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Author Topic: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding (updated 6/7/09)  (Read 15500 times)

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Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding (updated 6/7/09)
« on: February 13, 2009, 08:52:44 PM »
UPDATE 6/7/09: Due to the recession kicking our butts, we have decided to postpone the wedding until we can be back on our feet. Currently, that means indefinitely. Thank you to all those who have replied so far and offered stories, advice, and information. we really do appreciate it and it has helped us to better narrow down what we are looking for and want.

My fiance and I both want to get married at a faire or at very least have a ren faire themed wedding elsewhere. The bottom line right now though is that we are poor and can't afford it just yet. We are planning on paying for all of it ourselves and haven't asked family for help. Our current goal is $20k. Even though the wedding itself is fairly far off, there are still some things I want to ask about now. Any help would be greatly appriciated!

Location: We originally looked at having the wedding and reception at the Texas Renaissance Faire since we were living in San Antonio, TX. However, we just moved to Ooltewah, TN. I found the site for the Tennessee Fair, but they don't have any information on weddings. Does anyone know if they do them? The majority of my family and friends are in California and I have some family in Virginia. His family and friends are in Alabama and Tennessee.

Guests: We sat down and wrote two lists. One is a core group of people we HAVE TO have there (parents, siblings, close friends; 15 people total), and the second is people we would like to be there if we can afford it. The main problem is that no matter where or how the wedding takes place, people will still have to travel to get to us. I have heard so many conflicting things about travel arrangements when it comes to weddings! Do to the bride and groom pay for people to come to their wedding or is it up to the people attending, both tradition and modern speaking? We have heard that since faire weddings are at the faire (duh), they usually get spectators. We personally don't mind the extra witnesses, but we also want to make sure they won't interrupt the wedding (noises, talking, pictures, walking around, etc). I know most people are good about not intruding, but I also don't want people to think we are actors or putting on a show. Anyone have any good ideas about how to avoid that? 

Dress/Costumes: We already plan to tell everyone that is is costume optional, but that it is encouraged. I read in another thread that whether they wear a costume or not, they better make sure it will be comfortable to wear all day at the faire. We plan to include that information too! Nice casual wear, but comfortable wear overall! I already have a dressed picked out. My sister is making the dress itself and then I will be buying the bodice and other pieces to bring it together. That alone will save me $1k or more! The only issue is what my fiance will wear. He is not sure. He has only gone to faire twice in his life (I'm working on it, lol!) and only got his first costume the last time. My sister also offered to make as much of his wedding outfit as she can. He said he is leaning more towards a "noble" look, but has no idea.

My dress: http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-61748549233989_1961_617696

Wedding Ceremony: I am not a religious person in the sense of believing in an all powerful God. My fiance used to be, but has changed since (on his own, not because of me). Some of my family and friends are Christian or Catholic, but open minded. His mom is Mormon and wants us to get married in a  church... I have no idea about what kind of ceremony to have, period! We have seen stuff about hand binding or even "pegan" type ceremonies. We just need to discuss this topic more and see what we feel we want to have. We would have no idea about how to write our own ceremony either. Any guidance or personal stories would be nice!   

Reception: We are currently living with his mom and she lives in a trailer park, so we don't exactly have a yard to party in. We were leaning heavily towards having the reception/party at the faire right after the ceremony. We are completely clueless on how to go about this. I know some faires have wedding packages that include this portion to an extent, or they at very least have the options to use a pub or picnic area. What do you guys suggest? Once again, we don't mind "extra" people around, but we also want to make sure they don't free load on our food and drink.

Misc: Anything else you think I left out! Questions to ask us as well.     
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 06:23:42 PM by Dominic_Deegan »
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Offline Lady Renee Buchanan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 09:30:54 PM »
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.  I don't have too much input to offer you, but we did go to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival over Memorial Day Weekend last May for Rendezvous, and it was extremely hot.  To the point that both days I ended up in First Aid with cold packs around my neck, and on the second day, other visitors ended up there, too (and we had a mini-party while sitting there wearing ice packs).

So if you want to do it at the festival, I'd suggest holding it earlier in the run, when it might be cooler.  When I got married, we lived in Florida, but most of our wedding guests came from New Jersey.  They paid for their own airline tickets and hotel rooms.
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Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 09:39:15 PM »
Thank you, Lady Renee Buchanan!

We also have been trying to figure in the time of year and weather. It seems that most faires are held at the hottest possible time of year. I guess to avoid any rain delays, lol! We originally we planning it for October, but it is not like we have to have it then. Anytime really would be fine. We choose 2010 to give us ample time to save up, hopefully. As for guests accommodations, we also were going to tell them to pay their own way. There are a few people thought that we know won't be able to afford it and we may end up having to pay for them if they really want to come. 
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Offline Tygrkat

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 09:13:53 AM »
Well, first of all, CONGRATULATIONS!  ;D

My husband and I got married at the Sterling Renaissance Festival last summer, and we couldn't have imagined doing anything different!
 
All of his family live here in NY, and all of my family live out of town, so it could have been a logistical nightmare, but surprisingly, things went relatively smoothly. I found a hotel near the thru-way, as most of my out of town guests were driving in (from MI), and reserved a block of rooms.
I found a hotel that didn't charge a deposit to do so (Hampton Inn - and free breakfast too!) and my guests made their own reservations, and paid for their hotel and travel. I did reserve some rooms at less expensive hotel too, so that there was room to accommodate everyone's budget, but no one used them.

We chose Sterling because we LOVE it, and also it was pretty convenient for all of our family and friends, only a few people in Florida couldn't make it because it was too far to travel, and some from MI due to schedule or budget issues.

We ended up having a very intimate ceremony with about 30 guests, and I think much more than that would have been too overwhelming (for me, anyway).

Your gown is going to be stunning! As for your fiance, I am sure there are people here who can point you to excellent resources for men's noble garb. My husband dressed as a pirate captain, (as he always does  :P) but then changed into his regular clothes after the ceremony and some pictures (this is par for the course for him as well - he's garbed for the first hour or two, then he'll go out to the van and change).

You have the right idea for advising your guests. I told mine pretty much the same thing, and everyone had a wonderful time, and most of them had never been to a Renaissance Festival before!  Another important thing to remind folks about is bringing sunblock. Since most Faires are during the warmer months (even when it's not so warm), and everyone will be outdoors a good portion of the day, staying hydrated and frequent applications of sunblock are key to everyone's comfort.

Your situation around your ceremony sounds very similar to ours. My husband and I aren't religious in any traditional sense, but we've got everything from pagans to born-again bible believers in our families, and it was a real challenge to come up with a ceremony that was MOST IMPORTANTLY (to us) true to ourselves, without offending or making anyone feel excluded.
 
We solved it by having my brother-in-law officiate (he was ordained through the Universal Life Church, as am I.) It varies from state to state, and even county to county who may legally perform a marriage, so that will be something to check into once you choose a site. We used the "traditional" framework for the ceremony as laid out in the ginormous family bible we have (which made the ceremony feel familiar and more like a "real" wedding for the more conservative members of our families), but we chose our own readings (poetry, mostly, and tear-jerkingly kind words from my brother-in-law) and I wrote the vows for my husband and I. I kept it simple, and it was much more meaningful to us as it came from our hearts.  Our vows were this:

"I promise to love you, with all that I am, for all that you are, forever and even longer."

We exchanged rings (using the traditional "this ring is a symbol of neverending love, etc" verbiage, minus the God parts), kissed (YAY!) and were presented as Mr & Mrs.

I don't have a copy of the ceremony, but we'll be visiting my sister and brother-in-law in a month or so, so I'll get a copy and pm you the outline if you'd like.

The ceremony was held an hour before opening gate, so even though that was earlier than we would have liked, it did give us the privacy we wanted.

We then had plenty of time to take pictures and roam the grounds ( and do more than a little toasting!) before our reception, which was in the pub. The Faire had a person at the door making sure people coming in were with the wedding party during the two hours blocked off for the reception, again giving us privacy, and then we spent the rest of the day enjoying the Faire and our guests' company. The Faire handled all of the food, drinks, and cakes, all we had to do was choose what we wanted (this may vary depending on the Faire you choose) so it was very easy, and took A LOT of the stress out of planning.

If you have any other questions, feel free to pm me - and again CONGRATS!!!  ;D


*edit to add*

http://midnightgarden.com/wedding/board/index.php  This site may be of help to you as well. It's a forum for people planning medieval and renaissance-themed weddings.

Enjoy, and IHTH!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 09:21:18 AM by Tygrkat »
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Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 04:06:26 PM »
Thank you, Tygrkat!

I already registered at that website just yesterday, but thank you anyway.

I forgot all about the sunscreen! Which we needed last faire as well... I will make sure to add in those vital comfort details to the invitation information when we send them out.

I already know that we will need a fair with hotels very close by and easy to get too. Mainly for my grandparents. That alone limits our locations. The closest fair to us currently is 2+ hours away (the Tennessee Faire). We really liked the Texas Faire location although the packages were a bit pricey and didn't include a cake. We are still looking though. No matter where we have it, people will have to travel if they want to attend. We only have a core group of 15 people that have to be there as it is. All of my fiance's guests are having money troubles right now, so we figure that it might be better to have a location they can reasonably drive to as well as turn around and go home in the same day. They all live in southern TN and north central AL, so the TNRF might be the best choice right now. If they even do weddings that is!

That would be very nice if you could send us the copy of your ceremony. It would help us with writing out ours. We think we will do the same thing in the sense of leaving the "God" bits out, but still making it similar to make his mom more comfortable. Everyone else we are inviting could care less what we say just as long as it means something to us.     
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Offline Tygrkat

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 06:49:20 PM »
I'll be glad to send a copy of the ceremony, it's my pleasure to help - especially when it comes to weddings at Faire!

One other thing that I did was make copies of directions from town (for his family, since they all live in the area) and the hotel where everyone (my family) was staying, to the Festival grounds and mailed them to everyone with their invitations. It helped that everyone let me know where they were staying ahead of time, but if there are a couple of hotels that are near the fair that you choose, you could include directions from both. I went to a discount card shop and found some paper with a really pretty border pattern that went well with our invitations, and printed the directions on that. We printed our invitations ourselves, too, which was a huge budget-saver.

We were lucky that most everyone was within driving distance, it was a big help for everyone's budget - even though gas was twice the price that it is now, it was still more affordable than flying!
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Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 08:06:26 PM »
While buying my fiance a V-Day card today, I saw a few general party invitation packs that I liked. They were simple, blank inside to write/type what I want, and were still very elegant on the cover. It was cream colored with a shiny ivory rose. There was another the had a few more flowers and colors, but was still "formal" looking without being too stuffy either. I already plan to make or buy simple packs like that. Nothing more than $10 for 10 cards kind of stuff!

Most of my quests will have to travel and get a hotel and even a rental car. My mom, sister, step-dad, dad, step-mom, and two friends are coming from California. My grandparents (mom's side) are coming from Virginia. As for him, everyone he wants to invite are close by. We are currently living with his mom and half-brother. His best friend, best friend's sister, and best friend's parents live 2.5 hours away. They can go to and from the TNRF all in the same day if they didn't want/couldn't to afford stay at a hotel. If we go to any other faire, then we will most likely have to pay for all of his guests at some point. Whether it is the travel or the hotel or both.

I have looked at so many packages from so many faires all over the US. We need one that will give us at least 20 admission tickets, ceremony location, a minister(or whatever else they go by), reception location, food, drinks, cake. We can hire a photographer, get flowers, and so on if needed. On the other hand, a package that includes as much as possible would be excellent! The less we have to bring in ourselves, the better!
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Offline Celtic Lady

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 09:34:49 PM »
Many congrats to you and your fiance'. I understand about not having the money for a big wedding and doing things on a tight budget. I'm getting married this September and have been saving for over a year.

We are getting married at MiRF and having our reception at the Feast of Fantasy. I figure that takes care of the decor, food, drinks, and entertainment. The only flowers needed are my bouquet and headpiece and the garland headpieces for my attendants.

Since we are on a tight budget we can only afford to invite no more than 38 guest and attendants. I checked out other faires to see what they offer and to be honest, the packages that Scarby offers seem to be much better than what MiRF offers (we and our guests just don't live in TX).

I found invitation kits at Michael's. If you have a printer you can print your own invitations. The kit contains 50 invites, response card, and envelopes for both the invites and responses. It cost about $30. If you need wording for your invites and response cards I can renmail you what I'm using to give you an idea.

Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2009, 11:19:16 AM »
That would be very nice if you could do that, Celtic Lady. We would very much appriciate it!
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Offline VIII

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2009, 12:08:58 PM »
Congrats on the impending Nuptials, Dom-Deeg, you look beautiful in your wedding dress!
If I can offer a bit of advice: For our wedding, we let everyone know that no gifts were necessary.  Most of our family and friends still asked, "No, really, what can we get you?"  Our response was to pick something from the list.  The List was the different things we needed for the wedding, like:
My dad's tux
My parents plane flight
Wedding cakes
Floral arrangements
Food
Drinks
Honeymoon
Etc.
You know, all the things that a couple planning a wedding have to spend what little money they have.  Everything on the list was eventually paid for by our family and friends as our wedding gifts. So, you could say, our wedding was our wedding gift!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 12:11:24 PM by VIII »
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Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 09:25:54 PM »
VIII... You are one brilliant person!

I just told my fiance and he agrees that is a wonderful idea. So, if you don't mind, we're going to steal it! Seriously though, that would help so much. As it is, there are a few things we would like that people can give as wedding gifts, but at the same time it is not stuff we need so we can wait and buy it ourselves later. Ooo, I need to write a master list of every little thing we need and then see what we can pay for and what's left. *gets to it*
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Offline Gwynnbleid

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 01:14:32 PM »
VIII... You are one brilliant person!

Verily, quoth for truth.

When Yennefer and I were wed at Scarborough, we had the similar idea of a "No Commodity Gifts" policy.  The only request we had of our guests was to arrive in costume, whether their own or rented from the faire's costume rental shop.  If they *really* needed to give a gift, monetary gifts were acceptable.  We really didn't want to have to mess with moving a mound of presents from the wedding area to the reception area, then truck it all out the front gate; a real hassle.  That, and we didn't want to end up with more blenders and toasters than we'll ever need. ;)  A few guests still showed up "naked" and one with a gift bag, so be prepared for it.

Regarding other Ren Faire guests confusing the ceremony with an act, I suggest delegating an usher or two to intercept unknown persons.  Position them in entrance ways to the ceremony or reception areas.  We had to shoo a couple away from our reception... can't blame them, Sarah Mullen was playing. :)

April was the perfect time for our wedding.  The wind was gusty, but the weather was nice and the sun didn't burn too badly.  You may bring an umbrella or two for guests that will require shading if the ceremony area is open.  The month of May is *the* busy month for weddings, so plan long in advance if you want it then.  Avoid the June-September months; heavy garb and the heat will be overwhelming.

I'll have to dig a bit to find a copy of our ceremony dialog for you.  It was perfect; a celebration of life and love with a mix of pagan and traditional themes, but without the religious business.  Hmmm... now where did it get to..

Oh, and congrats!

Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2009, 06:21:53 PM »
I talked to my Dad at length last night about the wedding, finally. He said he and my step-mom will show for sure. On top of that, he also said he would help us out. How much that means he did not say and I didn't ask. My fiance and I are planning this as if we are paying for everything, minus other people's travel and accommodation expenses. I still need to get together a master list of every little thing we need for the wedding. Stress, stress, stress!
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Offline Dominic_Deegan

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2009, 11:18:33 AM »
It's been a while since I last posted. My fiance and I had an impromptu 4-day mini-vacation to see some friends in Mississippi and then it was my b-day yesterday.

As far as things go for the wedding, my dad brought up a very good suggestion that I sort of thought about, but now I realize I need to do it soon. I really need to send out RSVPs to get a feel for who might who or would even want to come. I already know of 13 people on my side of the list that will have trouble making the trip simply because of money issues. All 6 people on my fiance's list will be having the same trouble. Even though the wedding package includes a reception, we may have another one ala backyard bbq for everyone else at another time.

As always the biggest issue is that we are spread out everywhere between California, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.
   
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Offline Celtic Lady

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Re: Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2009, 06:12:56 PM »
First, Happy Birthday  ;D .
Second, your dad is correct in checking with people to make sure that they are going to come to the wedding at faire. We are doing the same for our wedding, Sir Morgan and I. We are having it at faire and paying for 40 ticket (which includes ours). Since we are on a tight budget we are asking about 2 or 3 times before we order the tickets as to who will be there. As time goes by things do come up and plans change so we want to make sure that those that are interested really are planning on being there before we order the tickets and throw away money because simply because they weren't sure.
We are also having a separate reception the next day for family and friends that we were unable to invite to faire. Of course we will be in our wedding garb as will others of my family simply coming to the reception. This has truly surprised me as I didn't think this would happen and wasn't planning on it. My mom is the one that has been spreading the word about the garb at the reception. She's very geeked about it. This also surprises me (that she's this geeked) as I would have thought she would have wanted to be dressed more traditionally but then she has always been my supporter.
Best of luck with planning.

 

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