Thursday, 19 January 2012

What is a Medieval Wedding?

I've said on this blog and often said elsewhere that the words "theme" and "fancy dress" are banned and I know often people don't get me, so I thought I'd try and explain.

As far as I can see there are three types of "medieval weddings".
A fancy dress wedding

Clothes have come from the costume hire shop, so they're polyester, not fitted because it's only hire. It will have the same sorts of things as the theme wedding too.

A medieval theme wedding

This would be where the bride is wearing a dress inspired by medieval style, it's probably white, it may be in a castle or old building but not essential, the main thing is the themeing of the wedding - the stationery has pictures of castles/princesses/fairy tale, table decorations, table names etc - is medieval. It would be a wedding where you'd say that they loved history/ the period.

What we call a medieval experience wedding (happy to accept suggestions for a better name)

The clothes are authentically made in nice fabrics, you feel like you've just walked out of a historical movie or TV show to be wearing these. The men are wearing leather and metal. The venues are carefully chosen for the feel, the stationery doesn't have pretty pictures of castles it looks like it's from the period, every part of the wedding is chosen for maximum authenticity, you could have stepped back in time (apart from being cleaned up of course!)

There have been a few places where we've had a debate about something, how do we incorporate it. The rule we have is as authentic as reality will allow. To be authentic we wouldn't have a bath anytime until the wedding, in reality it wouldn't go down very well if we didn't! To be authentic Mark and the other men should have a certain coloured background to their crest, in reality it won't work with the wedding colours and as we don't have to worry about their armies knowing who to follow, reality wins!

What is most important to us is that we keep our guests immersed in the wedding as much as possible, we don't want to leave people walking down the road thinking "I'm walking down Warwick high street dressed in 15th century clothing!" and start to worry about how they look, keeping the experience going the whole day will hopefully help everyone to enjoy it more and relax into it.


  1. I get what you are trying to say. :) I also try to differentiate in my blog (more in my own wedding though). I like the idea of theme><experience, because there is a distinct difference whether you use plastic cups with crests on them or earthenware replicas. :) Nice post

    1. Thank you :)

      Mark was very adamant that we wouldn't have a theme wedding, he's too into history to not take it seriously. We have had a few compromises but as I said, it's mostly where reality becomes more important than authenticity.

      It's funny, I've been trying to word this for a long time (we've been working on it for three years and we had to postpone a year because we had another baby) and as soon as I sat down to it I suddenly got it.