tradition, presenting each other with a gift that will last a lifetime– their promise to love, honor and cherish each other as they pledged their devotion first in a civil ceremony, then a religious blessing of their marriage.
Although winter’s chill has taken hold in the city of Mechelen, the beaming smile of the bride warmed the crowd as she clutched a bouquet of pale yellow roses interspersed with white and blue blossoms and strolled along a red carpet leading her inside Mechelen’s City Hall.
One hour after being pronounced husband and wife in a civil ceremony, the newlyweds made their way to St. Rumbolds Cathedral to have their union blessed in the eyes of the church. Strolling down a red aisle runner, the bride passed by family and friends who rose in her honor, admiring her satin wedding ensemble by designer Yves Dooms. The beauty of the regal raiment was enhanced with the addition of a delicate heirloom lace veil which clung to a dainty tiara from the Luxembourg family.
Making their exit from the house of worship, the groom began their happily ever after by kissing his bride’s cheek.