Thursday, 29 December 2011

Danish National museum's medieval Collection

Today I went to the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen to prepare for the winter finals. The semester is at an end, and so is the course on Early Bronze Age and and Neolitikum (late Stone Age.)
While I was there I saw their medieval collection as well as I know they have a bridal crown. It's not a particularly big exibition but I enjoyed it immensly.
I am excited to show you some pictures from it, especially of the engagement rings.
I love the one on the right with the man and the woman holding eachother. The second one from the left features two hands coming together and is a fairly common motive from around 1200-1500.
The bridal crown is magnificent found under the floor in a Jytlandian church. Presumably it is from 1525 and was worn by a wooden Idol of Mary. Sometimes the churches would have a bridal crown that the brides getting married could borrow in case they couldn't afford their own. Maybe this one have been such a crown:
Another object worth mentioning are the luxurious drinking horns. I am not sure for what event they were intended but surely it could be a wedding:
I really love museums. Being surrounded by all these old treasures takes me right back in time. I also like looking at all the weapons and oversized swords. I am hoping that Robert comes to the wedding with a sword in his belt :)
I have a lot of pictures and I'll be making an entry with more of the gleaming rings for you :) Happy new year - The Medieval Bride

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Wedding

In the spirit of Christmas I want to give you a little collection of photos of what a christmas wedding might look like. If you have collected rosehips in the autumn you can dry them and stick them in hollow pieces of birch trunk. Like in the picture below, a raw wooden table might be enough to give a medieval feel, if you prefere modern plates and utensils. Red fabric napkins will look well with the rosehips. Any medieval wedding will be complete with candles and in the darkness of winter the warm glow will be soothing. Naked branches from the garden may also decorate the venue.

You can spread things like apples, cinnamon, nuts, pine cones, spruce along the tables. I also found this wedding dress for groom and bride from in true christamas colors:

A couple of golden rings with a red stone would be appropriate and perhaps a floral wreath with red flowers:

The Honey Comb
Have a very merry chrismas you all :-) 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Medieval Accessories

You can get nice dresses and tunics for the wedding for both guests and yourselves but what really makes it all come togehter are those little details that, unfortunately, also can be very costly. Still if your guests aren't crazy about spending a lot of money on a one night costume (understandable), they can still find some of these accessories in a modern form. A medieval bride will most likely love shopping for shoes and jewelry as much as the classic bride. You don't need to find all of the items listed below, but even one or two might help you get more into the medieval spirit.

Most of these items should have an entry of their own (and may still get it) but for now a list an examples should aid in creating a wholesome look. Prepare for a looong entry :-).

From the danish medieval shop:

The belt:
Both men and women wore belts for decorative and funktional purposes. A warrior would fasten his sword to his belt, a merchant his leather pouch and a woman her bag of everyday tools, her eating knife, needle and so on. The fashion changed it as does today, but you can't go wrong with a long leather belt with the end hanging down. In sted of a belt a woman would also often wear an apron.

From DaisyViktoria

The girdle belt was a decorative women's belt that could be made from metal or fabric. In the English Tudor periode the belts became very elaborate and rich with pearls and precious stones. But in medieval times they where simpler. As with many of the accessories you could see whether the owner belonged to a noble's or a peasant family. The later's belt would consist for example only of leather and a simple buckle while the wealthy men and noblemen would have additional decorative metal rivets of gold or silver.

Middelaldercentret Falster

The shoes:
These may be hard to find in replica without spending quite a bit of money but luckily the medieval shoes weren't so complicated and you can easily find someone that looks the part. As long as they are made of leather you will already be halfway there. The men and women's shoes look very much the same. Before the 13th century these long toed shoes were popular and could sometimes be seen in insane shapes, such as the fish tale. The picture below is from, where you can read a lot about medieval shoes and get some help to make some yourself.

The purse:
Most people would have a purse or pouch in their belt to carry things like utensils, coins or other small necessities at the time, even the men. The fine ladies would have silk pouches vowen in pretty colors while others were made to last through a more intesive use and therefore constructed in leather.  

It shouldn't be too hard to find some little pouch you can use for this purpose, and you could even make it yourself. Lots of medieval shops sell these sort of bags in leather too.

The hat:
I have already posted an entry on some of the many female headdresses of the periode and the men's hats are still to come. Suffice to say that depending on what part of the middle ages you have chosen to act out in your wedding there are many different hats to choose from. So google away or wait for the next entry about hats. The women would wear something over their hair once they were married such as a veil. To give you an idea of the complexity and variation here's a little collage:
Also a nice overview of the English fashion development through the Middle Ages

The weapon:
I would like to mention that you should check your country's laws on carrying things like swords and knives on you on your wedding day. In Denmark it is forbidden, without police permit, to carry any blade longer than 7 cm. But if you have that in order you could really make the costume great by having a long sword or a knife attached to your belt.

The jewelry:
This is a subject I would also prefere to post a seperate entry on. It's hard to give any generel advice because like with the hats there are so many different rings and pendants. A pendant in shape of a cross is alsways usable. I have replica of the Dagmar cross found underneath a dansish church and allegedly belonged to a danish medieval queen. Another common piece are the rosaries. A lot of the jewelry from the period is religious like the brooch/ pendant called God's Lamb. Rings with small hearts and hands were common as a token of betroel from 1200 - 1500.

The cloak:
A cloak is easy to make or cheap to buy and if you don't want to get all dressed up, a cloak can be all you need. I would suggest that you use it in spring, fall or winter, because cloaks do actually keep you nice and warm, so it might kill you to wear it in the summer. The cloak can be a simple half circle of fabric or it can be a detailed piece of clothing with a hood, metal clasps and lined with fur. It's also a simple thing to make yourself.

Other fun stuff:
Finally I would like to suggest some other fun elements you can find and add to you costume:
  • A bottle of mead and a drinking horn - for the town's likable drunk
  • Medieval hand cuffs - for the sheriff
  • Pouch of herbs - for the Wise Woman
  • Golden chocolate coins - for the wealthy merchant
  • Leather gloves - for the hunter with his falcon
  • Bells - for the musican
  • Bone cubes - for the gambler
  • Comb, needle - for the seamstress
  • Feather pen - for the scribe
  • Balls - for the juggler
  • Bibles -  for the munks

Monday, 5 December 2011

Medieval cheese - and an alternative wedding cake

We are having cheese for dessert at our wedding, along with applepie. Cheese is great for concluding a banquet and today I'll give you a list of cheeses known in the medieval times, that also exists today:
Shaping cheese, 15th century, Paris
French Cheeses:
Beaufort - already known in the Roman Impire.
Brie de Meaux - Mentioned the first time in the chronicles of Charlemagne (12th century)
Comté - also from the time of Charlemagne
Reblochon - used in the Middle Ages to pay taxes in Haute Savoie
Roquefort - mentioned by Pliny the elder in 79 A.D.

English Cheeses:
Cheddar - apparently there's a bit of a quirrel whether it originates in the Roman Impire or England. But never the less it's an old cheese, with evidence of production in the 12th century, England.
Swiss Cheeses:
Emmenthal - originating from a small village Emmental Valley in the end of the 13th century

Italien Cheeses:
Grana - created by monks in Norhern Italy in the beginning of the medieval period.
Gorgonzola - made near the city of Milan since 879 A.D.
Mozzarella - From the area around Naples, since the time of the Roman Impire

Ancient Cheeses:
Cottage cheese - most likely known back in ancient Egypt and Greece.

So cheeses came in a lot of shapes and sizes in medieval times. Here's a quote from the book, Food and Feast in Medieval England: "Cheese was available in four main varieties: hard (probably of a cheddar type), soft (or cream cheese), green cheese (a very new soft cheese [basically a brick of compressed curds]) and 'spermyse' (cream cheese flavoured with herbs)."

Since there wasn't a wedding cake like we know it today, you might make a tower of theese delicious cheeses instead, alongside a basket of bread. For easy recipes go to The pictures of cheese cakes are from Norbiton Fine Cheese CO.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Flower wreaths from Etsy

There's a lot of beatutiful flower wreaths on the internet, that looks like a mix of modern and medieval, if you worry about keeping the flowers fresh all day. Of course you can go down to your local florist and I am sure they can make someting amasing. But there are alternatives and I would like to show them to you:

The bright one:


The forest wreath:


The fantasy wreath:


The classic white bridal wreath:


 The rosy wreath: 

The HoneyComb

Friday, 2 December 2011

Dress of the Month - December

The holiday season is upon us and I just finished decorationg our apartment. It's always nostalgic to open the dusty boxes and put on the christmas cd. So to celebrate, I thought I would make this month's dress somewhat wintery and christmasy: I found this one on the german .

The delicious cream fabric and the white fur, with a 15th century cut, would look incredible in a snowfilled landscape. I know they specialise in making costumes for museums, theatre and movies. So if you like this dress, swing by their website.
And merry christmas to you all - remember to enjoy this wonderful month :-)