Organized and compiled by BJ Kuehl for the and newsgroups.
Please email BJ directly with additions or corrections to the FAQ.

Medieval & Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ: Questions about the Reception

5.1: Can you give me some ideas of where we might hold our medieval wedding reception?

5.2: Is it possible to have a wedding at a renaissance faire?

5.3: I've been asked to decorate the reception hall for a friend of mine having a medieval style wedding. Does anyone know of any herbs/plants/assorted greenery that would be appropriate? I would appreciate any ideas as to how to decorate this hall.

5.4: Can you recommend any activities, besides dancing, for our reception?

5.5: If you have an interesting idea for favors for my medieval wedding reception, please tell me!

Medieval & Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ: Questions about
the Reception

(c) The Medieval and Renaissance Theme Wedding FAQ was compiled
by and is maintained and copyrighted by Barbara J. Kuehl.  All
suggestions and additions should be emailed to her at  This document may be freely redistributed
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removed.  It may not be sold for profit or incorporated in
commercial documents without the written permission of the
5.1:  Can you give me some ideas of where we might hold our
     medieval wedding reception?

From: (Trystan L. Bass)
Look for buildings in stone, half-timbered wood, brick, or very
rural.  Find out about historic homes in your area, especially
those with a Tudor or English cottage or castle look.  Outdoors
settings are perfect for a spring/summer Medieval wedding.  If
you have the space, a big white tent would be nice & could be
decked out with banners & garlands.
From: "John A. Resotko" 
Some possibilities we've considered:
1)  Renting the Special Events pavilion at a Renaissance Faire
and holding the ceremony and reception there.
2)  Finding a replica castle, keep, or gatehouse for the wedding
and catering the reception at a nearby hall (there are many
places scattered throughout the U.S. where people have created
their own castles, keeps, and medieval-looking buildings.)
3)  Finding a particularly gothic church for the ceremony and
catering the reception at a nearby hall.
From: Patricia D. Mooney
We were married in the manor-like HyeHolde Restaurant, amid
tapestries and wood beams and candles.  Perfect for setting the
From: (Renee Ann Byrd)
A 1993 wedding I attended had a bit of medieval flavor to it.
The Episcopalian wedding was held in a well-hidden replica of a
14th century Scottish chapel.
From: (Miche)
A couple of years ago I attended a medieval-style wedding which
was held in a scout hall.
From: (June Petersen)
We had the wedding at an historic adobe in Milpitas (Higuera
Adobe) outdoors.  We rented tables and chairs and had my friend,
a florist, put up and decorate an arch for the "altar".
From: (Jason L)
After a couple of research trips to Santa Barbara, CA, we
settled on an outdoor location in Scofield Park in the hills
above the Santa Barbara Mission. Scofield has several green
fields surrounded by hills and trees with virtually no buildings
visible from the park. We were able to rent two adjacent 'Group
Sites' for $100. We used the more wooded one for the wedding,
and the other more open field for the reception area. We used
the picnic tables for the reception. We set two across one end
for the 'head table' and two rows leading away from the head
table like the arrangement in an old English manor house. That
left a 'playing' area in-between the rows of tables for the
From:  ???????????????
I have done several renaissance weddings and am planning another
for my daughter. She will be getting married in a CASTLE!  The
ceremony will be at night -- by candlelight -- and AFTER the
reception instead of before. We will party for a day, do the
rehearsal, then end the weekend with the candlelight wedding.
My fiance and I are having our medieval wedding at a place
called The Mansion in Pearl River, New York. It is modeled after
an Irish castle, complete with authentic stone work, oak
paneling, and stained glass windows. The manager, when asked if
we could have a medieval wedding, replied, "Why not? We've done
it before!"
From: Gwalhafed  (Andrew)
For those getting married in Europe, have the wedding in a
Castle. Many of the more intact castles in the UK hire out their
banquet halls for functions. Some of the very intact ones hold
their own banquets regularly. A couple of friends just had a
high medieval Arthurian wedding at Caerphilly castle in south
Wales. It is worth bearing in mind that you have to book a long
way in advance and many castles that are open to the public are
only available in the evenings (though you will usually be able
to use the kitchens all day). Last time I was involved in
booking Caerphilly it cost 500 pounds to hire from 5.30 till
midnight with use of the kitchens all day. In the UK the best
people to contact if you don't have a particular castle in mind
would be English, Scottish or Cadw (welsh) heritage.  For those
who can't use a real castle you can do wonders with some ivy,
candles, a few shields and some banners.
From: (John)
My lady and I have reserved the Great Stone Castle in which to
hold our wedding next year.  The GreatStone Castle resides in
Sidney, Ohio and was constructed in 1895. It is complete with
turrents and a full wrap around porch. Inside it is richly
finished with all types of exotic hardwoods from around the
world. It is 4 stories of approximately 8000 sq. ft. The entire
upper level is reserved as the ballroom. Unfortunately this is
being renovated and will not be ready for our occassion. Our
wedding will be held in the front living area on the first floor
in front of a large fireplace. This will give my lady (Peg) the
opportunity to descend the grand staircase and make quite an
entrance.  The castle sits atop a hill overlooking the downtown
area of Sidney. The grounds are very well kept with gardens and
shaded by many 100+ year old oak trees. There is a long winding
drive approaching from the rear of the castle, a great place for
a sendoff(?!!).
From: (magda)
I'm having my wedding at a beautiful woman's club that will be
decorated in a medieval way.  We WERE going to have it either at
the Tarrytown Castle or the Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown, NY,
but decided to stay in NJ. There's also a cool historical place
in Ho-Ho-kus, NJ called the Hermitage. People should call their
town halls for historical info.  Also they should try their
state's own bridal magazines.  New Jersey Brides provided me
with my consultant, caterer, hall and musicians.
From:  Leigh Ann ( (LASCHLORFF)
I used the Boston Wedding Directory which lists many area
reception sites.  It lists in all price ranges and is sectioned
by areas like Boston, Greater Boston, Northshore, etc.
From: Gretchen (
If you go to the Massachusetts State House Bookstore, they can
sell you a booklet called "Historic places for historic parties"
for $4.00 (I think).  I was amazed at what is available for
party rental.  Everything from the Aquarium to historic homes.
I used it to find my site.
From: (Aliesha A. Murray)
We're having our wedding at the Medieval Times in New Jersey.
They have a jousting show with a huge meal (you eat with your
hands), and the price per head was actually cheaper than what
I'd be able to get for an equivalent amount of food (hors
d'oeuvres buffet, sit down dinner, fruit with the cake) in my
area.  The price they quoted us was $68.50/person, and we're
getting an hors d'oeuvres buffet before the show, the standard
Medieval times dinner and show, fruit, open beer, wine and soda
with a champagne toast.  They're even making the cake to look
exactly like the Medieval Times castle!  They also have private
rooms (and semi-private areas for small parties like ours), and
most of the decorations are already done for you.  Since they do
weddings a lot, the party manager is really helpful, and they
have locations all over the country.
From: (Charatae)
My fiance and I are planning a Mediaeval/Celtic wedding ceremony
to be done in my parents front yard between two trees.  As the 
"altar" we are driving my fiance's 6 foot Claymore sword into the
From: (Orilee Ireland-Delfs)
When my protege got married, the wedding was outside in her
sister's backyard with pavilions set up to provide shade for the
wedding itself, the cooks, and for the guests to dine under.
The main pavilion was decorated with large baskets of flowers
and an aisle was created with flowered garlands on poles and
large standing wooden candle holders.
From: (L. Andrade)
The wedding ceremony and reception were held at the bride's
parents' home.  This saved Dee considerable money and also
allowed for plenty of time to decorate the house and backyard.
The house was simply gorgeous (being only two years old,
designed and built by her parents). The backyard was spacious
and had several dozen white rose bushes and other potted plants
that added splashes of color. There was a swimming pool with a
fountain placed in it for the wedding.  Fortunately nobody fell
in but I was a bit worried during the reception when people were
dancing around.

5.2:  Is it possible to have a wedding at a renaissance faire?

From: (Larisa-Rose Skidmore)
The Maryland Rennaisance Festival allows weddings to take place 
on the grounds (during actual faire days), and I believe other 
festivals would do the same.  What you should do is contact 
those who run the festival and ask them for specifics.  Here, 
it's basically a set price, and you get free tickets with a 
certain amount of tickets that you buy.  You do have to buy 
tickets to the festival as your guests and the bridal party will
be able to experience the whole festival.
From: Keefer)
My husband and I have been performers in the Ohio Renaissance 
Festival since it opened in 1990.  Bob is a Presbyterian Minister
and has been performing weddings there since the second year.
This year the festival will have a Church and is offering 
different wedding packages for the couples. I am working with 
the festival as the Wedding Coordinator.  Bob using the Book of 
Common Prayer of the the Church of England from 1559.  He wears 
an alb and cope and acts/speaks in the character of the Bishop 
of Worchester.  The year is 1572 and Elizabeth has come to the 
village to visit while on her summer progress through England.
Couples and the bridal party must dress in period garb.  The 
bride and the maids are escorted by a bagpiper and the women of 
the village around the festival site to the Church.  The groom 
is escorted by a drummer and the village men.  After the wedding,
there is the horse drawn carriage ride throughout the village.
Then on to the reception area.  Guests are free to come and go 
and partake of the entertainment at the festival site.  Bride 
and Groom may participate in the Noon parade as the guests of 
the Queen, and also watch the first joust on the dias with the 
Queen and her court.  Couples who have been married at the 
festival have had a great time.  We attempt to provide what 
every couple desires for their wedding - but it has to be period.
From: (JaZzY) (Gwen)
My fiance and I are planning our wedding for next August at the
New York Renaissance Faire in Sterling Forest, NY.  We can have
it in a field or on a stage.  There is a queen's banquet in the
afternoon which allows for wedding guests at group rates.  We
will have the reception there.
From: (Stephen Decovic)
Texas Ren Faire (located 1 hour north of Houston, Tx) does a
wonderful medieval wedding.  It includes a ceremony at a wood
beam frame chapel (open to sky and covered in flowering vines),
a wedding parade and food (I think).  For more information call
From: (Derly N. Ramirez II )
The Texas Renaissance Festival, located in Magnolia, Texas
(about 30 miles north of Houston) does weddings during the run
of the fair.  They have several wedding packages and price
ranges.  The price includes admission to the fair for the
wedding party and a ride in the Grande Marche for the bride and
groom.  Options include wedding performed in the chapel, horse
drawn carriage for the bride. reception in the Italian gardens
(a private dining area), and full catering.  The weddings must
be reserved in advance, and last year all but one slot was sold.
Performers attend the wedding adding a nice feel to the
From: (Bruce Albrecht)
There was a wedding at Bristol (WI) RF.  I know the Queen was
in attendance.
From: (Lanfear)
I contacted the business offices of the RPFS and found that they
had an area in the back part of the Faire set aside for
weddings.  The cost was $500 and the area was very pretty and
included hay bales for guests to sit on, table to serve the
reception, and a flower-covered arch under which we could have
the wedding.  If I recall, the rental paid for 4 hours of use.
At the RPFN this year, there will be a REAL wedding in complete
period garb and, as much as possible, a complete Elizabethan
type ceremony...with mods to make it 20th century LEGAL.
From: (Wendy Strader)
For those people who attend the RPFI faires, you know that
Deidre in PAD makes reservations for the wedding garden at both
Northern and Southern faires.  This year RPFS had an herb garden
as a backround for weddings.  Linda Underhill of LHC is a
minister and she also advises as to what would be appropriate
for a "period" wedding. Contact either one of these ladies for
advice.  Deidre can be reached at RPFI and Linda can be
contacted at 415-459-5123.
From: Robert Fogle 
I know King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA does weddings.
From: "Frank Caddeo 
The Maryland RenFest does weddings.  The wedding takes place at
a small chapel set back in the trees in a shaded part of the
festival.  The reception is next door at The Dragon Inn.  This
is 3500 Sq Ft of deck.  It is a very nice area, also set back in
the woods.  They have an extensive costume wardrobe.  Food and
drink available to the celebrants include Turkey Legs, Steak on
a Stake, Knave Sandwhiches (Italian Sausage) Popovers, soda,
lemonade, ice tea, and your choice of beer served on the
grounds.  Generally a minstral or two will wander throughout the
From: (Crowesnest)
Part of my job is being the event coordinator for weddings &
special events at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  If you
want info from that perspective, just drop me a line and I'll
try to respond...or you can call me at my office (800) 296-7304.
My name is C.J.
From: (Wymanf)
I worked as a server at feasts at the Ren Fair.  One wedding 
party elected to have 28 people stay at the fair site and attend
a royal banquet.  The wedding party paid the going rate of 
$12.50 a head, and we served them a late lunch. (1:00p.m.)  The 
Bride and Groom sat at the head table, and the guests all sat, 
watched and took part, as Toasts and various people were 
presented to the King and Queen (that day we had a German Court).
The tented pavillion and tables, Flag, Banners, decorations, etc.
were from the Guild of St. Olaf.  There was sparkling cider for 
the kids and champagne (brought over from the reception area) 
for adults.  The feasting went on for the better part of two 
hours.  But it also was incorporated into the public show.  Lots
of people walking by would stop, watch, and join in the cheers 
and in the toasts of good will.  The peoples at the feast were 
not dressed up except for the wedding party, and there were a 
couple of kids.  People were at first unsure of what to do and 
where to be, but it didn't take long for the spirit and fun of 
the event to catch on.

5.3:  I've been asked to decorate the reception hall for a
     friend of mine having a medieval style wedding.  Does
     anyone know of any herbs/plants/assorted greenery that
     would be appropriate?  I would appreciate any ideas as to
     how to decorate this hall.

From: (Dorothy J Heydt)
Well, the bad news is--some people in our area were asked this
question a while back and did the research--that it is not
period at all to decorate the interior of a building with vases
of flowers.  That is a *Victorian* practice; our people even
came up with the name of the lady who first did it, but I've
forgotten it.  The good news is that almost nobody knows this.
You *could* do whatever you think looks nice and you can afford.
I would suggest cutting evergreen branches and decking the
rafters with them, and garlands of flowers for the heads of the
wedding party.  The most impressive way to decorate the
reception hall, in my opinion, is to borrow personal banners,
those of your group and neighboring shires, etc., and deck the
walls with those.  Lotsa color.  For my wedding, we decked the
church (ugly bare concrete) with banners and put garlands on the
heads of the wedding party.
From: (Amypamy)
We had real ivy that I had cut from a friend's yard wrapped
around the tent poles everywhere.  We had shields with our
mutual coats of arms painted on and hung above our seats.  I
bought burgundy and forest green table runners for the head
tables and ivory table cloths with pansies in baskets as
centerpieces.  I can't wait for pictures!!!
From: (L. Andrade)
At my friend Dee's medieval wedding (which was held at her
home), there were tapestries hanging on the walls, black iron
candle holders placed throughout the front rooms and on the
walls (she found some of them at a garage sale for 50 cents
each!), and medieval-style flags hanging out in the backyard
from the fenceposts.  She also borrowed a hand-made suit of
armour from a member of the SCA. I highly suggest this route if
you want some medieval-ish decorations or clothing.  These
people are very proud of their handcrafted work, and most won't
mind showing it off by sharing it with you. She didn't even
remotely know this man and he still freely offered the use of
his armour and a sword, shield, and crossbow as well.
I ordered (from Past Times catalog) beautiful hunter green
candles with gold Fleur de Lys on them and what they call
Medieval candles, which are white with an ornate design on them.
We also purchased banners at the New York Renaissance Fair to
hang on the walls. I picked up a book called "Heraldry: A
Pictorial Archive For Artists and Designers" by Arthur Charles
Fox-Davies, which we will use to make plywood shields to be
From: (Trystan L. Bass)
Banners can be put together with fusible interfacing or glue
(although sewing looks nicer).  All you need is cheap, colorful
fabrics, and maybe a few tassel or fringe trims.  You can get
designs from any heraldry book in the library -- use a
photocopier to enlarge the designs.  One book I recommend is
"Design Your Own Coat of Arms: An Introduction to Heraldry" by
Chorzempa, Rosemary A. (1987, Dover Publications, Inc.).
Available at art supply stores and bookstores.  Lots of design
elements, clearly drawn, perfect for creating decorations that
reflect your interests and heritage.
From: (Amy E. Rottier)
We had a friend draw our coat-of-arms on shields that my fiance
cut out of plywood and sanded just right (with beveled edge and
everything!).  She is also making a hanging sign for the house
(where we're having the wedding) out of wood.  We're going to
sew up some banners this weekend!
From: Lee Spires  (Tina Schutte)
We've decided to put hanging banners with my family crest along
the bride's side of the room and his family crest on his side as
well as on the groomsmen's surcoats.  We'll also use our
combined crest/shield on a banner to introduce *our* new family.
We may have a couple of the ushers/groomsmen carry a banner on a
post (one of his & one of mine) during the processional and
present them to our fathers as a sign that we're giving them
back their names/households in order to begin one of our own.
From: (Barbara Jean Kuehl)
You could place the table for the wedding party in front of a
wall and hang your family crest/banners behind the chairs where
you will each sit.  Or, if you mounted them on poles or on
trumpets carried by 'heralds', they could lead you to wherever
you are headed, such as the altar, the banquet table, or your
awaiting carriage.  Very regal-looking!
From: (Amy E. Rottier)
My MOH had made a styrofoam castle as a centerpiece for our
shower.  We cut a slot in the top of it and used it as a card
From: (SUE)
A German uncle of mine is carving a huge wooden castle for us.
From: (Trystan L. Bass)
You can use flowers and greenery as decorations, particularly in
garlands and swags.  Dried flowers are also good.  Candlelight
and/or firelight is a nice touch.  Baskets decorated with
greenery and dried flowers are also good choices.
From: (Jason L)
We designed several banners that I sewed together, and we ringed
the site [in a park] with rope with strips of cloth tied-on
every foot or so.  I also put together three grapevine arches
festooned with ribbons.  We had a vine arch at the entrance to
the wedding field, one behind the wedding itself, and one at the
entrance to the reception field.)  Vine arches are a symbol of
growth, fertility, and renewal. Also, when you pass through an
arch it is an entrance to a new world.

5.4:  Can you recommend any activities, besides dancing, for our

From: (Orilee Ireland-Delfs)
The afternoon activities at a wedding I attended consisted of a
tournament for the bride's garter (the winner of the tourney won
her garter), a fencing tournament, archery, and a small court
conducted by the bride and groom before they left.
From: (Anna Welborne)
My husband was dressed like Henry VIII, and in that famous
portrait (hands on hips), Henry is wearing two garters.  So, at
the reception, I threw my bouquet, and he threw _his_ garter!
It was such a hoot!
From: (SUE)
For the garter, we are having an archery tournament (with a 
children's rubber set). Every single guy gets a chance to try, 
and the guy who gets bullseye wins it! If more than one they can
have an "arrow off"
From: Patricia D. Mooney
Between courses at the meal, we invited guests to entertain with
stories, juggling, poetry, etc. -- our medieval cookbook had
mentioned entertainment between courses, we liked the idea.  And
it sure beats the normal sobby wedding toasts (we couldn't
completely avoid them, though!).
From: (Jason L)
During the reception, two of the musicians suprised us by
binding our hands with a flowered band and singing a song about
love to us. Very nice.  Binding the hands of the bride and groom
symbolizes the joining of the bride and groom into a new family.
From:  ??????????
We're thinking of including a maypole dance in the festivities.
Our thought was to use different coloured ribbons to represent
each family name and have them woven together to represent the
bonding of both families.
From: (Tien-Yee Chiu)
I, er, do hope that you are, um...*aware* of what a Maypole
symbolizes and that it's probably a powerful fertility blessing.
The Maypole is essentially a large ritual phallus--check
virtually any book on old English customs.  There's speculation
that the ribbon-weaving dance was originally a form of elaborate
foreplay, with the men and women getting much, much *much*
closer to each other as the ribbons were woven...Since May Day
is/was the pagan holiday sacred to sexual desire, this doesn't
seem all that unlikely.  (The female correspondent to the
Maypole was the May basket (womb), carried by women and filled
with flowers that day.  The May basket seems to have fallen out
of favor, though...leaving just the Maypole.)  That being said,
it sounds like a marvelous "uniting" ceremony.  You just might
want to be aware of the sexual overtones--if any of your guests
are aware of pagan tradition, they may have a hard time avoiding
From: (Amypamy)
We painted a natural gas tank that was in the [reception] area
green and put a dragon head and tail on it.  We asked folks to
name the dragon.  We read all the names, picked the ones we
liked best, then had a "clapping of hands" response to the
names.  The winner won two tickets to the Renaissance Festival!
From: (Charles Mcgregor)
There is a Scottish tradition called a 'Scrammy' where the groom
throws handfuls of small coins to the children of the local area
as they leave for their honeymoon.  It is then a case of every 
child for themselves.  Of course, if the tradition is not part of
the local culture then there will not be any children gathered 
for it.  This is not the case in Scotland where an eager host of 
weans or bairns depending which side of the country you are on, 
awaits every matrimonial departure with glee. Perhaps a similar 
thing for the kids attending the wedding would not be far off 
the mark. I don't know where the tradition comes from, perhaps 
it is to get the groom used to handing out money to kids.
Some friends of mine had a Renaissance-style wedding a couple of
years ago.  The reception was themed as a masked ball (so the
family and friends could wear any costume they wanted).  There
were enough masks on each table that everyone could wear one and
take it home as a keepsake.  The wearing of masks was prevalent
throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, especially during the
Carnival season.  The film "Much Ado About Nothing" (the Branagh
version) has a very nice masked party.  The Liz Taylor-Richard
Burton version of Taming of the Shrew has a Carnival procession
wandering through Padua.  And of course, there's Zefirelli's
Romeo and Juliet, where R&J meet at a masked party.
From: (Jason L)
Three people from SCA did a sword 'fight' concerning the meaning
of "Love" as part of the entertainment.
My brother and I engaged in a sword fight (covering our sibling
rivalry through the years).  Alas, an excess of mead was taken
on both parts and his hand was broken, which I feared would
place a damper on the festivities but lo' he was of good humor
that day and I escaped intact with my beautious bride!

5.5: If you have an interesting idea for favors for my medieval
     wedding reception, please tell me!

From: (Trystan L. Bass)
In the world of chivalry, a favor was often a lady's scarf or
handkerchief, which she gave to her lover before he went into a
battle or joust.  At Renaissance faires, favors are small
pendants, ribbons, rosettes, tassels, or other wearable trinkets
often given by the nobility.  These favors represent the esteem
and affection of the giver for the recipient.  Some other favor
     Parchment scrolls printed with a favorite poem and tied
         with velvet ribbon
     Miniature wreaths of dried flowers and herbs
     Quill pens with a clever note attached
     Velvet pouches filled with potpourri
     Small flasks of mead or fruit wine
     Tickets to a local Ren. faire (you might get a group rate)
From: (Barbara J. Carter)
* You could buy flower seeds (in bulk) and have a print shop
print up medieval-looking envelopes for the seeds, maybe with
your SCA arms or a picture of a happy couple in medieval dress.
* You could print up parchment scrolls, maybe with a love sonnet
or just a medieval-sounding "hear-ye" kind of announcement.
Roll up and tie with ribbons.
* Gold-foil-wrapped chocolate "coins", custom imprinted with a
suitably medieval-looking phrase.
* For the sewing-machine set, you could make miniature (or
full-sized) "jester's caps" out of parti-colored fabric in the
wedding colors.  Jingle bells on the tips add a special touch,
and then the guests can ring their bells to get the newlyweds to
kiss (instead of tapping their glasses).  You could even require
that someone "cut a caper" or tell a joke in order to get you to
* For those more interested in fantasy stuff: glass hand-blown
unicorns or other little figurines of glass or pewter (elves,
wizards, etc) can be fun little keepsakes, though this might get
From: (Kris Jachens)
How 'bout ribbon rosettes?  I'd think any of the things that
people wear and give each other as friendship tokens at Faire
would be appropriate.  I like the rosettes because they can be
as simple or as ornate as you like, can be made pretty easily,
and could be relatively inexpensive if you can catch sales at
craft fabric stores.
From: Ulrika O'Brien 
How about hand-made pomanders?  Take a small citrus fruit
(tangerine, perhaps), tie it up with appropriate ribbons, and,
with a bow at the top, also make a wrist loop of ribbon so that
wedding attendants can wear the pomander if they wish, then
pierce the skin of the fruit that's still exposed between the
ribbons with whole cloves to cover.  The pomander should dry out
over time to make a keepsake, and they smell wonderful fresh.
A bit expensive to do for more than the main wedding party,
though, unless it's a small wedding (it takes a lot of cloves).
From: Dawn Marie Neuhart 
We are having little brass bells. They are about 3 inches high
and are really cute. We're putting ribbons in our colors (one
thermographed with our names on one end and the date on the
other) on them as well. We thought that people could ring them
instead of clanging their glasses. They were very inexpensive
too, the bells were $1 each, and the ribbon was .50 for 8 yards,
and the thermography was $12 for 50 of them.
From: Jeneen Burton 
I did a little thank you scroll and rolled it up with a gold
ring around it.  I bought some parchment paper to print it on
and used my laser printer.
From: (none)
Scrolls for weddings are usually about 4" by 6" and are rolled
up and held together with fake gold/silver bands or rings that
you can purchase at just about any craft store.
From: Lisa R Kouvolo 
I think that a parchment scroll done in Canterbury font (like
the old-style block printing done when the monks first started
making printed books) would be nice.
From: Kirsti Thomas 
In the late Renaissance and Elizabethan periods, one gave
leather gloves to all the guests.  Nosegays might be an idea
too. (I've seen many, many references to rosemary being carried
at late period weddings.)
From: Dawn Marie Neuhart 
I saw some little plastic "glass" slippers in the craft store.
[For people having a medieval fantasy wedding] you could fill
them up with Hershey's kisses or something.
From: (ChrisAnthony)
My favors are going to be small (4 inch diameter) grapevine
wreaths decorated with dried flowers. I'm putting the place
cards in the center so they will do double-duty.
From: "D. Peters" 
I would suggest bags of confits (hard candies popular among the
Elizabethans).  "Dining with William Shakespeare" discusses the
Elizabethan fondness for these goodies (ever wonder why QEI had
black teeth?) and mentions, if I remember correctly, that bags
of confits might be given out at the end of a feast or exchanged
amongst friends.
From: (Anna Welborne)
We used ribbons to define the alliances of families.  For
example, those of the bride's side wore small ribbons of pink
and white. Those of the groom's wore green and cream.  Many have
told me they have kept the ribbons as Christmas ornaments - just
tiny streamers.  It was neat for our families.  One would see to
which side they belonged & then inquire about the relationship.
We distributed the ribbons at the guest register. One person was
totally responsible for explaining the tradition and helping to
pin the ribbons on.  We got the idea from the fact that brides
were sometimes stripped at the altar by the men getting favors.
We found a picture of a girl worshipping the Virgin Mary
(presumably before her nuptials), and her sleeves and bodice
were totally be-ribboned to avoid being stripped.
From: Lisa R Kouvolo 
I've seen Christmas decorations shaped like lutes that could be
decorated in one's wedding colors.  They could be purchased at
an after-Christmas sale from one of those all-Christmas stores.
From: Lisa Livingston 
I was perusing a book called Crafting with Lace and it spoke
about the history of Lace making and just how valuable lace was
during the time of Catherine of Aragon, Catherine de Medici,
Elizabeth I, etc.  It then occured to me that favors made with
lace would not then be out of character for a Medieval wedding.
So, lace "pockets" filled with Chocolate (for a Medieval Spain
themed wedding) would work or Potpourri for an Tudor English
wedding.  Anything trimmed with lace would also work, like
handkerchiefs or scarves.  The more lace you could afford to
give away, the wealthier you would be in those lace
makes a nice gift for wedding guests.
>From Beth (
My sister made the favors.  She started with small candles (6"
tapers).  Each candle had a piece of lace wrapped around it and
tied into a bow.  A small piece of baby's breath was tied into
the bow.  These were done in my wedding colors (pink candles
with white lace).  They looked very nice and were quick to make.
From: Lisa Livingston 
You could make chocolate favors in the shape of dragons or
castles, though you might need to cast the molds for these
yourself...which is going to be the tricky part.  Some rubber
stamps have dragons etc on them which can serve as a template,
but you would have to make a mold from it that would be
chocolate resistant.
From: Lisa Livingston 
There are several small ribbon embroidery kits with dragons and
castles as are there books with Celtic designs.  With ingenuity,
a bookmark or some small keepsake could be made from these.
Handkerchiefs would be appropriate, too.  Put the family coat of
arms (or something) on it and make your guests swear fealty to
you.  BTW, if you go the embroidery route, best leave a lot of
time or hold the guest list down.
My friend had bookmarks made to give to guests. She had a friend
who's a graphic designer create a logo for their wedding. A bit
over the top for me, personally, but it added a sort of unified
theme to the celebration and all the printed material (program,
invites, thank yous).
From: (SUE)
I sent away to all the invitation companies for favor ideas. I
really liked the bookmarks but, at $60 for 100, forget it. I went
into coreldraw (or any other drawing program) and designed quite
easily 5 bookmarks per page. Then went into mailboxes and 
photocopied it onto 60 pound cover stock paper in antique gold
(about .20/page). We cut them, punched a hole in them and put
gold macrame cord ($1/whole roll) on them for a tassle. All in
all, we spent $5 including tax. And we got to pick our own verse,
our own script, our own design (which matches the invitation, 
thank-yous, wedding scroll), our own colour and we get to tell
people we made them ourselves. Incidently, we are using the extra
cord to wrap the wedding ceremony program into a scroll.
How about lavendar stems shaped into a heart shape?  I like this
idea because lavendar is a symbol of luck, and if you pack it
away with your winter clothes, it is supposed to keep the bugs
My fiance and I checked out a place called "The Sequin Garden"
located in Carlstadt, NJ. They do personalized favors.  If you
go there with a unusual or specific idea, they will check their
sources and make up something for you. Right now they're in the
process of checking on medieval-looking ornaments for us to give
 out as favors.  When we were there last time, they showed us an
ornament they made for Christmas (approximately $6.50). It was a
gold cherub with dried flowers glued to it.
At my friend's Renaissance-style wedding, the reception was
themed as a masked ball (so the family and friends could wear
any costume they wanted).  There were enough masks on each table
that everyone could wear one and take it home as a keepsake.
From:  ???????????????????
I have friends who are potters and threw 250 mugs for their
favors. I was lucky enough to get some of the leftovers, which I
use everyday for my morning tea. Obviously not everyone can do
this, but I thought it was a neat, off beat idea.
From: (Rachel Goodstein)
We're hopefully going to have mugs with our names and the
wedding date on it.  i figure mugs are something people can use.
DO NOT get them from an invitations specialist 'cause they are a
LOT more money..we are going through a business for companies.
From: whh@PacBell.COM (Wilson Heydt)
Lord Iulstan Sigewealding and his lady, Juturna the Musical,
were married at the end of June. As a very nice touch for the
wedding feast, they got a lot of wooden plates for the feast and
then gifted them to the wedding guests afterwards.
From: ()
The best idea I've seen so far is a nicely decorated bushel
basket full of different color and scent votive candles,
stationed by the table with the guest book and place cards.
Guests can take a candle as they enter or leave the reception.
From: (Los Trancos Systems)
We are both crazy about candles and even have some candle making
equipment. Hence, we are going to make small candles in a
meaningful shape to give as favors.   Can make them months in
From: (Chris Petersen)
For my wedding this June, my mom is making the favors.  We came
up with small, ivory. beeswax candles tied with a purple ribbon
and an attached card that has our names and the date.  The
candles are easy to make and apparently not expensive.  The wax
is available in all sorts of colors at craft shops in sheets
that you cut to whatever size you want and roll around the wick
to make a candle.  Mom says they're really quick to make; she's
making them about 4" tall, and we're tying them in pairs, both
on the same wick to symbolize the unity of the marriage.
From: ()
I bought 70 kazoos and to each one affixed a small label that
said:  Mike and Nirah - March 25th 1995 (The labels were mailing
return address labels, printed on clear plastic.  There are
several companies that will gleefully print these up for you
(they cost about $5 for a couple of hundred) that regularly
advertise in the coupon sections of the Sunday paper)  I am
handing these out instead of rice after the ceremony.  I would
much rather be serenaded than pelted with grain.
>From (barter,elizabeth)
I went to a wedding once where the favors were personalized
kazoos, yo-yos and spinning tops (I think the groom's brother
owned a toy business). It was great fun, especially when one of
the tables seranaded the B&G on the kazoos.
From: (Johanna Colgrove)
We made the food for our wedding, mostly by ourselves but with 
lots of help from friends. For a favor, I put all the recipes 
for the food in a cookbook.  It was 4 pieces of paper, folded in
half, with some simple clip art on the front and with our names 
and date on it.  Our print shop copied, folded and stapled them 
for us. I think they worked out to be about 50 cents each.  We 
made 75 copies for 150 guests and ended up with a few leftover.
Hopefully when they make something from the cookbook, they'll 
think of the fun they had at our wedding.  (BTW, this solved 
another dilemma for us as well. We have friends with various 
dietary restrictions and allergies and, this way, they could 
peruse the cookbook before going through the buffet and decide 
which things they could eat.)
From: (Q2 USA)
In my experience, favors at weddings are a relatively recent
addition.  They probably became popular because people got tired
of the common personalized matches (with the social climate
becoming smoke-prohibitive, especially).  I don't think that
these matchbooks were even meant as favors originally- they were
just a nice touch for the smoking guests to use at the wedding.
From: (Selene Herself)
Remember, favors are not required at all. They are more
meaningful to people if they see a connection to you somehow.

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