Medieval Weddings bookmark

Recreate a Traditional Renaissance Wedding Reception

Bride Wearing Unique Wedding Dress
According to history, the Medieval wedding feast was nothing short of gluttonous. For your feast include meat pies of beef and pork, roast suckling pig, oysters, venison, and cabbage. Vegetables were for peasants, so the more meat you had at your feast, the richer you were. Bread made with ale was also a wedding reception staple, along with spiced sweetmeats and pies for dessert.

The drink of the day was honeymead, a rich wine mixed with honey, cardamom, and cloves.

Between dinner courses, the guests would be entertained by musicians, minstrels, and jesters. Gather some talented friends, or hire a group that specializes in Renaissance entertainment to delight the party with songs, jokes, and music from that era.

Traditional wedding cakes were wheat cakes made with cinnamon and other spices.

Medieval Wedding Flowers

Ivy is the traditional wedding greenery and is used prolifically throughout put the wedding decorations. The dark green leaves compliment rich jewel tones found in the renaissance theme. Add ivy to your bouquet, boutonnieres and floral arrangements. Great additions to your bouquet would be; dark and lush foliage, holly berries, red roses, amaryllis. In addition, brides incorporated wheat into their bouquets as a symbol of fertility.

Place grapevine wreaths on doors and decorated with ivy or rosemary woven through the branches

Let your imagination go heavy on rich colors when designing your wedding flowers. Only the deepest colored flowers were used in Medieval/Renaissance weddings then to show up against dark heavy woods. Go bold with flowers the color of goldenrod, royal blue, scarlet, forest green, purple, and orange.

Historically, herbs represented the antidote to demon and evil spirits. Aesthetically, using herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil, and sage will add texture, fragrance, and authenticity to your Medieval/Renaissance bouquet. Fill large baskets with a bounty of herbs and wildflowers for realistic looking centerpieces and altar arrangements.

Medieval Wedding Decorations

Adorn your reception hall with heavy wood panelling, hand-painted brightly colored banners, and lots of candlelight and grapevine wreaths.

Place votive candles on each table in golden votive cups or plain glass cups tied with tendrils of ivy.

Dark heavy furniture was the trademark of the medieval era. If your reception hall cannot provide you with ornate chairs and banquet tables, look into renting a special head table, long and heavy, and two throne-like carved chairs for the bride and groom to preside over the party like a king and queen. Other special wooden touches: perhaps your church has an ornate altar that can be used, or a Renaissance-style kneeling bench on which the two of you can kneel.

Decorations specific to the medieval time period are the cloth banners on which hand-written Latin phrases were written. Design your own banners for the church and reception hall out of heavy fabric in rich colors, declaring words of love and devotion, or perhaps adorned with hand-drawn symbols of marriage like doves, hearts, or orange blossoms.

Adding shimmery elegance to your wedding decorations by gilding votive cups, place cards, and banners with gold leafing.

Extra Special Touches for the Reception

In Renaissance wedding tradition, musicians usually accompanied the bride and groom from the ceremony to the reception. Add travelling minstrels to your wedding for a Gothic musical atmosphere. Fill your Medieval ceremony with the sounds of Celtic Renaissance instruments like the dulcimer, lute, flute, Celtic harp, and pipe organ.

More wedding planning tips.