Mark and Leslie: A Renaissance & Fantasy Wedding!

Planning a wedding should be an olympic sport. But I did it, I did it on a budget, and I did it in a uniquely themed and memorable way. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the decor and props from our wedding, meant as inspiration to anyone who is interested in throwing a Renaissance or fantasy style wedding! Some other elements we styled into our wedding include medieval, gaming, fairy tale, Harry Potter, and LARP. It was a dream come true for the both of us! Happy wedding planning, and I hope this post inspires you!

Photos courtesy of Knot Just Any Day Photography (and worth every penny)!

Our programs were rolled up into scrolls, tied with red ribbon, and lined up in wooden chests. I also put a tissue box on a decorative gold stand and made a themed sign, for anyone who might be crying. Behind this table was a very gothic candelabra with 3 large candles on it. The ring bearer’s tray (seen on the bottom shelf) was a silver tray that I hot glued a piece of red velvet to. Here is a what our program looked like!

The church was old and gorgeous. The wooden pew/seats were so appropriate for the theme. Stained glass makes everything look so classic. My mother framed our family crests for us and we hung them on either side of the altar. We were handfasted, a Celtic tradition, which of course I insisted upon. Our cord was created and braided by the both of us, with gold for wealth, white for new beginnings, and red for love. We also added unique charms to represent our family members.

I created a tribute to our family in photos, and adorned the fire place with all of their pictures! I designed small standing medieval banners containing our hashtag, to label desserts, and to showcase our photos. My dad took our family crests and combined them in this one-of-a-kind and very Renaissance-y family crest shield. I love the swords!

I designed custom signs for around the whole hall, including signs for the bathrooms. Go big or go home, right?

My beautiful bouquet was designed by my aunt, a florist. I went for a very colorful Renaissance and fairy tale styled bouquet. I feel like maybe fairies were living in it!

My cousin designed an elvish circlet for me :3 I felt like an elf princess!

The reception area was glorious, like a lodge mixed with a cabin. It was perfect for the Renaissance themed festivities! Custom tablecloths in gemstone hues really made this room look like a great banquet hall! I loved the way the ceiling looked, and the giant windows made all the colors burst!



The food was delicious, and set out on a long table like a banquet. You can also see the felt pennants I designed for above the bar. Medieval pennants and banners really added a lot to the theme!

In lieu of a cake, we went for a variety of colorful desserts, which absolutely worked for the theme. The dessert table was decorated to look luxurious and period by using fresh fruits and berries, as well as intricate gold mirrors and the tops of fresh roses. My sister decorated a cupcake tower by spray painting it gold and adding lace. Our cake toppers were just toys; who can afford to pay more than $5 for cake toppers?! We had a framed photo of our engagement picture, taken at the Renaissance Faire, with some swords behind it.

We made D20 ice breakers for every table! Of course, D20’s are a tribute to Dungeons and Dragons. We did meet at LARP, after all. And every table also had a bottle of honey mead and red wine, from the Renaissance Faire where we got engaged. See the full size D20 ice breakers sign here.

I created fun fact signs for our tables, so people could get to know us a little better. My aunt designed magical white rose and moss wreaths for the center pieces, and I also added a couple medieval standing pennants to tell people about our hashtag.

Our favors were soap, with custom renaissance themed labels made by me! We also added in gemstones and coins for the kids. All the favors were in a giant treasure chest!

Paper crowns, inflatable swords, treasure chests, and custom coloring books using coloring pages from old D&D books made the kids table perfect. We added gemstones and pirate doubloons to our favors treasure chest, which contained soap for the adults, so that the kids could go get some treasure too! No kid wants soap!

Our table was my favorite. We felt like the King and the Queen in fur draped chairs sitting at a fruit adorned table. It was decorated with evergeen boughs and of course, wine. What luxury!

Real fruit in a dish, medieval felt pennants, a dungeon behind the bar, and some period tavern rules helped to create the bar’s mood. I also set up some barrels and gargoyles around the room, to give the room a very tavern feel. I added even more atmosphere to the bar with a “Wanted poster” of my husband’s LARP character. We found cardboard knight cut outs for cheap, but that really added to the vibe! The real pewter mugs were the perfect finishing touch! The barkeep’s tip jar is a wooden chest and next to it is a sign that says “Poor tippers will be locked in the dungeon.” Here is a what our bar menu looked like!

Our “Well Wishes” table was designed to look like an alchemist’s lab or a Potions class at Hogwarts. People would brew us a love potion by writing down their love advice on notes and putting them in our cauldron. See the full size Love Potions sign here.

The most important part of any renaissance wedding, besides the bride and groom, is COSTUMES. Make sure your guests and bridal party dress up! By the way, my mom MADE my dress, and it cost about $90 worth of material. Talk about getting married on a budget! Isn’t she so talented?

Action shots are a must have! Now I demand you go and find yourself a cold mug of ale, or mead, and celebrate with me! I’ve been married 6 months already, but Mark and I still shout “Huzzah!” every day like it’s our wedding all over again. Alright, maybe we don’t. But we should.

To view the entire album, click here!

Photos courtesy of Knot Just Any Day Photography (and worth every penny)!

Wedding Planning 101: Picking the Date

Wedding Planning 101

Er mah sweet fluffy gerd! You just got engaged! And much like me, I am sure you feel like a confused mess. What the lump are you supposed to do now? Since I’m going through the chaos, I figured I’d blog through the chaos too. Here are my best tips and tricks for wedding planning as an engaged couple!

Step 1: Picking the date.

So what do you do after you change your Facebook relationship status, watch the “likes” and “congrats” roll in, and call your close friends and family to squeal with them over the news? You pick the date of course! Here are my tips for this giant detail.

  • If you want any part of the wedding, including pictures, to be outside, consider your local area and what might be happening outside during that time.
    Here in northeast Pennsylvania, it gets hella hot in July and August, and snowy in October and November. I really didn’t want to be all red and sweaty in my wedding pictures. I also really didn’t want to deal with it being too cold either. We settled on June 7, because we think it won’t be too hot or too cold. We also picked June because the beautiful flowers are in bloom, so they will make my outdoor wedding photos lovely. We opted not to have flowers at the wedding, because they are expensive and will die in a week, so this is a nice, cheap way to get some flowers in the pictures.

wedding-storm
Some people are weird and might want to get married in a downpour.

  • Run the date by people you have in mind for your bridal and groomal party.
    You probably have a special kid in mind for flower girl, or an old college roommate in mind for your bridesmaid. So keep in mind their schedules and run the dates by them – without telling them you’ve committed to having them in the wedding, just yet. I really wanted my 9 year old niece and 7 year old nephew from 3 states over to be the flower girl and ring bearer, so I chose to have my during the summer, when all my family members in school would be on vacation.
  • Consider other family members birthdays, holidays, and special events you may want to work around.
    Having your wedding the same weekend as your grandma’s 75th birthday might not be the best idea. You should check your calendar, and find out if it’s any kind of National Holiday as well. These might impact your guests travel time, or even give someone an extra day off that weekend – for example Memorial Day or Labor Day would give guests that Monday off… or *insert cultural holiday from whatever country you are from that isn’t the USA.* My sister had her wedding on Labor Day weekend, and the out-of-town guests loved having off on Monday to travel home, and get an extra day in with the family.

geeky-superhero-bridesmaids
If you have to have ALL THESE GIRLS, then make sure they’re ALL FREE. Man… that’s a lot of Bridesmaids.

  • Pick a date that could coincide with when you want to take your honeymoon (or how cheap you want it to be).
    If you’re looking to take a luxurious cruise or fly to Europe for your honeymoon, you can really save some money by traveling in the off season. So if you don’t mind getting married in the wedding off season, you’ll save a nice chunk of change by flying or cruising in the off season as well.
  • Some wedding venues offer super deep discounts for weddings on certain days or times.
    If you’re set on having it at a certain venue, but the price is making you ill, ask about having it on a weird day. Sometimes brunch or afternoon weddings can be half the price of a night time event, as well as a Sunday or weekday wedding. This funky day can help you pick a date that saves you a good couple of bucks.
  • Pick a date your priest or pastor can make it. If having a certain person officiate the ceremony is important to your or your religion, be sure to ask Pastor Joe before setting a date. Or if you don’t want a priest, just have a computer do it.

star-wars-wedding
They really wanted an Imperial Officer to officiate their wedding. From the Official Star Wars blog.


Stay tuned for more Wedding 101 tips, and feel free to leave a comment offering your best tip for choosing the big day!