Amanda & Ian's fairy tale Renaissance wedding

By on Jul. 26th

The offbeat bride: Amanda, Physical Therapy Tech

Her offbeat partner: Ian, Nurse

Date and location of wedding: Sherwood Forest Renaissance Faire, McDade, Texas — March 31, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I wanted a "fairy tale" wedding, so we held it at the Sherwood Forest Renaissance Faire. We've both enjoyed these events for years, and when the option was raised in planning we both jumped at it. While the venue was provided, the decorations weren't. Almost every item seen in the photos that isn't a structure or an actor was either made or altered in some way by ourselves or our friends. This made the event seem truly personal to us.

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Our friends and family went all in, from helping with flower arrangements and decorations, to many of our friends hunting down period garb to add to the ambiance.

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Tell us about the ceremony: The musicians provided by the park were excellent: a flautist and a hammered dulcimer player. I arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. Employees of the faire showed up to mill about the venue and add flavor. We kept our guest list to immediate family and our closest friends. The vows were traditional and short enough that I didn't have time to ruin my makeup with any tears. We were presented as "Lord and Lady" to the congregation, and knights in armor lined the aisle to provide a sword-drawn recessional as we made our exit.

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Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was a broken leg. You see, we had originally planned a very different wedding. Something much more traditional. A week before that wedding I fell from a low curb and broke my leg. So we cancelled the first wedding. Three months on crutches and two surgeries later, we were ready to get married again. It turned out okay though, because if I hadn't broken my leg, we wouldn't have ended up with the storybook ending that we had. Our challenge let us sit down and think about what we really wanted.

My favorite moment: I loved that my son Jon took part in the ceremony as our ring bearer. One of the things we both enjoyed the most was the time after the wedding and reception. We had the opportunity to grab our photographer and a few of our closest friends and go exploring in the renaissance faire. I'll always remember that our first dance was alone under the trees.

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My funniest moment: Eight bottles of mead were opened for us and ready at the reception. My husband's family doesn't drink. My family doesn't drink mead. We couldn't leave the park with it. It fell to my husband and our small wedding party to… "dispose" of it before nightfall.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The food. We expected sausage on a stick and turkey legs. Fortunately, the chef at the on site restaurant we used heard about the broken leg fiasco and decided any kind of leg might be unwelcome. Instead we had salad with wild flowers, jasmine rice, and chicken stuffed with parmesan and crab.

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The cake was not what would normally be provided by the faire either, but was instead the chef's own creation. We had no idea what to expect from any of it, but it was some of the best eats either of us ever had. Even now, months later, we still have wistful conversations about that meal.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: Be honest with yourself about what you can actually accomplish in the time given. Even with a planner and a load of friends doing the majority of the work, there was a huge amount for us to do. If not for long-suffering friends and family, we would never have gotten it done on time.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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