Sunset at Palmetto Bluff

My stay at the Palmetto Bluff Resort

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin (now known as Hailey Bieber) got married at this beautiful resort in South Carolina, called Montage Palmetto Bluff resort. Funny thing is that I had a photoshoot there for Ralph Lauren a few years ago, and I wrote an article for Organice Your Life about it! 

My trip to Palmetto Bluff

I am so lucky that I get to go to amazing locations for shoots. One time, I landed in Savannah, Georgia, and drove to a nearby town called Bluffton, where this amazing resort was located: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.

The Cottages on the property.

Photo shoot

Here I shot Ralph Lauren, together with John Dennis, a male model I know from way back, when we shot Ralph Lauren when we were really young. That's the nice thing about the Ralph Lauren team: you really get to know each other, and become friends! This team was again a group of people that I have worked with for years, so it almost feels like going on vacation! 

The Spa plus pool & Gym

The resort itself

Back to the resort: The Palmetto Bluff is located on a 20.000 acres (!) piece of land. It used to be owned by a big industrial company, but then got sold and became a resort around 2006. And in and around 2008 it was taken over by the Auberge group, and it seems that in 2013 it was taken over by Montage Resorts . Now it is just an amazing resort with cottages, little villas, a little wedding chapel and located next to the beautiful May river. The food is great and you can find the southern hospitality here.


My roomservice salad with green beans, yellow beets and goat cheese.

The rooms

My cottage had a fireplace that turned on with the switch of a button. It also had a steam shower (loved it!) and a nice bathtub. Wireless internet is also for free, and there are a lot of local tv stations. You get a bike for free with your cottage so you can ride anywhere yourself (smart!). Or the golf carts can bring you anywhere.  Since our flight got delayed a day, we ended up spending more time at the resort, which was definitely not a bad thing!

The fireplace.

Ghost stories

I was told a story about a possible ghost haunting the premises, but I have not seen him! It is supposedly a little boy, who died over 100 years ago on this property. The manager of the resort told us he appeared to cleaners in the gym/spa area, and now nobody dares to clean by themselves. Honestly, I was fine, was not scared by that ghost, but did watch out for the alligators that are in the waters in the area.

The cemetery on the property of Palmetto Bluff. one of the people who died is a 3 year old boy, is he maybe the ghost?

Staying at Palmetto Bluff

But back to the good stuff: I really like the nature, the water and the resort in this area, and think it is beautiful to have a luxurious vacation, golfing or enjoying the high-class spa, or even get married! (This is most likely the chapel that Justin Bieber and Hailey got married in.)


The little chapel where you can get married, really cute and romantic!

Palmetto Bluff in the early evening.


I hope I can go back again sometime! I can recommend this beautiful property for a wonderful vacation or even a wedding. Wishing the Biebers lots of love in their marriage!


Love, Lonneke

First published on December 3rd 2010, updated in 2019

Visiting Brattleboro, Vermont!

I once went to Brattleboro,Vermont for 1 reason: The wedding of one of my best friend Johan van Lierop and his fiancee Brooke Magnaghi


I had never been to Vermont, and as I like to travel, I was looking forward to go to Brattleboro. Vermont is known for beautiful skiing, the trees that change color in Fall, but the mountains are also very pretty in the summer. I love hiking, and lakes: It seemed I would get enough of that in Vermont!

Main Street Brattleboro


Brattleboro (see Main Street above) is a small town of about 12.000 people, in the mountains of Vermont, and about 3.5 hours drive from NYC... if you don't take a detour. Check for everyone renting a car: Get a navigation system AND make sure "Avoid tolls" is disabled. Because if it is enabled, your trip takes about 3 hours more...

The first thing I noticed was that Vermont is very clean. I drove around a lot, walked a lot, and I did not see much littering going on. It seems the state has been on the forefront of taking care of the environment. Is that where the name "The Green Mountain State" came from? Everywhere I looked, I found signs of "going green". The clean waters of the river while I went canoeing (just make sure you put sunscreen on, I got a bit red!), or the recycling bins in the restaurants, and looking at the many antiques, vintage and organic clothing stores, the signs were everywhere!

canoeing VermontLonn Canoeing

Four Columns Inn

The hotel was very cute: Four Columns Inn owned by is a charming little place where we had I think the cutest green room. I would definitely stay here again. We were welcomed by the Innkeeper and she showed us the whole house and restaurant, plus the places where we could relax. My boyfriend and I sat on the front porch one night, just talking and enjoying the nice weather. It was really nice.

Lonneke at Four Columns Inn

The restaurant

The restaurant at Four Columns Inn is known in the area as a really good restaurant. We had to make reservations. The food was amazing, local and delicious, and to my surprise: a lot of vegetarian options, and all local yummy foods. Like gazpacho and veggie ravioli (see pictures below). I was super excited! The restaurant was also used as the breakfast room, and everyday some items changed, but the quality stayed 5 stars, and things you can expect is home made muffins, Egg frittata, fresh cherries from the garden.

gazpacho at Four Columns InnVegetable Ravioli at Four Columns Inn


The location of the Inn

I also swam in the pool, and while it was a bit cold, i t was really nice. The garden and lake around the Inn are very beautiful.

The center of Brattleboro is really small, but cute. ( see picture on top of Main street Brattleboro) There are a few places worth mentioning:

My favorite store in Brattleboro

This has to be Twice upon a time!  This is the mecca for Antique and Vintage shoppers. They have over 10.000 square feet of space full of anything from furniture, clothing to jewelry and things for your home. Their great concept is that they have over 100 vendors and over 3000 consignors sell their things in this store. The store has a lot of sections where each vendor showing their sales items. I spent a few hours browsing and found great things! Including a drawer that I loved right away, for 1 tenth of the price it would be in New York City. Other finds: A beauty-case in fun colors, 70's glas milk bottle, a gift for Johan and Brooke as they were expecting a baby girl (a 40's girl's baby food plate), an 60's chef's dress, a nice table cloth, a bracelet..vintage napkins I needed for the wedding because I was crying the whole time. A lot of things and I did not even browse the vintage clothing section!

Twice upon a Time 1Jewelry Twice Upon a TimeTwice Upon a Time 2Twice Upon a Time 3


Lunch in Brattleboro

And for breakfast or lunch: The Works Bakery Cafe. The pesto/artichoke sandwich was SO good! This take out/sit down cafe looks cute. It has many healthy options.

The Works Artichoke Sandwich

The Works Artichoke Sandwich ingredients

The Works Logo

When you throw your garbage away you see that you need to separate your waste into 3 bins. I think the words on the garbage bins say it all :)

The Works waste bin 1The Works waste bin 2The Works waste bin 3


Overall, I really want to go back to Vermont, because it has everything I love: Clean air, beautiful nature, lot's of green, mountains, rivers, creeks and lakes! I especially want to go for "Indian Summer": When all the trees change to beautiful colors: red, orange, purple. It is supposed to be amazing and I can't wait to see it!

Love, Lonneke

River BrattleboroVermont


Twice upon a Time,
63 Main St.
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 254-2261

Four Columns Inn

On the Green,

Newfane, Vermont, 05345


The Works Bakery Cafe

118 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301


First published on August 15th 2011, updated in 2019

DIY Wedding Bouquet

You don't need to spend a lot of money on a wedding bouquet when you get married. All you need is a creative mind to make a DIY Wedding Bouquet! (DIY = Do It Yourself).

When I got married, I made my own wedding bouquet. How? I went to look for beautiful flowers all around NYC the day of our Wedding (we married at night). I found some nice cream color roses with a short stem at Whole Foods. Then I brought them home, and put them in water.

How to make your own DIY wedding bouquet

You need:

  • Your favorite flowers
  • Paper tape (Japanese masking tape/washi tape  in your favorite color, I chose Gold)
  • A nice big ribbon in the color you like
  • Other ornaments you want to incorporate in your personal wedding bouquet

Grab the flowers one by one and add them into a small bouquet. Make sure the bouquet is rounded, so the outside flowers a bit lower than the middle ones. When you like your bouquet, hold it tight, and wrap around the paper tape around the top of the stems so the bouquet is solid, about 2 inches wide from top down. Cut off the stems to the desired length below the tape. Wrap around a ribbon and make a bow big tie for the bouquet collar. You can add other ornaments around this bouquet collar that mean something to you, like your grandmother's necklace, a piece of fabric or something else you like. You can also add special bouquet jewelry between the flowers in your bouquet. I kept it simple and just added the ribbon I got once when I received a present from someone. When you are done with your bouquet, put it in water until the Big Day. Depending how fresh your flowers are, your wedding bouquet can last up to 2-3 days. (The sooner you use it, the better of course)

The total cost of my bouquet was 25 dollars. I loved that it was beautiful, and that I made it myself,  too!

Love, Lonneke

Just Married!

Our wedding in the News

Our wedding in the news!

Since we broke the news about our marriage we have received many well-wishes from all over the World! Thank you all so much!

A lot of  websites have written nice articles about our announcement. I have added them below.

More details about our wedding part 1 will follow coming weeks! And I will share some secrets to our wedding Part 2 and 3 ;)

Love, Lonneke & Dirk








Just Married!

On the birthday of my late father Rob Engel, 29th of January, Dirk Verest and I, Lonneke Engel, would like to announce our marriage to the World! I am a lucky woman and have never felt more excited for our future together! 

Just married!

Dirk and I are extremely happy with our intimate & spiritual wedding, in our beautiful loft in New York City, in November 2013. Surrounded by close friends, we were married by Brooke, an ordained minister, who is a close friend, and my best friend Johan's wife.

Married life feels good! You have someone in your life you love, who loves you back. You have someone in your life to lean on, and together you are a team. Dirk and I are a team. For better and for worse, for real. And that's something I have longed for, for years.

Love, Lonneke

 My DIY wedding bouquet

Our Wedding in the News


Featured Image by Sophie Blackall, our wedding card.