Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Autumn decorations

If you thought my 2 week pause was a sign that I am getting tired of blogging you were wrong. :-) I was simply enjoying a vacation to the warm and wonderful Egypt with Robert. Sadly I caught the Curse of the Pharaoh and got really sick half of the time we were there. But I still got to see the pyramids and dive with exotic rainbow-colored fish.

When I got home I saw that many of the trees had turned yellow and red and I thought an autumn decoration entry would be fitting. As I have told you before I have found no cold hard evidence that they did have centerpieces and the likes in medieval times. But women will be women and I like to believe that they wanted their home to be beautiful and inviting for the occasion. So when fall comes it's a nice touch to bring in the vibrant colors of the fading nature.
It's a tradition today to bring in pumpkins as a part of the fall holidays but you should be aware that pumpkins came from the 'New world' in the Middle Ages along with potatoes. The pumpkin quickly became an integrated part of the gardens though. Probably because it's very similar to other vegetables that the Europeans already had. So if you are hoisting a late medieval wedding it's acceptable to use these deliciously looking pumpkins in your decorations. With some of the fallen leaves in dramatic colors and maybe lots of candles or lanterns it will make a beautiful setting.
You can also use the pretty leaves for things like place cards, especially if you can do a little calligraphy.

Yet another option is to make wreaths of the leaves and hang them along the walls of the venue. This might take a lot of time and people to accomplish. Particularly the gathering of so many leaves. But if you have a forest nearby and a couple of helpful family members it can be a fun DIY project. You can also throw in some pinecones like in the picture.
The last of the juicy apples will also be harvested these weeks and post another possibility for sweet decor. You can make caramel apples (they did not use sugar as such in medieval times, but they can look really tasty):
They can also simply be scattered all over the table and combined with candles. If you want to go into detail you will find out the history of the apples you are using, because many of the apple breeds we eat today are quite young, while others can be traced back through a long period in history.
I hope you find these pictures and thoughts inspirational :-) And you can start to look forward to one of the upcoming entries, because a wonderful medieval bride has decided to let me share some of her pictures with you.

 All the best - The Medieval Bride

Monday, 5 September 2011

Medieval photowall

It's an increasingly popular wedding feature to have a photo booth or photowall at the reception to entertain the guests. If used properly it can ensure a huge amount of silly / fun / wonderful memories but it's mostly for the bride who really likes doing it herself and uses a lot of hours on the details - (Like me ;-)).
A classical photowall would look something like this:
But you can't really feel those medieval vibes with a couple of frames and a nice vintage tapestry. So: There are a couple of things you can do to make it medievalish - which is this blog's eternal goal.

1. You still need a big wooden plate to work your magic on, but instead of the vintage tapestry you can either choose a more contemporary-looking pattern like this red one, that bears resemblance to the fabric used in Mary of Hapsburg's dress, the green detail:

or you can paint a castle wall on the wood inspired by photos such as this:
2. Then you can either make a window in the medieval style and place a wooden bench in the front:
This tall and slightly pointed window is from the ruin
of Kerelaw (1488)
or you can hang up some big solid frames of gold or wood found at flea markets, along with a tourch or iron chandalier.
3. To finish it up you might want to get toy swords, shields and helmets, or maybe a rose a mirror or a very long wig. Just small geeky accessories to play with  and to make the photos really funny.
The end result could look something like this, without all the extra accessories:

Personally we were VERY lucky that the venue already had a photowall. It's a bit more cartoony and fitting for a carnival, but I adore it. And if you are a bit artistic, you might want to try painting something like it yourself. I considered it. But it's quite a project to take on and if you aren't happy with the end result it's a lot of work wasted.
I can easily imagine our guests having a lot of fun with it! And I might get a picture with me and Robert looking trough it as well. It just makes me love our venue even more.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Dress of the month - September

The dress of september is made by etsy-vendor: oakhearts . She has a passion for historic clothing and medieval in particular. I discovered that she has studied archaeology some years back, which probably gives her the same background as me.

She said the following about the dress: "I wanted to make something really simple but still beautiful, my inspiration was nature, the forest in particular, somewhat of a forest princess and a bit "robin hood-ish" as if all you are missing is your bow and your ready to go. :)"
I love this dress for being more natural than many of the nobility gowns that I have posted earlier. The green over the white under-dress and the stiches down the sides adds to the conception of this young common maiden. It is a very authentic look and would look beautiful with a wreath of flowers around your head.
She has a couple other medieval dresses and assures me that she has new designs in the making. So check her out if this lovely dress appeals to you.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The medieval centre - our location revisited

Today we went down to visit our venue and try the food. We had a few questions for the manager as well so Robert and his sister with her boyfriend and I took the long drive there. It's only about a year now before the wedding so it was the perfect time to go and see our venue at the right time of the year and decide where the ceremony is going to happen.
We initially thought that we would be wed on the hill with the trebuchets overlooking the fjord, but when we took a walk around the centre a much more beautiful spot appeared to us by the lakeside near the Naust - where the boats reside in wintertime - and with a view of a bridge, a ship and the small town they've built. It's easier to just show you:
Robert is standing where we will be at the ceremony
The Medieval Centre is actually building a small replica of a medieval church right next to this spot, so we'll be married just outside the church as was custom at the time! Don't know if they'll get it done in time though. In case it rains the Naust can probably fit the wedding party so we are still able to get married "outside" if it's storming. :P:
The Naust
We also tasted the food at the restaurant "the Golden Swan"and it was goooood. I ordered the Grilled Smoked pork with stewed cabbage flavored with saffron. It's heavy food but really, I enjoyed it:

From our talk with the manager Allan we got an idea of how seriously they are about being historically correct. I love that, although it makes me feel like a bit of an amateur, which I am, of course. This blog is written on what information I can pick up everywhere. I try to be critical and selective and I just hope that what I pass on to you is usable.
A lot of things fell into place today and I feel relieved. Especially because the big day is getting more and more real and fantastic the closer I get. We saw a jousting tournament at their jousting arena too and I must say: I like that olde game.
Finally I got plenty of photos of the restaurant and although it's a bit dark in there my wonderful camera had no problems catching the light:

I really can't wait now. Robert and I are certain it's going to be a perfect wedding for us. I hope you can find a venue to match your expectations. :)