The medieval wedding is romantic and classic. Here are the key elements that anyone using this theme should include, although you'll find that there are infinite possibilities to showcase your own style.
Finding a Medieval Wedding Dress and Other Attire
A medieval wedding dress and grooms attire are essential, of course! This means a wide variety of things depending on whether you want to be peasants, royalty, or anything in between. The most popular is royal style -- full of rich fabrics and elaborate touches. Men should wear doublets, breeches, and hose; women should wear Juliet-style dresses. Consider silver, gold, and wine colors rather than white. You may be able to find a great bridesmaid dress that will save you considerable money over a traditional medieval wedding dress.
Look for a renaissance fair near you -- there should be vendors where you can purchase or special order your dream medieval wedding dress or ensemble. Also, check out Moresca.com for a great variety of clothing. They will make you custom dresses and grooms outfits. For brides seeking a more traditional dress, ask your bridal shop for gowns that have princess lines and drop waists.
But, if you're looking for a true medieval wedding dress, pass up that white frock.
Blue was the symbol of purity, not white. (Interestingly, this is why brides today still wear "something blue".) You also could merge the two traditions and wear a white medieval wedding dress with blue trim.
Crafting the Menu
Serve traditional foods, including turkey, venison, or mutton. Utensils actually weren't used in medieval times, but it's doubtful your guests will appreciate that touch of authenticity! You'll likely want to give your guests the comfort of knives and forks but look for a local vendor who will rent you wooden plates for a more authentic touch.
Even if you aren't having a "royal wedding", you'll want to serve a great banquet. Traditionally, feasts were a part of a marriage day regardless of the bride and groom's social class. Other than the foods mentioned above, you might serve roast quail, turtledoves, and partridge, goose, roasted boar, calves' heads, fish, roasted peacock, cheeses, walnuts, fresh fruits, bread, tarts and custards, fruit preserves and mulled wine. You might serve water, ale, beer, mead, milk, and/or wine to guests to be historically accurate.
Medieval Wedding Invitations
Choose an appropriate paper, such as heavy parchment. You might want to have an intricately colored invitation in jewel tones and golds and silvers. Look for clip art on the internet which will allow you to easily design an evocative invitation. Evoke the theme with your language -- consider saying handfasting instead of wedding or betrothal, and open with "Hear Ye Hear Ye", or "Let it Be Known Throughout the Land". You may also want to ask your guests to come in period dress.
Adding a Few Special Touches
Traditional entertainment included jugglers, minstrels, and other entertainers. Guests would come to the feast, and dance to either vocal or instrumental music. At your wedding, consider having a juggler, live musicians, and possibly a dance instructor/leader to show your guests how to "round dance" properly. For a true royalty feel, have the bride ride in on horseback (sidesaddle, of course). You may also want to make arrangements with your caterer to have the wait staff in costume.