Ashley & Justin's royal renaissance wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015

We've seen this historically-inspired couple in a Monday Montage! Now we've got the full story of how these renaissance kids got hitched.

Photos by Laura Linder Photography and Paul and Ellie Photography

The offbeat bride: Ashley, Domestic Engineer with a side helping of student and crafty genius (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Justin, Business Owner

Location & date of wedding: Papillion American Legion, Papillion, Nebraska — September 25, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We had a renaissance theme, with a bit of pirate thrown in. Instead of exchanging rings, which we already wore, we exchanged crowns. We also had crown girls instead of a ring bearer. Everyone in the wedding party wore renaissance costumes, and some of our guests did as well. We only spent $2500 on the whole thing.



Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was my favorite part of the whole day. We started out with vows that we both wrote to one another and did a hand blessing ceremony. Instead of exchanging rings, one of us kneeled at a time and a crown was placed on the other's head while we repeated the following, "With this crown I name thee King/Queen of my heart. None other shall rule there so long as we both draw breath."


Our biggest challenge: One challenge was that it seemed as if people were downplaying the importance of the day because we had already made it official at a courthouse prior to the celebration. It was the source of some stress for me. But I told myself to put on my big girl panties and realized that it doesn't matter what the heck they were all saying, it mattered that my husband and I thought it was important.

Wooden flowers!

Another challenge was that a college football game was on that night. I know it sounds crazy, but it's like a religion here. I had to move my wedding date three times because there were games those days. Finally I put my foot down and said, "Enough! I am not changing it again because of a game!" Thankfully, the bar downstairs had a TV and people got to watch the game.


Distracted groomsman is distracted.


My favorite moment: The most meaningful part of the whole day was the ceremony. Everything was a blur except for that. That was the one time I got to focus on my husband and the words we said to each other.


My funniest moment: Watching everyone get down and dirty in their renaissance gowns and doublets was very funny.

Another moment was when my husband was reading his vows. I went first and made it through without crying. But he was a mess. So I picked up my feather fan around the waist of my dress and started fanning him. His tears got me choked up, and I had to turn the fan on myself to try and chase away those tears. It was pretty funny.


Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? It ended up raining the morning of the wedding. I was in a panic since we were supposed to have the ceremony outside. Instead we moved it indoors, which I was sure would be a disaster since we had nothing to stand under.

One of my photographers, who happens to be my best friend, came to the rescue. She brought out one of her backgrounds and decorated it with peacock feathers and tulle. It was beautiful. It did end up clearing up so we could take pictures outside though.


My advice for offbeat brides: Delegate! If you have people that will help, let them. Have a go-to person for anyone who has questions. This was one of my only regrets. I had people asking me questions left and right. It stressed me out a bit, but my mom stepped in as a barrier eventually.

Also, sleep the night before. I barely did and was exhausted and ready to go home by 8:30 the night of the reception. It is a long, exhausting day. Make sure you eat, stay hydrated, and try to savor each and every moment.



Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

    • Well we could have moved it to the next weekend, but my friends (who are Rennies!) had a faire the next weekend, so they wouldn't have been there. Sometimes you just have to suck it up. LOL. We had a tv downstairs. People just went up and down the stairs as necessary. And I got to party down!

  1. This is awesome! And OMG I got sooooo excited when I saw this came out of Papio! (or even NE at all!). Awesome wedding!

    • Thank you!! Finding a place that worked was a pain..especially seeing all of the awesome places that other places historical buildings and what not. But I loved how our wedding came out. It was awesome to me. ^.^

  2. Yay Nebraska wedding–congrats! I'm not originally from here, so the football issue makes me SO MAD. Really, friends and family, you can't put football aside for one day? (Not yours, just in general.) It looks like it was a lovely day for you!!

  3. Coming from Iowa, I absolutely and totally sympathize with you because of the football thing. We've definitely had family events that were shuffled around/rescheduled/interrupted by football! I'm glad you put your foot down (and that no one tried to sneak a TV into your beautiful ceremony!)

  4. i'm totally doing wooden flowers for my wedding. I found them on Etsy. its such a better option than real. Your whole wedding looks like a blast. I always wish i could have been at the featured weddings…and yours especially. 🙂

  5. FOOTBALL. AUGH. Getting married this October in North Platte, NE, and let. me. tell. you. I asked my future sis-in-law what would happen if we scheduled the wedding on a game day. "You'd have people not come." !! As a Hoosier transplant, I wasn't sure what to think, but we scheduled it on the only Sat. in Oct. that didn't have a game. THEN the leagues all switched around and suddenly our date had a game on it. Keeping it though and making sure a TV's available 😀

  6. I want to have a themed wedding and have no idea how to encourage people to dress up/participate. How should the wording be on the invitation? Any suggestions?

  7. This is awesome! And I got so excited when I saw these pictures.Your whole wedding looks like a rock. I always wish i could have been at the featured weddings…and yours especially. Awesome wedding! 🙂

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