The Tallest Tower Guide to a Castle & Medieval Wedding
The romance and grandeur of castles have always set my heart fluttering as I think about knights in armor with their enormous swords and even bigger plates. The heavy clunks of their mail as they walk across a wooden moat, showing off their circular shield strapped to their forearm as they pass by guards…. I might like knights as castles a lot.
Even in an age in which no traditional fortified castle has been built or used for at least five hundred years, society is still captivated by the symbol of a stone structure with parapets and pointed towers and dungeons.
Still, castles have become more of a building style taken up during the Tudor period up until the late Victorian era as big mansions and palaces for wealthy people. We have two types of castles which exist today, and maybe you want to have a wedding at one of them?
A castle is an excellent venue for a wedding and is even better if you want to dress it up like a Medieval-themed marriage. You can dress up as knights or royalty, have plenty of swords, and mead. The options are endless; today, we will present this guide on a castle and Medieval weddings!
The Tradition of Medieval Weddings
The couple's class defined weddings during the Medieval times with royal weddings being lavish, spending way too much gold on the extravagant event performed at a church. Couples performed most marriages at a religious center that was often a chapel with a priest who led the ceremony. Those of humble upbringing spent minimal money on the event and had few after-party celebrations before heading back to work.
Those of lower classes often had more freedom about who they married, often for love, although dowries would be much smaller if any. The downside to their piece of the pie was they had little to spend on celebrating their union.
The affluent married for political gains between nobility, and marriage was rarely for love. They could make the most of their riches by spending large for their ‘special day’ as they had significant stage events, colossal guest lists, and stupidly grand feasts.
One of the unique rituals of a Medieval wedding was the blessing of the Nuptial bed. When the bride and groom were married, they would be dressed in bedclothes, and event attendees would gather in their blessed bedroom. A priest would lay flowers on their bed, blessing it to clean the bride of all previous sexual encounters to present her fresh for her new husband. Then everyone would leave the couple for the rest of the evening.
For a Traditional Church-Wedding Check out: The Ultimate Traditional Church Wedding Guide – Thorum
How to Dress
If you consider yourself a more adventurous, hardy couple, you might want to dress in Medieval armor. This can be in a complete set of ‘gothic’ style armor with metal clanging plates and a pointy helmet to complete the look, or be a bit more conservative with a surcoat over chainmail (as shown in the picture above). You could make both types of knightwear stand out with a cloak and your family sigil with a sheathed sword at your side.
For a peasantry or royal castle wedding, you can dress without the hard metals and find soft flowing materials such as silk (for the rich) or wool and linen (for the average person).
For men, trousers and tunics are sufficient wear decorated with leather boots, perhaps even a felted hat or linen chapeau, and finished with a leather belt and cloak.
Women wore robes and dresses, which were long tunics, eventually transforming into their unique garment varieties. These were either sleeveless or long and adorned with simple designs depending on the wearer's status. They also wore head coverings, long pointed hats, and simple veils to keep their long hair under wraps.
For their weddings, they would wear their best clothes, most often made of expensive fabrics of silk or velvets. They finished this with jewellery which included rings, bangles and necklaces.
Check out: A History of Rings – Thorum
For your wedding, you should scope out the perfect castle location if you have the option to be picky about a castle. Of course, if you don’t live in Europe, your choice of castle venue will be heavily reduced, but be sure to explore all options before you home in on one.
Firstly, if you can have an outside wedding in a castle, it will allow you to take in the full view of the old man. The spirits of the past will become alive as you celebrate what has come before and what is still to come in a new chapter of your love story.
I would recommend having a mixture of interior and exterior events as part of the wedding if it is a nice day as you can explore the bells of medieval life whilst also enjoying great views. Of course, the photos will be excellent as well!
Imagine having a sword fight on your wedding day outside a castle. You can live a childhood dream whilst also celebrating love. And walking the walls at the top of a castle at sunset is also soooooo romantic.
With most weddings, we highly recommend embracing the theme with decoration. Even if the guests don't need to dress up and want a simple wedding with minimal affairs, you can still bling this place out.
You can start by thinking about what is ‘Medieval’ and go from there. The obvious is to get suits of armor, followed by candles, swords, crowns, and even a dragon here and there. Castles that do weddings often will relieve this stress and will have some helpful pointers to glam up your castle wedding.
A castle wedding will not be too out of the ordinary for the everyday running of a modern wedding; however, if you want to add some medieval traditions into the mix, that is when things can truly become something… unexpected.
Firstly, peasant weddings were less formal than royal ones and might not have even had witnesses or priests present. Sometimes, an oath between two people in a pub was enough for them to be ‘officially’ married.
Royal weddings were over-the-top, pompous, vast, and loud events that the kingdom would hear about. The bride and groom would dress expensively, and each action would be dramatic. It would be in the biggest castle with the brightest candles, with gold adorning every surface. The bride would come via golden carriage whilst her husband stood up the aisle.
Banquets were where Medieval weddings could stand out. You could genuinely amaze your guests if you were wealthy with strange food from distant lands or obscene sculptures of food that could be eaten but were for show only.
Food consisted of many types of meat, including boars and chickens, often hunted by the people who put on the event. For greens, there would be a staple of pottage complimented with lots of ale, wine, cheese and bread.
During the banquet, the bride and groom would sit on a raised platform above their guests at their long table, whilst the rest would sit on long tables on the ground below.
The benefits of a castle wedding come from the many experiences you can have basked in the halls and yards of old beauty. Photos are a way of capturing these little moments for the rest of your lives. So, it is essential to consider what photos you would like.
One idea is to have a night shoot to take advantage of the light and dark contrasts of the architectural shadows and elements of the castle and have you as the centrepiece as a part of your castle love story.
Another is to take advantage of daytime shadows in dusty, cobwebbed corridors or delve into the depths of dungeons. There is soo much history, and you can be a part of it even in some small way.
A must-have if you are thinking about entertainment is to have medieval-themed events. These could include:
- Snail racing
- Sparing with swords
And even if you don’t go hard out with swords or snails, you can still take a step back in time as you hire a band with a sound that mirrors the Medieval ball or quaint tavern. This could include instruments such as a harp, flute, or drum. Then if you desire a singer, you could have a bard that sings songs of your epic quests before you found true love.
Rings Fit for Royalty
We have touched on the fact that rings were a popular way people cemented their love with one another during Medieval times. Rings were often a sign of wealth, and the poorer couples might not have had rings at all, and if they did, they would have been made of cheap materials like wood. Instead, the wealthy wore rings of metals (gold, silver and bronze) and many loved to decorate these with precious gems (rubies, sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds).
A king would have worn a ring that signified his wealth and status as a king and lord. Therefore, he needed a ring for marriage that encompassed this role in society and highlighted his regal nature. If a man wants to become the king of his castle for his wedding, then he may want to consider a wedding ring like these:
- The King | Black Diamond Wedding Ring | Thorum
- The Odin | Black Wedding Band | Thorum
- The Lionheart | Whiskey Barrel Wood Wedding Ring | Thorum
- The T-Rex | Dinosaur Bone Ring | Thorum
For a Queen and lady of the castle, she held just as much power and social responsibility as her lordly husband. So her rings needed to show this high ranking whilst also being beautiful and elegant. For the Queen on the castle at her wedding, she may want to consider wedding rings such as these:
- The Medusa | Black CZ Diamond Ring | Thorum
- The Aphrodite | Rose Gold Women's Wedding Ring | Thorum
- The Valkyrie | 18k Pavé Rose Gold Cubic Zirconia Ring | Thorum
- The Victoria | Pavé Zirconia Ring | Thorum
If I were ever to get married and needed a theme, the castle-themed wedding would be my first pick. I love swords and regal knights as they have a quality that screams romance. Perhaps we hope that if we wear these costumes, we will experience a fairy tale with a fresh start to a new life with our partner as we too hope for our own ‘happy ever after’.
You might also like:
- The Ultimate Traditional Church Wedding Guide – Thorum
- What is the RING in Elden Ring? – Thorum
- The Ultimate Indian-Inspired Wedding Guide! – Thorum
- How to have a Spooky Themed Halloween Wedding – Thorum
- How to do a Virtual Marriage – Thorum
- The Ultimate Sci-fi Wedding Guide! – Thorum
- How to mix up tradition for your LGBTQ+ Wedding – Thorum
- How to Wed Like a Viking – Thorum