Whether your tastes run toward complete historical accuracy, or you prefer a few simple period "touches," the most important part of a planning an historic period wedding is ...enjoy it!
With a little planning, a medieval or Renaissance look and feel can be easily incorporated into your wedding invitations, reception menu, flowers and decorations, even the entertainment venue.
Of course, what really sets the tone for a trip back to Renaissance
or medieval times is the proper location ....
Historic Period Wedding Locations
For historic era weddings, nothing compares to a stone castle (or a modern facsimile) for truly authentic feel and ambiance. For church ceremonies, Gothic or Tudor style architecture with lots of weathered stone and stained glass also makes for a perfect venue.
Renaissance and medieval wedding themes also lend themselves naturally to
outdoor locations. Contact your local parks department to see if you can access a scenic woodland or lakeside venue, or think about a nearby country club with a quiet garden setting and party facilities. Your local medieval
or renaissance faire will also be glad to help you arrange your wedding during their annual festivities.
Renaissance & medieval style wedding invitations
Set the tone of your wedding using parchment or cream-colored paper, printed in Gothic or calligraphic type, or go whole hog with decorated scrolls tied with colorful ribbons. Address your guests as "Ye Lords and Ladies" detailing the time and place with the promise of "feasting and merriment to follow".
Renaissance & medieval wedding attire
Here's where your personal taste and budget really matter. Wedding attire may vary from simple period touches to full-blown gowns for the bride and her maids, and authentic attire for the groom and groomsmen. In major cities, costume shops offer a range of choices for renting a complete line of historic era wedding attire.
For a period wedding on a budget, the experts suggest that the bride opt for a simple Empire line dress that will instantly evoke the era without much embellishment..
The renaissance & medieval wedding menu
With a goose, venison, or roast beef fitting the bill nicely,
recipes can be easily updated for modern tastes.
Side dishes might include rustic portions of potatoes and carrots, along with savory salads served with period herbs. Wash it all down with ale, beer,
wine, cider or a hearty jug of medieval mead.
Renaissance & medieval wedding decorations
Liven up your festive celebration by interspersing dark hues with splashes of bold reds, blues and purples. Follow through with
colorful sprays of either fresh or dried flowers. For a truly authentic touch use lots of green ivy, a mainstay of late medieval
and renaissance weddings.
Period wedding music & entertainment
Maintain the ambiance with tapes or CD's of your favorite medieval
or Renaissance music for your grand entrance, interspersing quiet period tunes during dinner. (You can also surprise guests by mixing
it up with lively modern dance music during the reception to encourage everyone to get up and boogie!)
Other fun ideas include arranging for a DJ in a court jester costume and, if your budget allows, seek out period jugglers or other entertainers who specialize in working local medieval or Renaissance faires.