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A Few Renaissance Wedding Tips

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST, planning a wedding is a HUGE undertaking and to pull it off without a flaw, organization is an absolute must. It seems that most Renaissance weddings are planned by the bride and groom and typically they do not use a wedding planner. If you are planning your own wedding then I highly recommend you purchase a good wedding planner book. A planner will put everything you need to do in a nice organized fashion. Most have cost savings tips and well as questions you need to ask people like the photographers, caterers, etc. You have plenty of stress and this will definitely help eliminate a lot of it.

If you want a nice touch to your wedding then pay particular attention to the music played. Many people use a bagpiper to play during the actual ceremony then hire a band for the reception. If you happen to be in the Southern part of the US then the best bagpiper is at TexasBagpiper.com .

It's pretty common for people to get really nervous when thinking that they are going to have to give a speech in front of a bunch of people. The groom sometimes give a speech. The bride sometimes gives a speech. Some weddings have the best man give a speech, the maid of honor give a speech, the father of the bride give a speech and the mother of the bride give a speech (plus the bride and groom).

Now I'm not going to tell you how to run your wedding but keep in mind that IF you are going to have anyone give a speech, then it might be a good idea to give them a little help with the preparation of those speeches. Here's a link to a really good downloadable book on all types of wedding speeches. It has suggestions for all types of speeches. And if you are the bride or groom, you just might find some good information in there too.

JEWELRY:
If you are looking at a Renaissance theme wedding then there's a pretty good chance you are interested in wedding rings or wedding bands that 'fit the theme'. If you haven't picked out your rings yet here are some good sites with wide selections and very good prices on Celtic wedding rings, Irish wedding rings or Claddagh wedding rings. If you click on any of these links your browser will open in a new window when it goes to those sites. You will have to close those pages to return to this site.

GROOMSMEN GIFTS:
If you are considering a Renaissance the med wedding and would like to give gifts to the groomsmen that carry that theme too, then I would suggest wooden tankards. These are popular for those having Renaissance theme weddings and also for those just looking for something unique to give to those who stood beside them during their ceremony. You have different sizes and woods to chose from and they are pretty darn inexpensive too.

BRIDESMAID GIFTS:
Those couples interested in Renaissance the med weddings are usually interested in giving bridesmaid gifts that carry through on the theme too. Here are a couple of websites that may help you come up with some 'theme' gifts. Celtic or Irish jewelry or Claddagh jewelry are popular. Even if you don't find anything on the websites, they can give you a springboard to help get your creative juices going in coming up with some great bridesmaid gift ideas.

BRIDES DRESS: You should know that the white bride's dress was not worn during the Renaissance. It’s actually a fairly recent trend. Back in the day (as my teenage daughter likes to say), most wedding dresses were dark colors. Today there are a lot of pretty materials you can use for the dress. Popular colors are Hunter Green, burgundy and deep purple (purple was reserved for royalty only and others were actually prohibited from wearing it). The bride's dress will probably be laced at the sides or front and it will be long and probably be low cut (but not too low). Ribbons and lace can accent the dress. The body of the dress often looked rather like a coat. The term “cotehardie” which in translation means “bold coat”, is used to describe the dress of the era.

Skirts were long and the hair was worn up. (only “loose” woman wore their hair long and down). Look at the artist paintings (there are plenty on this web site) and you will rarely see any woman with her hair down. Although today this is rarely given a thought with most brides and bridesmaids in Renaissance weddings wearing their hair loose and down. Many put ribbons hanging loose over the back of the head.

You can find quite a few wedding dresses on ebay. Try here for some of the best.

FOOD: If you elect to serve authentic food and/or drink at your reception, keep in mind the needs of ALL of your guests.

FEAST SEATING: There are really no set guidelines on how to set up the seating during the dining after the wedding. Traditionally, the seating arrangements were tables set in a horseshoe fashion, with the bride and groom, the best man, matron or maid of honor (and their guests) seated at the head table with the guests seated on both sides. Musicians were placed against a far wall or in a corner. If this is difficult to imagine the you should look at the painting by Paolo Caliari of Veronese titled "The Wedding at Cana". This painting gives a pretty good idea of how the weddings of the time were set up (painted around 1562).

LOCATION. Church? Inside? Outside? A castle? A Ren. Faire? Pick your location but be aware of the limits. A small church can’t hold 500 wedding guests. You will need an estimate of how many will be attending before you call.

THEME DECORATION: Flowers? Herb bouquets? Banners? You can always hire a professional to decorate or maybe you have some artistic/creative friends that can assist you with the decorations.

When making the decision on what you are going to wear keep in mind that the look is only one part. You need to be comfortable (sort of) and you need to be able to comfortably walk. Maybe even dance?

Your quests will be more inclined to dress for your chosen theme if they know that the entire wedding party will be dressing that way. Peer pressure even works on adults.

WEDDING FAVORS: It’s common to have a memento of some sort for the quests to take home with them. Candles? Pressed flowers?

GUESTS: Keep in mind that some of your guests may not have any idea exactly what they are supposed to wear. You will want to have some places for them to look to get ideas (books?, ebay? magazine articles. Hey, here’s an idea, How about this web site?).

ATTIRE SUGGESTIONS: Let your guests know that any type of "era" dress is appropriate. After all, there were peasants, middle class and nobility during the Renaissance. This will give them more latitude and help open their eyes to the possibilities.

If you are giving your guests the option of wearing theme dress, you may want to personally encourage them to dress in costume. A little encouragement may be all they need to go ahead and do something different, like dress in appropriate attire.

ACTIVITIES: You may, or may not, want activities that are era appropriate. The decision is up to you. Keep in mind that some guests may hesitate simply because they may be a little self conscious about the way they are dressed. It may take a little while before the participation really gets going. My experience is that a liberal amount of alcohol seems to help (but that’s just me).

MENS DRESS: Men's dress during the Renaissance was nothing like today. Pants were tight (called breeches). Some men wore tunics. Loose shirts (we call them pirate shirts today) and vests that were laced were common.

Leather boots was the most common footwear.

Men's hair was long and worn loose.

FLOWERS: Flowers, and specifically herbs, played a very large role in Renaissance/Medieval weddings. Some herbs were believed to have mystical powers and could help the couple prosper and stay healthy.

Wheat, of all things, was the symbol of fertility and nearly all ceremonies used wheat. Placed in with the bouquet flowers it was supposed to help the couple have lots of children. "Lots of children"..., I have to stop and think about that. As a father myself I know that God gives you twelve years to learn to love your children, then He turns them into teenagers.

Again I want to emphasize that having a wedding is about what YOU want. Unless you are a real stickler for authenticity (if you are then you are probably already member of the SCA) then don't worry too much about exactly what to do. Let your instincts guide you.

Wedding Links (13)

1. Handmade Wedding Invitations by Renaissance Writings
Create wedding invitations with unique, handmade papers that have flowers petals embedded in the paper. The original handmade wedding invitation company, making weddings special since 1994.

2. bridal bouquets, wedding flowers, high quality silk
Something Spectacular designs high quality, realistic, silk floral bridal bouquets and wedding flowers.

3. Awesome Blossom Candles
Unique pillar candles, scented or unscented, Moor Mud spa products and skin care.

4. Crafted Cards - Handmade Paper Invitations and Announcements
Unique, quality invitations and announcements made from handmade paper. Your original design can be mailed directly to your recipients!

5. Wedding Invitations
Premium, hand-crafted invitations. Our designs feature the finest imported and domestic stocks. Superior quality, exceptional service. Custom-design services also available.

6. Unique wedding favors
Personalized CDs for unique wedding favors & personalized party favors

7. Planning a Second Wedding and Second Marriage Information
Guide to second weddings, and renewing wedding vows.

8. The Busy Bride - Wedding Invitations, Social Announcements & Accessories
Wedding Invitations, Wedding accessories and more!

9. Wedding accessories and bridal accessories
Wedding, bridal accessories, free wedding guide and planner, ring pillows, flower girl accessories, vanessa ryan demi-hose, caketops and servers, wedding flowers, bouquets, engagement rings, money bags, garters, wedding gifts, candles, handkerchiefs, tiaras, hairpins, aisle runners, favors, favor boxes

10. Wedding favors - bridal shower favors - wedding party favors
Wedding favors, unique and personalized wedding favors ideas make memorable guest gifts at weddings.

11. Wedding Glasses, Toasting Glasses
Wedding glasses and toasting glasses imported from Germany. Also offers pewter goblets.

12. Personalized Greeting Songs & More!
Free Love Songs And Singing Audio Clips produced by professional singers/composers.


13. Party Invitations
Unique wedding and all occasion party invitations from Inki Design. Each invitation comes with a fridge magnet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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