Medieval weddings take you back to the middle ages, from approximately 475 to 1450 AD. This was a time when marriages were arranged by the bridr's and groom's families. Brides were often much younger than their soon-to-be husbands, and the entire village would come to the wedding ceremony to celebrate with the newlyweds.
When planning your Medieval wedding, you must first decide if you would like to have a royal wedding or a peasant wedding. For a royal wedding, the bride and groom will dress in much more elaborate and lavish clothing. The decorations will also be more ornate and may include banners highlighting the coat of arms or family crest of the groom. Lush, beautiful flowers, such as rich red roses or elegant lilies, can be used to decorate the reception area. For a peasant wedding, the decor and attire will be much simpler. The bride's wedding dress will be unadorned, and wildflowers in clay pots will be used to decorate for the ceremony and reception.
Where should your medieval wedding be held? An historic castle would be the first choice, although castles are hard to come by in the United States. What are your other choices?
- An older church, especially one with stone walls and stained-glass windows.
- Historic buildings or homes.
- Modern ballrooms or even your local Country Club can be dec." Hang rich tapestries on the walls, bring in lush ivy arrangements, and place wooden candelabras throughout the area for a Medieval look.
- Holding the ceremony in a lush garden filled with beautiful flowers is also a wonderful idea. Consider renting large white tents for the reception area.
- If you are having a peasant wedding, you may wish to marry in a wooded area of a park.
- Local Renaissance fairs should also be considered. Many times these annual fairs attract brides and grooms who like the idea of getting married during the festivities, as they will be surrounded by guests in period costumes.
Medieval fashions are an important part of your theme wedding. The medieval wedding gown is made of rich fabrics such as velvet or brocade. A medieval bride must remember that brides of long ago considered blue to be a sign of purity; white gowns were rarely worn.
Brides can also choose to wear royal purple, rich gold, deep green, or even black wedding gowns. The gown will usually have a fitted bodice that ties in the front or back with beautiful ribbon. The bodice is often low-cut, but not too revealing. The skirt is full and flowing, but trains are not common. The sleeves are fitted until they reach the wrists where they take on a bell shape.
If you are planning a royal wedding, think lavish! Rich embroidery and intricate lace detail will make your gown special. Instead of a veil, consider wearing a wreath of fresh flowers in your hair. Your bridesmaids should choose gowns that are similar to the bride's dress.
What should your groom wear?
Medieval grooms often wore tunics of varying lengths over tights. Breeches would also be appropriate if your groom shudders at the thought of wearing tights! For a special touch, consider embroidering or embossing his family's crest of arms on the tunic. Groomsmen should dress in similar attire.
Where can you find Medieval-style clothing for your wedding?
Contact local costume shops or Renaissance fairs, or search the Internet for clothing to order. You can also have your attire custom-made by a local seamstress, or try sewing the clothing yourself. For fun, provide your guests with the locations where they too can find period clothing to wear to your wedding.
What should you serve at your Medieval theme wedding?
Traditionally, the bride and groom served meats such as venison, mutton, quail, goose, fish, or turkey. Fresh fruits and a selection of aged cheeses were also served, as were thick slices of bread. Drinks included ales, wine, water, and even milk. For authenticity, consider renting wooden plates and utensils and serving the drinks in pewter mugs.
Since the invitation is the first hint of what your wedding will be like, this should have an old-world look as well. Consider having your invitations written in calligraphy on thick parchment that can be rolled to look like a scroll and tied with a piece of string or ribbon. The wording can include things such as, Hear Ye, Hear Ye, and Thy presence is requested. Your ceremony can also include Medieval wording for an authentic touch.
When it is time for the two of you to leave your reception, what better way to make a grand exit than astride a saddleless horse. As you wave goodbye to your friends and family, you will know that your lifelong journey with your Knight in Shining Armor has only just begun.