Thursday, 30 June 2011

Medieval contemporary wedding art 15th century

Italy is the cradle of renaissance and the medieval times ends earlier than in Denmark. Still I wanted to show you this painting of a newly-wed couple. I think her dress is fantastic. 
Jan van Eyck, “The Marriage of Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami,” 1434
In the middle ages the bible was often used as an inspiration for art and a famous biblical wedding picture is the "marriage feast of Cana" by Hieronymus Bosch (1453 - 1516). This is the feast where Jesus turned water into wine, but the people and the background are inspired by a medieval wedding. You might get inspired to decorate your location by this. For example: the swan being carried in. Birds were served with feathers and all to make it look majestic. Sometimes they would even dress a roast chicken in peacock feathers.
"Marriage feast of Cana" by Hieronymus Bosch (1453 - 1516).
The women are portrayed very chaste in this picture and you might have noticed that the only woman with her hair showing is the bride. I love the tapestry in the background to the right. Something similar might inspire the look of the invitations? Or notice the benches that they are sitting on. Our guests will be seated on benches as well.
I hope you enjoy these small entries :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Bounce House

If you have extra money and want something fun for the kids (or childish adults) then a Bounce House might be an idea. Besides you can often find them in the shape of a castle. It requires a lot of space and someone to make sure that the kids play nicely, and possibly a sunny sky, but still this might be a good way to keep the children entertained while the adults do all that boring stuff like talking and drinking coffee. :)

Friday, 24 June 2011


If you are hosting your party at a medieval restaurant or a fair, the proper tableware might not be so difficult to get, as it could be included. But if you are having the party at home you may have to get the tableware yourself.
From a dollhouse inspired by the medieval-Tudor period (England) - link
You will find that most medieval tableware was made by wood or earthenware / pottery. Forks weren't used at the time, so spoon and knives are what you'll have to work with. Hopefully the guests will consider it a fun detail. The rich families would own silver serving platters and goblets.
Medieval table set presumable from a rich Jewish trader
You can also rent a set of tableware from different firms who specialize in medieval parties. I will warn you though, it might be expensive.

Denmark: Historicum - both a shop and a rental service.
UK: Costume company - provides a couple of services to medieval events
or Medieval Banquet Hire or Medievalhire
USA:  I still haven't found somewhere you can rent it in the US, but you are very welcome to recommend a place. Don't be shy :)
Sometimes you will also be able to rent some fun props from the movie making industry. They often have warehouses with their props in case they will need them again

Here are some pictures to inspire you from these websites:
The royal

The plain

The in-between

To buy all the tableware yourself might be very expensive, but you can do with just having elements of the medieval tableware like wooden plates or ceramic jugs and dishes.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A Shop: Dwarvesong

This is a shop from which I recently bought a circlet and I was very surprised with the great service and the quality in comparison to the price.
The owners are a married couple who was also wed in the medieval way and they are a part of the medieval reenactment environment. They sell handcrafted items such as jewelry, oak books (perfect as a guest book), and these amazing candelabras in medieval style (- I really want one of those).

Here are a few pictures of their work:

And finally a picture of myself wearing the circlet I bought from them. I am not sure I'll wear it at the wedding yet, but it is definitely a favorite. And look how pretty it is!

Check out their website, , you might find something for your wedding. :)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Make your own gown - patterns

It can be hard to find the right medieval dress to the right price - I know I have had my troubles. So for those of us who have decided to try to make our own gown here are some patterns you can buy and use.
The great thing about doing it yourself is the freedom of choice. You decide the fabric, the color, the shape and finally all those little details like embroidery that makes the dress personal.

McCall's pattern website has a couple of historic dresses worth buying and trying. Here's the one I like the best:
Butterick also has a couple of good patterns:

The second one:

All of these patterns have medieval elements both in shape, sleeves and neckline. Making your own wedding gown is a big project with the potential to be wonderful. I am going to try sow it together with my mother who's a bit more experienced than me.
Good luck

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Medieval wedding message board is a fantastic initiative for us in-need-of-medieval-wedding-inpiration-brides. It's a message board for all who are getting married with a medieval / renaissance theme but alas only few brides use it these days. I doubt that the world lack medieval brides but none the less the website needs the new generation of brides in there. I have just registered (under the name Sunspirit) and will be posting some of my own wedding stuff there but, when permittet, I will also post the best ideas from the message board on my blog.
So this is a cry-out to all of you who are planning af medieval wedding: Join so we can all benefit from each other's ideas. :-)

The Medieval Bride

Coloring book 1

When inviting both adults and children to a wedding you can count on the little ones to grow restless if they have nothing to do. It is perfectly easy to search the internet for medieval drawings that they can colour, print them, and then all you have to do is buy some colored pencils. You can place all this at a little table - a little corner just for the kids.

Here are some examples from Skipton Castle that you can use freely. (The Skipton Castle is a medieval fortress in York Shire, AND they host wedding ceremonies as well (not reception).)

I will find more for you to put in the coloring book but for now, just enjoy theese beautiful examples.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The wedding dress of the month

I have decided to feature a couple of dresses to inspire you and this month I have chosen a dress from the popular medieval wedding dress firm Rivendell Bridal. They have a gown called Guenivere and I think it radiates the essence of the medieval bride. In spite the fact that it's white the shape, the bell sleeves and the tight a-line fit is very time consistent.
You can find the dress at . The happy bride Jane on the picture is one of their many customers.
I like the dress because of its simplicity and elegance. You might have noticed that lady Éowyn in the Lord of the Rings have a dress designed in the same way. A very pretty look :)

Medieval crazy women's hats

The hats worn by rich women during the Middle Ages were very artistic and complex. If you want to know more about the many types I suggest you visit . Here you can order custom made medieval hats, and read about them. A lot of the pictures in this entry are from that website.
In an earlier entry I wrote about the hair do and showed a couple of pictures of hats, this will be about hats only.

The Hennin was a tall construction and could be formed like a cone, two horns or just a tall hat. Often a white veil was attached to it and I reckon it belongs primarily to the 15th century. When wearing a hennin the hair would rarely show.

To show you some of the reconstruction of these I have a few examples from

There also were a heart shaped and a two horned hennin:


And here reconstructed:

There were a lot of other types but the two others that I would like to show you here are the Toque (12th-13th century) and the Crispinette (1300-1500) The Toque is a bit less pompous than the Hennin and looks more like a normal hat with or without a veil.

The crispinette (or caul) is often worn by movie medieval princesses such as Princess Isabelle in "Brave Heart" or princess Amidala in "Star Wars" (okay not medieval movie, but still). It consisted of golden nets around two buns of hair on each side of the head.

Now, finding a place to get such a hat or to make it yourself might be quite a project. I think the hats are beautiful, yet a little crazy and I am not sure I would like to wear one for my entire wedding day. It is fun to see what you considered to be beautiful in those days compared to the ideals we live by today. So if you really want to be the bride that goes all the way then one of these designs might be what you want, if not, well then you can sit, smile and wonder about these creative and special hats. It was a time unlike no other, and the female headdress is one of the finest testimonies to this statement.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Mediæval Bæbes

I want you all to know about these amazing women, the Mediæval Bæbes. They sing so beautifully and you can buy their music to play on the stereo at the wedding party to get a very nice medieval mood. It will crawl under your skin like ripples of sound inside your mind and awaken the person within you of the past.

Me and my fiancée won't have medieval music all night - I think we love rock a little too much :) But after and in between the band playing we'll have a stereo playing a bit of medieval music. There is a special feeling about medieval music and these days more and more bands appear who harvest their inspiration from times long past.
Anyway check out theese women's website and music :)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Fire Juggler

If you have a little extra money to spend on the wedding there's a lot of fun entertainment to be had.
On medieval fairs you will often find a fire juggler and he/she will probably not mind a wedding gig.
It will look very impressive in the evening when it's dark but you can also have them surprise your guests upon arrival to the party. The great jugglers won't just perform their dangerous tricks, they'll have this teasing cheeky attitude and they'll taunt and make jokes with the guests.

Jugglers were a common form of entertainment in the middle ages especially at the royal court, at big parties and weddings.