Medieval and Renaissance Weddings are the "newest"
old trend in weddings. Movies like "Ever After"
and "Elizabeth" are helping the resurgence in interest.
Medieval and Renaissance fairs are growing yearly and doing
a booming wedding business as well. Today's weddings have
most people wearing clothes they would not normally wear.
Medieval weddings take this one step farther to renting a
costume instead of a tuxedo.
Medieval weddings also have the added advantage of being an
unusual event with all the excitement of a costumed ball.
Many modern wedding customs are holdovers from medieval and
ancient times. Tossing the bride's garter is from the belief
that a piece of the bridle attire was a lucky token. Medieval
brides started wearing many ribbons to keep their clothing
from being shredded by over zealous luck seekers. The bride's
hair was often worn loose and uncovered or held down with
a golden circlet. A married women's hair was almost always
covered. A reception with food and drink followed weddings
then as now, with the drink of choice being honey mead. The
new couple would drink honey mead for a month after the wedding,
leading to the modern "honeymoon". Medieval
feasts were served in courses and each course was like a meal
in itself. There was entertainment during and between the
courses. There was a presentation of the courses as well as
sotelties and warners. Sotelties are scenes or sculptures
and entertainment made with foodstuff and warners are disguised
food. The nursery rhyme about the singing blackbirds baked
in a pie, is a soltetlie from a medieval feast. An example
of a warner would be a peach made of marzipan. Feasts were
often served on medieval disposable plates, bread trenchers.
People ate with their hands, a spoon and a small knife the
size of a steak knife. Forks were not used in the middle ages.
They were not unknown, but were only conversation pieces among
royally and very wealthy.
of the most important elements for a medieval wedding is the
costumes. They really give the medieval feel to the event.
The bride should pick a time period that has gown styles that
she likes. If warm weather, time or budget is a major factor,
choose an earlier medieval time. The clothing was much simpler.
Therefore can be made of lighter weight materials and the
styles are cheaper & easier to make. Renaissance and Elizabethan
gowns are time consuming and costly to make also wearing such
heavy clothing can make you and your guests very hot. If you
live in the warmer states and want a Renaissance or Elizabethan
wedding, be sure to pick a cool or cold time of year for your
wedding. There are many good costume and history books in
the library and at the book stores that will help you pick
historic clothing. Most Hollywood movies are not a good source
for accurate costumes.