Katrina & Brandon's princess and pirate Renaissance wedding

May 5 |
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Photos by Jen Sulak, Pink Light Images

The offbeat bride: Katrina, cook

Her offbeat partner: Brandon, retail manager

Location of wedding: Scarborough Renaissance Festival, Waxahachie, TX

What made our wedding offbeat: Brandon and I have both always loved the Renaissance faire. While visiting the faire the previous year, we decided on getting married — we even bought our puzzle wedding rings there. It just made sense that if we had this much fun at the Ren Faire every year, why not make our wedding this much fun? Not to mention, it was a great excuse to buy that dress!

12Our families thought we were CRAZY when we told them our plans. There was especially some grumbling when they all figured out they had to wear costumes! But they did it anyway and there weren't too many complaints. I even got my dad to wear tights! (He must really love me.)

My side of the wedding party dressed as royalty, with my dad and his girlfriend as the King and Queen and my bridesmaids as my ladies in waiting.

10The groom's side and the ushers went as pirates — complete with the cutest little pirate ring bearer ever carrying our rings in a tiny treasure chest — and my father-in-law as a spectacular Pirate King.

Our reception included music by hammered dulcimer, a visit from the King and Queen, a sword fight, programs written on scrolls, lots of mead, and a cake shaped like a pirate ship (which we cut with a sword).

We spent the rest of the day riding an elephant, getting a henna tattoo, fighting off an ogre guarding a bridge, and engaging in some "newlywed couples therapy" by playing King of the Log.

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18Tell us about the ceremony: Our ceremony was preformed by a Scarborough employee, Craig Jacobs, dressed as the High Magistrate of Scarborough Village.

Since I'm Pagan, we really wanted to incorporate a small portion of my religion into the ceremony without it raising all sorts of questions from well-meaning relatives and co-workers. We decided to do a handfasting, with a gorgeous cord we bought at a shop in Scarborough. Craig even had us cross our hands as we linked them in a knot pattern to further symbolize the way we were being joined together.

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Our programs, which listed off our wedding party by "Official" titles such as Captain Brandon Matthew Owens, Queen Robin Hutchings, and Lady Sarah Regnold, also included the story of how we met and fell in love in high school, modified to fit in with the time period and our roles as Captain and Princess. It began "Once upon a time, in a far away kingdom in Pomona, California…"

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34Our biggest challenge: It was SO HOT! At one point during the reception I had to sit down and polish off about eight water bottles before I collapsed! Thank the gods for bodice chillers (small metal vials filled with ice inserted between the bossums, provided by a drink vendor on the condition that he got to insert them)! We also gave out pretty wooden fans from Oriental Trading Company as favors.

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08My favorite moment: The most meaningful moment for me oddly came the morning of the wedding. After a stressful, sleep-deprived night before, my bridesmaids and I stumbled down to the hotel lobby for a quick breakfast, to be greeted by one of the ushers bearing doughnuts and a note from my groom. He told me how much he loved me, how all the stress would be worth it, and that he couldn't wait to see me walking down the aisle. It reminded me to take a deep breath and remember what the point of all this madness was, and that the day was going to be wonderful. Plus, there were doughnuts! :-)

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30My funniest moment: When the minister asked "Who gives this woman?" my dad thought I looked a little nervous and needed a good laugh, so he responded with "I do, along with the Federation and the crew of the Mothership."

King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn arrived at our reception to give Brandon and me a toast, but Brandon was no where to be found! I explained to them and the party at large that after 15 minutes of marriage I had already lost my husband! Queen Anne suggested I should choose a replacement husband from the variety of strapping young Royal Guards they had brought with them. I was just about to start auditioning replacement husbands when Queen Anne saw Brandon returning from the bathroom and yelled for him to hurry because someone was stealing his bride! He charged into the reception pavilion, guns blazing, ready to defend me from the onslaught of handsome men.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were anticipating massive headaches when it came to convincing our family and friends to go along with the costumes, but as soon as they tried them on, the beautiful outfits magically brought out everyone's inner geek. They had so much fun getting dressed up! My dad said by the end of the day he was really getting used to people bowing down to him.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Don't let your wedding be a big expensive party thrown for the benefit of everyone else! Make it into something you'll have a ball at, and don't feel the need to spend more money because you think your guests will expect it.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: Pink Light Images!!! Our pictures almost speak for themselves, but seriously, if you're in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you HAVE to hire Jen Shu. She was just phenomenal! Plus, Jen and the cake decorators arrived in costume for our wedding!
  • Cake: Renaissance Productions
  • Costumes: Most of them were rented from Costumes By Dusty (aka Suit Your Fancy at their booth at Scarborough). Alan at Costumes By Dusty treated our wedding like costuming a play, and made sure each "character" looked amazing. For instance, we had pictured my father-in-law as Keith Richard's character in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Alan rented the movie, rooted through his inventory, and delivered Kieth Richards!
  • Hair: Twisted Sisters
  • Rings: Renaissance Rings, which we bought at Scarborough. They are actual puzzle rings that disassemble when they are taken off, and you have to know the trick to put them back them back together. None of our photographs seem to do them justice, so be sure to check out their website .

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Love this wedding and the story about your hubby charging in with guns blazing to defend you made me smile from ear to ear! :)

    9 agree
  2. my, the pirate captain / father in law rocks!!
    the whole thing is awesome! congrats..

    2 agree
  3. "Who gives this woman?"

    "I do, along with the Federation and the crew of the Mothership."

    Aaaaaand Suz does a spit-take with her coffee. Awesome response, Dad. :)

    What a beautiful wedding – we kicked around the idea of a Ren wedding, too, and I love seeing them… because OMFG the CLOTHES!!!

    Congratulations and best of luck to you.

    5 agree
  4. We are having a pirate / renaissance themed wedding as well and I hope ours turns out at least half as beautiful as yours. Your garb, amazing! I love your pirate king / father in law!! He looked awesome!! And your cakes, outstanding! Congrats!!

    3 agree
  5. There are so many things to squee over, but for now… YOU GOT TO RIDE AN ELEPHANT!

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  6. Congratulations!
    I have to say that I actually 'Awww…'d out loud when I read the story about your beloved sending you a note and doughnuts!

    The whole day looks great and it sounds like everyone had a great time!

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  7. OMFG!!!! about sums it up! I love it! You guys are amazing! The clothes! the cake! the sword! ah, I can't get enough! Best wishes to both of you!

    1 agrees
  8. I love that her husband reminded her that the stress DOES go away after the ceremony. I remind every couple of this..and no one believes me!

    Planning is a lot of thought and effort into one event- your can and will relax afterwards.

    1 agrees
  9. Love everything about this wedding! i want twisted sisters to do my hair but the MN Ren Fest starts the week *after* the wedding… sad

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  10. Awesome wedding, you two look fantastic! Your husband also has good taste in swords – I have that exact same sword myself and we used it for both the photography and cutting of the cake!

    Best wishes for long and happy lives to you both. Woo pirates! :)

    1 agrees
  11. I love this wedding so so so much. I grew up attending Scarborough Faire and I have this secret fantasy of getting married at a Ren Faire. I also feel slightly creepy, because I know exactly where all the pictures were taken!

    Congrats to the happy couple!

    2 agree
  12. i loooooooooooooved shooting this wedding!!!! I even had to "interview" with the groom before being chosen. It was by far one of the funnest weddings i've done…and they were such great sports!!! We all got the chillers for our dresses, because YES it was so hot!!!! The best thing i remember hearing on the phone…"we regret to inform you, you will be BUSY the date of our wedding". hahaha!!!!

    Thanks to my fellow ren faire friend, i borrowed a dress for my costume…and THIS YEAR…i went as a fairy and shot HER wedding too!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhh the LOVE! i love it.

    1 agrees
  13. This is the definition of the only "childhood wedding fantasy" I ever had….but alas I found an Irish farmer not a pirate ;)
    So awesome! And I bet everyone had loads of FUN!! And bosom chiller!?! Why didn't I think of that, its simply genius!!!

    1 agrees
  14. Goooooooorgeous! I had a ren wedding, wish it could have been at the faire I usually attend, but we decided against it. Everything came out amazing in the shots! Love love lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvve!

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  15. This is INCREDIBLE! Your dress, your hubby's pirate outfit, the AMAZING cakes, the rings, the elephant-riding (jealous!!!), the swords, all the swashbuckling and chivalry…just brilliant! You two look like such a fun couple, and the wedding must have been an absolute blast. :D

    Aw, and I just LOVE both your fathers! Your FIL in the Pirate King outfit made me grin from ear-to-ear. And your Dad's joke about the mothership while giving you away was so precious and awesome! Yay for parents getting totally into the festivities!

    1 agrees
  16. Anyone else read the princess and pirate theme and go – hmm, princess bride? Princess buttercup and the dread pirate roberts?

    Maybe not, my geek is showing.

    I've thought about doing a renfaire wedding, but the nearest one to us is either 3 hours drive or another state. We already feel we are asking people to travel so far (10 state)

    I guess we'll have to DYI.

    1 agrees
  17. Awesome royal pirate wedding.

    I loved the part where Captain Brandon came running out of the bathroom ready to take on any man dares to even try to take away his lady love.

    1 agrees
  18. I love this wedding and I love that it's at Scarborough Faire! Scarby is my favorite Ren Fest and it's where I met my husband 10 years ago…*sigh* Everything is wonderful about this wedding :)

    2 agree
  19. I have just been re-living this wedding today…..just so many great details and fun things in these pictures!!!!

    1 agrees

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