Jules Von Hep, the founder of beauty brand Isle of Paradise, didn’t believe in love at first sight—until he laid his eyes upon Mark Beverlo. “I always thought it was a total myth, but now I’m convinced it exists as it happened to us,” shares Jules with Brides. As he was prepping to launch his brand in November 2017, Jules went for drinks at The Ham Yard Hotel in London. “I had a business meeting with a retailer the next day, but had my arm twisted by a friend and went out ‘for one drink.’ As I sat down, I turned my head across the hotel bar and there he was—tall, blonde hair, blue eyes. Our gaze locked and that was it. My phone went and my meeting the following day had been cancelled. I just thought, this is it.”
“I’ve NEVER walked up to anyone in a bar before, but there was something I couldn’t resist about him,” recalls Jules. “I took fate into my own hands and walked over an introduced myself. We got chatting and I said to him he should join my friends and I for dinner that night (thinking he’d say no). But, he did. He joined us with his friend and colleague and that was it. We’ve been completely inseparable ever since!”
In early March 2020, Mark decided to take Jules to Thailand and pop the question. However, it didn’t go quite as planned. Jules shares, “The restaurant had leant heavily on forced romance and covered our table in rose petals. I laughed and said, ‘I’d hate to be proposed to now,’ not knowing he had the engagement ring in his pocket! He then proceeded to sit on a termite nest and was covered in insects! The night had gone far from being organized and seamless, but that’s how I like it—just like normal life.”
“Mark ended up proposing as we sat on a bean bag, under the moon in a corner of our hotel as I drank Malibu,” the beauty founder shares. “He forgot to get on one knee, the ring didn’t fit, and I had absolutely no idea it was going to happen—it was perfect. Calm, private, and so hilarious, it was romantic in the gentlest of forms.”
With lockdown beginning right when the couple returned to London, the pair decided to keep the engagement a secret for three months. “Although we didn’t get to tell our friends and family in person, we were able to Facetime everyone and slowly spread some joy in a time of darkness,” notes Jules. “We were engaged for over two years, but I loved having a slow and steady build up to the wedding. I think so many people rush getting married, and actually the whole gradual crescendo to the day was glorious!”
When it finally came to planning their wedding day, Mark and Jules decided to tie the knot in The Netherlands, where Mark is from and the couple spend much of their time. “We wanted to show our friends a place we call home—Amsterdam and The Netherlands,” share the pair. “We worked with wedding and events planner Jacky Hoitsema—a very good friend of ours. We couldn’t have planned the day as seamlessly without her. As we don’t live in The Netherlands, it took a huge load off our plate working with someone who knew us personally and could really help bring our vision to life with her endless black book of contacts.”
While it was tricky to find a venue large enough for their 130-person event in Amsterdam, the couple found the perfect venue in a private estate of Menno Kroon outside of town. “His laid-back attitude and the effortless ease of his house and venue was exactly what we were looking for,” describes Jules. “His estate is surrounded by Dutch countryside, with cows, horses, and windmills in their masses! It just felt very us. We must have viewed about 20 venues in total, but when we walked into the orangery at Menno’s estate, it took our breath away and we cried! That’s how we knew it was our venue.”
Their vision for the day? “Fun, personal, camp, yet painfully chic,” share Jules and Mark. “As a same-sex couple, we could really play up the camp, and as we were getting married in The Netherlands, we decided to play up the Dutch theme as a point of difference.” They also wanted to put their guests first. “It’s been such a hard couple of years for everyone, so we wanted our wedding to feel more like a celebration of life—for our guests to let go, forget about reality, and just have fun with one another.”
Ahead, see all the beautifully chic details of Jules and Mark’s wedding celebrations, planned by Jacky Hoitsema and photographed by Jacob Van Rozelaar.
Mark and Jules started their celebrations with a rehearsal dinner with a small group of guests. The pair went into the evening with high spirits. “The best piece of advice we were given is that the entire mood and vibe of the day itself is determined by the couples mood,” the couple shares. “If you’re stressed, anxious, worrying about sound quality, etc., then it’s reflected through the whole day. If you’re pumping out good vibes, positive energy, and you’re ready to party, the whole day will absolutely explode itself the way you want it to! Don’t stress, let go, and have fun!”
While Mark wore a colorful bespoke blazer and shirt by Cad & The Dandy for the rehearsal dinner, Jules embraced neutrals in Umit Benan pants, a Winnie NYC top, and a Shrimps pearl necklace. “I went full bridal,” says Jules. “Why not! It was a dream being in all white as a man for our wedding.”
The charming dinner was decorated with colorful florals and featured a few kind words from family. “My Dad isn’t a public speaker and did a private speech the night before,” adds Jules.
Mark started his day with a gift from his husband-to-be: a handkerchief embroidered with their wedding date and the words: “…because I know you’ll cry when you see me.”
For his wedding day look, Mark donned a bespoke midnight blue suit and tailored pants by Cad & the Dandy, Brioni shoes, and Deakin & Francis pearl cufflinks. He coordinated with his groomsmen—his best friend Todd and his brother Erik—to wear matching bow ties. “Our bow ties were custom made by La Bowtique based on our face shapes with the colors matching one another,” notes the groom. He finished his look off with a spritz of Diptyque Eau Duelle.
“Having a career in the beauty industry has meant I’ve helped celebrities get ready for the red carpet for 15 years,” shares Jules. “So curating my own grooming routine was honestly, a dream.” Of course, he wore his own product, Isle of Paradise Ultra Dark Tan, to set a bronze glow for the day.
Jules’ friend Natasha Stone to do his “balmy, bronzy” makeup look for his wedding ceremony. “I worked with Natasha backstage on “Strictly Come Dancing” back in 2014 and we promised then that she’d do my wedding makeup,” he says. “I wouldn’t have had anyone else touch my face on the day!”
To prep his skin in advance of the celebrations, Jules took Advanced Nutrition Skin Hydration Supplements for 12 weeks prior and worked with celebrity facialist Nichola Joss for six weeks for a holistic skincare experience.
“For me, the hardest part was finding clothes to wear on the day itself,” reflects Jules. “I always wanted to be ‘the bride,’ but society isn’t really geared toward this yet. Finding an all-white suit wasn’t easy, and I didn’t want to have anything bespoke made because I knew I wouldn’t wear it again. I also didn’t want to have that traditional groom look either.”
“I feel like the world isn’t geared toward a male-bride, therefore options were limited. I had to keep reminding myself that society is the problem, not me. It’s our day, and if I want to take that bridal role, I can do it. It just required some mental strength to not conform with what was available and to push boundaries to get what I felt was right for me.”
For his wedding ceremony, Jules decided upon an Alexander McQueen off-white silk suit and Celine boots. As a finishing touch, he wore a “M” gold necklace by Maya Brenner. “I love her jewelry. They’re such delicate subtle pieces and I wanted to have something that reflected Mark in my outfit. I haven’t taken the necklace off since.”
His four bridemaids wore a mix of looks by Halfpenny London. “If there’s one thing I know from the beauty industry, it’s that beauty and confidence comes from individuality. I didn’t want them all having the same hair or same makeup, or being in dresses that don’t suit them,” he shares. “I let the girls pick the colors of their dresses, as well as designs. I wanted them to feel incredible!”
Jules and Mark’s ceremony was framed by a backdrop of beautiful hydrangea and cherry blossoms. Sustainability was a huge focus for the grooms, and they didn’t have to go far to source their florals. “Luckily, our venue is the home of a globally renowned florist in a country where flowers grow in vast quantities, so choosing flowers wasn’t difficult! Menno understood our vision, and over delivered with sumptuous, jaw dropping floral arrangements,” they share.
The energy in the room was unexpected and electric.
Jules walked down the aisle with his father to Elton John’s “Are You Ready For Love” sung by live musicians Janneke Warringa and Elske Fekke, as Mark put his wedding day gift to good use. “Walking down the aisle and the moments before were life highlights,” reflects Jules. “My Dad started crying seconds prior and as we walked down the aisle, everyone whooped and cheered, and I punched my bouquet in the air. The energy in the room was unexpected and electric. People were sobbing, screaming with joy, applauding. It was a moment I don’t think any of us will ever forget. Even the catering staff were crying and they didn’t know us!”
Mark’s mother served as officiant for the day. “Having a parent marry you is a magical moment and I felt very honored to have been able to witness that,” shares Mark. “She made our wedding more accessible to our friends and family as she told stories that not everyone would know, and she brought everyone closer together in a short space of time. It was amazing.”
Jules and Mark also personalized the ceremony by writing their own vows. They share, “Neither of us knew the direction we’d written our vows in prior to the wedding, so it was lovely that we both laughed and cried during our vows!”
The family affair continued as Mark’s nephews brought the rings down the aisle for the couple. “Joris and Sil were such good ring bearers, with an impromptu group hug as they gave us our rings,” the pair reflects. “It was a lovely moment. Although, Jules put the ring on Mark’s other hand—we only realized after the ceremony!”
After the couple said “I do,” they began a celebratory recessional to the Dutch song ‘In Nije Die,’ sung by Janneka Warringa and Elske Fekkes.
As long as you have your teammate, that’s really all that matters.
The couple reflect on the wedding planning process together. “There are always bumps in the road, but we reminded ourselves that the most important part of the wedding is that we married each other,” they say. “Guests drop out, people don’t behave the way you want them too, but that’s life. As long as you have your teammate, that’s really all that matters.”
Next on the wedding day itinerary was the reception. “We kept the reception room doors firmly closed until it was time to eat,” share the newlyweds. “We wanted our guests to feel like they’d entered a dream, with huge floral displays from the tables acting as a canopy to the room, and blue and white delft plates on the tables with blue ribbons to tie the napkins.”
The couple also included a statement bar and LED dance floor in their reception space. One unique thing they decided to add to their vendor list? “We used an array of colored lighting that changed through the reception and paid that bit extra to have a sound and lighting engineer available on the day,” the couple share. “Worth every penny in our opinion—it means no echoey microphones or flickering unusual lights!”
“Sustainability was a key focus for us when choosing our vendors—in particular food. We both go to so many events as part of our job and we find it difficult how much food is wasted during the process,” the couple explains. “We both were incredibly passionate about working with a farm-to-table caterer who worked to a minimal food waste ethos. Before our speeches, we introduced our caterer who talked our guests through the menu, and how we were focused on reducing food waste. We also ensured any cooked food that hadn’t been served was donated to a local food shelter.”
As for the menu, the couple wanted to keep the guests’ comfort in mind. “We’ve been to so many events where we’ve been too full after eating and not wanted to dance. We gave a really clear brief to our caterers—light, sustainable, sharing food that will fill our guests up but not bloat or make anyone uncomfortable.”
The couple also picked out a signature cocktail of the night called the “He Said Yes,” which featured Dutch 2cv Gin with a rose, tarragon, and apple-blossom lemonade.
From the beginning of the wedding planning process, the couple made sure to keep in mind that the whole thing was a party. “There’s a lot of moving parts, but we knew if anything went wrong, none of our guests would care and we’d laugh about it in the future. Planning a wedding with a mental check point of, ‘This is a party, let’s not stress about things that don’t matter,’ really helped keep us stay in the present and enjoy the process.”
The bride and groom got the party started by entering to “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease. “Our friends spun their napkins and we danced for the whole song before sitting down to dinner. It was WILD!” They add, “Throughout the reception, we played ‘90s house music and ‘80s pop. Our guests could barely stay seated for want of dancing and had multiple moments of guests standing up for a dance at their table halfway through the reception!”
Both the couple agree that the speeches were some of their favorite moments of the night. Jules, bridesmaid Sarah Powell, and groomsmen Erik and Todd took the mic during the reception. “I didn’t cry the whole day until Sarah’s speech,” says Jules. “We have a podcast together, so she knows me better than I know myself and she delivered it with so much humor, charisma, and thoughtfulness.” Mark adds, “My cheeks hurt from smiling!”
For dessert, the couple served up a red velvet wedding cake with mascarpone cream and white chocolate. “We’ve been to too many weddings where the cake just doesn’t get eaten and its heartbreaking, so we served ours as dessert,” they share. The bride and groom also offered espresso martinis to guests to fuel them up for the after party.
Before the after party, Jules updated his look with a gold Tom Ford shirt. Natasha Stone also added some shine to his makeup with gold sparkle.
“We are a couple who loves life and really enjoys a party,” share Mark and Jules. “We also felt a real sense of pride as a gay couple and wanted our guests to truly feel like they were at a gay wedding. We hired Dutch drag queen Coby Cabana as our DJ and entertainment, which was out-of-this-world incredible. We surprised our guests with her entrance and really kick started a true, gay, camp party under a ceiling of spinning disco balls.”
The celebrations continued into the night before newlyweds took off on a honeymoon to the Greek islands. While Mark and Jules became family on their wedding day, they love how their wedding helped expand their community as well.
“On the day itself, I had a teary moment with Menno, our florist and venue owner, just before I walked down the aisle,” reflects Jules. “We made friends on this journey, which made it even more magical. We thanked him for everything, and said I hope we can be friends in the future. This felt like more than just a wedding. It felt like we were meeting incredible like-minded people who all sung from the same sheet.”