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  Having a Medieval/Renaissance Wedding: and updating it for modern times

By Rachel Broderick

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Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring weddings from various historical periods. There will be an article per month on a different historical period in upcoming issues.

When fashion historians in years to come look back on what characterized the 1990's, one thing will stand out. No, not grunge; that fad happened too early in the decade to be much remembered in the end. Rather, the 1990's will be remembered for this: borrowing fully and shamelessly from other eras, both in this century and those earlier.

Nowhere is this trend more obvious than in wedding fashions. An examination of styles that were popular in the past ten years reveals a fascinating obsession with and love for times past. The gauzy, pre-hippie look of the Empire-style gown, (anyone remember Gwyneth Paltrow in "Emma"?) the lacy dress and swept-up hairdo of the Victorian era, or the stylish suit--a la Coco Channel--of World War II brides; all have been resurrected--and often updated--in the past decade.

One of the most emulated historical periods, I found in researching this topic, is the Medieval/Renaissance. People worldwide, particularly in Western cultures, have chosen to recall this time when creating their own nuptials. And why not? Turns out the traditions of the age of the Renaissance are some of the most rich--and beautiful--in European history.


So you’ve gotten engaged. Time to plan the wedding. Turns out your the kind of person for whom a white dress, black tux, and pink flowers doesn’t cut it. Rather, you have a thing for the traditionally romantic--knights in shining armor, to be exact. If this is the case, a Medieval/Renaissance wedding--complete with recollections of Guinevere and Sir Lancelot--may be the perfect choice for you.

The first decision you’ll be confronted with is where to hold such a wedding. If you want your ceremony in a church, try to find one that looks Gothic--i.e made of stone, with lots of stained glass, and even, possibly, some Tudor (brown-and-ivory) wooden accents. [page 2]

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