THE MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE THEME WEDDING FAQ

This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the planning of medieval and Renaissance theme weddings. Questions (and answers) in this FAQ were originally obtained from readers of the following newsgroups: alt.fairs.renaissance, alt.wedding, rec.food.historic, rec.org.sca, and soc.couples.wedding.

The information in this FAQ was compiled and edited by Barbara J. Kuehl and is, by no means, a final product. All comments and corrections should be emailed to bj@csd.uwm.edu.

c) The Medieval and Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ is copyrighted by the owner of the FAQ. This document may be freely redistributed without modification provided that the copyright notice is not removed. It may not be sold for profit or incorporated in commercial documents without the written permission of the holder.

The Medieval & Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ is not meant to be a scholarly treatise on marriage and feasting customs throughout the medieval and renaissance periods. Rather, it is a compilation of suggestions from persons who have attempted to recreate the ambience of such an event using resources available to them today. In some cases, the items and/or foods used may not be historically accurate. The compiler of this FAQ leaves it up to the user to determine the degree of historical authenticity appropriate for his or her own theme wedding.

The Medieval & Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ is posted on the 15th of each month to ONE of six newsgroups on a rotating basis. These six newsgroups are the five mentioned above plus soc.history.medieval. An announcement of the posting will be sent to each newsgroup which is not serving as the FAQ site during that given month. This announcement will guide interested persons to the newsgroup from which they may obtain the FAQ. This FAQ will also be posted on the 1st of each month to news.answers, a newsgroup with the expressed purpose of posting and archiving FAQ lists.

The Medieval & Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ is also housed and/or linked at the following locations:

Acknowledgements: Many people helped with this FAQ by contributing their ideas and stories. All verbatim contributions are prefaced whenever possible by the email address of the original writer. Others have contributed by sharing their research or by reviewing versions of the FAQ. These people include:

Topics covered:



Section 1: Questions regarding Ceremonies, Traditions, and Handfasting
1.1: We would like to be married in a medieval-style wedding and want to make it as real as possible, but we don't even know where to start. What were weddings like during the Middle Ages?
1.2: Weddings are filled with 'traditions' such as the tossing of the bouquet, the garter toss, the bride wearing white dress and veil, the lighting of the unity candle, the exchange of wedding rings, etc. Just how far back do these 'traditions' really go? Do any of them stem from medieval or renaissance times?
1.3: Do the garter and bouquet tosses really date back to medieval times?
1.4: What is the story behind the wedding rhyme:
"Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a lucky sixpence for your shoe."
1.5: I'm not pagan but my boyfriend is, and he asked me if I'd like to take part in a Handfasting with him. I know the basics of it ...366 days of a trial marriage sort of thing and, at the end of the 366 days, there is a choice of continuing the relationship or ending it. Is handfasting legally binding? What exactly is done and in what order?
1.6: I'm getting married next September, and we plan to have a handfasting. I'm trying to gather ideas for the ceremony, decorations, etc. and would love to hear from anyone who has planned or attended a handfasting.
1.7: My best friend is planning a medieval peasant's wedding and I am in charge of locating appropriate wedding vows. Are there any websites that have samples of medieval vows or could someone please recommend some books?
1.8: Bibliography of Medieval & Renaissance Marriage Practices compiled by Kirsti Thomas
Section 2: Questions regarding Invitations and Announcements
2.1: We're using a medieval theme for our wedding. How can we adapt that look for our invitations?
2.2: Anybody have any creative ideas for wording an invitation in keeping with the medieval style of the wedding?
2.3: I'm thinking of rolling up my invitation (but how would you mail that cheaply!). Any suggestions??!!
2.4: We bought metallic gold wax and two stamps to seal our invitations but can't for the life of us figure out how to use them! Any hints/suggestions out there would be greatly appreciated!
2.5: My fiance and I will be making our own invitations and would like to use a wax seal on the outside of the envelope. I was wondering if anyone ran into problems with the post office, like wax getting stuck in postal machines or anything like that?
2.6: How about thank you cards? Any ideas for how we can make our thank you cards look medieval in style?
Section 3: Questions regarding Attire
3.1: Those who were married in a medieval-style ceremony, what did your wedding party and guests wear?
3.2: Any ideas on how I can encourage my guests to dress in period clothing, too?
3.3: HELP! My fiance wants a medieval-style wedding but I don't know the first thing about that time period, much less about the clothes they wore.
3.4: My wife is desperately in need of a source of patterns for medieval/Renaissance wedding clothing for the bride, groom, and all of the wedding party. Where can we get such patterns?
3.5: I can't sew on a button. Where can I buy medieval clothing?
3.6: Does anybody know of a catalog which offers readymade but affordable period clothes? I can't possibly sew for everyone!
3.7: Does anyone know of good Web sites regarding medieval clothing?
3.8: My fiance has informed me that he hates tuxes and would prefer to get married in a robe rather like the ones worn by Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. Anyone have a clue where I would find such a beast?
3.9: Does anyone know where I could get a velvet cape? I am thinking about an evening wedding and an off the shoulder gown, and I get cold easily (Plus I just love them!!).
Section 4: Questions regarding Flowers, Bouquets and Headpieces
4.1: What flowers can I use in my bouquet to go along with the medieval theme of my clothing?
4.2: Does anyone know (or can anyone point me to a resource for) the meanings of different flowers in a bouquet?
4.3: I've found a wonderful company to make our "costumes", but I'm not sure what to wear for a "veil". I know veils are traditional nowadays, but our medieval wedding is anything but. Could I wear flowers in my hair instead of a veil?
4.4: I would like to use a garland of ivy as a headpiece, as it is symbolic of good luck and all. I have an ivy plant, and I wonder if just cutting off a long extension of the plant and forming it into a circle would work. Any advice?
4.5: Help! I am allergic to flowers and I cannot figure out how to replace them in my wedding. I am having a medieval theme. Are there any suggestions?
Section 5: Questions regarding the Reception
5.1: Can you give me some ideas of where we might hold our medieval wedding reception?
5.2: Is it possible to have a wedding at a renaissance faire?
5.3: I've been asked to decorate the reception hall for a friend of mine having a medieval style wedding. Does anyone know of any herbs/plants/assorted greenery that would be appropriate? I would appreciate any ideas as to how to decorate this hall.
5.4: Can you recommend any activities, besides dancing, for our reception?
5.5 If you have an interesting idea for favors for my medieval wedding reception, please tell me!
Section 6: Questions regarding the Feast
6.1: What kinds of foods did people serve at wedding feasts during the Middle Ages?
6.2: Sallat (salad), tarts, potage (soup), custard, poultry, suckling pig and spicy mulled wine sound great! But pigeon pies, eels, boar's head, and roast peacock with the feathers put back on! I don't think my guests would go for this, so let me rephrase that question. What kinds of foods could I serve that would have the "feel" of a medieval banquet but would still be edible by my modernday guests?
6.3: Does anyone have any information about the menu at places like Medieval Times (where the knights fight while you have dinner)? I know they do wedding receptions.
6.4: How about drinks? What kinds of beverages did people drink during the Middle Ages?
6.5: It's expected in our family to have a wedding cake. Any ideas of how we could incorporate a wedding cake into the menu and still keep the medieval ambience?
6.6: We have our menu all worked out but need some ideas about how to decorate the banquet hall and serve the food and drink in keeping with the medieval theme. Any suggestions?
6.7: Can you recommend any books or websites where I can get recipes for some of the medieval dishes (and maybe others) mentioned above?
6.8: Bibliography of Medieval Cookbooks compiled by Jaelle of Armida
Section 7: Questions regarding Music
7.1: My fiance and I love period music. Any ideas for how we could do the music for our medieval/renaissance wedding? Also, what kinds of instruments are considered period?
7.2: Where can I find musicians who play medieval music?
7.3: I am looking for good quality CDs for my Wedding. I need suggestions for both Dancing and Ceremony music. It need not be for any specific period - but would like it to have a medieval flavor. All suggestion are great appreciated.
Section 8: A list of Movies with a Medieval or Renaissance Theme
8.1: How about including a list of well-costumed, atmospheric movies that people could rent to see what a particular period might be like? If a picture is worth a thousand words, a moving picture is worth ten thousand!
Section 9: A list of Catalogs and Websites
Section 10: Bibliography of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks
Section 11: Bibliography of Historical Figures

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Section 1: Questions regarding Ceremonies, Traditions, and Handfasting


1.1: We would like to be married in a medieval-style wedding and want to make it as real as possible, but we don't even know where to start. What were weddings like during the Middle Ages?

  • From: Susan Carroll-Clark (sclark@epas.utoronto.ca)
    So long as the couple made the vows before a witness, the marriage was valid--no priest had to be present (although this is increasingly not the case after the 13th century).
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  • From: Kirsti Thomas (kst@paul.spu.edu)
    Weddings during the Middle Ages were considered family/community affairs. The only thing needed to create a marriage was for both partners to state their consent to take one another as spouses. Witnesses were not always necessary, nor was the presence of the clergy. In Italy, for example, the marriage was divided into three parts. The first portion consisted of the families of the groom and bride drawing up the papers. The bride didn't have to even be there for that. The second, the betrothal, was legally binding and may or may not have involved consummation. At this celebration, the couple exchanged gifts (a ring, a piece of fruit, etc.), clasped hands and exchanged a kiss. The "vows" could be a simple as, "Will you marry me?" "I will." The third part of the wedding, which could occur several years after the betrothal, was the removal of the bride to the groom's home. The role of the clergy at a medieval wedding was simply to bless the couple. It wasn't official church policy until the council of Trent in the 15th century that a third party [c.f. a priest], as opposed to the couple themselves, was responsible for performing the wedding. In the later medieval period, the wedding ceremony moved from the house of the bride to the church. It began with a procession to the church from the bride's house. Vows were exchanged outside the church (BTW, the priest gave the bride to the groom...I don't think she was presented by her father) and then everyone moved inside for Mass. After Mass, the procession went back to the bride's house for a feast. Musicians accompanied the procession.
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  • From: Susan Carroll-Clark (sclark@epas.utoronto.ca)
    A word on historical English weddings. Traditionally, in front of the church door, the groom would, in front of witnesses, announce his bride's dower--that portion (usually 1/3) of his holdings she would be allowed to use should he die before she did (she could also inherit land and property, but this was a different thing). They would then go in for the solemnization of vows (very short) and the nuptial mass.
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  • From kate@ind.tansu.com.au
    I remember reading Chaucer [d.1400] in High School (the Wife of Bath's Tale). Part of the text (and this is the Wife speaking) says "husbands at church door I have had five". Due to the need to ensure that everyone knew beyond a doubt that the couple were married, weddings would take place outside the church (at the door) rather than inside where only a few people could view it.
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  • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
    For much of Western history, marriage was an exchange of property, i.e. the woman was being given by her father to her husband. The union of property & money & lineage were what was being celebrated --- not so much the union of two lovers. Hence, "real" medieval & Renaissance wedding ceremonies were simple legal unions, sanctioned by the Church, and done with as many important people as possible to witness it. "Real" ceremonies of the time were not terribly intricate in Western Europe & the UK, so I think it would be much more interesting, charming, and enjoyable to make up your own medieval-ish or Renaissance-esque wedding ceremony.

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1.2: Weddings are filled with 'traditions' such as the tossing of the bouquet, the garter toss, the bride wearing white dress and veil, the lighting of the unity candle, the exchange of wedding rings, etc. Just how far back do these 'traditions' really go? Do any of them stem from medieval or renaissance times?

  • From: becky@sunfish.cc.usm.edu ()
    I was looking through the August/September issue of Modern Bride, and they had a little sidebar called Wedding Customs. "Many of today's wedding customs have evolved from the days of ancient Rome, when evil spirits were believed to lurk about and pose threats to the bride and groom...Bridesmaids dressed similarly to the bride, and ushers' attire resembled the groom's. This was an attempt to confuse the spirits...If [they] could not tell the bride and groom apart from the attendants, they would not be able to carry out their plans. The wedding ring: The early Eqyptians...believed that a circle was the symbol of eternity--a sign that life, happiness, and love have no beginning and no end. A wedding ring was placed on the third finger of the left hand because it was believed that a vein ran directly from that finger to the heart. The wedding cake: Intended as a symbol of fertility...To ensure a life of plenty, the Romans broke a thin layer of cake over the bride's head at the end of the ceremony. Crumbs were then gathered by guests as good luck tokens."
    -------------------------
  • From Barbara Kuehl (bj@csd.uwm.edu)
    This is from http://www.halcyon.com/mganson/traditions.html:
    The expression "tie the knot" comes from Roman times when the bride wore a girdle that was tied in knots which the groom had the fun of untying. Diamond engagement rings were given by medieval Italians, because of their belief that the diamond was created from the flames of love. Ancient Spartan soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would feast with his male friends on the night before the wedding. There he would say goodbye to the carefree days of bachelorhood and swear continued allegiance to his comrades. Bridal showers were also meant to strengthen the friendships between the bride and her friends, give her moral support, and help her prepare for her marriage. The idea to give gifts is fairly new, dating from the 1890's. At one shower, the bride's friend placed small gifts inside a japanese parasol, and then opened it over the bride's head so all of the presents would "shower" over her. When word of this hit the fashion pages, people were so charmed, they decided to do the same at their showers. The bridal party has many origins, one of which comes from the Anglo Saxon days. When the groom was about to capture his bride, he needed the help of his friends, the "bridesmen" or "brideknights". They would make sure the bride got to the church and to the groom's house afterwards. The bride also had women to help her, the "bridesmaids" or "brideswomen". The white wedding dress was made popular by Anne of Brittany in 1499. Before that, a woman just wore her best dress. In biblical days, blue (not white) represented purity, and the bride and groom would wear a blue band around the bottom of their wedding attire, hence something blue. It is unknown when wedding rings were first worn. They were probably made of a strong metal, like iron so that it wouldn't break easily which would have been a very bad omen. The ancient Romans believed that the vein in the third finger ran directly to the heart, so wearing the ring on that finger joined the couples hearts and destiny. Weddings just wouldn't be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride's head as a symbol of her fertility. It became tradition to pile up several small cakes, one on top of the other, as high as they could, and the bride and groom would kiss over the tower and try not to knock it down. If they were successful, it meant a lifetime of prosperity. During the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary to turn this cake into an enjoyably edible palace, iced with white sugar. Tying shoes to the bumper of the car represents the symbolism and power of shoes in ancient times. Egyptians would exchange sandals when they exchanged goods, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the groom, he would also give the brides sandals to show that she now belonged to the groom. In Anglo Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride's shoe to show his authority over her. In later times, people would throw shoes at the couple, and now we just tie shoes to their car. (This information is from the book "A Natural History of Love," by Diane Ackerman)

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1.3: Do the garter and bouquet tosses really date back to medieval times?

  • From: jmh@anser.pdial.interpath.net (Jeanne Hinds)
    THe garter toss is one of the oldest surviving wedding traditions. Back in medieval times, it was customary for friends, relatives, guests to accompany the bridal couple to the marriage bed. As time went on, this became rowdier and rowdier to the point that some guests were all too eager to help the bride out of her wedding clothes. To forestall such impropriety, the garters were quickly removed and thrown to the mob as a distraction. As time went on, it has evolved into the tradition we now know.
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  • From: saturn@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu (Shawna Rosen)
    The wedding guests would follow the couple back to their room, and try to grab the bride's garter for good luck. Brides starting tossing their garter to the crowd as a means of self preservation! As society changed it became inappropriate to throw part of your underwear, and the bouquet was substituted. Sometime this century, the garter toss was added back in as a means of equalizing the tradition. Women could catch the bouquet and men could catch the garter. Why the groom can't throw part of his own costume is beyond me.
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  • From: Mary Jane Nather (natherm@ucs.orst.edu)
    The sources I read indicated that in the past anything of a bride's was lucky--gloves, flowers, garters, etc. It was said that a man who gave his love the garter of a bride would be guaranteed faithfulness. The guests were so eager to get the garter, often the bride would be accosted at the altar by men who stole it from her. Smart brides began having men compete for the garter--usually a foot or horse race. Also, many would give out small colored ribbons called "favours" to guests as an attempt to avoid being turned upside down by men eager for their garter. I've also read that the guests would sit at the end of the bed with their backs to the bride and groom. Men would throw the bride's stocking over their shoulder and try to hit her nose, while women would do the same for the groom. Those with good aim were the next to be married. Sound like a fun wedding night?
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  • From: fkindle@aol.com (FKindle) (Fred)
    I have been photographing some weddings recently where the bride & groom both toss the bouquet & garter at the same time.... It works out great! It's faster, the catch is better when it's a surprise to the guys & ladies of who the other person is that caught it...This works best when you stand back to back and each throw at the same time. I only hope that you're either both righty or lefty to avoid a collision... TRY IT.

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1.4: What is the story behind the wedding rhyme:
"Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue,
And a lucky sixpence for your shoe."


  • From: IVANOR@delphi.com (Carolyn Boselli)
    According to my Bartlett's, it's from the late 19th century, authorship unknown.
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  • From: "'Riff' Beth Marie Mc Curdy" (ook@u.washington.edu)
    The following is from Oxford's -A Dictionary of Superstitions- (p.42-43): "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" was quoted in a 1883 newspaper and ascribed to "some Lancashire friends." Something old tradition- no pre-20th century citations. The editors point out a possible link to the belief that "something old" will protect a baby, first cited at 1659. No citations for "something new." Something borrowed- same 1883 paper (one issue earlier) "it is widely accounted 'lucky' to wear something...which has already been worn by a happy bride at her wedding." Something blue- Wearing blue to express faithfulness traced back as far as a 1390 citation from Chaucer's "Squire's Tale." -Sixpence- appears twice, as "silver sixpence" and "lucky sixpence" (the third line scans with a more staccato rhythym than the first two.). There's 1774 record of a Scottish groom using a sixpence in his shoe to ward off evil from his rival, and an 1814 (Scottish again) citation that the bride "wear a piece of silver in one of her shoes" to ward evil from disappointed suitors. There are also 20th century citations to the bride's walking on a gold coin to produce prosperity. For your curiousity, pre-1650 wedding superstitions included: 1549 the lifting over the threshhold; 1601 sun seen shining on the bride = good fortune; 1648 garters passed on to groomsmen and bridesmaids; 1604 bride's left stocking thrown (as modern bouquet); 1615 premature marriage producing premature death; 1592 unmarried elder sisters dancing barefoot at wedding party; 1634 one wedding brings another; stepping between couple unlucky (or even caused by the devil).

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1.5: I'm not pagan but my boyfriend is, and he asked me if I'd like to take part in a Handfasting with him. I know the basics of it ...366 days of a trial marriage sort of thing and, at the end of the 366 days, there is a choice of continuing the relationship or ending it. Is handfasting legally binding? What exactly is done and in what order?

  • From: "'Jherek' W. Swanger" (jswanger@u.washington.edu)
    Handfasting refers to the old practice of trial marriages for a year and a day, supposedly prevalent in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I've never actually run across other references to this other than Sir Walter Scott (19th cent.).
    -------------------------
  • From: raven@solaria.sol.net (Raven (J. Singleton))
    "When we are handfasted, as we term it, we are man and wife for a year and a day; that space gone by, each may choose another mate, or, at their pleasure, may call the priest to marry them for life; and this we call handfasting."
    -- Sir Walter Scott, _The Monastery_ (1820), ch. 25.
    -------------------------
  • From: chaos@whip.ugcs.caltech.edu (Tien-Yee Chiu)
    The old way in Great Britain for couples to pledge their betrothal was for them to join hands, his right to her right, his left to her left, so from above they looked like an infinity symbol. Done in front of witnesses, this made them officially "married" for a year and a day, following which they could renew permanently or for another year and a day. This was called "handfasting" and was used extensively in the rural areas where priests and ministers didn't go all that often. Sharing a cup and pledging their betrothal in front of witnesses used to accomplish the same thing (usually done in taverns) but was eventually outlawed in most of Europe. In fact, the reference I got that from mentioned only Switzerland because they were one of the last to stop recognizing it as a legal marriage.
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  • From: raven@solaria.sol.net (Raven (J. Singleton))
    "This custom of handfasting actually prevailed in the upland days. It arose partly from the want of priests. While the convents subsisted, monks were detached on regular circuits through the wilder districts, to marry those who had lived in this species of connexion."
    -- Andrew Lang, note in his edition of _The Monastery_
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  • From: Kirsti Thomas (kst@paul.spu.edu)
    This type of marriage survived in Scottish law until the 20th century.
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  • From: raven@solaria.sol.net (Raven (J. Singleton))
    Handfasting remained legal in Scotland until 1939. Common-law marriage in general is still legally recognized in several of the United States: AL, CO, GA, IA, ID, KS, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, and even in DC (This list as of 1987, from the current World Almanac & Book of Facts). Generally, this just takes both of you saying that you ARE man and wife, and conducting yourselves accordingly. No particular ceremony needed. This allows a man and woman in a deserted place with no-one else around to marry -- and later have it be found legitimate, legal and binding.(However, I am *NOT* a lawyer. Look up the rules for your *OWN* state.)
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  • From: mylitta73@aol.com (Mylitta73)
    According to common law of Scotland...a handfasting is a ritual commonly used hundreds of years ago as a trial marriage. The time limit of a year and a day was considered, though not required. As such, if you are handfasted, you would be married under those laws. However, based on the laws here in the states you would still be considered just engaged. So, if you decide to go through the handfasting...it would be a chance for the two of you to make your vows without all the hassles of the state's approval. One quick note....in the past, if a baby was born because of the union, the two would be immediately married by a priest. If one of you, either the husband or the wife, decided against such an arrangement, then the person who leaves the marriage loses all rights to the child.
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  • From: ravendncr@aol.com (RAVENDNCR)
    Handfasting is not a "legal" binding agreement between two people unless that is what the couple wishes. As a nonlegal binding agreement the period of "commitment" is one year and a day, after which the vows can either be renewed, the couple become LEGALLY married, or go separate ways.
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  • From: reive@mutant.clark.net (reive)
    Handfasting is a MODERN pagan tradition that is, in part, derived from traditional medieval/renaissance wedding practices.
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  • From: cm369@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (D. Sabrina Baskey)
    Handfasting nowadays is a neopagan wedding ceremony, the equivalent of a Judeo-Christian marriage ceremony, uniting two people in love. The essential elements are thanking the gods/Goddess for bringing this love into their lives; feeding each other and giving each other a drink (to show their commitment to caring for the other); and jumping over a broom. The cutting of the wedding cake usually includes feeding each other a small portion, and you can make a toast to each other and drink out of the other's cup. The only element that would seem out of place in a Christian wedding is the broom. Depending on the tolerance of your guests and your desire to include this, you could do it as part of your reception, with some little explanation. Or you could do what I plan to do, which is place a broom at the end of the "aisle", so that we can jump it at the end of the recessional. We plan to get married in a garden, so I don't have to worry about who might disapprove of me placing a broom in it, but this probably wouldn't work too well at a church wedding.
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  • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
    We tied in several period wedding customs as part of our ceremony. One is to kiss three times while saying "I love thee" after each kiss, and another is for the couple to jump over a crossed broom and sword (held by the best man and the maid of honor). The symbolizes the cutting of ties to their parents and the ties being swept away.
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  • From: knk@leba.net (Mystic)
    I am sorry to point this out to you but Jumping over a broom originated in the days of slavery. Paganism was around a whole lot longer than that!

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1.6: I'm getting married next September, and we plan to have a handfasting. I'm trying to gather ideas for the ceremony, decorations, etc. and would love to hear from anyone who has planned or attended a handfasting.

  • From: Cinnamon Minx (whitewlf@tiac.net)
    We're going to do it outside, in traditional Scottish attire (kilts and all! Whoopee! Love the legs, honey!) and we're planning to have Celtic music and some Scottish food. We don't have all the details worked out yet, but once we decided how to go, it started to evolve from there.
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  • From: Goosie@502.ima.infomail.com (Goosie)
    We might opt for an outdoor civil ceremony with a celtic style reception (music, food, entertainment...I'd love to have some bardic performers). During the vows, we could have our friend (and most likely our best man) bind our hands with a white ribbon explaining the tradition to our guests.
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  • From: amypamy@aol.com (Amypamy)
    We held our ceremony outside. Our minister was incredible; she had a voice that carried, and announced to all: "Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The Wedding Ceremony is about to begin!" We wanted our guests to be participants, not spectators, so we had the officiant gather them in a circle around an arch in front of which we were to stand. Mark walked in first, with his two attendants walking side by side ahead of him. Then my attendants walked in, also side by side, then my father and me until we reached his chair, at which point we kissed, and I left him there to walk towards Mark on my own. Mark held a sword in his hand, and as I approached, we held the sword together, and planted it in the ground. That was our "altar". The officiant said a greeting, which gave meaning to the circle (enclosing the spirit, etc.). She then poured a libation as offering to those who couldn't be with us (i.e., my mother has passed away). We then had two of the attendants come up and pass a cloth about our clasped hands - we grabbed each other's right with our right, etc., so the symbol formed was that of "infinity". The cloth was just a white cloth with a stylized Celtic knot sewn on. We stood that way while the officiant read our consents, we repeated said vows, read some things, etc. Our hands were unbound by the other attendants, and then we did a ring exchange. After the ring exchange, we had the pronouncement, and we walked out together while his best man grabbed the sword. Altogether, I'd say the ceremony itself lasted about 15 minutes.
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  • From: mitchell@coyote.csusm.edu (Laura Mitchell)
    We wrote our own vows and included a lot of symbolism about the 'circle of life', an important aspect to us. See our ceremony at: http://www.csusm.edu/public/guests/mitchell/ceremony.html.
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  • From: "'Jherek' W. Swanger" (jswanger@u.washington.edu)
    I believe that part of the Orthodox Wedding Rite involves the ceremonial binding of the couple's hands together.
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  • From: morganv@io.com (Morgan ap Rhys)
    Here are the vows from a handfasting as written by a friend of mine. I personally find it one of the nicest I've seen. This is followed by the exchange of rings, or the tieing of the hands, or whatever you have decided to use as the symbol of your joining. Use this as you see fit and enjoy.

    BRIDE:
    I am woman, cherish me.
    I give life to all things.
    It is I who bring bounty,
    From the green things in the fields
    To the wild creatures in the forest.
    I am light and laughter,
    I am Brigid, mother of All.

    GROOM:
    I am man, respect me.
    I bring death to all things.
    It is I who am the reaper,
    I am the Lord of the Hunt
    And lord of the fields.
    I lead the dead to the Summerland,
    I am Herne, father of All.

    BOTH TOGETHER:
    Love and honor us.
    Together we are life and death,
    Darkness and light,
    Joy and sorrow,
    Order and chaos.
    We are summer and winter,
    Spring and fall.
    We are growth and decay,
    Youth and age,
    Night and day,
    Female and male.
    Wherever one of us walks,
    The other will be not far behind.
    This is the way of things.
    -------------------------
  • From: mayhem@buffnet.net (Mothermay)
    These vows are not traditional; they're only a couple a years old. My husband and I wrote them:
    "(Insert name), you have embraced all aspects of my nature. You love me completely, for both my strengths and my weaknesses. You have given me the courage and faith to trust you, to let you love me as an entire person. You have allowed me to embrace all aspects of your nature. You have let me love you completely, for both your strengths and your weaknesses. You have shown courage and faith in me, to trust me to love you as an entire person. I, (name), take you, (another name), just as you are, and however you may change, above all others, to share my life."
    -------------------------
  • From: jsnead@netcom.com (John R. Snead)
    Here is the text of our handfasting ceremony:

    John: Tonight we return to each other the tokens
    of our time apart. (This refers to the fact that before we were married, we were living in different states. The 'tokens' are necklaces we gave each other.)
    Becca: For tonight we pledge our love, and start our life together. (John places Becca's token around her neck, Becca places John's token around his neck)
    John: With this knife, I promise to stand beside you through all the challenges of this life, to support you, and defend you whenever you need me.
    Becca: I accept your promise. (John kisses blade, puts it on, and rises. Becca kneels and holds her knife)
    Becca: With this knife, I promise to stand beside you through all the challenges of this life, to support you, and defend you whenever you need me.
    John: I accept your promise. (Becca kisses blade, puts it on, and rises. John takes up his cup and kneels)
    John: With this cup, I promise to accept the love you pour upon me, and to return that love in kind. (Becca takes pitcher and fills cup)
    Becca: Drink, then, of my love. (John drinks, places cup on table, and rises, Becca takes up her cup and kneels)
    Becca: With this cup, I promise to accept the love you pour upon me, and to return that love in kind. (John takes pitcher and fills cup)
    John: Drink, then, of my love. (Becca drinks, places cup on table, and stands. John pricks his finger [we used sterile blood-test stylets available at most pharmacies], bleeds a drop on the fire)
    John: With this blood I ask the gods to bless this union. (Takes cup from table and bleeds a drop into it) With this blood I bind my life to yours. (John holds cup up, Becca places her hands over his)
    Becca: I drink of our life together. (Becca drinks, John places cup on table and stands. Becca pricks her finger and bleeds a drop on the fire) With this blood I ask the gods to bless this union. (Takes cup from table and bleeds a drop into it) With this blood I bind my life to yours. (Becca holds cup up, John places his hands over hers)
    John: I drink of our life together. (John drinks, Becca returns cup to the table and stands)

    Vows before the gods

    (The Priest and Priestess turn toward the others, the Priestess to the right of the Priest. They join hands, raising their arms aloft at the same time) Priest: May the place of this rite be consecrated before the gods. For we gather here in a ritual of love with the two who would be wedded. John and Becca come forward to stand before us and before the Gods. (The Priest picks up the wand (with the rings on it, one on each end) and holds one end of it before him in his right hand, the Priestess likewise holds the other in with her left hand, the rings on the exposed wand between them) Place your right hands beside each other, over this wand, and your rings.

    Priestess: Above you are the stars below you the stone. As time does pass remember... like a star should you be constant. Like a stone should your love be firm. Be close, yet not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience each with the other the other for storms will come, but they will go quickly. Be free in giving of affection and warmth. Make love often, and be sensuous to one another. Have no fear, and let not the ways or words of strangers give you unease. For the Goddess and the God are with you. Now and always.

    (After a pause of five heartbeats) Priest: Is it your wish Becca to join your life with this man?
    Becca: It is.
    Priest: Is it your wish John to join your life with this woman?
    John: It is
    Priest: Then as the Goddess, the God, and the Old Ones are witness to this rite, I hereby announce to all here that you are husband and wife.

================================================================
1.7: My best friend is planning a medieval peasant's wedding and I am in charge of locating appropriate wedding vows. Are there any websites that have samples of medieval vows or could someone please recommend some books?

  • From: 3lds2@qlink.queensu.ca (Sorensen Lise D)
    I had lunch with our medievalist yesterday, and have I got good news for you! There are two books -- in paperback, yet -- which will supply all your needs regarding medieval vows and weddings. The first book is _Women's Lives in Medieval Europe_, edited by Emilie Amt. I recommend this book highly as general reading. It is informative, and well-written. It is also useful as a guide to medieval marriage ceremonies and customs. The second books is _Nuptial Blessing_ (1982) by Kenneth Stevenson [Oxford University Press, New York]. In it are contained the various forms of wedding vows and blessings of the Middle Ages with all their regional and temporal variations. BTW, included in this book is the blessing for the marriage bed. You see, very often a couple wasn't married at the church, but a priest would come by the family home (after the couple was ceremonially acknowledged as wedded by their families) and bless the bed and wedding chamber in the presence of both families and the newly-wedded bride and groom. The priest and relatives would leave the room (to continue partying in the rest of the house, or nearby), and leave the couple to consummate their relationship in the newly "sacralized" bed.
    -------------------------
  • From: "'Jherek' W. Swanger" (jswanger@u.washington.edu)
    Another good source is "Documents of the Marriage Liturgy" by Searle, Mark, and Kenneth W Stevenson. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical P, 1992. This is THE book to read for copies of the vows themselves. Includes Jewish ceremony and a number of Christian liturgies from the Early Middle Ages to the present)
    -------------------------
  • From: byrdie@serv.net (Renee Ann Byrd)
    A 1993 wedding I attended had a bit of medieval flavor to it. According to the program, the wedding service was taken from the 1549 "Book of Common Prayer."
    -------------------------
  • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
    For an authentic Renaissance ceremony, point your Web browser at http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/rialto/rialto.html, then go to wedding. This is part of the archives of rec.org.sca, and the weddings-e-art file begins with two ceremony scripts drawn from the 16th century "English Book of Common Prayer". Actually, the format has not changed much (only the language), so the modern book would be appropriate also. For Renaissance readings, anything in the King James Version of the Bible is perfect. The language is pure high Renaissance. On this same rialto site, there is another large wedding file with lots of archived letters discussing the subject of period weddings. Finally, for some romantic wedding poetry, look into: Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day), Sonnet 116 (Let me not to a marriage of true minds admit impediment), _Romeo and Juliet_, act 2, scene 2 (But soft! What light through yonder window breaks), and Christopher Marlowe's "Passionate Shepherd to His Love" (Come live with me and be my love and we shall all the pleasures prove).
    -------------------------
  • From: J. L. Spangler (JLS5@psuvm.psu.edu)
    Jennifer pulls her trusty Riverside Shakespeare from the shelf. Here's Sonnet 29:
    When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself and curse my fate,
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
    Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least;
    Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
    Haply I think on thee, and then my state
    (Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth) sing hymns at heaven's gate,
    For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings,
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
    -------------------------
  • From: Kirsti Thomas (kst@paul.spu.edu)
    My husband Jherek and I wrote our own vows. They are posted at http://paul.spu.edu/~kst/bib/vows.txt. Be aware that the ceremony isn't historically accurate. Some of the phrasings (e.g. bonny and boxum at bed and at board) and rituals are taken from period sources, but we also made up some of it ourselves.
    -------------------------
  • From: J. L. Spangler (JLS5@psuvm.psu.edu)
    i've always loved this quote--we may put it in our programs.
    Doubt thou the stars are fire;
    Doubt that the sun doth move;
    Doubt truth to be a liar;
    But never doubt I love.
    (from Hamlet)
    -------------------------
  • From: locksley@indirect.com (Joe Bethancourt)
    The Form of Matrimony in the European Middle Ages
    As reconstructed by W. J. Bethancourt III,
    (NOTE: This is not intended to be represented as a true medieval marriage rite, but rather a reconstruction (with such alterations and interpolations as to make it acceptable in modern usages) from available references for use within the SCA, nor is it represented as a "official" rite of any Church, nor as an official ceremony of the SCA Inc. The sources used were the Book of Common Prayer of HRM Elizabeth I of England, extracts from the Sarum Rite and the York Rite, and various other lesser sources).

    At the day and time appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the persons to be married shall come into the porch of the Church with their friends and neighbors; and there standing together, the Man on the right hand, and the woman on the left, with that person who shall give the Woman betwixt them, the Priest shall say,

    Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in Paradise, and into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.

    And also, speaking unto the persons that shall be married, he shall say: I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, that ye confess it. For ye be well assured, that so many as be coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful. At which day of Marriage, if any man do alledge and declare any impediment, why they may not be coupled together in Matrimony, by God's Law, or the Laws of the Realm; and will be bound, and sufficient sureties with him, to the parties; or else put in a Caution (to the full value of such charges as the persons to be married do thereby sustain) to prove his allegation; then the solemnization must be deferred, until such time as the truth be tried.

    If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Priest say unto the Man: N., Wilt thou have this Woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

    The Man shall answer: I will.

    Then shall the Priest say to the Woman: N., Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?

    The Woman shall answer: I will.

    Thus ends the formal betrothal. They shall then advance unto the Altar, led by the Minister, who shall then turn to the assembled company, and say: Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?

    And the person who gives the Woman shall answer, and shall place the Woman's right hand in the hand of the Minister, and then shall retire. Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner: The Minister, receiving the Woman at her father's or friend's hands, shall cause the Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth: I, N., take thee N to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, for fairer or fouler, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us depart, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereunto I plight thee my troth.

    Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman, with her right hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the Minister: I N. take thee N to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to be bonny and buxom at bed and at board, to love and to cherish, till death us depart, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereunto I plight thee my troth.

    Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring, laying the same upon the Book with the accustomed duty to the Priest and Clerk. And the Priest shall bless the Ring(s) in the following manner: Bless these Rings, O merciful Lord, that those who wear them, that give and receive them, may be ever faithful to one another, remain in your peace, and live and grow old together in your love, under their own vine and fig tree, and seeing their children's children. Amen.

    And the Priest, taking the Ring, shall deliver it to the Man, to put it on the fourth finger of the Woman's left hand. And the Man holding the ring there, and taught by the Priest, shall say: With this Ring I thee wed, (here placing it upon her thumb) and with my body I thee honor, (here placing it upon her index finger) and with all my worldly goods I thee endow; (here placing it upon her ring finger) In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    If it be a double-ring ceremony, let the Woman do the same as the Man, giving him the ring, and repeating the same words as he. They both shall kneel down; and the Minister shall say: Let us pray. O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; + that, as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them made, whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge, and may ever hereafter remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    And here shall be said the "Our Father." Then shall the Priest join their right hands together, and say: Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

    Then shall the Minister speak unto the people: Forasmuch as N and N have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce therefore that they be Man and Wife together, in the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

    And the Minister shall add this blessing: God the Father, + God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully with his favour look upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.

    And here the Minister shall turn the couple to the Company, and they may kiss each the other, and then proceed from the Altar. And if it be the wish of the couple to take Communion, they may do it privately, following these ceremonies.

    Here endeth the Medieval Wedding
    -------------------------
  • From: chaos@blend.ugcs.caltech.edu (Tien-Yee Chiu)
    According to Barbara Walker in _The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets_, the original Anglican marriage service for the wife went like this: "I take thee to my wedded husband, to have and to hold, for fairer or fouler, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness or health, ***to be bonny and buxom in bed*** and at board, till death us depart [sic]." (A curious clerical note made in the margin at a later date explained that "bonny and buxom" really meant "meek and obedient". Somehow I don't think so.) (She attributes this information to W. Carew Hazlitt, _Faiths and Folklores of the British Isles_, p. 447, in case anyone cares to check up on it.)
    -------------------------
  • From: rain@teleport.com (Rain)
    There is an entire page of Handfasting information on the WWWeb, URL: http://www.pacificnet.net/~jkdyson/aw/handfast.html. It's not everything you'll want, but it's a fair place to start.
    -------------------------
  • From: BJ Kuehl (bj@csd.uwm.edu)
    Kirsti Thomas has compiled the following bibliography of books on the topic of medieval wedding customs. This bibliography is also housed at: http://paul.spu.edu/~kst/bib/bib.html.

****************************************************************
1.8: Bibliography of Medieval & Renaissance Marriage Practices compiled by Kirsti Thomas

A (Rough) Bibliography of

Medieval and Renaissance Marriage Practices

(with some Celtic stuff thrown in for good measure)


Compiled by Kirsti Thomas
kst@paul.spu.edu
******************************************************************************
This bibliography focuses on marriage customs in Western Europe, dealing primarily with England, France, Germany and Italy. I have not included works on the topic of costume (with one exception), since an extensive FAQ on historical costuming is frequently posted to rec.org.sca. The FAQ is also available via FTP at rtfm.mit.edu:
/pub/usenet/news.answers/crafts/historical-costuming
/pub/usenet/news.answers/crafts/textiles/books/part1
/pub/usenet/news.answers/crafts/textiles/books/part2
Several of the works are in languages other than English. Since my comprehension of Italian and French is minimal at best, I cannot guarantee the usefulness of works in those languages. I am also in the process of reviewing the works cited here and will be revising this bibliography as time allows.
******************************************************************************

  • Adams, Jeremy duQuesnay. Patterns of Medieval Society. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969.
  • Altieri, Marco Antonio. Li nuptiali. Rome, C. Bartoli, 1873. Ed. Enrico Narducci. (If you can read Italian, this seems to be one of the best primary sources on Italian Renaissance wedding rituals. Originally written around 1509, it was reprinted in 1873 and does not seem to have appeared in print since.)
  • Bingham, Joel Foote. The Christian Marriage Ceremony: Its History, Significance and Curiosities: Ritual, Practical and Archaeological Notes; and the Text of the English, Roman, Greek and Jewish Ceremonies. New York: A. D. F. Randolph & Company, 1871.
  • Bolton, Brenda, et al., eds. Women in Medieval Society. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1976.
  • Brooke, Christopher Nugent Lawrence. The Medieval Idea of Marriage. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. (Historical study of how marriage was viewed, legally, ecclesiastically and socially, and how it evolved)
  • Brundage, James A. Sex, Law and Marriage in the Middle Ages. Aldershot, England: Variorum, 1993.
  • Brucker, Gene A. Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986.
  • Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo. Il Matrimonio Nella Societa Altomedievale: 22-28 aprile 1976. Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo 24. Spoleto : Presso la sede del Centro, 1977.
  • Charsley, Simon R. Wedding Cakes and Cultural History. London: Routledge, 1992.
  • Cunnington, Phillis Emily, and Catherine Lucas. Costume for Births, Marriages & Deaths. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1972. (Brief discussions of clothing and customs from roughly the 11th to the late 19th centuries, focusing primarily on England. Contains many direct quotes from period sources)
  • Duby, Georges. Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages. Trans. Jane Dunnett. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1994.
  • Duby, Georges. Medieval Marriage: Two Models from Twelfth-century France. Trans. Elborg Forster. Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History 11. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1978.
  • Duby, Georges. The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest: the Making of Modern Marriage in Medieval France. Trans. Barbara Bray. 1st American ed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983.
  • Ennen, Edith. The Medieval Woman. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989.
  • Famiglietti R. C. Tales of the Marriage Bed from Medieval France (1300-1500). 1st ed. Providence, RI: Picardy P, 1992.
  • Fischer, Andreas. Engagement, Wedding and Marriage in Old English. Anglistische Forschungen 176. Heidelberg: Winter, 1986.
  • Gaudemet, Jean, Le Mariage en Occident: les Moeurs et le Droit . Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1987.
  • Gerstfeldt, Olga von. Hochzeitsfeste der Renaissance in Italien. Esslingen: P. Neff, 1906.
  • Gies, Frances, and Joseph Gies. Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages. 1st ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
  • Goldberg, P. J. P. Women, Work, and Life Cycle in a Medieval Economy: Women in York and Yorkshire c. 1300-1520. Oxford: Clarendon P; New York: Oxford UP, 1992.
  • Greilsammer, Myriam. L'envers du Tableau: Mariage & Maternite en Flandre Medievale. Paris: A. Colin, 1990.
  • Haines, Frank, and Elizabeth Haines. Foreign Brides From Antiquity. Cumberland, Md.: Hobby House P, 1989. (The Haines present general examples of brides from various points in history (1600, B.C. - A.D. 1720) Costumed dolls model the fashions in color photos. Also includes detailed descriptions of costume, with line drawings of each item of clothing and brief descriptions of wedding customs.)
  • Herlihy, David. The Social History of Italy and Western Europe, 700-1500. London: Variorum, 1978.
  • Holliday, Carl. Wedding Customs Then and Now. Boston: Stratford, 1919.
  • James, Edwin Oliver. Marriage Customs Through the Ages. New York: Collier, 1965.
  • Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane., Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1985.
  • Lafon, Jacques. Les Epoux Bordelais: 1450-1550, Regimes Matrimoniaux et Mutations Sociales. Demographie et Societes 16. Paris, S.E.V.P.E.N., 1972.
  • Laiou, Angeliki E., ed. Consent and Coercion to Sex and Marriage in Ancient and Medieval Societies. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1993.
  • Lasker, Joe. Merry Ever After: the Story of Two Medieval Weddings. 1st ed. New York: Viking P, 1976. (children's book with nice color illustrations)
  • Molho, Anthony. Marriage Alliance in Late Medieval Florence. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1994.
  • Molin, Jean-Baptiste, and Protais Mutembe. Le Rituel du Mariage en France du XIIe au XVIe Siecle . Theologie Historique 26. Paris: Beauchesne, 1974. (One of the most frequently quoted works on the topic)
  • Powell, Chilton Latham. English Domestic Relations, 1487-1653: a Study of Matrimony and Family Life in Theory and Practice as Revealed by the Literature, Law, and History of the Period. New York: Columbia UP, 1917.
  • Rollin, Betty. I Thee Wed: a Collection of Marriage Vows Past and Present, Here and There. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961.
  • Roqueta, Joan. Lo Ritual Occitan del Maridatge: Testimoni d'una Civilisacion Originala: Edicion Sinoptica e Critica de Tres Rituals amb Formularis en Lenga Occitana (Bordeu 1466, Caors 1503, Perigus 1536), Seguida d'una Analisi de Textes Occitans Medievals e d'una Prepausicion de Ritual Moderne del Maridatge en Lenga d'Oc. Besiers: Centre Internacional de Documentacion Occitana, 1981.
  • Salamallah, the Corpulent. Medieval Games. 2nd ed. Albuquerque, N.M.: Raymond's Quiet P, 1982. (Games and sports you can try at the reception!)
  • Salisbury, Joyce E. Medieval Sexuality: a Research Guide. Garland Reference Library of Social Science 565. Garland Medieval Bibliographies 5. New York: Garland, 1990.
  • Saslow, James M. The Medici Wedding of 1589: Florentine Festival as Theatrum Mundi. New Haven: Yale UP, 1996. (projected date of publication: 5-96)
  • Schott, Clausdieter. Trauung und Jawort: Wandel einer Form. Frankfurt: Metzner, 1969.
  • Schwerdtfeger, Anne. Ethnological Sources of the Christian Marriage Ceremony. Stockholm: Ceres, 1982.
  • Searle, Mark, and Kenneth W. Stevenson. Documents of the Marriage Liturgy. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical P, 1992. (_The_ book to read for copies of the vows themselves. Includes a Jewish ceremony and a number of Christian liturgies from the Early Middle Ages to the present)
  • Stevenson, Kenneth W. Nuptial Blessing: a Study of Christian Marriage Rites. New York: Oxford UP, 1983. (Chapter 2 is a good source for various rituals and ceremonies, while Chapter 3 deals with marriage customs during the Reformation)
  • Stone, Lawrence. The Family, Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.
  • Tasman, Alice Lea Mast. Wedding Album: Customs and Lore Through the Ages. New York: Walker, 1982.
  • Tegg, William. The Knot Tied: Marriage Ceremonies of All Nations. Detroit: Singing Tree P, 1970.
  • Urlin, Ethel L. A Short History of Marriage, Marriage Rites, Customs and Folklore in Many Countries and All Ages. Detroit: Singing Tree P, 1969.
  • Van Hoecke, Willy, and Andries Welkenhuysen. Love and Marriage in the Twelfth Century. Mediaevalia Lovaniensia, ser. 1, studia 8. Leuven: Leuven UP, 1981.
  • Vocelka, Karl. Habsburgische Hochzeiten 1550-1600: kulturgeschichtlichen Studien zum manieristischen Reprasentationsfest. Veroffentlichungen der Kommission fur Neuere Geschichte Osterreichs 65. Wien: Bohlau, 1976.
  • Waugh, Scott L. The Lordship of England: Royal Wardships and Marriages in English Society and Politics, 1217-1327. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1988.
  • Westermarck, Edward. The History of Human Marriage. 5th ed. New York: Allerton Book Company, 1922.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Charsley, Simon R. Rites of Marrying: the Wedding Industry in Scotland. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991.
Martin James. The Road to the Aisle. New ed. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1987. (Scottish weddings)
McGuire Kim. The Irish Wedding Book . Dublin: Wolfhound P, 1994.
Power, Patrick C. Sex and Marriage in Ancient Ireland. Dublin: Mercier, 1976.

****************************************************************

Section 2: Questions regarding Invitations and Announcements


2.1: We're using a medieval theme for our wedding. How can we adapt that look for our invitations?

  • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
    Printing the invitations on a heavy parchment and using a type style that imitates calligraphy will announce to everyone that your wedding has a Medieval or Renaissance theme. Decorative motifs that would work with the theme include simple flowers, fancy scrolls, heraldic symbols, and metallic embossing. Touches of rich, jewel-tone colors are very period, especially combined with gold or silver -- think of Medieval illuminated texts. For a small wedding, you could have a professional write each invitation in calligraphy, but this will be expensive (unless you know someone who'd do it as a wedding gift).
    -------------------------
  • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
    For our invitations, I found a nice parchment stock at a local printer supply company and then took a period border from a clip art book. A local printer set up the text in a calligraphy style and printed them. Then by hand I colored the gold and ivy border. Each invitation was folded in thirds and tied with a satin ribbon. Cost was about $100.
    -------------------------
  • From: smyrniw@bnr.ca (Nadia Smyrniw)
    We have been going through many Celtic art books to find a design (or a compilation of designs) for the outside cover of the invitations. My fiance will then make a print of whatever he finally draws, and then we will scan that into the computer and print the invitations at home by ourselves on a laser printer.
    -------------------------
  • From: mitchell@owl.csusm.edu (Laura Mitchell)
    I am using a gold Celtic Braid around the border with the symbol of the 3 goddesses at the top. We are printing them via our computer on parchment, folding them 1/3, sealing with wax and mailing it inside an envelope with rsvp card and map.
    -------------------------
  • From: magda@gramercy.ios.com (magda)
    For my wedding invitations I used a Mac and used different design elements from clip art "Illuminated Borders" books. I'm getting them printed digitally in 4-color with the rsvp's and a business card for $400. Digitally is the way to go for short run inexpensive printing.
    -------------------------
  • From: ereiswig@cycor.ca (eric reiswig)
    There's a nice 'how-to' for drawing knotwork at http://www.en.com/users/ivan/knotwork.html
    -------------------------
  • From: BJ (bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu)
    We designed our invitations and announcements on my fiance's MacIntosh using a combination of medieval fonts (my favorite is the one that looks like ivy leaves). Our invitations were printed on ragged-edged, prefolded, parchment stationary with matching double-envelopes (available by special order at graphics stores). Our announcements were printed on unfolded 8x11 inch parchment (available by the tablet at art supply stores). Those announcements which we could hand-deliver were rolled into a scroll and sealed with wax. Those which had to be mailed were folded in thirds, wax sealed, and then mailed inside an envelope.
    -------------------------
  • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
    One motif that ran throughout our wedding was the ancient Earth symbol of the Greenman. Our invitations were printed in dark green ink and featured the face of the Greenman.
    -------------------------
  • From: "Rottier_Amy" (Rottier#u#Amy@mnb2.fss-moses.lockheed.com)
    I browsed through pattern books and looked at inked stamps until I found a picture of a lord and lady dancing that I really liked. Using that for inspiration, we drew our design and scanned it into the computer. Using cardstock parchment, we laid out the dancers two to a page and the invitation wording two to a page (so it could be printed two-sided and cut in the middle). I'm dry-embossing the outer edge of the invitation (around the dancers) to add a little dimension. Then Mark designed a map to the location, in stylized fashion, complete with knight and dragon pictures. There is a mountainous area called "The Bad Lands of DC", and plenty of trees and even a picket fence around the "castle". It's really a work of art (drawn in Wordperfect 6.0). On the back are written directions. We also made a reply postcard with our address on one side and a Celtic knot (under which I will handwrite the names of the invitees) and "Yea I will gladly attend the betrothal of Lady Amy Elizabeth Rottier of San Diego to Sir Mark David Donovan of Cleveland"/"Nay, I regret..." on the other side. Both the map/directions and knot/postcard are on quarters of an 8.5x11 sheet. It really came out well. Including paper, rubber stamp, sample inks and embossing powders, embossing templates (for the dry embossing - I bought 2), printing and cutting costs (courtesy Kinkos), I probably paid less than $50.
    -------------------------
  • From: aspsys@slip.net (Arthur S. Pruyn)
    One renaissance wedding that took place at RPFN about 6 years ago had invites that were a sonnet. The sonnet described the location, the date, the two getting married, the feast, and other aspects of the wedding in period terms. They were sent out with an additional little map (as is often done in current weddings) with directions for those who had not been to the faire. I had the pleasure of writing the sonnet for them (it was in Shakespearian form, rather than traditional).
    -------------------------
  • From: joanne@joanne.central.sun.com (Joanne Frezzo)
    I'm not having a Medieval wedding, but several people have told me my invitation looks like it was themed. It is not a wedding invitation per se. I found it at a local stationer who works out of her home. She had this in a notebook at a bridal faire. It is an ivory card with a colored border. I chose a plum color. Overlaying the color is a gold embossing of a flourish design all around the border. It's very hard for me to describe. If you want me to try to fax or snail mail you a copy I'd be glad to. One thing though, since it was not designed as a wedding invite it doesn't come with inner envelopes, but I was able to find one that was very close through Paper Direct.
    -------------------------
  • From: Kristiina Prauda (prauda@cc.helsinki.fi)
    We made rather elaborate invitations with a medieval-style border, initials and script. The medieval-style border was taken from an illustrator's idea book, simplified for coloring with a drawing program (it included ivy leaves, long straight borders and a dragon - which made it more Tolkien-ish than medieval). We took a few of those big initials (for my name, his name and the name of the church) from an actual 13th c. manuscript. We colored all the borders and the initials by hand, using cheap felt pens in red, blue and gold - all the outer borders were "gilded" from the drawn motif to the edge. In the upper right-hand corner, we put in a verse from a poem by Finland's greatest classical poet, Eino Leino; the poem is in "Kalevala"-metre, the old epic metre of our folk poetry. It talks about life together, something like this (apologies for my bad attempts to follow the original flawless beat):
    "Truly it was they lived together
    under the tree with widest top,
    truly they made a fire together,
    slipped together into bed,
    together it was they slept and dreamed
    of their eternal selves,
    on their brows a dream of happiness,
    on their lips the kiss of morning."
    The actual wording of the invitation was completely traditional (since the ceremony was a traditional church ceremony). For font, we used "American Uncial", which is rounded, sort of Celtic-looking. The invitations were printed on ordinary white paper, then glued that on a slightly larger sheet of 100% silk rag paper - really beautiful pearl color, with silk fibers clearly showing. We folded them in three and sealed them with red wax, making a wax seal out of a rose-shaped metal button glued to a small plastic stick. Hard work (for about 70 invitations), but they were a huge hit, and many friends put them up for show.
    -------------------------
  • From: Sally Jackson (serifm@fastlane.net)
    Any competent scribe can letter your invitation in a style appropriate to the time period and the country of your choice. (Writing and decoration in 14th century France was totally unlike that of 16th century England, etc.) Almost any calligrapher will have a library of clip art that can be used to decorate the invitation and many will be able to design the decorative elements. As to printing, a quick print business can print from the calligrapher's original work. It is simply photographed, and each invitation looks like it was hand lettered.
    -------------------------
  • From: Susan Carroll-Clark (sclark@epas.utoronto.ca)
    The original of our invitation was calligraphed in Secretary hand by a friend--it was the Shakespearian sonnet which talks about the "marriage of true minds".

================================================================
2.2: Anybody have any creative ideas for wording an invitation in keeping with the medieval style of the wedding?

  • From: "Rottier_Amy" (Rottier#u#Amy@mnb2.fss-moses.lockheed.com)

    Lady Amy Elizabeth Rottier
    and
    Sir Mark David Donovan
    request the honour of thy presence
    at their marriage
    on Saturday, the thirtieth of September in
    the year of our Lord Nineteen hundred and ninety five
    --------------------fold------------------------------
    The ceremony will begin at two o'clock in the after-noon
    at
    The Griffin's Lair (his mother's name is Griffin)
    xxxx Olivers Shop Road
    Fried chicken, Maryland

    Feasting and merriment will follow the ceremony
    Medieval/Renaissance-style garb recommended
    but not required
    -------------------------
  • From: guettier@moretcri.ensmp.fr (Christophe GUETTIER)

    De par le Baron..., Pere de...
    De par le Conte..., Mere de...
    Par la presente missive,
    Nous avons l'honneur de celebrer en vostre gent presence et cel
    de ces vassaux...,
    le mariage de Dame..., Fille de..., Heritiere de...,
    Regente de..., Dote de...
    et
    Sieur..., Fils de..., Chevalier de..., Heritiers de...,
    Regent de..., dans le fief de...
    Seront donnes moult rejouissance et festoiement.

    Translation from old French:
    In the name of the baron..., father of...
    In the name of the countess..., mother of...
    With this present lettre,
    We have the honour of celebrating in thy kind [or noble]
    presence and that of these servants [or vassals or household],
    the marriage of Lady..., Daughter of..., Heiress of...,
    Governess of..., Dowered of...
    and
    Sir... Son of..., Knight of..., Hier of...,
    Governor of..., in the fief [land or shire] of...
    Let there be much rejoicing and feasting.
    -------------------------
  • From: Phyllis_Gilmore@rand.org (Phyllis Gilmore)
    The phrase "de par le roi" means "in the name of the king," so one presumes the phrasing to suggest the hand of a scribe (nice idea, I think) doing the writing.
    -------------------------
  • From: BJ (bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu)

    HEAR YE! HEAR YE!

    The honour of thy presence
    is hereby requested
    at the marriage of
    Barbara Jean Wedemayer
    and
    Timothy Duane Kuehl
    on Saturday the eleventh of June
    in a mediaeval wedding ceremony
    at half-past the seventh hour
    in the eventide

    In keeping with the medieval theme of our wedding invitations, we also worded our announcements:

    H E A R Y E H E A R Y E

    Let it be known that on the 11th day of June
    in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four
    the house of Wedemayer pledged its firstborn daughter
    Barbara Jean
    to the house of Kuehl in marriage to the firstborn son
    Timothy Duane
    at
    (name of church)
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    **
    Mr. & Mrs. Kuehl now reside
    at
    (our address)
    City, State
    Zip

================================================================
2.3: I'm thinking of rolling up my invitation (but how would you mail that cheaply!). Any suggestions??!!

  • From: kyrstyn@icecastle.com
    You can buy tubes in which to mail them.
    -------------------------
  • From: BJ (bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu)
    If you really want to go gala, have your invitations delivered by a friend dressed as a herald!

================================================================
2.4: We bought metallic gold wax and two stamps to seal our invitations but can't for the life of us figure out how to use them! Any hints/suggestions out there would be greatly appreciated!

  • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
    We used wax seals on our invitations, and I had the same question. Luckily, we happened to be watching a movie with a medieval setting and saw the method used by the king to seal a document. He held the stick of sealing wax over a candle flame until it began to melt, then quickly positioned the stick over the envelope and let the melting wax drip onto the desired spot. Once he had enough wax, he picked up the stamp and pushed it down on the soft wax. We tried doing it that way and, after a few trial runs, determined about how long to hold the stick in the candle flame, about how much wax we would need for a good seal, and about how hard the wax had to be in order to get a legible seal. After that, it was a breeze.
    -------------------------
  • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
    Aside from lighting the wax directly (which will produce some blackened wax), you can use the old-fashioned spoon method. Crumble pieces of wax into an old spoon. Warm the underside of the spoon over a candle. When the wax is melted, carefully pour it onto the envelope. Stamp with the seal. This, as with all wax sealing methods, takes some practice on scrap paper. Victorian Papers sells a fancy wax sealing set that includes a tiny spoon with a spout just for this purpose. The spoon is $7.95, the wax beads (easier to melt in spoon) are $8.95 per box.
    -------------------------
  • From: Sally Jackson (serifm@fastlane.net)
    After putting the puddle of hot melted wax on the envelope, if you will breathe on the seal (which leaves it a bit damp from the moisture in your breath) it will not stick to the hot wax.
    -------------------------
  • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
    This is a quote from an instruction sheet entitled "Making Wax Seals" and provided by The Swordmark Company out of Atlanta, GA, a vendor of stationery supplies and waxseals.

    "In the old days, they used to lick the seal or dip it in water before each use--the thin coating of water would keep the hot wax from sticking to the metal. We suggest you lightly spray the metal seal with a non-stick lubricant (e.g., WD40, Pam cooking spray, silicone) to ensure that the wax won't stick.

    "Light the wax, tilt the stick at an angle, and let the wax drip into a puddle big enough for your seal. Blow out the wax stick, and place the metal seal firmly in the way while it is still liquid. Wait 5 seconds to allow the wax to harden before pulling the seal from the wax.

    "To cleanup, wipe the metal seal with a paper towel. If any wax is stuck to the metal, use a pin to poke it out, and next time lubricate that spot more carefully."

================================================================
2.5: My fiance and I will be making our own invitations and would like to use a wax seal on the outside of the envelope. I was wondering if anyone ran into problems with the post office, like wax getting stuck in postal machines or anything like that?

  • From: Sally Jackson (serifm@fastlane.net)
    The post office really doesn't like it - it messes up their machines. However, I don't believe there is any actual prohibition against using it.
    -------------------------
  • From: BJ (bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu
    We didn't place the seal on the outside envelope. Rather, we folded the announcement in thirds (leaving an overlapping lip) and then sealed the lip. We mailed the announcement in an envelope and sent it as a regular letter. At the same time, I mailed a sealed announcement to myself (to see how the wax would withstand the postal department). The seal arrived slightly cracked. If you use wax seals, you might want to have the envelopes hand-cancelled or use a cardboard envelope. Another possibility is to forgo the wax and just use one of those red or gold stickers that look like a real seal.
    -------------------------
  • From: mitchell@owl.csusm.edu (Laura Mitchell)
    I've been experimenting and have found something that may help people who are having problems mailing the wax seals. White glue. White glue thinned with a little bit of water is flexible but apparently strong enough to keep the seal together if it does crack and, best of all, it's clear when applied with a paint brush (and the brush can be washed in water to clean).
    -------------------------
  • From: musasurv@aol.com (Jonathon Elsburough)
    I always wrap the envelope in a nice, gaudy gold or silver ribbon then poor wax over a spot on the ribbon and then press the seal into the wax, sealing both ribbon and paper. I also put the invitations inside a standard envelope which has the recipient's name lettered quite plainly. This allows a really fancy lettering of the recipient's name on the inside envelope, and people like nothing in calligraphy as much as their name.

================================================================
2.6: How about thank you cards? Any ideas for how we can make our thank you cards look medieval in style?

  • From: Kristiina Prauda (prauda@cc.helsinki.fi)
    In Finland,we do not write thank-you letters; we send thank-you cards with a photograph. Our thank-you cards consisted of printed paper, outer card backing, and a photo of us at the altar. The card was made of rather thick stock with a grey-white marble motif (or cloud, maybe). The inner paper is something called "Paris paper" - nicely uneven, but we were warned later that it would not hold ink too well. The right-hand side of the opened card has the photo in an oval rimmed in gold. The left-hand side is folded in two. On top we put a motif of two dragons holding a crowned heart (this was modified from the invitation dragon), a line of Kahlil Gibran, and "With thanks" in larger letters, with a medieval initial; we signed under that. We colored the dragons and the inital by hand again. When opened, the double-width left-hand side displays a choice of texts we wanted to include in a wedding program, but time ran out: some more Kahlil Gibran, some Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick and Beatrice having words), and Aragorn's and Arwen's wedding from Lord of the Rings. We used the same font as in our invitations.
    -------------------------
  • From: BJ (bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu)
    We used the same ragged-edged, prefolded, stationary parchment for our thank you cards that we used for our invitations. Using medieval-looking fonts, we simply inkjet printed 'Thank Thee' on the outside of the card. My favorite font was the initial T in both 'Thank' and "Thee'--it looked like ivy vines. We handwrote the message on the inside.
    ****************************************************************
    Section 3: Questions regarding Attire

    3.1: Those who were married in a medieval-style ceremony, what did your wedding party and guests wear?

    • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
      My dress was upper-middle class, Spanish style in forest green with mint green trim and pearls. My husband wore garb from the same green but his was trimmed in gold.
      -------------------------
    • From: michelle.campbell@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (Miche)
      The bride wore a Renaissance style cartridge-pleated, side-laced dress of purple, lilac and black satin. The groom wore Tudor style gears like you see in the pictures of Henry VIII, including codpiece. The guests all wore their favourite garb. The bride lent me a dress - Renaissance style back-laced dress with plunging v-neck, in blue and silver, with a line of tiny bells round the waist line.
      -------------------------
    • From: Susan Carroll-Clark (sclark@epas.utoronto.ca)
      My husband and I wore ivory and gold Elizabethan garb (not so much because these were wedding colours, but because they were popular Elizabethan colours). Another wedding I attended had the male and female attendants in red and blue cotehardies, while the bride and groom wore houppelandes.
      -------------------------
    • From: byrdie@serv.net (Renee Ann Byrd)
      In a 1993 wedding I attended, the bride's attendants wore angel dresses -- basically these were long tunics with tied around the waist with a rope-like belt.
      -------------------------
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu
      In a trendy dresshop, I found a white, gauzy, A-line floor length dress with a white-embroidered bodice. I dyed it green because medieval brides did not normally wear white. I did, however, wear it with a white lace shawl and a wreath of fresh ivy for a tiara. I carried a bouquet of green ivy and white sweetpea which I tied together with trailing white and green ribbons. My bridesmaids wore long, green, crushed velvet dresses and carried candles. The groom dressed as a medieval huntsman in green velvet britches, knee-length leather mocassins, white shirt and leather jerkhin. The groomsmen dressed similarly (except they did not wear jerkhins). I made their britches but they obtained everything else from Museum Replicas Ltd.
      -------------------------
    • From: ojid.wbst845@xerox.com (Orilee Ireland-Delfs)
      The bride wore a cream brocade dress (a bit of fantasy here - it was modeled after one in the Princess Bride) with her hair uncovered. Her bridesmaids each wore a dress in a jewel tone to match their own persona: one was in a deep red tudor, another in emerald green cotehardie. She also made matching outfits for her parents and his parents (the fathers discovered how much fun tights can be - we complimented them on their legs quite regularly!) Guests were encouraged to wear garb (although the SCA guests wore garb as a matter of course). The groom, being Irish, wore a saffron yellow tunic with embroidery and went barefoot most of the day.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      One of my cousins decided to do a Ren wedding on Twelfth Night the same year we did ours. When I finally saw the pictures I was quite disappointed in the quality of her "production". Not only did she wear a white dress, the bridesmaids all wore the same color and kind of dress. Both TOTALLY inappropriate for the period. They were also more of an Arthurian fantasy style and not authentic to the period. However the groom did get to wear a full suit of armour! (Way cool!)
      -------------------------
    • From: Patricia D. Mooney
      About half the guests dressed in costume, including the parents and several newborns! Although I had a regular, off-shoulder wedding dress (ordered before we got this bright idea!) and wreath, Alan wore tunic, tights, and sword. The sword became quite a prop for pictures -- my favorite photo is of all costumed guests surrounding me as I knighted Alan. After we'd chosen our garb, we ran across the most beautiful medieval wedding costumes in a shop -- but it was too late and the wrong season. (The costumes were appropriate for winter, not August.)
      -------------------------
    • From: "John A. Resotko" (Resotko@ahdlms.cvm.msu.edu)
      I already have a good portion of my clothing (leggings, knee-high hand-tooled moccassins from Bald Mountain Mocs, etc.) since we frequent RenFests in the Michigan/Illinois/Ohio area. I'll probably buy an exceptional quality shirt and a brocaded jacket/vest to dress my usual garb up for the occasion.
      -------------------------
    • From: platypus@glue.umd.edu (Amy E. Rottier)
      My dress was made by a bridal shop that makes dresses in Takoma Park, MD. I found the perfect material after many weeks of intensive searching - an ivory brocade with gold strewn through it. The fabric was $25 a yard. I wanted the majority of the dress made with this fabric, and the rest in an ivory antiqued satin. The way it ended up: dropped waist gown with full skirt, slim long sleeves, pointed. Low neckline. Plain shoulders. The brocade fabric was used everywhere except the sleeves and a front placket that ran from neck to hem. I had a gold cord criss-crossed across the front of the bodice and tied at the dropped waist. Everyone said I sparkled in the sun. I felt so beautiful in that dress. My then-fiance decided he wanted to wear a cloak and tights, so tights they wore. We had the cloak made (reversible, in black and burgundy, with glorious trim), found burgundy leggings in a clothing store, he made a belt, and dyed his moccasin boots. He wore a tunic of an ivory color, with a stand-up collar. He also wore leather bracelets (the manly kind!). He was stunning. Anyway, it turned out that Mark's outfit cost as much as mine. How's that for equality! My bridesmaids wore a version of a dirndl pattern - a floor-length skirt (in burgundy) with bodice-vested top (in mauve). The pattern also included a shirt, but we made the sleeves from a muslin-type cotton (off-white and speckly) and just attached them to the vest. The guys wore a version of Mark's outfit - black cloak (not as ornate, and not reversible), black shirts with burgundy belts, burgundy tights, and black ankle-high moccasin boots.
      -------------------------
    • From: june@netcom.com (June Petersen)
      I suppose my dress was more like "fantasy Ren", two layers of beige gauze skirt with lace, and a beige gauzy top with a lace-up center (upon which were sewn pearls and brilliants). I've always been a fiend for lace, so there was lots of it, including a 5 foot lace "train" veil (carried by my "page"). We bought the basic dress stuff (skirts, top) and embellished the hell out of it. It had detachable sleaves of lace, very big and trailing at the bottom. He wore breeches and boots, a loose cotton shirt and a big cloak. Our parents were also dressed in Renaissance mode, as were my Mom's folks. A lot of the guests came in Ren or pseudo-Ren, which made it a lot of fun!
      -------------------------
    • From: Guinevere1@aol.com
      My fiance and I will be wearing traditional wedding clothes (since he couldn't manage to talk his ushers into wering period clothing!) My dress is ivory, with a V-neck neckline and brocade detailing on the bodice, with matching detail an inch above the hemline. My fiance bought me the necklace I will be wearing. It is a Medieval cross (purchased through Past Times), even on all four sides (rather than a traditional cross, which is longer at the bottom) with a garnet in the center. The four "ends" are in the shape of Fleur de Lys, with a pearl on three of them. It was believed back then that this type of medallion was good luck. The ushers will be wearing tuxedoes but not with the traditional bowtie and cumberbund. Instead, it's the type of tuxedo with an ascot (wide tie) and vest. Danny (the groom) will wear tails, and the ushers will wear shorter jackets. The girls will be wearing emerald green velvet dresses.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      The hardest thing to do was getting enough GOOD costumes for everyone. It is much easier to do if you do peasant or lower middle class dress, but we did a noble wedding which is harder to pull off. We used our costume colors in a dramatic way. Andrea's family and attendants were dressed in yellows & browns, while my side was predominately in blues & grays. We were both dressed in green. Andrea had gold trim, myself with blue. Even though it was slightly 'theatrical' it represented a symbolic merging of the families -- Andrea's family in Earth tones, my own family in the colors of water and sky, and us in green, the color of new growth and renewal. It turned out that the hardest thing with the costumes was convincing both mothers that they REALLY had to wear them. Both fathers said "It sounds like fun!".

    ================================================================
    3.2: Any ideas on how I can encourage my guests to dress in period clothing, too?

    • From: peterscc@whitman.edu (Chris Petersen)
      I attended my first SCA event last summer - as a guest at a friend's wedding. With each invitation, she included a small SCA-published pamphlet that talked about how to quickly, cheaply and easily make period dress for just such an event. Many people chose to follow this and some even wore towels clipped together to form tabbards. Others chose simply to come in mundane clothing.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      We encouraged our guests to come in period attire, but did not make it mandatory. I included a brouchure that I had bought at the Southern (California) Faire about assembling an outfit that would give a period look using clothing that most people might already have or could get easily. We also included info about where people could rent or purchase costumes in the area. About half of our guests at least made an attempt to come in period attire, the rest mostly wore traditional modern dress clothing. At least they came, so I didn't mind that they were in modern clothing. Also try to get a caterer, photograher and minister who will dress in period clothing, and be prepared to get the clothing for them. We interviewed a few before we found some that would be willing to 'dress up' for our wedding.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      Try to get a minister who will dress in period clothing and be prepared to get the clothing for them. We interviewed a few before we found some that would be willing to 'dress up' for our wedding.
      -------------------------
    • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
      The gentleman that did our wedding was a personal friend but is on a referal list the Faire keeps of ordained clergy that will do weddings in period garb, style, etc.
      -------------------------
    • From: hamilton@adi.com
      Some friends of mine had a Renaissance-style wedding a couple of years ago. The reception was themed as a masked ball (so the family and friends could wear any costume they wanted). The wearing of masks was prevalent throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, especially during the Carnival season. The film "Much Ado About Nothing" (the Branagh version) has a very nice masked party. The Liz Taylor-Richard Burton version of Taming of the Shrew has a Carnival procession wandering through Padua. And of course, there's Zefirelli's Romeo and Juliet, where R&J meet at a masked party.
      -------------------------
    • From: ????????????
      For those guests who cannot come up with a suitable costume I am making 'slip on' costumes -- tunics over pants for men, dresses for women.

    ================================================================
    3.3: HELP! My fiance wants a medieval-style wedding but I don't know the first thing about that time period, much less about the clothes they wore.

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Go to the library and take a look at some historical costume books and pick out a time frame that suits you. Here are some basic categories to help you decide:
      • 1. Royalty (the most formal and fanciest clothes from the era)
      • 2. Merchant class (good but not showy, modestly prosperous)
      • 3. Peasant (casual, carefree, outdoorsy, little decoration)
        • A. Medieval (women in long, slim-fitting gowns; men in tights and tunics)
        • B. Renaissance (women in tight bodices and full skirts; men in tights, breeches, pirate shirts, laced vests)
      If you want your whole bridal party in period garb, think about what styles everyone will be comfortable in. Renaissance peasants and Medieval clothing will probably be easiest to wear for those not accustomed to heavy, confining, or unusual clothing. These are also the easiest styles to create!
      -------------------------
    • From: Anne Reynolds (apr@hpesapr.fc.hp.com)
      For any given century, there was usually one or two "cultural centers of the world." Everyone else tried to imitate that culture. For example, the British Isles spent most of the 11th-13th century trying to imitate France. In the late 14th-15th centuries, Italy was the place to imitate. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain and then England were considered cultural centers. The cotehardie was *the* fashion for women in the 12th - 13th centuries. The best examples of the style are in french books of hours. Most of those books also show women in houppelandes which was the second most popular fashion from the 12th - mid 14th century. The houppelande is a much "bulkier", gathered dress that is also very lovely. The main style of clothing for most of the middle ages (popular from Roman times through the 12th century) is the T-tunic. It is very simple to make but has millions of variations and can be elaborately decorated. You can decorate the sleeves, the hem, the collar, the front, etc. It can be as long or as short as you please, the sides can flare out instead of being cut straight down, and the side seams can be left open below the hips for greater range of movement. The T-tunic was worn by both men and women and it is cut like:

        -------------------\     /--------------------
      |...................-----....................|
      |.._________......................_________..|
      |./ |......................| \.|
      |/ |......................| \|
      / |......................| \
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      |......................|
      ------------------------

    ================================================================
    3.4: My wife is desperately in need of a source of patterns for medieval/Renaissance wedding clothing for the bride, groom, and all of the wedding party. Where can we get such patterns?

    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      There are a number of different pattern companies that specialize in historically-accurate period clothing. Four that I have heard of (and there may be others) are Folkwear Patterns, Period Patterns (by Medieval Miscellanea), Past Patterns and Fantasy Patterns.
      -------------------------
    • From: ???????????
      Folkwear Patterns is a large, popular company that makes patterns inspired by folk costume, ethnic clothing, and historical fashions. The patterns are historically accurate, and include historical/ethnic/folkloric notes & ideas for embellishment. Many of the ethnic clothing patterns work for Med/Ren styles, esp. peasant clothes. The historical fashions are mostly 19th & 20th century. Medieval Miscellanea is one of the few makers of specifically Med/Ren clothing patterns. They have a lot of historical annotation, but can be hard to follow. Past Patterns makes 19th & early 20th century patterns, historically accurate, often with historical info on the patterns.
      -------------------------
    • From: susan-o@metronet.com (Susan A. Ondrick)
      I have Period Patterns No. 56, Late Tudor and Elizabethan Gowns. Historical notes are included with the patterns.
      -------------------------
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      Period Patterns, Fantasy Fashion Patterns and Folkwear Patterns are also available through Chivalry Sports (see catalog list), although their selection is very limited. Period Patterns are available through MacKenzie-Smith.
      -------------------------
    • From: liversen@physiology.medsch.ucla.edu (Lori Iversen) Both Folkwear and Medieval Miscellanea brands are available through the Raiments catalog as well as Amazon Vinegar Pickling Works and Drygoods Emporium [see catalog list], along with lots of other pattern brands and costuming sundries. I would recommend getting catalogs from both places instead of just asking for a particular pattern brand; that will give you a much larger base to work from.
      -------------------------
    • From: connect@aol.com (CONNECT)
      Fantasy Fashion patterns are in the Raiments catalog.
      -------------------------
      From amberly@magellan.cloudnet.com
      I have ordered Folkwear patterns and have been very pleased with them. I have seen Folkwear patterns carried in specialty pattern shops, but they carry a very limited selection.
      -------------------------
    • From: jjones@atlas.ontos.com (JJ)
      Try Folkwear Patterns. They have various enthnic patterns as well as historical ones. Not all fabric stores carry them. I'd recommend sitting down with the yellow pages, looking up "Fabrics" and calling every fabric store listed. Talk to the managers if you have to - if they don't carry Folkwear they might know of places that do. I've made several of the Folkwear patterns. Many of them are DIFFICULT (and I'm a *very* experienced seamstress). Many of them are constructed in ways that are close to the originals, which means odd pieces and attachments. They also tend to have several sizes in the same envelope. Proper body measurements are a must, and you need an experienced seamstress to do it. By the way, some of the patterns are absolutely gorgeous - so they're worth the effort. But not for the fainthearted!
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      If historical accuracy matters, I *highly* recommend buying the Raiments catalog of historical patterns. There are some very easy to use patterns for men's & women's medieval and Renaissance garments, plus they sell readymade corsets & hoops (for noblewomen's costumes). If you aren't too concerned with history, look through the pattern books at your local fabric store. The Halloween sections have many simple Robin Hood style outfits, plus there are a few Christopher Columbus patterns still out there. You can also modify modern patterns by extending hemlines, adding fullness to sleeves, cutting pants into breeches, and making vests lace up instead of button. The books _Elizabethan Costuming_ and _After a Fashion_ both have great tips on modifying modern patterns to create historical costumes.
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      COSTUME REFERENCES
      • Winter, Janet and Carolyn Savoy. _Elizabethan Costuming for the Years 1550-1580_ 1987. Other Times Productions, 386 Alcatraz Ave., Oakland, CA 94618. Available from the publisher and from Raiments (see catalog list). Includes pattern diagrams, detailed instructions, and lots of helpful drawings. Perfect for beginners.
      • Grimble, Frances. _After a Fashion: How to Reproduce, Restore, and Wear Vintage Styles_ 1993. Lavolta Press, 20 Meadowbrook Dr., San Francisco, CA 94132. Available from the publisher and from Raiments (see catalog list). Very useful overview of historical styles, including Medieval and Renaissance. Tons of wonderful sewing, pattern modifying, and clothes re-modeling tips.
      • Holkeboer, Kathleen. _Patterns for Theatrical Costume_ Available in bookstores and from Raiments. Scale-able grid diagrams of patterns for historical costume from Ancient Egypt through 20th century (men and women). The Medieval and Renaissance patterns are attractive and give options for several different styles.
      -------------------------
    • From: kithatton@aol.com
      I highly recommend picking up a copy of "Elizabethan Costuming". It is by far the best practical book for Elizabethan costuming of all classes. It includes info on dress, hair styles, and head coverings.
      -------------------------
    • From: Victoria (address unknown)
      The best place to get authentic patterns for the 16th Century is from a book by Janet Arnold - ["Patterns of Fashion", published in 1985 by Macmillan London Limited]. What she does is take REAL clothing from the period, carefully studies it and makes actual patterns from the original garments. In the book there are a series of pattern drawings from her research. Of course, these are to scale, and you'd have to get your own pattern paper (or butcher's paper) to redraw the patterns - but it includes a number of mens and womens' and children's outfits - plus it has photographs of the actual pieces - including some close-ups of the insides...amazing detail information that will make any costumer drool.
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      The only way to get really period garb is to sew it yourself, of course. If you're going for a very early period &/or for peasant classes, the clothes are pretty easy to make & you could round up everyone you know & have sewing parties. When doing period events with non-costumer folk, it's always a good idea to make it as easy & comfortable for them as possible. You might not want to stress historical accuracy if you're dealing with people who rarely wear anything but jeans and sneakers!

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    3.5: I can't sew on a button. Where can I buy medieval clothing?

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Look in regular clothing stores for things with a Medieval or Renaissance flair. Women look for: long velvet gowns with fitted bodices, long sleeves, and full skirts; velvet or tapestry vests (especially those that lace up the front), peasant blouses, ruffled blouses, long skirts. Men look for: full pirate-style shirts, velvet tunics, velvet or tapestry or leather vests, baggy trousers, boots. For simple peasant outfits, go to thrift and second-hand stores for gauzy peasant blouses, pirate shirts, long cotton skirts, and leather boots and belts.
      -------------------------
    • From: apr@fc.hp.com (Anne Reynolds)
      For about the past eight years, I've KNOWN what I wanted my wedding dress to be like. If you look in french books of hours, you see it all over the place - it's sort of an A-line dress except much more fitted in the chest/rib cage area, scoop neckline, fitted sleeves, huge skirt and train. Then, while flipping through some bridal magazines, I saw this one bridesmaid's dress, and I just kept coming back to it. So finally I said to myself, "if you don't go try on that dress, you'll never be happy with any other dress, not even your dream dress." So I went to a store and tried it on - just that one and no other. I just about cried at how pretty I FELT when I put it on. Especially when the saleslady pulled out *the perfect veil* to wear with it. It was THE DRESS after all. As an added plus, since it was labelled as a bridesmaid's dress, it was cheap compared to most wedding gowns. I paid about $400 for the dress and veil which was less than I had planned to spend making my original dream dress.
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Check out local costume rental shops -- this way bridal party members & guests don't have to pay for whole outfits they'll never wear again. Also, take a look through thrift shops for accessories like belts, cups, jewelry, etc. BTW, a decent costume shop will be as "approximately period" as any of the readymade supposedly period clothes I've ever seen for sale!) Some stores will even sell you the costumes, if you want to keep them or make alterations. One warning -- do not expect to be able to do this in October. Costume shops are swamped in October (for Halloween), so prices go up and selection goes down.
      -------------------------
    • From: Tina Schutte (spires@one.net (Lee Spires)
      I think I may have found a gown! There's a costume shop here that supplies our local theater groups...They have something that, although it's too big, they may be able to make me a copy in the colors and fabrics I choose. Now I've got to pick fabrics, check costs, and pray it can be done in the time I've got!!
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Ask everyone you know if they have anything in their closets. People who do living history sometimes get tired of their costumes and sell them. Place a small ad in the local costumer's guild, Renaissance guild, and SCA newsletters. Ask around on rec.sca.org and alt.renaissance.faires, too (these are also good places to search for a costumer/seamstress).
      -------------------------
    • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
      I contacted my local SCA chapter and arranged to have our wedding outfits made by someone into costuming. We made sure they were done period so that we could use them for later Faires and events. She went to the fabric distrinct in downtown LA and found an elegant wool imported from England at only $5 a yard. The total cost on our outfits was $350.
      -------------------------
    • From: aam0709@is.nyu.edu (Aliesha A. Murray)
      For the costumes, we're getting a costumer who's also involved with local Renaissance festivals. Groomsmens outfits will be about $65 to rent, bridesmaids about $100, groom about $100 (his costume is more elaborate). The people we're working with are actually willing to make the clothes to our specifications, then rent them to us. This way they get to keep the clothes and rent them out to other people later. You may be able to get a costumer to do this, too, especially if they do weddings a lot. These people are also willing to make my dress, and they said that if they can't do it then they know people from the Ren Faire who can. If you have a Ren. Faire in your area I definitely recommend going there, if only just to get some ideas. By the way, we're sticking with tunics for the men and princess-seamed dresses for the women. That way the men don't have to wear tights, and princess dresses look good on almost any body type. We're going with capes, too. They look really dramatic.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      One of my best friends is a costumer who happens to specialize in renaissance costumes. He agreed to do our outfits as well as clothe the rest of the wedding party and our parents. He worked with us to design our clothing and incorporate our ideas. After several discussions and much research, he did some renderings to show what the final product would look like. We then went shopping for fabrics and trims, and then he went to WORK. The final version exceeded our expectations! They were simply marvelous! Without his support and well-stocked closet, I don't think we could have done it. All told, he provided 22 costumes -- the ones he made for us (which we kept) and 20 others that he either pulled from or made for his stock.
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Check with local theatrical companies and college theater departments to see if they've done any Shakespearean plays recently and want to sell their costumes. This is a long shot, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Also check to see if they have particular times when everything in the wardrobe's up for sale (some places do this once a year as a fund-raiser).

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    3.6: Does anybody know of a catalog which offers readymade but affordable period clothes? I can't possibly sew for everyone!

    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uw.edu
      There are a number of mailorder companies that carry readymade period clothing. Some will even rent clothing. See the list of catalogs in this faqsheet.

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    3.7: Does anyone know of good Web sites regarding medieval clothing?

    • From: markh@risc.sps.mot.com (Mark.S Harris)
      You might check the CLOTHING section of my SCA Rialto files at: http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/rialto/rialto.html. The file patterns-msg details a number of modern patterns that can be modified to medieval style clothing. I believe there is another file that lists the names and addresses of various merchants selling medieval patterns. There are various other files on making gloves, headgear, shoes, undergarments and other clothing apparel as well as files on Scottish and Irish clothing and other clothing files.
      ________________________
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu
      There is another website that I know of which offers costuming information: http://www.bibiana.com/velvet/peasant.html contains directions for making Renaissance peasant clothing. Two other sources of information about period clothing is the Historical Costuming FAQ at http://reality.sgi.com/employees/lara/lara.html and the Historic Costume Mailing List (see following message).
      ________________________
    • From: close@lunch.engr.sgi.com (Diane Barlow Close)
      The Historic Costume Mailing List focuses on the re-creation of period costume, from the Bronze age to the mid-20th Century. We discuss accurate historical reproduction of clothing, historical techniques for garment construction, and the application of those techniques in modern clothing design. Other topics frequently discussed include adapting historical clothing for the modern figure, clothing evolution, theatrical costumes, patterns, materials, books, and sources for supplies. We have over 600 members, of varying levels of ability, education and interest. Members include re-creationists and reenactors of all eras, historians, museum personnel, students and professors of both theatre and history, and other academics, authors, directors, dancers, professional costumers, wearable artists, sewers interested in learning "lost" techniques, and some who are simply "fans" of history. This is a list that brings together many different types of people, all sharing information and hanging out and having fun.
      To join the list, send a message to:
      majordomo@lunch.engr.sgi.com
      In that message, say one of the following as the body of the message:
      subscribe h-costume
      end
      or
      subscribe h-costume-digest
      end
      The first will put you on the list to receive approx. 5-20 messages per day. The second will put you on the list to receive one digest approximately every 1-5 days of the past week's mailings.

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    3.8: My fiance has informed me that he hates tuxes and would prefer to get married in a robe rather like the ones worn by Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. Anyone have a clue where I would find such a beast?

    • From: Mistress Aidan Morgana Evans
      I believe that the garment for which you search is called in period a "loose gown". Patterns for several may be found in "Patterns of Fashion, vol III" by Janet Arnold. The scaled patterns may look complicated but this was the first garment which my lord husband patterned and made for himself. Your lord will look splendid, but don't skimp on the fabric.

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    3.9: Does anyone know where I could get a velvet cape? I am thinking about an evening wedding and an off the shoulder gown, and I get cold easily (Plus I just love them!!).

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Capes are probably the world's easiest thing to sew -- a beginner can do it, even in velvet (if you're patient). Many pattern companies have simple cape patters with variations like collars, hoods, etc. Look in the "coats" and "evening wear" sections of pattern companies. Depending on your gown, you might want a full-length cape or a fingertip length one or even a short elbow length cape. It can be simple and unadorned or you can edge it with fur, maribou, lace, ribbon, cording, metallic braid, etc. This is *such* an easy project! Don't waste a lot of time searching for one readymade in stores -- just go to the fabric store. And if you don't sew, ask around. Grandmothers, older aunts, and even mothers are often of a generation that knew how to sew. It could be a lovely wedding present too.
    ****************************************************************
    Section 4: Questions regarding Flowers, Bouquets and Headpieces

    4.1: What flowers can I use in my bouquet to go along with the medieval theme of my clothing?

    • From: Guinevere1@aol.com:
      In a book entitled "Period Flowers", the chapters called "Medieval Flowers" and "Renaissance" talk about the flowers most popular during those times.
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    • From: margritt@mindspring.com (Margritte)
      There is a book called "Theme Gardens" that you might want to check out. It has plans for several gardens--including a medieval paradise garden, a Shakepeare garden, and others. It's a wonderful place to look for lists of appropriate flowers.
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    • From: cd055@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Jennifer Gebhardt)
      Our wedding has a Celtic theme...and my bouquet will have white roses, wine roses, thistle, and heather.
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    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu
      I carried a bouquet of green ivy, white sweetpeas, white roses, and white carnations which I tied together with trailing white and green ribbons.
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    • From: lise@balkis.cc.bellcore.com (339R0-romanov)
      Each could carry a single long-stemmed red rose trimmed with ribbons.
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    • From: platypus@glue.umd.edu (Amy E. Rottier)
      I had a cascading hand bouquet with lots of ivy trailing and many colorful flowers (I wanted garden-y type flowers, simple and homey). The girls had large hand-tied bouquets of the same flowers. My flower crown was BIG - but I'm a big girl, and they balanced me out. The florist made a spray for the arch, too, and it was incredible. Looked fantastic and drew the ceremony place together (a single big focus point just behind us, instead of distractions everywhere).
      -------------------------
    • From: Betsy Miller (elizabeth.miller@fmr.com)
      Here's an alternative I'm toying with (shamelessly pilfered from Martha Stewart): Each attendant carries a bouquet made from a single flower but using the same greenery & general shape of bouquet. The picture I saw had one bouquet made with irises, one with white roses, one with orange lilies, and one with a red flower (not roses, but I can't think of what it was). It looked really pretty, especially since all the bridesmaids had identical gowns.
      -------------------------
    • From: bozwin@aol.com (Bozwin)
      My attendants are each carrying a cluster of tulips tied with ribbon. Very reasonable price at that time of year (spring). Haven't decided yet if each will carry a different color, but maybe. With 4, you could do the colors like winter, spring, summer, fall.
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    • From: hlburges@ellis.uchicago.edu (Hillary Butterfly Burgess)
      Three ideas I've seen and loved: 1) A small round bouquet with cascading ivy and ribbon (ivy is cheap filler, but beautiful, ribbon you can get inexpensively at a craft/fabric store). 2) Long stem flowers. Tie them together with green craft wire, wrap about 4 inches of satin ribbon around the stems (toward the bottom) and attach a bow to the ribbon. (I like satin bows) Add ribbons and pearls to the hanging ribbons from the bow to make it more fancy/formal. 3) Baskets: We *might* have the flower girls carrying small baskets filled with petals and then have the BM carrying bigger baskets filled with flowers and hanging ivy. My mom has bought the baskets at yardsales and craft stores for between 25c and a buck. She will decorate them with satin material and ribbon, then we will give them to our florist who can make a flower arrangement for the BMs. The florist suggested we use the BM's arrangements as table centerpieces.
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    • From: khealey@world.std.com (Katie Healey)
      My fiance's name is ERIC, so my flowers were Edelweiss (a pain to find in October!!!), Roses, Ivy, and Carnations. I know, it sounds too cute for words, but I really liked it. For my bridesmaids, I had bouquets that were virtually the same, except for one type of flower. I found one kind of flower that means "friendship forever" (my best friend's bouquet); another kind of flower means "memories treasured" (for the bridesmaid who had been a friend since before we could walk); "new friendship" for my future SIL; etc. There are several good books on flowers that tell about the meanings of different flowers. It's kind of neat, once you get going. When I gave each bridesmaid her bouquet, I included a little card that explained the meaning of their special flower. We all cried baskets before we even left my house!
      -------------------------
    • From: Debbie McCoy bridea2z@gate.net
      Ancients used herbs, not flowers, in bouquets because they felt herbs--especially garlic--had the power to cast off evil spirits (can you imagine walking up the aisle holding a clump of garlic!?). If a bride carried sage (the herb of wisdom) she became wise; if she carried dill (the herb of lust) she became lusty. Later flowers replaced herbs and took on meanings all their own. Orange blossoms, for example, mean happiness and fertility. Ivy means fidelity; lillies mean purity.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      Our flower girl carried sheaves of wheat, a symbol of growth, fertility, and renewal.

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    4.2: Does anyone know (or can anyone point me to a resource for) the meanings of different flowers in a bouquet?

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      The language of the flowers is ancient and many of the symbols have not changed. These examples come from Shakespeare:
      Red rose and myrtle = I love you
      Ivy with white and red flowers = marry me?
      Forget-me-nots = my true love is yours
      Pansies = you occupy my thoughts
      Violets = I am faithful and loyal
      Mint = great virtue
      Sage = great respect
      White and red roses = unity of purpose
      Pink roses = ours must be a secret love
      Marigolds = I am a jealous lover
      Lavender = I distrust you
      Basil = I hate you
      -------------------------
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      If you are interested in creating a bouquet with a special meaning, the following website contains a list of flowers and their meanings: http://acm.vt.edu/~lfowler/wed/flowers.html.

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    4.3: I've found a wonderful company to make our "costumes", but I'm not sure what to wear for a "veil". I know veils are traditional nowadays, but our medieval wedding is anything but. Could I wear flowers in my hair instead of a veil?

    • From: Debbie McCoy (bridea2z@gate.net)
      It's not necessary to wear a veil. A veil is merely traditional and ceremonial (although in Judaism Conservative and Orthodox ceremonies, it's a requirement). Since your wedding sounds very much your own, the only thing that's important is that your headpiece (if you choose to wear one) look beautiful.
      -------------------------
    • From: ac298@seorf.ohiou.edu (Lisa Steinberg)
      The veils of today have only been used for the last hundred or so years so, by not wearing one, you aren't contradicting some ancient tradition. I like the look of flowers scattered throughout a hairdo--nice and whimsical.
      -------------------------
    • From: Michaele Kashgarian (kashgarian@llnl.gov)
      I'm planning to wear fresh flowers instead of a veil. Once I decide on a dress, I'll try to figure out which flowers will go with it.
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    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      Instead of a veil, I wore a wreath of fresh ivy. Anne of Cleves (early 1500's) supposedly wore a wreath of rosemary at her wedding.
      -------------------------
    • From: Deirdre Shaw shaw_d@a1.tch.harvard.edu
      All the Renaissance Faires that I have been to sell wreaths made out of dried flowers. I've usually seen a *wide* variety of colors and flowers used, so you should be able to find something that matches or complements what you're wearing. I've liked the look of the flower wreaths so much that my headpiece is going to be a wreath similar to the ones sold at the Faires.
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      A wreath of flowers is a very ancient bridal headpiece. You could also wear your hair loose, which symbolizes virginity (married women wore their hair up and mostly covered). You could have the bridesmaids wear their hair braided or up, to emphasize the bride.
      -------------------------
    • From: Guinevere1@aol.com
      The headpiece I will be wearing is a wreath made of ivory-colored flowers, with a veil attached to the back. I am also having headpieces made by a friend of mine for my bridesmaids. They will have different colored flowers, baby's breath, and ribbons (which coordinate with the emerald-colored dresses) instead of the veil.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      We adapted a Finnish tradition of the mothers crowning the bride to give their blessing to the daughter. Andrea entered wearing a wreath, which she gave to one of her attendants, then both mothers came forward and put a snood and tiara on her head.
      -------------------------
    • From: sac56615@saclink1.csus.edu (Judith A. Murray)
      I had my hair braided by a woman who does braiding at renaissance faires. Flowers, pearls, but no headpiece and no veil. It was the talk of the wedding! (I also paid to have my sister's hair braided - her braid cost $38, and mine $50, plus I gave her a $12 tip, making it an even $100 - this was one of my slurges!).
      -------------------------
    • From: woods@oakhill.sps.mot.com (Lynn Woods)
      I don't like veils either. I have really long hair and so I made a headpiece that is three white silk rose buds, two mini-lilies, & ivy. Draping down from the flowers is three loops of white satin ribbon with long pearl sprays over the ribbon. It's a little hard to describe, but the effect is similar to a veil without having to actually endure netting or tulle or whatever it is. It goes on the back of my head.
      -------------------------
    • From: prauda@plootu.Helsinki.FI (Kristiina Prauda)
      My friend Paivi's headpiece consisted of her magnificently long and thick tawny hair styled around her head (not in braids, but sort of tubes or rolls) and decorated with fresh ivy leaves and individual white gladiolus flowers. It was really beautiful. Paivi's cousin is getting married in a few weeks. I heard that her veil is short, layered and rather fluffy and that she's renting a headpiece from "Kalevala Koru". They make jewellery based on actual historical jewellery findings., The headpiece is a bronze or silver garland, and can be worn either closed, crownlike on top of the head, or open at the end, tiara-like.
      -------------------------
    • From: Kari Astley astleyk@u.washington.edu
      I decided to get a head band with a tear drop pearl in front because I've always loved the look (sort of like a mythic princess). I would highly recommend trying some on and then finding someone to make the one you want. I had no idea what I was looking for till I tried some on. It's amazingly easy to have someone make one, and that way you get exactly what you want. Also, the price for mine was incredible, it was cheaper than it would have been had I bought one in a store.
      -------------------------
    • From: prauda@plootu.Helsinki.FI (Kristiina Prauda)
      We had a formal evening reception with a medieval-ish theme. I made a veil for myself. I borrowed a small gold-and-rhinestone tiara from a theatre and added a two-layered, gathered tulle veil with narrow gold thread edging starting straight from the tiara. The upper layer went to my waist and served as a blusher; the other layer went down to the hem of my gown (no train). I had always known I wanted a long, big veil, but I hate the look of those white pearl-and-sequin headpieces. Nor was I too keen on fresh flowers, because I think they look best with no veil at all (with very well styled hair). The tiara was perfect with my gold-accented silk gown.

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    4.4 I would like to use a garland of ivy as a headpiece, as it is symbolic of good luck and all. I have an ivy plant, and I wonder if just cutting off a long extension of the plant and forming it into a circle would work. Any advice?

    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      That's what I did. I cut off a long vine of ivy from a plant I had been growing for some time. I wound it around about three times, tucking it every so often so that I didn't need to use wire or ties to keep it together. It worked great, and it held up fantastically! I was able to wear it a week later to the renaissance fair! After that, however, the leaves began to brown and fall off.
      -------------------------
    • From: q2usa@aol.com (Q2 USA)
      Use a piece of flexible wire and wrap it from end to end with white or green floral tape. Form it into a circle the size of which sits on your head where you'd like it. Secure the two ends together with floral tape. The morning of your wedding, gently secure the ivy strand to the circle in several places with floral tape. Leave it in the refrigerator, maybe on top of a wet cloth in a tupperware container. You could add colored ribbons, pearls, cords, tulle or silk flowers to the headband as to your taste.

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    4.5: Help! I am allergic to flowers and I cannot figure out how to replace them in my wedding. I am having a medieval theme. Are there any suggestions?

    • From: Diana Ewing (dewing@mail.fgi.net) wrote:
      If your wedding is in the evening, why not a candle instead of flowers. I can't think of anything more romantic.
      -------------------------
    • From: jcowie@bgnet.bgsu.edu (Jenette Lynn Cowie)
      Are you allergic to dried flowers? Some dried flowers are very beautiful, and go well with many themes. If this doesn't work, maybe you could consider using several candles.
      -------------------------
    • From: prauda@kruuna.Helsinki.FI (Kristiina Prauda)
      If you cannot use any real flowers even in decorations, there is always silk ivy. Ivy (and other greenery) has often been suggested in these groups for medieval-style decorations, and silk ivy doesn't look as fake as silk flowers sometimes do. It actually looks very good in long garlands and thick branches around the room (and high on the walls, if possible). There are so many possibilities for medieval decorations that flowers are not at all necessary: candles, candelabras, banners, shields, tapestries... And if flowers are not completely forbidden, as long as they're not close to you, maybe you could have an arrangement on the altar (if it is a church wedding). As for you and your possible bridesmaids, you could carry candles. Or maybe your bridesmaids could also be readers for the ceremony and carry fancy scrolls with ribbons, with their texts written in the scrolls?
    ****************************************************************
    Section 5: Questions regarding the Reception

    5.1: Can you give me some ideas of where we might hold our medieval wedding reception?

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Look for buildings in stone, half-timbered wood, brick, or very rural. Find out about historic homes in your area, especially those with a Tudor or English cottage or castle look. Outdoors settings are perfect for a spring/summer Medieval wedding. If you have the space, a big white tent would be nice & could be decked out with banners & garlands.
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    • From: "John A. Resotko" (Resotko@ahdlms.cvm.msu.edu)
      Some possibilities we've considered:
      1) Renting the Special Events pavilion at a Renaissance Faire and holding the ceremony and reception there.
      2) Finding a replica castle, keep, or gatehouse for the wedding and catering the reception at a nearby hall (there are many places scattered throughout the U.S. where people have created their own castles, keeps, and medieval-looking buildings.)
      3) Finding a particularly gothic church for the ceremony and catering the reception at a nearby hall.
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    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      Although we wound up having our reception in the Executive Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, we first considered having it on the wooded grounds of a rural church. Had we done that, we were visualizing a ceremony under the trees, followed by a pigroast, picnic and dancing in the grass. Another place we considered was a 15th century chapel transported from France and erected on the Marquette University campus here in Milwaukee, but it was too small for our ceremony much less our reception.
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    • From: Patricia D. Mooney
      We were married in the manor-like HyeHolde Restaurant, amid tapestries and wood beams and candles. Perfect for setting the tone.
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    • From: byrdie@serv.net (Renee Ann Byrd)
      A 1993 wedding I attended had a bit of medieval flavor to it. The Episcopalian wedding was held in a well-hidden replica of a 14th century Scottish chapel.
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    • From: michelle.campbell@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (Miche)
      A couple of years ago I attended a medieval-style wedding which was held in a scout hall.
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    • From: june@netcom.com (June Petersen)
      We had the wedding at an historic adobe in Milpitas (Higuera Adobe) outdoors. We rented tables and chairs and had my friend, a florist, put up and decorate an arch for the "altar".
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    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      After a couple of research trips to Santa Barbara, CA, we settled on an outdoor location in Scofield Park in the hills above the Santa Barbara Mission. Scofield has several green fields surrounded by hills and trees with virtually no buildings visible from the park. We were able to rent two adjacent 'Group Sites' for $100. We used the more wooded one for the wedding, and the other more open field for the reception area. We used the picnic tables for the reception. We set two across one end for the 'head table' and two rows leading away from the head table like the arrangement in an old English manor house. That left a 'playing' area in-between the rows of tables for the entertainment.
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    • From: ???????????????
      I have done several renaissance weddings and am planning another for my daughter. She will be getting married in a CASTLE! The ceremony will be at night -- by candlelight -- and AFTER the reception instead of before. We will party for a day, do the rehearsal, then end the weekend with the candlelight wedding.
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    • From: Guinevere1@aol.com:
      My fiance and I are having our medieval wedding at a place called The Mansion in Pearl River, New York. It is modeled after an Irish castle, complete with authentic stone work, oak paneling, and stained glass windows. The manager, when asked if we could have a medieval wedding, replied, "Why not? We've done it before!"
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    • From: Gwalhafed (ajc1019@cus.cam.ac.uk) (Andrew)
      For those getting married in Europe, have the wedding in a Castle. Many of the more intact castles in the UK hire out their banquet halls for functions. Some of the very intact ones hold their own banquets regularly. A couple of friends just had a high medieval Arthurian wedding at Caerphilly castle in south Wales. It is worth bearing in mind that you have to book a long way in advance and many castles that are open to the public are only available in the evenings (though you will usually be able to use the kitchens all day). Last time I was involved in booking Caerphilly it cost 500 pounds to hire from 5.30 till midnight with use of the kitchens all day. In the UK the best people to contact if you don't have a particular castle in mind would be English, Scottish or Cadw (welsh) heritage. For those who can't use a real castle you can do wonders with some ivy, candles, a few shields and some banners.
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    • From: jthaman@interserv.com (John)
      My lady and I have reserved the Great Stone Castle in which to hold our wedding next year. The GreatStone Castle resides in Sidney, Ohio and was constructed in 1895. It is complete with turrents and a full wrap around porch. Inside it is richly finished with all types of exotic hardwoods from around the world. It is 4 stories of approximately 8000 sq. ft. The entire upper level is reserved as the ballroom. Unfortunately this is being renovated and will not be ready for our occassion. Our wedding will be held in the front living area on the first floor in front of a large fireplace. This will give my lady (Peg) the opportunity to descend the grand staircase and make quite an entrance. The castle sits atop a hill overlooking the downtown area of Sidney. The grounds are very well kept with gardens and shaded by many 100+ year old oak trees. There is a long winding drive approaching from the rear of the castle, a great place for a sendoff(?!!).
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    • From: magda@gramercy.ios.com (magda)
      I'm having my wedding at a beautiful woman's club that will be decorated in a medieval way. We WERE going to have it either at the Tarrytown Castle or the Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown, NY, but decided to stay in NJ. There's also a cool historical place in Ho-Ho-kus, NJ called the Hermitage. People should call their town halls for historical info. Also they should try their state's own bridal magazines. New Jersey Brides provided me with my consultant, caterer, hall and musicians.
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    • From: Leigh Ann (laschlorff@aol.com (LASCHLORFF)
      I used the Boston Wedding Directory which lists many area reception sites. It lists in all price ranges and is sectioned by areas like Boston, Greater Boston, Northshore, etc.
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    • From: Gretchen (gwade@oeb.harvard.edu)
      If you go to the Massachusetts State House Bookstore, they can sell you a booklet called "Historic places for historic parties" for $4.00 (I think). I was amazed at what is available for party rental. Everything from the Aquarium to historic homes. I used it to find my site.
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    • From: aam0709@is.nyu.edu (Aliesha A. Murray)
      We're having our wedding at the Medieval Times in New Jersey. They have a jousting show with a huge meal (you eat with your hands), and the price per head was actually cheaper than what I'd be able to get for an equivalent amount of food (hors d'oeuvres buffet, sit down dinner, fruit with the cake) in my area. The price they quoted us was $68.50/person, and we're getting an hors d'oeuvres buffet before the show, the standard Medieval times dinner and show, fruit, open beer, wine and soda with a champagne toast. They're even making the cake to look exactly like the Medieval Times castle! They also have private rooms (and semi-private areas for small parties like ours), and most of the decorations are already done for you. Since they do weddings a lot, the party manager is really helpful, and they have locations all over the country.
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    • From: rgray@csugrad.cs.vt.edu (Charatae)
      My fiance are planning a Mediaeval/Celtic wedding ceremony to be done in my parents front yard between two trees. As the "altar" we are driving my fiance's 6 foot Claymore sword into the ground.
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    • From: ojid.wbst845@xerox.com (Orilee Ireland-Delfs)
      When my protege got married, the wedding was outside in her sister's backyard with pavilions set up to provide shade for the wedding itself, the cooks, and for the guests to dine under. The main pavilion was decorated with large baskets of flowers and an aisle was created with flowered garlands on poles and large standing wooden candle holders.
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    • From: andrade@kristina.az.com (L. Andrade)
      The wedding ceremony and reception were held at the bride's parents' home. This saved Dee considerable money and also allowed for plenty of time to decorate the house and backyard. The house was simply gorgeous (being only two years old, designed and built by her parents). The backyard was spacious and had several dozen white rose bushes and other potted plants that added splashes of color. There was a swimming pool with a fountain placed in it for the wedding. Fortunately nobody fell in but I was a bit worried during the reception when people were dancing around.

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    5.2: Is it possible to have a wedding at a renaissance faire?

    • From: jazzy@gti.net (JaZzY) (Gwen)
      My fiance and I are planning our wedding for next August at the New York Renaissance Faire in Sterling Forest, NY. We can have it in a field or on a stage. There is a queen's banquet in the afternoon which allows for wedding guests at group rates. We will have the reception there.
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    • From: sjd7901@tam2000.tamu.edu (Stephen Decovic)
      Texas Ren Faire (located 1 hour north of Houston, Tx) does a wonderful medieval wedding. It includes a ceremony at a wood beam frame chapel (open to sky and covered in flowering vines), a wedding parade and food (I think). For more information call 1-800-458-3435.
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    • From: derly2@ix.netcom.com (Derly N. Ramirez II )
      The Texas Renaissance Festival, located in Magnolia, Texas (about 30 miles north of Houston) does weddings during the run of the fair. They have several wedding packages and price ranges. The price includes admission to the fair for the wedding party and a ride in the Grande Marche for the bride and groom. Options include wedding performed in the chapel, horse drawn carriage for the bride. reception in the Italian gardens (a private dining area), and full catering. The weddings must be reserved in advance, and last year all but one slot was sold. Performers attend the wedding adding a nice feel to the proceedings.
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    • From: w246@gf001e0@seag.fingerhut.com (Bruce Albrecht) There was a wedding at Bristol (WI) RF. I know the Queen was in attendance.
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    • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
      I contacted the business offices of the RPFS and found that they had an area in the back part of the Faire set aside for weddings. The cost was $500 and the area was very pretty and included hay bales for guests to sit on, table to serve the reception, and a flower-covered arch under which we could have the wedding. If I recall, the rental paid for 4 hours of use.
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    • From: runyon@crc.ricoh.com
      At the RPFN this year, there will be a REAL wedding in complete period garb and, as much as possible, a complete Elizabethan type ceremony...with mods to make it 20th century LEGAL.
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    • From: gaswes@aol.com (Wendy Strader)
      For those people who attend the RPFI faires, you know that Deidre in PAD makes reservations for the wedding garden at both Northern and Southern faires. This year RPFS had an herb garden as a backround for weddings. Linda Underhill of LHC is a minister and she also advises as to what would be appropriate for a "period" wedding. Contact either one of these ladies for advice. Deidre can be reached at RPFI and Linda can be contacted at 415-459-5123.
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    • From: Robert Fogle (rmf@cipr.mgh.harvard.edu)
      I know King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA does weddings.
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    • From: "Frank Caddeo (FRANK@UMBC2.UMBC.EDU)
      The Maryland RenFest does weddings. The wedding takes place at a small chapel set back in the trees in a shaded part of the festival. The reception is next door at The Dragon Inn. This is 3500 Sq Ft of deck. It is a very nice area, also set back in the woods. They have an extensive costume wardrobe. Food and drink available to the celebrants include Turkey Legs, Steak on a Stake, Knave Sandwhiches (Italian Sausage) Popovers, soda, lemonade, ice tea, and your choice of beer served on the grounds. Generally a minstral or two will wander throughout the wedding.
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    • From: crowesnest@aol.com (Crowesnest)
      Part of my job is being the event coordinator for weddings & special events at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. If you want info from that perspective, just drop me a line and I'll try to respond...or you can call me at my office (800) 296-7304. My name is C.J.

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    5.3: I've been asked to decorate the reception hall for a friend of mine having a medieval style wedding. Does anyone know of any herbs/plants/assorted greenery that would be appropriate? I would appreciate any ideas as to how to decorate this hall.

    • From: djheydt@uclink.berkeley.edu (Dorothy J Heydt)
      Well, the bad news is--some people in our area were asked this question a while back and did the research--that it is not period at all to decorate the interior of a building with vases of flowers. That is a *Victorian* practice; our people even came up with the name of the lady who first did it, but I've forgotten it. The good news is that almost nobody knows this. You *could* do whatever you think looks nice and you can afford. I would suggest cutting evergreen branches and decking the rafters with them, and garlands of flowers for the heads of the wedding party. The most impressive way to decorate the reception hall, in my opinion, is to borrow personal banners, those of your group and neighboring shires, etc., and deck the walls with those. Lotsa color. For my wedding, we decked the church (ugly bare concrete) with banners and put garlands on the heads of the wedding party.
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    • From: amypamy@aol.com (Amypamy)
      We had real ivy that I had cut from a friend's yard wrapped around the tent poles everywhere. We had shields with our mutual coats of arms painted on and hung above our seats. I bought burgundy and forest green table runners for the head tables and ivory table cloths with pansies in baskets as centerpieces. I can't wait for pictures!!!
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    • From: andrade@kristina.az.com (L. Andrade)
      At my friend Dee's medieval wedding (which was held at her home), there were tapestries hanging on the walls, black iron candle holders placed throughout the front rooms and on the walls (she found some of them at a garage sale for 50 cents each!), and medieval-style flags hanging out in the backyard from the fenceposts. She also borrowed a hand-made suit of armour from a member of the SCA. I highly suggest this route if you want some medieval-ish decorations or clothing. These people are very proud of their handcrafted work, and most won't mind showing it off by sharing it with you. She didn't even remotely know this man and he still freely offered the use of his armour and a sword, shield, and crossbow as well.
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    • From: bj@csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      I borrowed a suit of armor from a sister-in-law who borrowed it from a friend-of-a-friend. No matter that the armor was really a keg in disquise and that, if anyone had lifted the knight's codpiece, they would have discovered a strategically-placed spigot! Anyways, that suit of armor was the hit of the evening as well as the site of many a posed picture! We also borrowed three banners from some friends who purchased them at a Renaissance Faire, and we hung them over the buffet table at the reception.
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    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Banners can be put together with fusible interfacing or glue (although sewing looks nicer). All you need is cheap, colorful fabrics, and maybe a few tassel or fringe trims. You can get designs from any heraldry book in the library -- use a photocopier to enlarge the designs. One book I recommend is "Design Your Own Coat of Arms: An Introduction to Heraldry" by Chorzempa, Rosemary A. (1987, Dover Publications, Inc.). Available at art supply stores and bookstores. Lots of design elements, clearly drawn, perfect for creating decorations that reflect your interests and heritage.
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    • From: platypus@glue.umd.edu (Amy E. Rottier)
      We had a friend draw our coat-of-arms on shields that my fiance cut out of plywood and sanded just right (with beveled edge and everything!). She is also making a hanging sign for the house (where we're having the wedding) out of wood. We're going to sew up some banners this weekend!
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    • From: Lee Spires (spires@one.net) (Tina Schutte)
      We've decided to put hanging banners with my family crest along the bride's side of the room and his family crest on his side as well as on the groomsmen's surcoats. We'll also use our combined crest/shield on a banner to introduce *our* new family. We may have a couple of the ushers/groomsmen carry a banner on a post (one of his & one of mine) during the processional and present them to our fathers as a sign that we're giving them back their names/households in order to begin one of our own.
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    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      You could place the table for the wedding party in front of a wall and hang your family crest/banners behind the chairs where you will each sit. Or, if you mounted them on poles or on trumpets carried by 'heralds', they could lead you to wherever you are headed, such as the altar, the banquet table, or your awaiting carriage. Very regal-looking!
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    • From: platypus@glue.umd.edu (Amy E. Rottier)
      My MOH had made a styrofoam castle as a centerpiece for our shower. We cut a slot in the top of it and used it as a card receptacle.
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    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      You can use flowers and greenery as decorations, particularly in garlands and swags. Dried flowers are also good. Candlelight and/or firelight is a nice touch. Baskets decorated with greenery and dried flowers are also good choices.
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    • From: Guinevere1@aol.com:
      I ordered (from Past Times catalog) beautiful hunter green candles with gold Fleur de Lys on them and what they call Medieval candles, which are white with an ornate design on them. We also purchased banners at the New York Renaissance Fair to hang on the walls. I picked up a book called "Heraldry: A Pictorial Archive For Artists and Designers" by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, which we will use to make plywood shields to be displayed.
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    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      We designed several banners that I sewed together, and we ringed the site [in a park] with rope with strips of cloth tied-on every foot or so. I also put together three grapevine arches festooned with ribbons. We had a vine arch at the entrance to the wedding field, one behind the wedding itself, and one at the entrance to the reception field.) Vine arches are a symbol of growth, fertility, and renewal. Also, when you pass through an arch it is an entrance to a new world.

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    5.4: Can you recommend any activities, besides dancing, for our reception?

    • From: ojid.wbst845@xerox.com (Orilee Ireland-Delfs)
      The afternoon activities at a wedding I attended consisted of a tournament for the bride's garter (the winner of the tourney won her garter), a fencing tournament, archery, and a small court conducted by the bride and groom before they left.
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    • From: Ann.J.Welborne.2@nd.edu (Anna Welborne)
      My husband was dressed like Henry VIII, and in that famous portrait (hands on hips), Henry is wearing two garters. So, at the reception, I threw my bouquet, and he threw _his_ garter! It was such a hoot!
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    • From: Patricia D. Mooney
      Between courses at the meal, we invited guests to entertain with stories, juggling, poetry, etc. -- our medieval cookbook had mentioned entertainment between courses, we liked the idea. And it sure beats the normal sobby wedding toasts (we couldn't completely avoid them, though!).
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    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      To entertain people, we had jugglers and devil-stickers. You might also consider 3 or 4 strolling minstrels, either playing together or each playing to separate tables.
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    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      During the reception, two of the musicians suprised us by binding our hands with a flowered band and singing a song about love to us. Very nice. Binding the hands of the bride and groom symbolizes the joining of the bride and groom into a new family.
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    • From: ??????????
      We're thinking of including a maypole dance in the festivities. Our thought was to use different coloured ribbons to represent each family name and have them woven together to represent the bonding of both families.
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    • From: chaos@shred.ugcs.caltech.edu (Tien-Yee Chiu)
      I, er, do hope that you are, um...*aware* of what a Maypole symbolizes and that it's probably a powerful fertility blessing. The Maypole is essentially a large ritual phallus--check virtually any book on old English customs. There's speculation that the ribbon-weaving dance was originally a form of elaborate foreplay, with the men and women getting much, much *much* closer to each other as the ribbons were woven...Since May Day is/was the pagan holiday sacred to sexual desire, this doesn't seem all that unlikely. (The female correspondent to the Maypole was the May basket (womb), carried by women and filled with flowers that day. The May basket seems to have fallen out of favor, though...leaving just the Maypole.) That being said, it sounds like a marvelous "uniting" ceremony. You just might want to be aware of the sexual overtones--if any of your guests are aware of pagan tradition, they may have a hard time avoiding ROTFL!
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    • From: amypamy@aol.com (Amypamy)
      We painted a natural gas tank that was in the [reception] area green and put a dragon head and tail on it. We asked folks to name the dragon. We read all the names, picked the ones we liked best, then had a "clapping of hands" response to the names. The winner won two tickets to the Renaissance Festival!
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    • From: hamilton@adi.com
      Some friends of mine had a Renaissance-style wedding a couple of years ago. The reception was themed as a masked ball (so the family and friends could wear any costume they wanted). There were enough masks on each table that everyone could wear one and take it home as a keepsake. The wearing of masks was prevalent throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, especially during the Carnival season. The film "Much Ado About Nothing" (the Branagh version) has a very nice masked party. The Liz Taylor-Richard Burton version of Taming of the Shrew has a Carnival procession wandering through Padua. And of course, there's Zefirelli's Romeo and Juliet, where R&J meet at a masked party.
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    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      Three people from SCA did a sword 'fight' concerning the meaning of "Love" as part of the entertainment.
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    • From: BlkKnightI@aol.com
      My brother and I engaged in a sword fight (covering our sibling rivalry through the years). Alas, an excess of mead was taken on both parts and his hand was broken, which I feared would place a damper on the festivities but lo' he was of good humor that day and I escaped intact with my beautious bride!

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    5.5: If you have an interesting idea for favors for my medieval wedding reception, please tell me!

    • From: q2usa@aol.com (Q2 USA)
      In my experience, favors at weddings are a relatively recent addition. They probably became popular because people got tired of the common personalized matches (with the social climate becoming smoke-prohibitive, especially). I don't think that these matchbooks were even meant as favors originally- they were just a nice touch for the smoking guests to use at the wedding.
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    • From: selene@eskimo.com (Selene Herself)
      Remember, favors are not required at all. They are more meaningful to people if they see a connection to you somehow.
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    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      In the world of chivalry, a favor was often a lady's scarf or handkerchief, which she gave to her lover before he went into a battle or joust. At Renaissance faires, favors are small pendants, ribbons, rosettes, tassels, or other wearable trinkets often given by the nobility. These favors represent the esteem and affection of the giver for the recipient. Some other favor ideas:
      Parchment scrolls printed with a favorite poem and tied with velvet ribbon
      Miniature wreaths of dried flowers and herbs
      Quill pens with a clever note attached
      Velvet pouches filled with potpourri
      Small flasks of mead or fruit wine
      Tickets to a local Ren. faire (you might get a group rate)
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    • From: ez052439@bullwinkle.ucdavis.edu (Kris Jachens)
      How 'bout ribbon rosettes? I'd think any of the things that people wear and give each other as friendship tokens at Faire would be appropriate. I like the rosettes because they can be as simple or as ornate as you like, can be made pretty easily, and could be relatively inexpensive if you can catch sales at craft fabric stores.
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    • From: bcarter@prairienet.org (Barbara J. Carter)
      * You could buy flower seeds (in bulk) and have a print shop print up medieval-looking envelopes for the seeds, maybe with your SCA arms or a picture of a happy couple in medieval dress.
      * You could print up parchment scrolls, maybe with a love sonnet or just a medieval-sounding "hear-ye" kind of announcement. Roll up and tie with ribbons.
      * Gold-foil-wrapped chocolate "coins", custom imprinted with a suitably medieval-looking phrase.
      * For the sewing-machine set, you could make miniature (or full-sized) "jester's caps" out of parti-colored fabric in the wedding colors. Jingle bells on the tips add a special touch, and then the guests can ring their bells to get the newlyweds to kiss (instead of tapping their glasses). You could even require that someone "cut a caper" or tell a joke in order to get you to kiss.
      * For those more interested in fantasy stuff: glass hand-blown unicorns or other little figurines of glass or pewter (elves, wizards, etc) can be fun little keepsakes, though this might get expensive.
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    • From: Ulrika O'Brien (ulrika@aol.com)
      How about hand-made pomanders? Take a small citrus fruit (tangerine, perhaps), tie it up with appropriate ribbons, and, with a bow at the top, also make a wrist loop of ribbon so that wedding attendants can wear the pomander if they wish, then pierce the skin of the fruit that's still exposed between the ribbons with whole cloves to cover. The pomander should dry out over time to make a keepsake, and they smell wonderful fresh. A bit expensive to do for more than the main wedding party, though, unless it's a small wedding (it takes a lot of cloves).
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    • From: Dawn Marie Neuhart (dn1g+@andrew.cmu.edu)
      We are having little brass bells. They are about 3 inches high and are really cute. We're putting ribbons in our colors (one thermographed with our names on one end and the date on the other) on them as well. We thought that people could ring them instead of clanging their glasses. They were very inexpensive too, the bells were $1 each, and the ribbon was .50 for 8 yards, and the thermography was $12 for 50 of them.
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    • From: Jeneen Burton (jburton@sac.st-aug.edu)
      I did a little thank you scroll and rolled it up with a gold ring around it. I bought some parchment paper to print it on and used my laser printer.
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    • From: Barbara Jean Kuehl (bj)
      We set up a table at the entrance to the reception room and
      placed on it small parchment scrolls tied with green ribbons. Each scroll had the name of a specific guest (or couple) on it. The message on the scroll thanked them for sharing our wedding with us, invited them to eat, drink and be merry, and informed them discretely that drinks were 'on the manor'.
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    • From: hthistle@bbnplanet.com (none)
      Scrolls for weddings are usually about 4" by 6" and are rolled up and held together with fake gold/silver bands or rings that you can purchase at just about any craft store.
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    • From: Lisa R Kouvolo (kouvolo+@andrew.cmu.edu)
      I think that a parchment scroll done in Canterbury font (like the old-style block printing done when the monks first started making printed books) would be nice.
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    • From: "'Jherek' W. Swanger" (jswanger@u.washington.edu)
      In the late Renaissance and Elizabethan periods, one gave leather gloves to all the guests. Nosegays might be an idea too. (I've seen many, many references to rosemary being carried at late period weddings.)
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    • From: Dawn Marie Neuhart (dn1g+@andrew.cmu.edu)
      I saw some little plastic "glass" slippers in the craft store. [For people having a medieval fantasy wedding] you could fill them up with Hershey's kisses or something.
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    • From: chrisanthony@eworld.com (ChrisAnthony)
      My favors are going to be small (4 inch diameter) grapevine wreaths decorated with dried flowers. I'm putting the place cards in the center so they will do double-duty.
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    • From: "D. Peters" (dpeters@panix.com)
      I would suggest bags of confits (hard candies popular among the Elizabethans). "Dining with William Shakespeare" discusses the Elizabethan fondness for these goodies (ever wonder why QEI had black teeth?) and mentions, if I remember correctly, that bags of confits might be given out at the end of a feast or exchanged amongst friends.
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    • From: welborne.2@nd.edu (Anna Welborne)
      We used ribbons to define the alliances of families. For example, those of the bride's side wore small ribbons of pink and white. Those of the groom's wore green and cream. Many have told me they have kept the ribbons as Christmas ornaments - just tiny streamers. It was neat for our families. One would see to which side they belonged & then inquire about the relationship. We distributed the ribbons at the guest register. One person was totally responsible for explaining the tradition and helping to pin the ribbons on. We got the idea from the fact that brides were sometimes stripped at the altar by the men getting favors. We found a picture of a girl worshipping the Virgin Mary (presumably before her nuptials), and her sleeves and bodice were totally be-ribboned to avoid being stripped.
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    • From: Lisa R Kouvolo (kouvolo+@andrew.cmu.edu)
      I've seen Christmas decorations shaped like lutes that could be decorated in one's wedding colors. They could be purchased at an after-Christmas sale from one of those all-Christmas stores.
      ______________________
    • From: Lisa Livingston (procyon@icon.net)
      I was perusing a book called Crafting with Lace and it spoke about the history of Lace making and just how valuable lace was during the time of Catherine of Aragon, Catherine de Medici, Elizabeth I, etc. It then occured to me that favors made with lace would not then be out of character for a Medieval wedding. So, lace "pockets" filled with Chocolate (for a Medieval Spain themed wedding) would work or Potpourri for an Tudor English wedding. Anything trimmed with lace would also work, like handkerchiefs or scarves. The more lace you could afford to give away, the wealthier you would be in those times...so lace makes a nice gift for wedding guests.
      ______________________
    • From: Lisa Livingston (procyon@icon.net)
      You could make chocolate favors in the shape of dragons or castles, though you might need to cast the molds for these yourself...which is going to be the tricky part. Some rubber stamps have dragons etc on them which can serve as a template, but you would have to make a mold from it that would be chocolate resistant.
      ______________________
    • From: Lisa Livingston (procyon@icon.net)
      There are several small ribbon embroidery kits with dragons and castles as are there books with Celtic designs. With ingenuity, a bookmark or some small keepsake could be made from these. Handkerchiefs would be appropriate, too. Put the family coat of arms (or something) on it and make your guests swear fealty to you. BTW, if you go the embroidery route, best leave a lot of time or hold the guest list down.
      ______________________
    • From: panewman@uxmail.ust.hk (NEWMAN MARY)
      My friend had bookmarks made to give to guests. She had a friend who's a graphic designer create a logo for their wedding. A bit over the top for me, personally, but it added a sort of unified theme to the celebration and all the printed material (program, invites, thank yous).
      ______________________
    • From: combust@telerama.lm.com
      How about lavendar stems shaped into a heart shape? I like this idea because lavendar is a symbol of luck, and if you pack it away with your winter clothes, it is supposed to keep the bugs away.
      ______________________
    • From: Guinevere1@aol.com
      My fiance and I checked out a place called "The Sequin Garden" located in Carlstadt, NJ. They do personalized favors. If you go there with a unusual or specific idea, they will check their sources and make up something for you. Right now they're in the process of checking on medieval-looking ornaments for us to give out as favors. When we were there last time, they showed us an ornament they made for Christmas (approximately $6.50). It was a gold cherub with dried flowers glued to it.
      ______________________
    • From: hamilton@adi.com
      At my friend's Renaissance-style wedding, the reception was themed as a masked ball (so the family and friends could wear any costume they wanted). There were enough masks on each table that everyone could wear one and take it home as a keepsake.
      ______________________
    • From: ???????????????????
      I have friends who are potters and threw 250 mugs for their favors. I was lucky enough to get some of the leftovers, which I use everyday for my morning tea. Obviously not everyone can do this, but I thought it was a neat, off beat idea.
      ______________________
    • From: rachel@cs.oberlin.edu (Rachel Goodstein)
      We're hopefully going to have mugs with our names and the wedding date on it. i figure mugs are something people can use. DO NOT get them from an invitations specialist 'cause they are a LOT more money..we are going through a business for companies.
      ______________________
    • From: whh@PacBell.COM (Wilson Heydt)
      Lord Iulstan Sigewealding and his lady, Juturna the Musical, were married at the end of June. As a very nice touch for the wedding feast, they got a lot of wooden plates for the feast and then gifted them to the wedding guests afterwards.
      ______________________
    • From: sarkes@tnpubs.enet.dec.com ()
      The best idea I've seen so far is a nicely decorated bushel basket full of different color and scent votive candles, stationed by the table with the guest book and place cards. Guests can take a candle as they enter or leave the reception.
      ______________________
    • From: Beth (bp2f@virginia.edu)
      My sister made the favors. She started with small candles (6" tapers). Each candle had a piece of lace wrapped around it and tied into a bow. A small piece of baby's breath was tied into the bow. These were done in my wedding colors (pink candles with white lace). They looked very nice and were quick to make.
      ______________________
    • From: elnat@netcom.com (Los Trancos Systems)
      We are both crazy about candles and even have some candle making equipment. Hence, we are going to make small candles in a meaningful shape to give as favors. Can make them months in advance.
      ______________________
    • From: petersen@math.umass.edu (Chris Petersen)
      For my wedding this June, my mom is making the favors. We came up with small, ivory. beeswax candles tied with a purple ribbon and an attached card that has our names and the date. The candles are easy to make and apparently not expensive. The wax is available in all sorts of colors at craft shops in sheets that you cut to whatever size you want and roll around the wick to make a candle. Mom says they're really quick to make; she's making them about 4" tall, and we're tying them in pairs, both on the same wick to symbolize the unity of the marriage.
      ______________________
    • From: shom0004@gold.tc.umn.edu ()
      I bought 70 kazoos and to each one affixed a small label that said: Mike and Nirah - March 25th 1995 (The labels were mailing return address labels, printed on clear plastic. There are several companies that will gleefully print these up for you (they cost about $5 for a couple of hundred) that regularly advertise in the coupon sections of the Sunday paper) I am handing these out instead of rice after the ceremony. I would much rather be serenaded than pelted with grain.
      ______________________
    • From: bab2@nestor.cc.bellcore.com (barter,elizabeth)
      I went to a wedding once where the favors were personalized kazoos, yo-yos and spinning tops (I think the groom's brother owned a toy business). It was great fun, especially when one of the tables seranaded the B&G on the kazoos.
      ______________________
    • From: turner@reed.edu (Johanna Turner)
      For the favors, we're going to print up small booklets of the recipes we used. This solves many problems: People will remember the wedding whenever they make anything from our recipe booklet. And if we print them at the college print shop, it shouldn't cost more than 50 cents each, maybe a little more depending on how many pages we have. Printing is 5 cents per page. And it will give me something to play with in the last few weeks before the wedding to keep me out of trouble. And I'll have a record of all the food we used.
    ****************************************************************
    Section 6: Questions regarding the Feast

    6.1: What kinds of foods did people serve at wedding feasts during the Middle Ages?

    • From: pmagill@svl.trw.com (Phyllis Magill)
      Mutton (lamb), roast peacock served with the tail feathers on, braised lettuces, quail, venison, boar, eels, breads, and cheese.
      --------------------
    • From: Amy Michaels (am@u.washington.edu)
      In the 15th century, fowl was popular at feasts--and the goal was to try to get the bird to look as life-like as possible. The cooks would put all the feathers *back on* the bird, along with its head and such. The ability to make the bird ultimately look alive was considered culinary genius.
      ________________________
    • From: Karin Oughton (karin@mythril.demon.co.uk)
      Here's some info on 16th Cy (Tudor) Britain which is very similar to medieval (courtesy English Heritage). Foodstuffs for the upper classes were generally roast and boiled meat, poultry, fish, pottages, frumenty, and bread. To a lesser extent they also ate fruit and vegetables, but many believed in the advice given the BOKE OF KERVYNGE c.1500, "Beware of green sallettes & rawe fruytes for they wyll make your soverayne seke." The greatest change over this period was the increasing popularity of sugar, so there were a lot of sweetmeat and sweet seasonings amongst the aristocracy (and very few teeth). Tableware changed, too: they no longer used bread trenchers much but now had wooden boards with a central hollow for the meat and gravy and a small side hollow for the salt. Glass is more widespead and pottery cups known as Cistercian Ware appears to have been popular. A prehunt breakfast served to QEI had : cold roast veal, capon, beef, goose, mutton, pigeon pies, savoury tongue pie, sausages and savoury snacks.
      --------------------
    • From: BlkKnightI@aol.com
      Spices were used quite commonly. Cinnamon, cloves, mace, saffron, and especially pepper were savored. Ginger, anise, nutmeg are also mentioned along with many common (and not so common) herbs such as parsley, basil, galingale, rosemary (mentioned in Shakespears' "Hamlet") and thyme. Vegetables were also of common consumption as part of the menu, though the medieval feast did not follow our appetizer-entree-dessert pattern. For example, for a time the sallat was served nearly last but, according to legend, a certain royal served sallat to his guests first so to fill their stomachs and save more of the venison for himself.
      ____________________
    • From: alysk@ix.netcom.com(Elise Fleming )
      An excellent source for period salads or "compound Sallet" is Gervase Markham's _The English Housewife_. Some of the ingredients are: chives, scallions, radish roots, boiled carrots, turnips; also young lettuce, cabbage lettuce, asparagus, purslane and herbs with vinegar, oil and sugar and cucumber served with vinegar, oil, and pepper. Another compound sallat includes: young buds and knots of wholesome herbs such as red sage, mints, lettuce, violets, marigolds, and spinach, served with vinegar, salad oil and sugar. Still another compound sallat includes: blanched almonds, shredded raisins, shredded figs, capers, twice as many olives, currants, red sage and spinach all mixed together with a store of sugar. These were put in the bottom of a dish and vinegar and oil put on top with more sugar. Then oranges, lemons were cut into thin slices without the outer peel and covered the bottom layer. Then thin leaves of red cauliflower which covered the oranges and lemons. Then "old olives" to cover that, and slices of pickled cucumber with the inward heart of cabbage lettuce cut into slices. Adorn the sides of the dish and the top with more slices of oranges and lemons.
      ____________________
    • From: Amy Michaels (am@u.washington.edu)
      Here is an actual banquet menu for a medieval feast. It comes from a book called "Two fifteenth-century cookery books" and is edited by Thomas Austin. The introduction given by the author is interesting: "Medieval feasts were traditionally served in three courses. Each course included a soup, followed by a wide range of baked, roasted, and boiled dishes, and finally an elaborate 'sotelty', a lifelike (often edible) scene sculpted in colored marzipan or dough...The bounty of medieval feasts is legendary. One early historian noted that in 1398, King Richard II [presided over a feast]. A variety of choice morsels was set out to satisfy a trenchman's every whim ... gilded peacock and festooned boar's head were highlights of the menu."
      • Oystres en Grauey--oysters steamed in almond milk (15th c.)
      • Brede--bread flavored with ale (15th c.)
      • Chawettys--tarts filled with spicy pork or veal & dates (15th c)
      • Pigge Ffarced--stuffed roast suckling pig (15th c.)
      • Goos in Sawse Madame--goose in a sauce of grapes and garlic )14th c.)
      • Caboches in Potage--stewed Cabbage flavored with cinnamon and cloves (14th c.)
      • Crustade Lombarde--fruited custard in a pie (15th c.)
      • Hippocras--spicy mulled wine (14th c.)

      ---------------------
    • From: Judy Gerjuoy (jaelle@access.digex.net)
      Here is a late 14th century wedding menu.

      WEDDING BANQUET, MILAN, 1488
      From the Marriage of Marquis Gian Giacomo Trivulzio with Beatrice d'Avalos d'Aragona.
      • 1. Rosewater-scented water for the hands, Pastries with pine nuts and sugar, Other cakes made with almonds and sugar; similar to marzipan
      • 2. Asparagus (to the amazement of the guests, since it was enormous and out of season)
      • 3. Tiny sausages and meatballs
      • 4. Roast grey partridge and sauce
      • 5. Whole calves' heads, gilded and silvered
      • 6. Capons and pigeons, accompanied by sausages, hams and wild boar, plus delicate 'potages'
      • 7. Whole roast sheep, with a sour cherry sauce
      • 8. A great variety of roast birds - turtledoves, partridges, pheasants, quail, figpeckers - accompanied by olives as a condiment
      • 9. Chicken with sugar and rosewater
      • 10. Whole roast suckling pig, with an accompanying 'brouet'
      • 11. Roast peacock, with various accompaniments
      • 12. A mixture of eggs, milk, sage, flour and sugar (salviata?)
      • 13. Quinces cooked with sugar, cinnamon, pine nuts, and artichokes
      • 14. Various preserves, made with sugar and honey
      • 15. Ten different 'torte' and an abundance of candied spice.
      This is taken from THE ORIGINAL MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE by Barbara Santich, Prospect Books, 1995. ISBN 0907325 59 9, page 37.
      ------------------------
    • From: ddfr@best.com (David Friedman)
      Sugar was apparently expensive--and the recipes are for the upper (or upper middle) class.
      ------------------------
    • From: bj@csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      This is from a book called "Life on a Medieval Barony," by William Stearns Davis, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota: "[Sugar is available in northern France as early as the 13th Century.] It comes from the Levant, in small irregular lumps. Its flavoring qualities are delightful, but it is too expensive to use in cookery. The ordinary sweetening is still that of the Greeks and Romans, honey, supplied from the well-kept hives of the bees belonging to the [local] monastery."
      ------------------------
    • From: Amy Michaels (am@u.washington.edu)
      There are some foods you should do and some you should avoid (because they were "discovered" in the New World and European medievals didn't have them):
      To consider: To avoid:
      Pigeon/squab Squash, incl. pumpkins
      Fennel Potatoes
      Leeks, shallots Tomatoes
      Apples, Plums Chocolate
      Parsnips, turnips Yams, sweet potatoes
      Pheasant
      Breads and pastries
      Eggs, custards
      ------------------------
    • From: dwilhelmy@aol.com (DWilhelmy)
      As far as authenticity goes, i would add corn to the list of foods to avoid.
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    • From: BlkKnightI@aol.com
      Chocolate was not available BUT carob was.
      ------------------------
    • From: ddfr@best.com (David Friedman)
      The only period carob recipe I know of (Byzantine Murri) uses carob as one of many minor flavorings in a condiment. So far as I know, the idea of using carob to get a chocolate effect is modern.

    ===============================================================
    6.2: Sallat (salad), tarts, potage (soup), custard, poultry, suckling pig and spicy mulled wine sound great! But pigeon pies, eels, boar's head and roast peacock with the feathers put back on! I don't think my guests would go for this, so let me rephrase my question. What kinds of foods would have the "feel" of a medieval banquet but still be edible by my modernday guests?

    • From: Karin Oughton (karin@mythril.demon.co.uk)
      We usually find, when we make a "Mock - Medieval" feast, that the best menu runs something like this: Pottage/soup with fresh bread, cheese tart, various roasts (but including venison, pheasant and beef) with lots of different sauces like rowan jelly, raisin & apple & honey, mint, etc., pears in wine, and perhaps something like jellied milk cubes (similar to turkish delight).
      -------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      A Medieval feast usually revolved around a very fancy roast (chicken, beef, venison, etc.). Some modern British foods are just variations on Medieval and Renaissance dishes. For example, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and Cornish pasties (little meat and/or veggie pies) come from the Medieval love of combining meat and pastry.
      ---------------------
    • From: watrous@plains.nodak.edu (DLW)
      When I was a college undergrad, we had a traditional mid-winter "Feast of the Lion" for college leaders. The motif was always a "Robinhood" atmosphere. There was a wassail served and a toss drank (the brandy snifters which held the wassail were the party favors). Food was roasted chicken, yams/sweet potatoes, green beans, and a bread pudding. All except for the yams [and green beans], all of these items would have been available in medieval times. There was cake and coffee at the end but, by that time, everyone had been swept enough into the atmosphere that this modern idea didn't spoil it. You might try other fingerfoods as well as fruit. The only standing joke was that if it were a real medieval feast, we would eat with only a knife and no forks.
      ----------------
    • From: hamilton@adi.com
      Forks are ok in various times and places. Italy in the Renaissance, and Elizabethan England (although they were something of a curiosity) come to mind.
      -----------------
    • From: Gwalhafed (ajc1019@cus.cam.ac.uk)
      I am a member of the Cardiff Arthurian society. Some of the foods which we use in our banquets are: Emberday tart, Elderflower cheese pies, Brie tart, gingerbread (with or without apple sauce), chicken legs in honey and spices. You could also try a soteltie (there are several different spellings). This was a dish brought in between courses to show the chef's skill and the host's wealth and good taste. Sotelties varied tremendously. Some of the ones we have had at our banquets have included a papier mache dragon filled with sweets, a sword in a cake shaped like a stone/anvil, a pig's head stuffed with pate, and a marzipan fish. At the reception table, you could put the recipes next to the food.
      ----------------------
    • From: aspsys@slip.net (Elizabeth Pruyn)
      I suggest Brie tart. It's authentic but quiche-like, so modern guests should like it. Here are two variations for the tart. The first closely follows the original recipe with delicious results. The second calls for cream and is considerbly richer. Both are prepared according to the same instructions.

      FIRST VARIATION SECOND VARIATION
      SERVES 8-10 SERVES 10-12
      8-inch uncooked pie pastry 8-inch uncooked pie pastry
      1 lb young Brie cheese l/2 lb young Brie cheese
      6 egg yolks, beaten 1/2 cup heavy cream
      1/8 t saffron 3 eggs, lightly beaten
      3/4 t light brown sugar 1/8-1/4 t powdered ginger
      3/8 t powdered ginger 1/8 t saffron
      salt 1/2 t brown sugar
      salt

      1. Bake pie pastry at 425 degrees for 10 minutes Let cool.
      2. Remove rind from Brie. Optional: cut rind into pieces about an inch square and sprinkle evenly on pie crust. This will give the tart a stronger cheese flavor.
      3 Combine Brie with remaining ingredients in a blender or with an egg beater. Add salt to taste: the amount will depend on the age of the Brie and whether or not you use the rind. Mixture should be smooth.
      4. Pour liquid into pastry shell.
      5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until set and brown on top.
      This recipe is from "To The King's Taste" by Lorna J. Sass
      ------------------
    • From: Amy Michaels (am@u.washington.edu)
      I am a medievalist and was at a conference in England last year where the organizers tried to "recreate" a medieval meal. The first course was leeks in pastry. The second course was fruit-stuffed cornish game hen. For dessert we had prunes stewed in wine.
      ------------------------
    • From: Joyce Miller (jmiller@genome.wi.mit.edu)
      Some friends of mine had a pig roast, and it was a full-sized pig, too. We contacted a local butcher who sold us the pig and also rented us the electric spit. We had to start it at 3:00 a.m., but other than that, it was relatively painless. We did find, however, that we had to carve off the outer meat as it finished cooking, and place it an an oven to keep warm, since we wanted to serve everyone at once. If people will just be feeding randomly during the day, just serve the meat as it finishes cooking.
      ---------------------
    • From: derly2@ix.netcom.com (Derly N. Ramirez II )
      At my sister's medieval-themed wedding we served crusty bread and cheese, barley broth, baked acorn squash, brisket, roasted cornish hen, baked apples and fruit tarts. Served in three courses it made a lovely meal.
      ----------------------
    • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
      We had a buffet for the reception which I put together. I gathered coupons for deli sliced lunch meats, bought them on sale, froze them ahead..then spent the night before the wedding rolling them up in cute rows. We also had various cheeses, chilled grapes and strawberries, fresh rolls of various kinds from a bakery, olives, pickles, crackers, wine, apple juice and several other things that I no longer recall.
      ----------------------
    • From: Oxford Arthurian Society (arthsoc@sable.ox.ac.uk)
      I mainly relied on lists of possible ingredients rather than actual recipes. We had an oat and leek soup from an Irish recipe, bread, cheese, apples, roast chicken, venison sausages, peppered pork chops, parsnips, baked onions and a hero's portion of rabbit masquerading as hare, all washed down with lots of beer, cider and homebrewed elderflower and hedgerow wines.
      ----------------------
    • From: kyrstyn@icecastle.com
      For a dessert, you can glaze fruit like strawberries and grapes with sugar.
      ----------------------
    • From: rotondoa@aol.com (RotondoA)
      The centerpieces at our wedding were edible! The caterer placed a fancy mirror on each table and piled them high with stemmed strawberries. A candle was placed in the center. It looked very pretty and they were delicious. Silver bowls of powdered sugar and chocolate sauce were also placed on the tables for dipping!
      ----------------------
    • From: John Robicheau (Robicheau@DrugInfoNet.Pharm-Epid.Pitt.Edu)
      How about greasy joints of beef, no silverware, and dogs to wipe your hands on?
      ----------------------
    • From: Patricia D. Mooney
      We offered venison as an entree (eating utensils required!). Although we offered a medieval cookbook to the restaurant, they preferred not to use it. The type of venison was antelope, which probably defies tradition. But it was very good. And we topped it all off with mead, of course.
      --------------------
    • From: Berwyn [brgarwood@aol.com] (BRgarwood)
      We just had an event where we served sixty. The opening course had homemade bread, with honey butter and a relish tray of cheeses and dried fruits. This was followed by an onion and almond creme soup. The next course was chicken breasts in a wonderful sauce with raisins or currants, and lemonwhite, which is rice cooked with lemon rind and raisins. The high point came with the next course, when a subtlety was presented to the head table. It was a dragon, with body and limbs made of bread, and a papier mache' head with a flaming candle in its mouth. The body (a round loaf maybe 18" (46 cm) in diameter) was then opened and seen to be filled with beef stew. Dessert consisted of cookies and cake served during the dance. The cake was a three layer job decorated like a tower. Cookies were in the shape of mushrooms made of merengues cemented with chocolate. Now here comes the good part. All the cooking except for the rice was done at the cook's home the day before, and only needed re-heating at the site. And the better part, we were able to serve this feast for only $5.00 a head. Its amazing what can be done on a tight budget and a little imagination.

    ================================================================
    6.3: Does anyone have any information about the menu at places like Medieval Times (where the knights fight while you have dinner)? I know they do wedding receptions.

    • From: ksmith@ils.nwu.edu (Karen T. Smith)
      Here is the menu from "Medieval Times" in the Chicago suburbs. I went about two years ago and, while they aren't actually keeping to what was available in the Middle Ages, they did try to keep things authentic looking. Everything was on pewter plates or in pewter bowls. There were no eating utensils. When you first sat down you had a plate with veggies (carrots and celery and maybe cucumber) with some dip--which tasted like Thousand Island salad dressing to me. After that they delivered some soup in a bowl with a handle so you could drink the soup. It had barley in it and was either a vegetable or beef stock based soup. Nothing too chunky in it as you had to drink the the soup. For the main course we were served a few ribs and a half chicken. I don't know what kind of marinade was used-- but the people I was with kind of enjoyed getting their hands and chins all greasy. They handed out those little packaged towelettes at the end (definitely a modernday addition to any feast where you have to use your hands!) They also served half of a roasted potato with seasoning on it and a pastry for dessert.

    ================================================================
    6.4: How about drinks? What kinds of beverages did people drink during the Middle Ages?

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      The basic drinks until the 17th century were water, beer, ale, wine, mead, milk, and rarely fruit juices (most were fermented). Tea and coffee did not exist in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and neither did sparkling wines, but you may want to ignore this in favor of modern toasting traditions! Sweet and fruity wine punches would be appropriate but avoid carbonation if you want to keep to the theme.
      ---------------------
    • From: ddfr@best.com (David Friedman)
      Coffee came into use in al-Islam around 1400, at the very end of the middle ages.
      -------------------
    • From: Judy Gerjuoy (jaelle@access.digex.net.
      Perry and cider. Perry is cider made from pears instead of apples.
      --------------------
    • From: irina@cbnews.cb.att.com (irina.bondarenko)
      For drink -- go with mead. I don't know if liquor stores carry it, but I was recently in Bloomington, IN and visited a winery that made mead, so there might be a winery that makes it in your area.
      -------------------
    • From: johnk@brecknet.com (John Keimel)
      There will be no champagne toast at my wedding. Instead, we will be serving mead as the toasting beverage. Incidentally, this stems to the tradition of the middle ages and the origin of the word "honeymoon". It was believed that if the newly married couple were to drink mead each evening for the duration of one moon following the wedding, they were assured a male heir within one year. And, if that did occur, lavish gifts and accolades were bestowed upon the meadmaker (artisans that were highly revered at the time). In other words, the couple drank mead (honey wine) for one month (moon) ... thus the word honeymoon. The mead was drunk from a Mazer (sp) cup which was passed down throughout the generations. The cup was usually an ornate chalice, but for some it was rather simple.
      -------------------
    • From: bex@embezzle.Stanford.EDU (Rebecca Agin)
      Bargetto Winery in Soquel California sells Chaucer's Mead (that's just what they call it, just their label name for their honey and fruit wines). The mead is very good, and they will ship it. They also make wine from apricots, raspberries, and ollalieberries (sp?).

    =============================================================
    6.5: I know that wedding cake is a modernday custom, but it's expected in our family to have a wedding cake. Any ideas of how we could incorporate a wedding cake into the menu and still keep the medieval ambience?

    • From: Patricia D. Mooney
      The hardest part was our cake. We searched high and low for ideas. We were told that cakes weren't authentic -- instead, medieval guests brought tiny desserts, cookies, etc. and piled them together -- the forerunner of the wedding cake. We said the heck with it and went with a regular old cake.
      -----------------------
    • From: Becky (becky@sunfish.cc.usm.edu)
      Quoting from the Aug/Sept issue of Modern Bride:
      "In medieval England, guests brought small cakes and piled them on the center of a table. The bride and groom then attempted to kiss over them. A baker from France conceived the idea of icing all the small cakes together in one large cake."
      ------------------------
    • From: BlkKnightI@aol.com
      This was the forerunner of our modern tradition of the wedding cake and smashing it into each others face (a quite repulsive habit, not at all befitting such a grand occasion) came from the tradition of the bride and groom eating off a common plate and feeding each other, possibly symbolising the joining of the two as one through marriage.
      ------------------------
    • From: michelle.campbell@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (Miche)
      At a medieval style wedding I attended a few years ago, the wedding 'cake' was a huge pile of almond biscuits, made by the bride (with help from me) the night before.
      ------------------------
    • From: Krin Oughton (karin@mythril.demon.co.uk)
      At our mock medieval feasts, our "soteltie" (the main display piece) is often a wonderfully decorated cake.
      ------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      Sweets have always been popular, even in medieval times, so a wedding cake won't be too out of place. You could decorate it with greenery and flowers or have heraldic symbols painted on in colored icing. Several very fancy cakes in a recent bridal magazine were shaped like fairytale castles!
      ------------------------
    • From: BlkKnightI@aol.com
      A wedding cake can be viewed as sculpture (ours was a castle, complete with a functioning front gate).
      ------------------------
    • From: ojid.wbst845@xerox.com (Orilee Ireland-Delfs)
      At my protogee's wedding, the wedding cake was a castle with a marzipan bride and groom at the gate.
      ------------------------
    • From: andrade@kristina.az.com (L. Andrade)
      My friend Dee had a wedding cake that looked like a castle. She started by calling bakeries in her hometown but nobody could do it for her. She finally found someone in another town who was willing to travel to Dee's town to build the cake for her at the house. The cake was BEAUTIFUL (and HUGE!).
      ------------------------
    • From: mld@mind.org (Merri Dodd)
      I wanted a castle cake, but have settled for 4 heart shaped tiers with a castle in a globe with confetti when you shake it music box (3 dragons on the "wall" around the castle outside the globe) from the SanFrancisco Music Box Company.
      --------------------
    • From: lpytlik@herbie.unl.edu (Lisa Pytlik Zilling) Since I don't eat sugar and my new husband does not like sugar much, we had our "cake" made out of bread. Each round loaf was cut horizontally and spread with a layer of different types of cheese (mostly cream cheese concoctions) and then the loaves were fit onto tiered trays and garnished with fruits and vegetables--I was amazed at how beautiful it turned out. Oh, but we did also serve some sheet cakes along with the bread cake, for our guests who do like sugar.
      --------------------
    • From: imkastef@ottawa.net (karl steffens)
      Why don't you try a trifle? You don't really need to bake for it, or if you happen to have a poundcake-mishap (as in too hard) around, that'll do nicely. Depending on the amount of participants in your group choose a large bowl (clear glass looks really nice). Layer slices of poundcake, canned fruit without much juice,whipped cream (maybe the storebought freezer variety), vanilla pudding incl. a splash of f.ex. rum on every layer of cake. See, that you have several layers each. Let it soak for a while, so the various flavours mix. Trust me, it is delicious! You are free to choose as ingredients, what you like and the booze just makes it taste well together.

    ===============================================================
    6.6: We have our menu all worked out but need some ideas about how to decorate the banquet hall and serve the food and drink in keeping with the medieval theme. Any suggestions?

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      If you can find or rent them, get brass, silver, pewter, or wooden servingware. Pewter goblets are a great touch -- get a pair for yourselves so you can toast each other in style! Fellowship Foundry [see the list of catalogs for their address] has several fanciful wedding goblet sets -- Arthur and Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet, two dragons whose tails form a heart shape, etc.
      -----------------
    • From: Amy Michaels (am@u.washington.edu)
      You could be very authentic by having only one drinking glass. At medieval feasts, a single wine cup would be passed from guest to guest, and the lip of the cup would be wiped after each person drank. Rather unsanitary for the guests, but this could be a nice "medieval" gesture for the wedding couple.
      -----------------
    • From: Kristiina Prauda (prauda@cc.helsinki.fi)
      We arranged the family tables in a wide U, with us in the middle.
      -----------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      We set two picnic tables across one end for the 'head table' and two rows leading away from the head table like the arrangement in an old English manor house. That left a 'playing' area in-between the rows of tables for the entertainment. I bought a bolt of cheap green fabric that I used for the tablecloth at the reception feast. All I had to do was roll it out across the tables and cut it to length. Then I placed several smaller squares of fabric using the same colors as the banners on top of the tables. I had also been searching for every store that had baskets, wood plates, trays, and bowls on sale, and had accumulated about three dozen or so. On the morning of the wedding a couple of people were dispatched to find flowers, fruits and vegetables to fill the baskets and bowls as part of the general (and edible) decorations. The head table where we sat was similar to the others except I used a fine green and purple damask tablecloth with satin 'squares' on top with more and nicer flowers in the baskets. Behind the head table was a long and colorful banner.
      ----------------
    • From: june@netcom.com (June Petersen)
      The head table (me, he and attendents) had my "page" to serve us (the page was a sweet kid I'd babysat for years, kinda like a little brother to me, an only child). The page felt it his sworn duty to drain the bottles to the last drop, so we had a slightly inebriated 12 year old by the end of the day.
      ----------------
    • From: hopkins@hopkins.rtp.dg.com (Edward Hopkins)
      I suggest that you look for a book showing the paintings of Pieter Brueghel (also known as Pieter Breugel), a Dutch painter of the 15th Century. He did at least one delightful painting of a wedding feast.
      -----------------------
    • From: Gwalhafed (ajc1019@cus.cam.ac.uk)
      If you have access to medieval-appearing objects (metal goblets, drinking horns, bits of armour, shields, banners, large candles) along with flowers and ivy, they make good table decorations. Another idea is to make crepe paper tablecloths with simple heraldic motifs (stick to prime colours). This usually works nicely in the low light of a banquet hall.
      -----------------------
    • From: madrona@olympus.net
      My daughter reads a wonderful series of books by a fellow named Brian Jaque (sp?) called Mossflower or Redwall---she describes amazing feasts that sound very medieval in nature (tho' they may not be historically accurate). It would be a fun way to get yourself in the mood.
      ------------------------
    • From: watrous@plains.nodak.edu (DLW)
      At our "Feast of the Lion" banquet, they created the medieval mid-winter atmosphere by using burgundy bunting (a 'bunting' is a swag of cloth used like a tent but with no sides--the kind you see at jousts or feasts--where the king and queen sit but you could use it for the bride and groom). We ate by candlelight as well as table greenery with yule logs (made by having birch logs with 4 to 6 candles in them surrounded with evergreens). The dinner started with a trumpet heralder inviting us in from the entrance area of the building, and there was an appointed toastmaster dressed as a king including crown.
      ------------------------
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      In keeping with our medieval theme, my husband and I cut our wedding cake using swords. We choreographed a little act where I picked up a puny little cakeknife, looked at it with disgust, laid it back on the table, reached over and drew out my husband's long sword and handed it to him. I then pulled out a short curved sword, nodded 'yes', and we proceeded to cut the cake using our swords. Cameras were flashing from all over the room while the guests laughed and clapped!
      ---------------------
    • From: june@netcom.com (June Petersen)
      Our wedding glasses were a glass flute atop a stem of a man (for me) and a woman (for him) nude, holding the glass up, festooned top and bottom with bunches of grapes and leaves. really gorgeous!
      ---------------------
    • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
      Our wedding goblets were of a pewter couple, clasping hands..the tops were glass (very cool goblet set...you can get it from Fellowship Foundry..they sell several styles of wedding goblet sets).

    =============================================================
    6.7: Can you recommend any books or websites where I can get recipes for some of the medieval dishes (and maybe others) mentioned above?

    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      An excellent place to begin your websearch for authentic recipes is with Cariadoc's Miscellany, housed at:
      http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/cariadoc/miscellany.html.

      Another good website with medieval recipes can be reached at:
      http://www.vuw.ac.nz/who/Amy.Gale/recipes.
      Amy Gale's historic recipes can also be reached through:
      http://www.uky.edu/ArtsSciences/Classics/alibi.html#strange.
      Select the category "Ethnic Recipes". Under the listing "Historical Recipes of Different Cultures", you will find two recipe collections: 1) Medieval and Anglo-Saxon Recipes and 2) Medieval European Recipes.

      If you are interested in various period beverages, brewed, not distilled, try the beverages section of the SCA files at: http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/rialto/rialto.html

    6.8: Bibliography of Medieval Cookbooks compiled by Jaelle of Armida

    Following is an extensive bibliography of medieval cookbooks, compiled by Jaelle of Armida (Judy Gerjuoy).

    ****************************************************************
    Section 7: Questions regarding Music

    7.1: My fiance and I love period music. Any ideas for how we could do the music for our wedding? Also, what kinds of instruments are considered period?

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      A single harpist would work well or a lute/mandolin player. Other period instruments include the flute, bagpipe, guitar, viol (forerunner of the violin), many types of horns, spinet/virginal (forerunners of the harpsichord), organs (much like modern church organs), and a wide variety of drums.
      -------------------------
    • From: platypus@glue.umd.edu (Amy E. Rottier)
      We had a medieval-themed wedding, with Celtic undertones. For music, we had an Uilleann piper (also called the Irish pipes). I don't know what the music was called, but it was lovely. The piper was fabulous, and the sound was like no other. Ethereal, yet woodsy and homey. Definitely put us in the right frame of mind. Mark and I both like Highland pipes (what everyone calls "bagpipes"), but I wanted something "older", hence the Uilleann. And, I must tell you, that the Uilleann is featured on most of the Celtic music pieces I have at home.
      -------------------------
    • From: coristew@uoguelph.ca (Robyn Whystle(mka T. Shawn Johnson)
      The instrument that has changed the least since the middle ages is, surprisingly, the TROMBONE. While it was called SACKBUT in earlier times, it has changed only in tuning. A consort of trombones makes a lovely early sound, and is great for processional-type music suitable for weddings. If you want a truly regal sound, have trombones at your wedding.
      -------------------------
    • From: watrous@plains.nodak.edu (DLW)
      The dinner started with a trumpet heralder inviting us in from the entrance area of the building. Then there was a brass and string group of musicians (I know, not really medieval, but it gave it an air of such), and vocal groups which sang (without music) traditional midwinter songs.
      -------------------------
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      At a wedding I witnessed at the Minnesota Renaissance Faire, two musicians dressed as monks played Handel's "Air", Pachelbel's "Canon in D", Purcell's "Trumpet Tune". and Mouret's "Rondeau" on guitar and trumpet.
      -------------------------
    • From: bdavis0102@aol.com (Bdavis0102)
      Try Vivaldi's "Largo." It was used in the movie version of "The Princess Bride" and is really lovely. One guitar.
      -------------------------
    • From: stepstar@aol.com (Stepstar)
      I used to play at a Ren festival, and one Saturday night some people got married at the chapel there. At that time the chapel had no roof or windows. It was just bare timber framing, but it looked rather romantic in the rising moonlight. The groom looked dashing in his boots and the bride was piled high with many types of old white lace and was led to the chapel entrance riding a white horse. Both had a profusion of flowers in their hair. Me? I was just one of many musicians trying to figure out what to play for these fine and brave folk...and then someone started playing - believe it or not - the Russian Army marching song. He played it very slooooowly and it actually sounded quite beautifull.... and with a wooop and a laugh we all quickly joined in. And it is THUSLY that two young souls got married...and to the highly ironic and rather humorous undertones of a tune that under any other circumstances no one would have touched with a proverbial ten foot pole.
      -------------------------
    • From: mganson@ganson.com (Melanie Ganson)
      We had a harp and flute; a combination I would have never thought to put together, but it was very pretty.
      -------------------------
    • From: ejk4e@darwin.clas.Virginia.EDU (Edward James Kilsdonk)
      We are having a celtic harpist play for us. We were thinking of walking in, in part, to "Brian Boru's March" a simple but effective minor key piece by O'Carolan. You might also want to wander into the folk section of your favorite music shop or library and see what you can listen to to get ideas, or ask the folks on rec.music.celtic.
      -------------------------
    • From: fligget@direct.ca (fiona ligget)
      I am having a Celtic harp at my wedding. There are two types of harps to my knowledge--the Concert and the Celtic. The Celtic harp is smaller. For my wedding I am looking at having the following songs:
      Wedding March by Mendelssohn
      My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
      Morning Has Broken
      Mairi's Wedding
      Skye Boat Song
      A Time For Us: from Romeo and Juliet
      ***************************
      The above songs are good for either harp. The next list of songs are only for the Concert harp:
      Bridal Chorus by Wagner
      Lara's E
      Theme: from Dr. shivago
      Memory: from CATS ( Andrew Lloyd Webber)
      Music of the Night : from Phantom of the Opera
      Scarborough Fair
      -------------------------
    • From: "'Jherek' W. Swanger" (jswanger@u.washington.edu)
      Most harpists/harpers play weddings frequently and often have a selection of pieces appropriate for the occasion. For the record, most professional harpists will have a standard wedding reportoire (which varies from performer to performer) and will charge extra if they are required to learn a piece not in their repertoire.
      -------------------------
    • From: "John A. Resotko" (Resotko@ahdlms.cvm.msu.edu)
      I'm a harper, and have several friends who play in Celtic bands on traditional instruments or play and sing historical (period) music. I plan to coerce many of them to play for the wedding and reception (provided they let me play as well!) I will probably hire one of the more traditional bands, then invite any of my other friends who play to bring their instruments along.
      -------------------------
    • From: majesty@ix.netcom.com(Eric Berlin)
      Your answer is a brass quintet! To back up my personal bias, I will say that no other ensemble can give you the same wide range of repertoire from rennaissance through twentieth century classical music to ragtime and jazz!
      -------------------------
    • From: Susan Carroll-Clark (sclark@epas.utoronto.ca)
      At a wedding I attended, the music was played on a modern synthesizer but had a very medieval feel about it.
      -------------------------
    • From: amypamy@aol.com (Amypamy)
      We found some dancers to "do" our reception. It turned out they were free; I made a donation to their favorite charity. But they were incredible. They specialize in Irish dancing, but had a few medieval Celtic dances in their repertoire. They organized the guests into rows and squares and had them going for awhile. For music, I had brought my stereo out, and we set it up with two extra speakers. It was more than we needed. I bought CDs of medieval/Celtic music, and just put on the scrambler (whatever it's called). The dancers brought their own music, which they cued up themselves (and had no problems).
      -------------------------
    • From: Amy E. Rottier (platypus@glue.umd.edu)
      We're going to find a small band or strolling musician and an enthusiastic dance instructor to conduct the "festivities" at our medieval/renaissance theme wedding. We thought it would be so nice to have someone show the guests a few steps of an Irish jig or a May dance or something. Of course, I plan to have a stereo and music for late night dancing by the roaring bonfire! I *will* dance at my wedding!!)
      -------------------------
    • From: Patricia D. Mooney
      Background music was all CDs -- chants, madrigals, etc.
      -------------------------
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      We ended up taping our favorite songs from our collection of celtic CDs and piping it through the ballroom's sound system.
      -------------------------
    • From: michelle.campbell@stonebow.otago.ac.nz (Miche)
      The music was played on a small tape machine hidden out of sight. When I asked where the music was coming from I was told it was 'shy minstrels' hiding behind a curtain!
      -------------------------
    • From: Kristiina Prauda (prauda@cc.helsinki.fi)
      We had a group of students of old music to play medieval songs and tunes before dinner (that really helped to set the mood!).

    ================================================================
    7.2: Where can I find musicians who play medieval music?

    • From: chipzempel@aol.com (ChipZempel)
      If you're looking for early musicians (most of us can't afford to advertise in the yellow pages - that would pretty much wipe out most of the money we'd make!) here are a few ways to track some down: 1) Call the American Recorder Society in Boulder CO and ask if they have a local chapter in your area. Contact them and ask if they have a group that performs. (Skill level can vary WIDELY!), 2) Call local music stores, ask if they have someone who teaches recorder. 3) Call local universities, ask if they have an early music ensemble, student or faculty, and 4) Post to rec.music.early, or alt.fairs.renaissance, or rec.music.celtic asking if anyone knows performers or groups in your area. People often know people who know people.
      -------------------------
    • From: ladyjane@cyberverse.com (Lanfear)
      Through the staff at the Renaissance Faire where we held our wedding, we hired a woman that played hammered dulcimer.
      -------------------------
    • From: lonevulf@aol.com (Lone Vulf)
      Try your local Renaissance Faire....if there are not musicians preforming there, the entertainment staff can probably provide you with the names and addresses of local musicians who have sent addition tapes, desperately trying to get work.
      -------------------------
    • From: Jason_L@pop.com (Jason L)
      We were able to get 4 musicians who work at the Southern Renaissance Faire (CA). Since the demand for Ren music is small, their prices tend to be low. We got all 4 for the entire afternoon & evening for $500.
      -------------------------
    • From: sdean@mhv.net
      Suggestions: 1) Peruse the local paper's arts calendar for dances, go to them and ask the musicians, 2) Check with the music department of local colleges, 3) Flog the web, e.g.
      http://celtic.stanford.edu//Internet_Sources.html
      http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/jcb/morris-teams.html
      3) If all else fails, contact CDSS (country Dance & Song Society in NOrthampton, MA) in US, EDFS in UK and ask if they have any members in your area.
      -------------------------
    • From: turner@reed.edu (Johanna Turner)
      You might try seeing if there's a local English Country Dance or Contra Dance community in your area. Check newspapers (ours has a weekly listing of Contra and English country dances) and music (instrument stores) that cater more to a traditional music crowd rather than electric guitars and drums.
      -------------------------
    • From: Dale Breault, Jr. (breaul94@potsdam.edu)
      Word of mouth is the best way to find a band or anything else for that matter. Ask couples or parents who have recently had a wedding. Ask the catering people -- they go to a lot of weddings. Ask the reception hall or restaurant people -- they host a lot of weddings. Take an evening or two and go to all of the local clubs and bars. You get a ready-made audition this way. Call any local universities or colleges and ask around.
      -------------------------
    • From: Adina Sobo (adina@jeeves.ucsd.edu)
      Actually, the way I found the group for my wedding was by listening to the music at the Mall. San Diego's Horton Plaza hires strolling musicians to entertain shoppers, some other large malls do as well. Some of them are not really good, others are, and there's a wide range of styles (ethnic, elizabethan, country westers, a capella, and so on). For that matter, you'd be amazed at how many strolling troubadors at the Ren Faires have business cards.
      -------------------------
    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      For authentic live music, ask around at a local Renaissance faire or SCA event or on rec.sca.org or alt.fairs.renaissance. Try at a local college's music department too. There also many tapes of Medieval folk tunes, church music & chants, & even some new-age music used Medieval style instruments. A single harpist would also work well, but no pianos (they weren't invented yet).
      -------------------------
    • From: weissl@cfs.purdue.edu (Laura Beth Weiss)
      Ken and I have hired a harp and violin duo from the local symphony to play at our ceremony. I have heard these two before and the combination is lovely.

    ================================================================
    7.3: I am looking for good quality CDs for my Wedding. I need suggestions for both Dancing and Ceremony music. It doesn't need to be for any specific period, but I would like it to have a medieval flavor. All suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    • From: fishcat@hooked.net (Trystan L. Bass)
      There many recordings of Medieval folk tunes, church music, and Gregorian chants. Even some new-age music uses Medieval style instruments. Look at a large, well-stocked record store in the folk music and instrumental section. Sheet music for Medieval ballads and folk songs is available too -- check at a large music store. If they don't have it, ask them how to order it. College libraries sometimes have large sheet and recorded music selections, which you can make copies of.
      -------------------------
    • From: scababe@aol.com (Grizel)
      Do you have a national chain store called Best Buy near you? It's an electronics, appliances and music store. Their selection of medieval music (they call it ancient Music or ancient classical) is out of this world. They have everything from 13th century Spanish dance songs to monks to 17th century Italian lute love songs.
      -------------------------
    • From: hamilton@adi.COM
      Here's some period recommendations:
      For Ceremonial Music:
      "The Pleasures of the Royal Courts". Early Music Consort of London. Elektra/Nonesuch 9 71326-2
      1. The Courtly Art of the Trouveres (1200s)
      2. The Burgundian Court of Philip the Good (1400s)
      3. The German Court of Emperor Maximilian I (1400s)
      4. Italian Music of the Medici Court (late 1400s-early 1500s)
      5. The Spanish Courts in the Early 16th Century (1500s)
      "North Italian Music for Cornetts and Trombones 1580-1650".
      Concerto Palatino Accent Records ACC8861D
      "Carlo Gesualdo: Tenebrae". Hilliard Ensemble. ECM Records 1422/23 78118-21422-2.
      "Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzonas, Sonatas, Motets". Taverner Consort, Choir and Players. EMI Classics [late 1500s, early 1600s]
      "Renaissance: The Music of Josquin Desprez". The King's Singers. RCA 09026-61814-2 [1400s-1500s]

      For Dance or Background Music:
      "Fantasies, Ayres and Dances: Elizabethan and Jacobean Consort
      Music". The Julian Bream Consort. RCA 7801-2-RC
      "Tielman Susato: Dansereye 1551". New London Consort.
      L'Oiseau-Lyre 436 131-2. [1500s]
      "Dances from Terpsichore". New London Consort. L'Oiseau-Lyre 414 633-2. [Early 1600s]
      "The Feast of Fools". New London Consort. L'Oiseau-Lyre 433-194-2 [1200s?]
      "Songs and Dances of the Middle Ages". Sonus. Dorian Discovery Records.
      "1492: Music from the Age of Discovery". Waverly Consort. EMI Classics.
      "A Florentine Carnival: Festival Music for Lorenzo de Medici". London Pro Musica. Pickwick International. PCD 825 [1400s]
      --------------------------
    • From: bj@alpha1.csd.uwm.edu (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
      For background (mostly instrumental) music with a medieval or Celtic sound to it, try any or all of the following:
      -Anything by Maggie Sansone and/or Sue Richards, i.e., 'Morning Aire', "Mist & Stone', or 'Music in the Great Hall'. Their music is described as instrumental music and Celtic tunes from Ireland and Scotland. Sansone plays hammered dulcimer. Richards plays Celtic harp.
      -Anything by Robert Almblade and Carolyn Cruso, i.e., 'Ballincheol', 'The Fifth Element', or 'Tone Poems'. Mostly, they compose their own music. They both play hammered dulcimer plus Almblade plays cittern and Cruso also plays flute, panpipes, pennywhistles and other wind instruments.
      -Narada has produced some celtic music CDs. I have two of them: 'Celtic Odyssey' and 'Celtic Legacy', and both are very good.
      -Try also 'Northern Lights' (harp & hammered dulcimer played by Steve Coulter and Harris Moore), 'The Spiral Castle' (guitar, Celtic harp and lute played by Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton), and "Carolan's Cup' (hammered dulcimer played by Joemy Wilson). In addition to the above, look for anything where the musicians play hammered dulcimer, Celtic harp and/or lute. Also look for groups that play the music of Turlough O'Carolan, a blind Irish harpist (died 1738).
      --------------------------
    • From: Guinevere1@aol.com:
      My fiance and I picked up a CD at the New York Renaissance Fair called "The Flowers of Edinburgh". It's a beautiful CD, approximately 40 min. which we will use during our cocktail hour. Another CD I acquired was from Past Times called "Minstrel Songs and Dances for a Medieval Banquet" which we will use during dinner. I am also trying to get a CD called "Music For The Coronation Of Queen Elizabeth I", which is mostly trumpet music which we will use for our entrance. The rest of the reception we will dance to regular Top 40 music. If you hire a DJ, most of them will play the period music if you provide the CD's or cassettes.
      --------------------------
    • From: WillowWindsCompany@usa.pipeline.com(The Witches)
      Here are the best sources I have yet found for Early, medieval, and renaissance music books, recorded music, and instruments. I have ordered many times from both and really like their service.

      Boulder Early Music Shop
      2010 14th St. Boulder, Co. 80302
      (303) 499-1301
      Fax (303) 449-3819

      Lark In The Morning
      PO Box 1176, Mendocino, Ca. 95460
      (707) 964-5569
      Fax (707) 964-1979

    ****************************************************************
    Section 8: A list of Movies with a Medieval or Renaissance Theme

    8.1: How about including a list of well-costumed, atmospheric movies that people could rent to see what a particular period might be like? If a picture is worth a thousand words, a moving picture is worth ten thousand!

    Done. Following is a list of movies, separated into the following time periods: Early Medieval (500 to @1050 AD), Middle Ages (1050 to @1450 AD), and Renaissance (1450 to 1600 AD). An exclamation point (!) indicates that the movie contains a wedding scene.

    =====================================================================

    BORDERLINE ANCIENT/MEDIEVAL (mid- to late-400's)
    • Sign of the Pagan (about Atilla, ruler of the Huns @433-453)

    SET DURING THE EARLY MEDIEVAL PERIOD (500 to @1050)
    • The Knights of the Round Table
    • Sword of Lancelot
    • !First Knight
    • !Excalibur
    • !Camelot
    • Prince Valiant
    • Sword of the Valiant
    • The Sword in the Stone (Disney animation)
    • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (932 AD)
    • The Green Knight
    • Prince of Jutland
    • Merlin and the Sword
    • Merlin of the Crystal Cave
    • Flight of the Dragons (animated)
    • The Sword and the Sorcerer (Disney)
    • Dragonslayer
    • Tristan et Iseuldt
    • The Vikings
    • The Littlest Viking
    • The Longships
    • Eric the Viking
    • The Norseman
    • The Black Arrow
    • Charlemagne (late 700s France)
    • Alfred the Great (late 800s England)
    SET DURING THE MIDDLE AGES (1050 to 1450 AD)
    • MacBeth (set mid-1000s Scotland; 2 versions: 1) w/Orson Wells, 2) w/Jon Fitch)
    • Hearts and Armor (mid-1000s Spain)
    • El Cid (late-1000s Spain)
    • Hildegard (11th C Germany)
    • The Crusades (about Richard the Lion-hearted)
    • The Seventh Seal (set during the Crusades)
    • Ivanhoe (late 1100s; 2 versions: 1) w/Robert Taylor, 2) w/Anthony Andrews & Olivia Hussey)
    • Robin Hood (many versions: !1) w/Errol Flynn, 2) w/Patrick Bergin), 3) w/Michael Praed/Jason Connery, 4) Disney)
    • !Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves
    • Robin and Marion
    • Robin Hood-Men in Tights
    • Men of Sherwood Forest
    • The Court Jester (12th C England)
    • Lionhart
    • The Flame and the Arrow (set in Italy)
    • Ladyhawke (based on 12th C French legend)
    • The Lion in Winter (about Eleanor of Aquitane and Henry II, ruler of England 1154-1189)
    • Beckett (archbishop of Canterbury during reign of Henry II)
    • Brother Sun, Sister Moon (St Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)
    • The Navigator (from 11th-12th C Cumbria to 20th C New Zealand)
    • The Conqueror (about Genghis Khan, early 1200s Asia)
    • Alexander Nevesky (mid-1200s Russia)
    • The Dragon and the Sword (Russian)
    • The Magic Sword (13thC)
    • !Braveheart (late 1200's Scotland)
    • The Black Rose (time of Edward I & Kublai Khan, late 1200s)
    • Edward II (early 14th C)
    • The Name of the Rose (set in 1312 monastery)
    • The Sorceress (13-14th C France)
    • The Virgin Spring (based on 14th C legend)
    • Decameron Nights (about Italian poet Boccaccio, mid-1300s)
    • Hamlet (set 1300/1400? 2 versions 1) w/Mel Gibson, 2) w/Laurence Olivier)
    • Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Hamlet comedy)
    • Richard II (late 1300s England)
    • Richard III (late 1400s England)
    • The Black Knight of Falworth (in the reign of Henry IV, early 1400s)
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1400's France)
    • A Walk with Love and Death (1400s Italy)
    • Joan of Arc: A Portrait of a Legend (1428 France)
    • Henry V (early 1400s England; 2 versions 1) w/Kenneth Branagh, 2) w/Laurence Olivier)
    • The Advocate
    • Brother Cadafel
    • !The Warlord
    • !The Princess Bride
    • Jabberwocky (Monty Python)
    • Stealing Heaven (about Abelard & Heloise, early 1100s France)
    • Black Adder I (British comedy)
    • King Lear
    • Snow White (Disney)
    • Sleeping Beauty (Disney)
    • Willow
    • Dr. Faustus

    SET DURING THE RENAISSANCE PERIOD (1450 to 1600)
    • Captain from Castille
    • !Much Ado about Nothing
    • !The Taming of the Shrew
    • Romeo and Juliet (2 versions: 1) w/Norma Shearer 1936 and 2) w/Olivia Hussey
    • Elizabeth R
    • If I Were King (life of Francois Villon, mid-15C French poet)
    • Christopher Columbus (late 1400s)
    • 1492: Conquest of Paradise (about Christopher Columbus)
    • Flesh & Blood/renamed The Rose and the Sword (1501)
    • The Agony and the Ecstasy (about Michaelangelo in 1500s Italy)
    • Martin Luther (early 1500s Germany)
    • Nostradamus (lived 1503-1566)
    • !Prince of Foxes (Italy 1500s)
    • Diane (de Poitiers, mid-1500s France)
    • !The Return of Martin Guerre (1540s France)
    • The Six Wives of Henry VIII (ruler of England 1509-1547)
    • The Private Life of Henry VIII
    • !Anne of the Thousand Days (Boleyn, 2nd wife of Henry VIII)
    • !Lady Jane (Grey, grandniece of Henry VIII)
    • Nine Days a Queen (about Lady Jane Grey, mid-1550s England)
    • The Blood on Satan's Claw (16C horror)
    • Cry of the Banshee (16C horror)
    • The Sword and the Rose (Disney; about Princess Margaret, sister to Henry VIII)
    • A Man for All Seasons (set during the reign of Henry VIII; 2 versions, 1) w/Charlton Heston & Vanessa Redgrave, 2) w/Orson Wells)
    • Mary, Queen of Scots (mid-1500s)
    • Mary of Scotland
    • Aguirre, Wrath of God (1560s South America)
    • Ivan the Terrible (mid to late 1500's Russia)
    • Young Bess (the early years of Elizabeth I)
    • The Virgin Queen (Elizabeth I, late 1500s England)
    • The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
    • Seven Seas to Calais (Sir Francis Drake, late 1500s)
    • Orlando (begins during the reign of Elizabeth I)
    • Black Adder II (British comedy, Elizabethan)
    • Queen Margot (late 1500s France)
    • The Mission (late 1500s South America)
    • Othello (contemporary with Shakespeare; 2 versions, 1) w/Orson Wells 1952, 2) w/Sir Laurence Olivier)
    BORDERLINE RENAISSANCE/MODERN (early 1600s)
    • The Three Musketeers (early 1600s France)
    • The Four Musketeers
    • At Sword's Point (about the four Musketeers)
    • The Three Musketeers 20 Years Later
    • Cyrano de Bergerac (lived 1619-1655)
    • The Last Valley (set in 1641)
    • Taras Bulba (17th C)
    ****************************************************************
    Section 9: A list of Catalogs and Websites

    9.1: Catalogs

    The following is a list of catalogs which have been recommended as possible sources of historic clothing and/or fantasy items with medieval flavor. The compiler of this list makes no claims as to the quality of either the merchandise or service provided by these companies.
    =====================================================================
    For readymade medieval clothing or period patterns and accessories:

    • Amazon Vinegar & Pickling Works
      2218 East 11th Street
      Davenport, IA 52803
      1-319-322-6800
      They have three catalogs. The Pattern catalog ($7.00) illustrates over 1,000 patterns for men, women, children and dolls, medieval through 1950. The Shoe catalog ($5.00) has shoes from all periods. The General catalog ($3.00) has everything except patterns -- hats and bonnets, readymade clothing, accessories, toys, books, kitchenware, etc.

    • Authentic Wardrobe
      12710 E. Wentworth Ct.
      Vail, AZ 85641
      Source of readymade clothing and cloaks as well as special orders.

    • Body Hangings
      835 Decatur St.
      New Orleans, LA 70116
      1-504-524-9856
      Source of cloaks in velvet, velveteen, leather and wool.

    • Carolina Stitches in Time
      Box 10933
      Winston-Salem, NC 27108
      No current information available.

    • Chivalry Sports
      PO Box 18904
      Tucson, AZ 85731-8904
      1-602-722-1255
      Source of clothing, books, weaponry and patterns. They publish a "catalog magazine" called "Renaissance" ($14 for a 1-year subscription).

    • Greystone Garb
      Address unknown
      1-619-949-2628.
      Source of handmade period clothing. No current information available.

    • Harriet's, Etc.
      Tailoring & Custom Sewing
      6 Parkview Avenue
      Winchester, VA 22601-4406
      1-703-667-2541
      Source of rented or custom-sewed, historically-accurate costumes for period weddings (1520-1920). There is also a pattern division (P.O. Box 1363, Winchester, VA 22604) but the emphasis is on the 18th and 19th centuries. Catalogs of patterns for ladies', men's or children's fashions are $3.50 each).

    • Hedgehog Handworks
      P. O. Box 45384
      Westchester, CA 90045
      (310) 670-6040
      or
      8406 Flight Avenue
      Los Angeles, CA 90045
      No readymade clothing but a source of costuming books and other items needed to make clothes (stitchery supplies, notions, needlework tools, stays, hooks, clasps, and buttons) except the fabric. They charge $5 for their catalog, refundable with an order of $30 or more.

    • Historic Fashions
      1812 N. Queens Lane #219
      Arlington, Va 22201
      No information available.

    • House Morning Star
      11246 S. Post Oak Rd. #217
      Houston, TX 77035
      1-713-729-7990
      Source of patterns, books, and sewing materials, but they will also make costumes to order. Mostly Tudor stuff: bodices, skirts, and chemises-as well as men's garb.

    • JAS Townsend & Son
      P.O. Box 415
      Pierceton, IN 46562
      1-800-338-1665
      Source of books, patterns, clothing accessories and tinwear. Emphasis is on the 18th and 19th centuries, but some stuff is adaptable.

    • MacKenzie-Smith
      Post Office Box 3315
      Truckee, CA 96160
      1-800-829-1974
      Source of medieval items (armor, swords, jewelry, cups) and Period Patterns. The items catalog is not free, but you can request a Period Pattern flyer for free.

    • Moresca Clothing and Costume
      361 Union Center Rd
      Ulster Park, NY 12487
      1-914-331-6012
      Source of capes, tunics, etc. Catalogs cost $5.00 plus $1.75 for shipping and handling.

    • Museum Replicas Ltd
      2143 Gees Mill Road
      Box 840
      Conyers, GA 30207
      1-800-883-8838
      Source of medieval clothing and accessories such as swords, jewelry, goblets, relics, etc.

    • Puffs and Slashes
      c/o L. R. Fox
      P. O. Box 443
      Bloomington, IN 47402-0443
      An anotated bibliography of pre-1650 costume sources (including books and periodicals). $2.50 per copy

    • Raiments (aka Alter Years)
      P.O. Box 93095
      Pasadena, CA 91109
      1-818-797-2723
      Source of medieval and renaissance patterns. The catalog is $5.00 ($7.00 if shipped first class) but is very large. They also sell books and some accessories.

    • Renaissance Herald (was Renaissance Shopper)
      P.O. Box 422
      Riverside, CA 92502
      1-909-943-7333
      Actually a quarterly magazine, which contains advertisements for many companies dealing in period garb, armor, weapons, etc, etc...Lists quite a few clothing makers, including one who says they specialize in Renaissance wedding garb. They have two subscription plans: for $7.00, you get a lifetime subscription, but it is sent at bulk mail rates; for $5.00 annually, you get the magazine at first class mail rates.

    • Rose D'Zynes
      1196 Sunglow Drive
      Oceanside, CA 92056
      1-800-899-7673
      Source of custom-designed medieval and Renaissance wedding attire for rent or purchase. Call to request a videotape of bridal fashions.

    • St. Michael's Leather Emporium
      156 E Second Street, Suite One
      New York, NY 10009
      1-212-995-8359
      Source of custom-designed leather armor, jewelry and Renaissance-era clothing. Catalog costs $4.00.

    • Sterling Cloth Company
      6109 Whipple Avenue NW
      North Canton, Ohio 44720
      1-216-966-2487
      Source of period fabrics, trims, thread, and patterns.

    • Whole Costumer's Catalog
      PO Box 207
      Beallsville, PA 15313
      1-412-632-3242
      A listing of catalogs and stores that sell fabric, patterns, accessories, etc. Costs $17.95 (incl. S&H).

    =====================================================================
    For medieval weapons, jewelry and other gift items (but very little clothing and no patterns):

    • Art & Artifact
      2451 E. Enterprise Pkwy
      Twinsburg, OH 44087
      1-800-950-9540
      Check out their wedding chalice, a reproduction of an 18th century English piece.

    • Atlanta Cutlery
      Dept. TFH
      2143 Gees Mill Road
      Box 839
      Conyers, GA. 30207
      1-800-883-0300
      Source of swords and knives.

    • By the Sword
      P.O. Box 149
      Luray, VA 22835
      1-540-743-1941
      Source of medieval weapons, armor, footwear, jewelry and musical instruments. Catalog costs $2.00. Separate catalog of archery supplies costs $1.00.

    • Celtic Folkworks
      878 Willow Grove Road
      Pittsgrove, NJ 08318
      1-609-795-8681
      Source of Celtic jewelry, i.e., penannular brooches, knotwork rings, necklaces, pins and bracelets.

    • The Cottage Works
      12 W. Willow Grove Ave., Box 186
      Philadelphia, PA 19118-3952
      1-215-242-8849
      No information available.

    • Dancing Dragon
      5670 West End Road, #4
      P.O. Box 1106
      Arcata, CA 95521
      1-800-322-6041
      Source of fantasy dragon items. Check out their dragon champagne flutes, dragon bride & groom caketopper (in pewter), and double dragon banner.

    • Distant Caravans
      PO Box 5254
      Reno, NV 89513
      1-702-746-0416
      Source of middle eastern clothing and belly dancing jewelry.

    • Fellowship Foundry
      2550 East 12th St.,
      Oakland, CA 94601.
      1-510-261-3292
      Source of pewter wedding goblets.

    • Gryphon's Moon
      3557 Tanner's Mill road
      Gainesville, GA 30507-8828
      1-770-536-2805
      Source of Celtic rings, brooches and pendants.

    • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
      255Gracie Station
      New York, NY 10028-9998
      1-800-468-7386
      Source of jewelry reproduced from ancient, medieval and renaissance designs.

    • The Noble Collection
      P.O. Box 831
      Merrifield, VA 22116
      1-800-866-2538
      Source of swords, helmets, suits of armor, axes, and letter openers.

    • Past Times
      280 Summer Street
      Boston, MA 02210-1182
      1-800-242-1020
      Source of gifts and jewelry from Great Britain inspired by "the past" (Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Medieval, Tudor, Stuart, Victorian, etc.). Check out their medieval tapestry wall-hangings.

    • South Tower Armouring Guild
      P.O. Box 221
      Metcalfe, Ont. Canada
      KOA 2PO
      613-821-1846
      Source of swords and stuff. No other information available.

    • Smokey Mountain Knife Works
      P.O. Box 4430
      Sevierville, TN 37864
      Check out their Excalibur letter openers as possible favors.

    • Starfire Swords,Ltd.
      P.O. Box 74
      Spencer, NY 14883

    • Winter Steel Armory
      P.O. Box 1762
      Palm Desert, CA 92261
      1-619-324-4789
      Source of swords.
    =====================================================================
    For stationary, parchment, invitations, sealing wax, and handstamps for customizing your wedding invitations:

    • The American Wedding Album
      American Stationery Co., Inc.
      300 Park Avenue
      Peru, Indiana 46970
      1-800-428-0379
      Check out 'Medieval Fantasy' and 'Storybook Ending' invitations with matching napkins and thank you scrolls.

    • Daniel Smith
      Address unknown
      1-800-426 6740
      Source of handmade papers. No other information available.

    • Earth Care
      P.O. Box 7070
      Madison, WI 53707
      1-800-347-0070
      Source of 'natural' papers (stationary and wrap) made of flower petals. Also carry sealing wax and letter seals. Check out their miniature sundial 'necklace', said to have been given as a romantic present to Henry II from Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    • Kalligraphika
      PO Box 180741
      Utica, MI 48318-0741
      1-810-726-6120
      Source of medieval fantasy handstamps (unicorns, wizards, castles, knights, etc.).

    • Paper Direct
      100 Plaza Drive
      Secaucus, NJ 07094-3606
      1-800-272-7377
      Source of clipart, fonts, notecards and stationary (including parchment) for making your own invitations.

    • Rugg Road Paper Company
      105 Charles Street
      Boston 02114 617-742-0002
      Source of handmade papers with real flowers mixed in.

    • The Swordmark Company
      P.O. Box 49592
      Atlanta, GA 30359
      1-770-498-3667
      Source of wax seals and sealing wax.

    • The Rexcraft Wedding Invitation magazine
      Address Unknown
      1-800-635-3898.
      No information available.

    • Victorian Papers
      Address Unknown
      1-800-800-6647
      Source of sealing wax and supples.
    ================================================================
    These are specialty catalogs:

    • The Historical Research Center
      EZZELL Enterprises
      2855 Villa Loma Drive
      Colorado Springs, CO 80917
      1-719-380-0509
      Source of information about your family name history, coat-of-arms and shields. Also armor and swords.

    • Period Pavilions
      Medieval Miscellanea
      6530 Spring Valley Drive
      Alexandria, VA 22312
      Source of historical pavilions, tents, yurts, canopies, and bannerpoles for rental or purchase.

    • Small Fry Sculptures
      Sheri & Carlos Frey
      620 N Logan Street
      Wayne, NE 68787
      1-402-375-2395
      Source of handmade sculptures depicting specific individuals for special occasions (i.e., customized brides & grooms for caketoppers).
    ==============================================================
    For Early, medieval, and Renaissance music books, recorded music, and instruments:

    • Boulder Early Music Shop
      2010 14th St.
      Boulder, Co. 80302
      1-303-499-1301
      No current information available.

    • Lark In The Morning
      PO Box 1176
      Mendocino, Ca. 95460
      1-707-964-5569
      Source of hard-to-find music and musical instruments, i.e., Celtic harps, recorders, pennywhistles, lutes, lyres and others.

    • Time Warner Sound Exchange
      45N. Industry Ct.
      Deer Park, NY 11729-4614
      1-800-521-0042
      Small collection of Celtic and New Age Celtic music (i.e., Clannad, Enya and others).


    9.2: Websites of Interest
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Following is a list of informational websites, some of which have been previously mentioned in the FAQ and which may provide help to planners of medieval weddings or feasts. Please note that this is not meant to be a list of WWW vendors.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Wedding Websites:

    Weddings Online: http://weddings-online.com
    Wedding Traditions: http://www.halcyon.com/mganson/traditions.html
    Leslie's Guide to Wedding Planning: http://acm.vt.edu/~lfowler
    Soc.couples.wedding homepage: http://www.wam.umd.edu/~sek/wedding.html
    Alt.wedding homepage: http://www.pacificnet.net/~jkdyson
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Medieval/Renaissance Websites:

    Medieval & Renaissance Wedding Page: http://paul.spu.edu/~kst/bib/bib.html
    Rialto Index & Archive: http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/rialto/rialto.html
    SCA Current Middle Ages Page: http://www2.ecst.csuchico.edu/~rodmur/sca (link to Art, Science, & History)
    Joe Bethancourt's homepage: http://www.locksley.com/locksley/ (link to Society for Creative Anachronism)
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Med/Ren Foods, Recipes and Menus

    Cariadoc's Miscellany: http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/cariadoc/miscellany.html
    Menu for Wile-the-Winter-Away Feast: http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/usr/grm/wwaway-feast.html
    David Friedman's Recreational Medievalism page: http://www.best.com/~ddfr/Medieval/Medieval.html
    Amy Gale's historic recipes: http://www.vuw.ac.nz/who/Amy.Gale/recipes (select 'Ethnic Dishes')
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Costuming

    Greater Bay Area Costumer's Guild homepage: http://www.hooked.net/users/fishcat/costume.html
    Beginner's Peasant Garb for Renaissance Faire: http://www.bibiana.com/velvet/peasant.html
    Historic Costuming FAQ: http://reality.sgi.com/employees/lara/lara.html
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++V++++++++++
    Handfasting and Neopaganism:

    Handfasting Rituals and Pagan Wedding Information Page: http://www.pacificnet.net/~jkdyson/aw/handfast.html
    Laura Mitchell's handfasting ceremony: http://www.csusm.edu/public/guests/mitchell/ceremony.html
    Rain Puddles webpage of resources for Neopaganism: http://www.teleport.com/~rain
    Kirsti Thomas' Medieval & Renaissance Wedding homepage: http://paul.spu.edu/~kst/bib/bib.html
    Rowanhold Bardic Circle page: http://www.primenet.com/~cherie/ritual.htm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Music

    SCA Music & Dance Page: http://fermi.clas.virginia.edu/~gl8f/music_and_dance.html
    Digital Tradition Folk song Database: http://pubweb.parc.xerox.com/digitrad
    Celtic Music on the Internet: http://celtic.stanford.edu//Internet_Sources.html
    Home pages of Morris and Sword Sides: http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/jcb/morris-teams.html
    The Jester's Court homepage: http://www.millennianet.com/jester
    Majestic Brass Quintet homepage: http://www.tiac.net/users/majesty/

    ftp://ftp.wu-wien.ac.at/pub/earlym-l/bibliographies
    ftp://ftp.nau.edu/pub/sca/ioseph
    ftp://bransle.ucs.mun.ca/pub/lyrics
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Other:

    Draw Your Own Celtic Knotwork page: http://www.en.com/users/ivan/knotwork.html

    The Internet Movie Database: http://www.msstate.edu/Movies

    York University (Ontario, CA) Web Museum: http://star06.atklab.yorku.ca/wm/rh/img/ (for info on medieval & renaissance artwork)

    The Trayned Bandes of London homepage: http://www.rmc.ca/~nusbache/bandes.html (for info on Elizabethan Military arts)

    Labyrinth homepage for Medieval Studies at Georgetown Univ: http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/labyrinth-home.html

    Richard III [1483-85] Society homepage: http://www.webcom.com/~blanchrd/index.html

    The University of Kentucky Classics Dept. homepage: http://www.uky.edu/ArtsSciences/Classics/ then select Web Sites of Interest Elsewhere --) Strange Bedfellows --) Camelot Project for bibliographies of Arthurian legends, Tristan & Isoldt, etc.)

    Section 10: Bibliography of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks

    Section 11: Bibliography of Historical Figures

    Books dealing with Henry VIII and his wives
    (This is by no means a complete list :-D) Compiled by Beth Barter
    (bab2@cc.bellcore.com)


    • 1. TITLE: Henry VIII: A biography
      AUTHOR: John Bowle
      PUBLISHER: Little, Brown 1965
      CATEGORY: Biography/Non-Fiction
    • 2. TITLE: Great Harry
      AUTHOR: Carolly Erickson
      PUBLISHER: Summit Books, 1980
      CATEGORY: Biography/Non-Fiction
    • 3. TITLE: The Personal History of Henry the Eighth
      AUTHOR: Francis Hackett
      PUBLISHER: Modern Library, 1945
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 4. TITLE: The secret of Henry the Eighth
      AUTHOR: Philip Lindsay
      PUBLISHER: Meridian Books, 1953
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 5. TITLE: The Private Life of Henry VIII
      AUTHOR: Nancy Brysson Morrison
      PUBLISHER: Vanguard Press, 1964
      CATEGORY: Biography/Non-Fiction
    • 6. TITLE: Henry VIII
      AUTHOR: Jasper Godwin Ridley
      PUBLISHER: Viking, 1985
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 7. TITLE: Henry VIII, The Mask of Royalty
      AUTHOR: Lacey Baldwin Smith
      PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1971
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 8. TITLE: Henry VIII and His Court
      AUTHOR: Neville Williams
      PUBLISHER: Macmillan, 1971
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 9. TITLE: King's Fool
      AUTHOR: Margaret Campbell Barnes
      PUBLISHER: MCS, 1959
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    • 10. TITLE: The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers: a novel
      AUTHOR: Margaret George
      PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press, 1986
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    • 11. TITLE: The Ivy Crown (Catherine Parr)
      AUTHOR: Mary M. Luke
      PUBLISHER: Doubleday, 1984
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    • 12. TITLE: Murder Most Royal (Anne Boleyn)
      AUTHOR: Jean Plaidy
      PUBLISHER: Putnam, 1972
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    • 13. TITLE: Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist
      Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII
      AUTHOR: Karen Lindsay
      PUBLISHER: Addison-Wesley Pub., 1995 CATEGORY:
    • 14. TITLE: The Six Wives of Henry VIII
      AUTHOR: Alison Weir
      PUBLISHER: Grove Weidenfeld, 1992
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 15. TITLE: The Six Wives of Henry VIII
      AUTHOR: Gladys Malvern
      PUBLISHER: VP, 1972
      CATEGORY:
    Books dealing with Elizabeth I

    (This is by no means a complete list :-D)

    • 1. TITLE: Queen Elizabeth
      AUTHOR: Katherine Susan Anthony
      PUBLISHER: 1929
      CATEGORY: Biography
    • 2. TITLE: Envoy from Elizabeth
      AUTHOR: Pamela Bennetts
      PUBLISHER: STM, 1973
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    • 3. TITLE: Elizabeth I
      AUTHOR: Donald Barr Chidsey
      PUBLISHER: Knopf, 1955
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 4. TITLE: The First Elizabeth
      AUTHOR: Carolly Erickson
      PUBLISHER: Summit Books, 1983
      CATEGORY: Biography
    • 5. TITLE: The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I,
      Genius of the Golden Age
      AUTHOR: Christopher Hibbert
      PUBLISHER: Addison-Wesley, 1990 CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 6. TITLE: Young Bess
      AUTHOR: Margaret Irwin
      PUBLISHER: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1945
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    • 7. TITLE: Elizabeth the Great
      AUTHOR: Elizabeth Jenkins
      PUBLISHER: Coward-McCann, 1959
      CATEGORY: Biography
    • 8. TITLE: "The heart and stomach of a king": Elizabeth I and the politics of sex and power
      AUTHOR: Carole Levin
      PUBLISHER: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 9. TITLE: Elizabeth Regina, the age of triumph 1588-1603
      AUTHOR: Alison Plowden
      PUBLISHER: Times Books, 1980
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 10. TITLE: An Elizabethan Garland
      AUTHOR: A. L. Rowse
      PUBLISHER: STM, 1953
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 11. TITLE: The Queens and the Hive
      AUTHOR: Dame Edith Sitwell
      PUBLISHER: Little, Brown 1962
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 12. TITLE: Elizabeth Tudor: Portrait of a Queen
      AUTHOR: Lacey Baldwin Smith
      PUBLISHER: Little, Brown 1975
      CATEGORY: Biography
    • 13. TITLE: Tudor Wench
      AUTHOR: Elswyth Thayne
      PUBLISHER: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1932
      CATEGORY: Biography
    • 14. TITLE: Elizabeth The First, Queen of England
      AUTHOR: Neville Williams
      PUBLISHER: Dutton, 1968
      CATEGORY: Biography
    • 15. TITLE: All the Queen's men: Elizabeth I and her courtiers
      AUTHOR: Neville Williams
      PUBLISHER: Macmillan, 1972
      CATEGORY: Non-fiction
    • 16. TITLE: The Life and Times of Elizabeth I
      AUTHOR: Neville Williams
      PUBLISHER: Doubleday, 1972
      CATEGORY: Biography
    • 17. TITLE: All the Queen's Men
      AUTHOR: Evelyn Anthony
      PUBLISHER: CWL, 1960
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    • 18. TITLE: The Succession: a novel
      AUTHOR: George P. Garrett
      PUBLISHER: Doubleday, 1984
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    Books dealing with Mary Tudor

    (This is by no means a complete list :-D)

    • 1. TITLE: Rose and the Thor
      AUTHOR: Nancy Lenz Harvey
      PUBLISHER: MCM, 1975
      CATEGORY: Non-Fiction
    • 2. TITLE: I am Mary Tudor
      AUTHOR: Hilda Winifred Lewis
      PUBLISHER: McKay, 1972
      CATEGORY: Fiction
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

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