The offbeat bride: Cecilie, Archaeologist (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Robert, IT technician
Date and location of wedding: The Nykoebing-Falster Medieval Centre, Denmark — September 8, 2012
our offbeat wedding at a glance: We are both huge history geeks since he likes famous warriors and I love material culture. Our wedding was wrapped up in a magical medieval madness, and every detail was all about history.
Robert came as a knight with chain mail, cape, and sword, while I wore a green linen dress, flowers in my hair, and a golden cross hanging around my neck. The fact that we rented a medieval museum, including their tavern which takes pride in serving original food, made it easy to set the scene. I made us both a crest that played on our personalities, like dragons and unicorns, and the tables were decorated with nothing but candles and whatever could be found in the woods that day.
Tell us about the ceremony: We got married by the lake at the museum, and wrote the ceremony ourselves. My dad spoke to us about marriage, which meant a lot to me. We also sang two songs, one of which was my favorite when I was a little girl. It's a tale of a knight who meets a maiden and asks her to marry him.
I had no reservations about keeping religion out of it, since in early medieval times a marriage was binding simply if a man and a woman made each other a promise of eternal love before a witness. Robert is an atheist, and even though I am a pagan, I didn't feel like mixing it into the wedding.
Our biggest challenge: Our two main challenges were budget and theme. We didn't have a lot of money to spend, but because I did so much DIY, like invitations and place cards, it wasn't a problem. Having a medieval theme and wanting to make it look truly historic required a lot of research, but it was a fun challenge that gave wedding planning a new dimension.
My favorite moment: The wedding was made extra special because of all the people who had contributed, and I loved seeing everything put together. My dad brewed a strawberry champagne in his basement, my mum altered the dress and made my bouquet and flower wreath. A cousin of mine did my hair and makeup, while my mother-in-law baked the wedding cake. The little linen pouches with rice or flower petals were my sister's doing.
My funniest moment: The whole day was very casual and fun, but I was so surprised when my old granddad got up and danced with me. He is an old-school ballroom dancer kind of guy, but he got up and did a completely cool Pulp Fiction-style dance to a '60s song with me. I'll never forget that.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was excited and nervous to see what the reaction would be from our guests when they found out about the theme. Some guests were worried they had to dress up in costume, although we just told everyone to come wearing whatever they wanted. But in the end, almost everyone dived into the medieval experience, and only a couple of guests did not come in costume. My aunt even wrote us a song using an old Danish medieval tune.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Don't stress out, if you can avoid it. I got so sick during the main course because all of the previous weeks of planning came crashing down on me, and I had to take a nap to get better. Just make sure you aren't stressing about things that are less important. You won't be able to enjoy your wedding if you are dizzy and nauseous from stress.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? I really learned how much our families love and care for us and wanted to contribute to our wedding. Ask your family if they want to help you. My family took pride in helping with whatever skills they had, like sewing, baking, and styling.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Emil Rye
- Dress: Arm Street, which we altered with gold string, sleeves, and pearls
- Circlet: Dwarvesong
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!