Amber & Marshall's faerie-infused Renaissance wedding

By on Dec. 13th Photos by Gwendolyn Mayfield

The Offbeat Bride: Amber, Chemist (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Marshall

Date and location of wedding: Colorado Renaissance Festival, Larkspur, Colorado — July 13, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The more we talked and bounced ideas off each other for the wedding, the more we realized the Colorado Renaissance Festival was the venue we wanted. I introduced Marshall to it and ever since, we've been hooked. There would be a full buffet with turkey legs, and then jousting, bagpipers, and faeries!

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Except for the wedding party, we left it up to the guests to decide if they wanted to dress up or not. The day itself was wonderful and fairly relaxed. It wasn't so much due to my planning as it was the festival having weddings down to a fine art. They got us to where we needed to be when we needed to be there.

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One of the highlights of the day, that I was worried would be cheesy, was getting a blessing from Queen Anne, and Marshall being knighted by King Henry VIII. Instead, it was a bit of magic. There were two other couples celebrating marriages that day, and all the men were knighted by the King. Just prior to the knighting, King Henry gave a touching speech about a knight's love for his lady, and how it is the most important thing to protect. Queen Anne came around and gave each of us a rose bud to remember the love we have as it was just starting to blossom.

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At the end of the day, we attended the joust with all the nobility. It was really fun being behind the scenes with all the actors at the festival. It started to rain just before we went out and the princess loaned me her parasol to use when we during our parade to the dias. One thing that meant a lot to us was that our photographer and her husband stayed to get some pictures of the joust, totally after their contracted time was over!

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Tell us about the ceremony:
We had our parents give their blessing instead of giving me away. A dear friend of mine from college sang two songs for us ("Scarborough Faire" and "Ghost of a Rose" by Blackmore's Night). Another good friend of ours did a reading from Stardust by Neil Gaiman.

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Our "ring knight" guarded the rings during the ring warming ceremony. We also did a rose ceremony. Marshall found some gold plated roses for us to use during the ceremony and keep on our mantle afterwards.

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Our biggest challenge:
Two days before the wedding, I got a Facebook message from Marshall's brother telling us he wouldn't be able to make it. Everyone was disappointed because most of the family hasn't seen him in years. But Marshall asked his Dad to fill in as best man. My father-in-law had an absolute blast at the wedding, and I think (and hope) he enjoyed the role.

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My favorite moment:

  • Amber: I loved spending time with my best friend and nieces as we got our hair braided. I also really appreciated my Uncle Bill giving an impromptu toast to honor our celtic heritage after he found out that Marshall bought me a plot of land in Scotland as my wedding present. I also loved getting to spend some time with my dad before the walk up to the chapel since I am a huge daddy's girl.
  • Marshall: I loved the part where she said "yes!" and when our folks stood up with us for the family blessing.

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My funniest moment:
My Uncle Ron is the family photographer, and I was worried about him taking pictures and getting in my photographers' way (plus, our unplugged ceremony didn't work out so well). Thankfully, he was mostly out of the way. At one point during the ceremony though, I looked up at Marshall and over his shoulder I see my uncle through the little window that was on the side of the chapel… in a tree!

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When it came time for the knighting ceremony and we were greeting one of the other couples that got married, I noticed the groom's boutonniere was pretty cool. It was a folded paper flower like ours! Then I looked closer, and it was one of ours! At some point he had come over and nabbed a flower! I thought it was hilarious and a compliment.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Talk with your venue about the day-of details. I wish I had discussed a few more details with our day-of coordinator, especially about timing. I wasn't prepared for toasts (which no one missed, and my uncle took care of), and I feel like we missed some great time with our photographer. I also didn't have an idea of timing to give to the photographers, so portraits ended up being a little rushed towards the end of their contracted time. That is the only regret I really have.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!