Are you planning a Renaissance or Medieval wedding? Weddings during this period were very large events, with the entire town invited. Whether or not you invite the whole neighborhood, you can adopt some Renaissance wedding ideas to your own ceremony.
Here’s a list of some popular Renaissance wedding traditions:
1. When exchanging rings, use the phrase, “With this ring, I thee wed, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.” As you say “Father,” place the ring on the thumb. When you say “Son,” place the ring on the index finger. Put the ring on the middle finger when you say, “Holy Ghost,” and the ring finger when you say “Amen.”
2. Have two people carry banners decorated with your family coat of arms. At the beginning of the processional, these people will post the banners at the front of the ceremony site. At the end of the ceremony, the banner bearers will return the banners to the respective fathers and unveil a coat of arms for the new couple. This new coat of arms could be a combination of the two families or a new design reflecting the couple’s interests.
3. Have the maid of honor and the best man hold a crossed sword and broom just behind the couple. As the couple starts the recessional, they must jump the sword and broom to symbolize the cutting and sweeping away of ties to their parents. Be sure you coordinate this with your Officiant and ceremony site. Some churches may not allow pagan customs in the buildings.
4. It was considered good luck if a homeless woman begged the newly married couple for a penny or two. Bring luck to your marriage by making a donation to your favorite charity.
5. Weddings have long been a celebration of fertility. Bring this feeling to your ceremony with two young girls. Have the girls walk immediately in front of the bride and carry sheaves of wheat.
With any theme wedding, it is important to get your guests involved early. Send your guests a newsletter describing the theme of your wedding. This will help them to understand more about the setting and events. Include a description of period clothing and ask them to come in costume.
Don’t be disappointed if your guests are reluctant to wear period clothes. Not everyone shares your love for the Renaissance. Be sure to include contact information for clothing vendors and costume rental shops in the area.
Involve your guests in the ceremony. Let everyone participate in the processional. Include readings with guest participation. Hire a musical group that will teach simple folk dances at your reception.