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Wedding Wish: Faire Wedding (updated 6/7/09)

Started by Dominic_Deegan, February 13, 2009, 08:52:44 PM

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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:

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.     
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."

Lady Renee Buchanan

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.
A real Surf Diva
Landshark who loves water
Chieftesse Surf'n Penny of Clan O'Siodhachain,
Irish Penny Brigade
Giver of Big Hugs 
Member since the beginning of RF
All will be well. St. Julian of Norwich


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. 
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


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*  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!
50% Endora, 50% Aunt Clara.


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.     
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


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!
50% Endora, 50% Aunt Clara.


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!
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."

Celtic Lady

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.


That would be very nice if you could do that, Celtic Lady. We would very much appriciate it!
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


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
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!
Former King Henry VIII
Renaissance Magazine Issue #66 Cover Boy


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*
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


Quote from: Dominic_Deegan on February 17, 2009, 09:25:54 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!


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!
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


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.
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."

Celtic Lady

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.


Thank you, Celtic Lady, for the happy b-day. :D

I didn't say it well in my last post. What I meant to say about the RSVPs is that I realized I need to do them sooner rather than a little later. I was going to wait until closer to the end of the year. Now, I'm going to send them out as soon as I find a nice invite and re-ask a few times throughout the rest of this year and into next year. Mainly because plans always change, things happen last minute (emergency or not), and some people just simply change their minds. The package we are aiming for includes 50 tickets aside from the bride and groom. We made a list of 40 people, and are setting aside 10 tickets for others that might need it them such a photographer. We honestly think that only between 20-30 will actually be able to make it. I just wouldn't know what to do with the excess tickets. If there are that many left over tickets, then we will go for the next size down package and add on the extra things we want that it may not include. Honestly, things like a sword arch would be a nice touch and memorable, but I don't need it either. It's just a nice bonus. I'm more concerned about enough food, drink, and music for the reception. The ceremony itself can be pretty plain as far as my fiance and I are concerned.
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


My fiance and I are planning on a May wedding at the Castle of Muskogee in Oklahoma at the RenFaire there.  We had originally thought it would be a nice small gathering for our close friends and family as this was not either of ours first weddings.  While we are having fun planning and preparing, it has turned out to be a bit expensive!  More so than what we had originally thought.  I did save some money by making the invitations myself rather than professionally and they turned out wonderful!  I wanted the scroll wedding invites, but every place online I saw them they had a minimum order of like 50 or 100.  I certainly didn't need that many so I bought some cotton fabric, cut out 8X11 sheets and ironed freezer paper on them and sent them through the printer.  Then I spray painted dowels and finials silver and my friend sewed hems into the tops and bottoms of the invites and I put the dowels through those and there I had my scroll invites!  I rolled them up and tied them with ribbon.  I printed all the RSVP cards in silver ink and included another card with "Things to Remember" such as full costume is encouraged but not required - and there is a costume rental at the gates, and I requested that this is an adults only ceremony and reception as it can prove to be a long day for little ones.  I also mentioned that their presence is the only gift we desire.  I did a map on the other side.  For a few select family members, they will also be attending the Kings lunch and the Queens Tea and we purchased tickets for those as well.  The Castle has a Kings Feaste one Saturday night during the Faire, and we are incorporating our reception into that.  It is a sit down dinner with authentic music, entertainment, and food.  Although per person this is much more than what you would normally spend on an average wedding, it will be well worth it!  I will post pictures of the event later!  We do have people coming in from out of state and it is their responsibility to provide transportation and lodging, however I did provide them with a list of hotels and B&B's in the area.  I sent out the invitations the end of February with an April 1st RSVP deadline and also put on my Things to Remember card that "Due to the limited seating, no late RSVP's can be accepted".  The Castle needs a firm head count ASAP so they can accomodate us for the Kings Feaste.  We have already paid for everyone, and if they send a regret before that date then we can get our money refunded.  Hope this helps for anyone who is planning a ren wedding.  It's alot of fun!!!

Esperanza McDaniels

My husband and I got married last year at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa, Florida.  We had quite a few out of town guests, as most of my family live in Ohio, and his sister is in Tennessee.  The complex that we live in, also rents out suites and motels, so that was convenient for us, but I did check around local hotels.  I found The Holiday Inn to be the most accommodating, in terms of giving us the best rate.  As for the faire, I called and spoke to the coordinator quite frequently.  You will find that they are more willing to work with you to ensure that your day is as wonderful as they can make it.  Now, my wedding was much larger than the average Ren Wedding and the largest that BARF had ever had. (5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 2 flowers girls and a ring bearer and then 85 guests!)  They ended up waiving my chapel fee and rented out the feast tent, exclusively to my wedding party.  I was also able to customize the menu to my guests tastes, in terms of allergies, vegetarians, things like that.  The price I was quoted included entrance into the festival and food, beverage, and entertainment per each guest.  Although there were bumps in the road (as any wedding WILL have) overall, it was an a lovely experience, and ALL of my guests fell in love with the festival and the people there.

As far as ordering things for your wedding, I did A TON of research. My husband and I knew that we were paying for at least half of the wedding ourselves, as our parents would take care of the other half.  I was engaged for a year and a half and I used every bit of that time to plan the perfect wedding, as inexpensive as I could make it.  I found that Ebay was my friend in more ways than one.  I was able to purchase so many party supplies, decorations, jewelry for the wedding party, napkins, etc. from ebay for half the cost I would of paid elsewhere.

I ordered ALL of my invitations, RSVP's, Save the dates, thank you cards, etc. from a wonderful website that sends a portion of the proceeds to charity.  The invitations were my favorite, as it looked like a scroll, and they actually burned the edges of the paper to give it a more authentic look.  The more you purchase from them, the more of a discount they gave you at check out.  Here's the website:

A wonderful place where I found little things for the evening reception (not the one I had at the faire, a seperate one for dancing, karaoke, speeches, etc) was  They have a bunch of wedding things for practically pennies.

All of our clothing was custom made.  After I knew where I was holding the wedding, I began to haunt the festival, looking for vendors that appealed to me in terms of clothes and something I could use as a wedding favor to give the guests.  I found two local women who were amazing seamstresses.  One, I approached with pictures and sketches of what I wanted the groomsmen to wear.  We discussed fabrics and then prices, and she gave me an excellent price per costume.  The other, I went to for my bridesmaid dresses and my mother's dress.  Again, we went over the best fabric and then a price, and I was beyond pleased with the final outcome.  I also found a very skilled Chinese woman and her husband, who made roses out of pieces of wood.  They were exquisite and the detail on them were amazing.  I thought that they made the best gift that I could give to my wedding guests, to remember my special day, since a rose that has bloomed represents so much love, hope, and beauty for a couple in love.  And they would never wilt, or die.  We had them made in our two wedding colors, and they came out better than I could have hoped for.

I had the most fun planning my wedding.  Even with all the hiccups along the way, it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.  I hope that I have been of some assistance to you.  Please, feel free to let me know if I can answer any other questions you may have.  I leave you with a pic of my happy day:
Esperanza McDaniels
Pilot for The Harbinger

Bite'n Penny
Cruise Director of The Clan O'Conchobhair


Thank you mamma_buddha and Lady Amalthea for your help and advice!

Our wedding plans are on hold for the moment. We still have not been able to find jobs out here in Chattanooga, TN. My father has said that he will help with some of the wedding costs, but I still don't want people to do that really. Matt and I don't mind paying for the wedding and reception itself. Since pretty much everyone we want to invite will be traveling from other states, we are asking them to save their money for their own travel and lodging expenses. We are also planning on telling people that if they feel they have to get us a gift, to send it to us after the wedding, they could help with our honeymoon, or even just send us money. As it currently stands, we are living with Matt's mom so we don't exactly have the room to put things sent to us.

All in all, we desperately need jobs first before we can even begin planning the wedding. We are trying to line up as much as we can and I plan on sending a general invite and RSVP to everyone we want to invite just to get a general head count. Once we have jobs, money, and can get real plan rolling, then we will send out proper invites with instructions, and what to remember to bring.

That is a great idea about not allowing children! I would like my kid cousins to come, but I also think it would be a bit too long of a day for them. I didn't really think about that before.
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


They do perform weddings at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. They have an private event section for weddings and parties. They used to hold small weddings in the garden near the entrance I don't know if they still do that.

You could also try some of the smaller faires. The Alabama RF and Ardmore RF have both held Weddings. In both cases the couple were part of the staff. The Weddings became part of the entertainment at the faire. So your wedding might not be private.
Alabama Ren faire is in NW Alabama. Here's Photos from the wedding The faire is in Oct. The Ardmore fair is not happening this year but would have been this coming weekend.

Dragon Days is in it second year as a ren faire. It's  in a couple weeks. April 25-26. You can visit the faire. The Park has a wedding area. It's in Cookeville, TN.
Twenty seasons of covering renaissance  festivals. Photos/calendar/blog.
Fairy photographer

Lady de la Warr

We got married at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire last season (2008). It was beautiful. They have a private area for weddings called the "Feasting Glenn" and a gazebo to do the ceremony in followed by a reception in one of the pavilions directly adjacent to the gazebo. This helps to keep uninvited guests from interrupting.

The wedding package we bought included 50 tickets. The cool thing about PARF is that any tickets you don't use can be sold to people for use on another day. They would have allowed us to turn in the unused tickets but we had to do this a week BEFORE the wedding. Well who knows a week BEFORE who will show up and who won't??? But again - the tickets we had left over were good for admission any day of the faire that season. So I sold them for what they cost me - which was a discount per ticket of around $10. So the buyer got a deal by not having to pay full price for admission and I made out by being able to recoup the money I spent on tickets. My point here is wherever you decide to do this you need to ask them if you can use any left over tickets for admission on another day. You don't have to tell them you are going to sell can just let them think YOU are  going to use them yourself or you are going to give them to friends. But you need to find out.

There is a Hampton Inn directly across the street from faire. They are expensive but you can reserve a block of rooms for your wedding guests and as long as they book 30 days or more in advance you can get a reduced group rate (last season group rate was $119 whereas normal price was $149 I believe). It's a nice hotel and it's very convenient - you can walk to faire instead of having to drive anywhere  ;)

We paid nowhere NEAR $20k for our wedding. Grand total - including wedding, reception (flowers, food and cake was included in the price), decorations I threw in over and above the flowers that were included, initial cost of photographer (which included the book of proofs but not the real wedding album), my and his garb (and I was dressed as the Queen of Denmark complete with a real crown of silver and brass with genuine gemstones set into it and he a noble complete with pearled velvet garb) and all the other miscellaneous items - around $10-12k - and that's probably a slight overestimation.

So if you still don't have a definite place to do your wedding in mind and you aren't against a little travel, check out PARF for your wedding. You won't regret it.

Edited to add the following link to some of the many pictures taken the day of my wedding:

And just for the heck of it, here is one of the many pictures of my husband and I (I had removed my veil in this picture):

Professor M

Forgive me for putting in my two cents.  I'm afraid you're going to get overwhelmed by all of the suggestions you've been getting.

I went back to your original post, and you mentioned having your wedding at a faire, or at least a ren-themed wedding.  I've attended several of those, and you really can do them on a small budget.  You can probably find a local park with a gazebo or pavilion that you can reserve for the wedding. 

You find a minister to officiate (there are plenty who will), and ask your guests to come in garb.  At one wedding we did, the bride and groom arranged with a local costume chop to have a rack of costumes available, and anyone who didn't show up in garb was offered the chance to wear something off the rack.

For music, you hire a bagpiper, hammered dulcimer player, violinist, or whatever you prefer.  If money is really tight you buy a few CDs of your favorite ren-groups and play them.

For food, find a local caterer who does outdoor barbecues.  Many of them can bring their own stoves and grills and cook on site.

If you still have money in your budget, hire some ren-themed entertainers to mingle with your guests.  This really adds to the atmosphere.  I've performed at weddings.  Our group included musicians, dancers, improv comedians, and magicians.  You may not find a group like that in your area, but hiring 5 or 6 performers who will work in garb will give you the ren-themed effect you're looking for.

I hope this helps.
"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
~ C.S. Lewis


Thank you to everyone who has been replying and offering advice. I'm sorry it has been a while since I last posted in ANY topic much less this one.

One of the biggest issues concerning the wedding was mainly where to have it and how many could make it. I want my grandparents to come. They live in Virginia currently and are getting ready to move back to North Carolina with my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. My grandma is terrified of flying and doesn't drive. My grandpa had a stroke a few years ago and lost most of the vision in his left eye so he can't really drive for too long.

Because of this, I decided to look to Virginia and North Carolina for ren fairs that might have weddings. I found one that looks wonderful and their prices were so low it made my jaw drop when I read it! I e-mailed the special event coordinator at the fair to see if those really were still the prices as well as to ask for more information. What we are now seriously considering is The Annual Carolina Renaissance Festival and Artisan's Market near Huntersville, NC. it would only be around a 3 hour drive for my family out here, specially if they've moved back to Raleigh area before the wedding. I also know that my mom, step-dad, sister, dad, and step-mom would go. It will be even closer than Texas for my fiance's mom, brother, and friends as well who live in Chattanooga, TN and Birmingham, AL areas.

That festival doesn't have it's own camping, but it does have lots of hotels and campgrounds within a 10 miles radius. Another good thing is that the festival usually runs during a time of year we originally planned to have the wedding; October-November. That will give us nearly half a year worth of extra time to plan  everything. My dad also said she would help a little bit, but I didn't want to ask him how much. The only things the wedding packages do not include that we will need to add is a cake, food and drink for the reception, and photographer. Another thing to consider is music or some kind of entertainment for the reception. Their biggest package (starting at $2,000) says it includes "costumed festival revelers to mix and mingle with guests", but it doesn't say if that is for the ceremony, reception, or both. As I said before, I already e-mailed the special event planner for more info. Of course, on top of all of that, we still have to plan, make, and/or order our wedding garb. We still want it to be really nice and dressy, but also something we can wear again to other fairs/festivals.

First things first though, we need jobs! I finally landed my third interview in five months for this coming Tuesday. It is with a company I have worked with before, so hopefully that will give me a good edge up on other applicants since they won't have to train me as thoroughly. It will be more like reminding me of some things, lol.

"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."

Lady de la Warr

The Carolina Renaissance Faire is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL faire! I have attended closing weekend for the past 2 years. I think you will be quite pleased with it  :)

Good luck to you both!


Yes, CRF would be a lovely place to be married. And Lady de la Warr and I should know, as we were both married at Ren Faires and were present at each other's weddings. And I have to say that wherever you decide to do it, I'm sure it will be lovely.   
Peddlin M'Crack
Countess of Tyrone
IWG #3790, Local 96


Well, the Carolina Festival did look amazing and it is close to a good chunk of my family and his. Unfortunately, we decided against it after we talked to their special event coordinator. The only one thing that was a deal breaker for us personally was that they did not offer any kind of food with the reception. No catering, buffet, or plates of any kind. They did offer coupon books at $13 per person though, so it wasn't like they offered nothing at all. I just didn't feel great about it since practically every other festival I have looked at offers some amount of food and drink in their price, even if it ends up being a bit more because of it.

That aside though, it just seems more and more like we won't be able to have a renaissance wedding anyway. We have been six months out of a job, in debt, on food stamps, and really just going no where at the moment. It's pretty bad. It be able to save up money, even with help, by the end of the year is getting nearly impossible. The more friends and family I talk too, the more they say the same general thing. They want to go, but don't think they can. Especially from the ones who have to travel farther, which is understandable. We only have 49 people on our list, which was actually stretching it to begin with, but 30-35 of them are iffy on coming.

I think it would be best for now if we just hold off on any kind of wedding right now until we can get on our feet again, pay off our debt (around $1,500 at the moment), and start saving up. We already made a goal and deal that we would save up at very least $5,000 each ($10,000 total) and have our debts paid off before we even start planning a wedding.

We want to thank everyone who has responded so far and we do appreciate the advice and information. It's just not in our cards right now. Thank you, once again.
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."


Well, it certainly has been a while since I last posted on this site, much less in this topic. I thought I would just give a quick update on everything that's been going on since a lot has changed since the last time I posted.

I have moved back to San Jose, CA to be closer to my family. I'm currently living with my Dad and Step-mom, who are helping me get on my feet. I had gotten a job with Hallmark in Tennessee and I was able to transfer into one near my Dad's house. The bummer though is that I had to take a demotion and less hours (from 30 hrs/wk to 10 hrs/wk). Well, at least it is something and can at very least get me some gas money. I'm still looking for a steadier job or just a second one to help fill the hours. I'm also looking for an apartment for myself, but that's proven difficult. I just don't really have the money to do it right now until I get a better/another job.

My fiance, Matt, is currently living with some friends in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. We are still together, but it is flimsy right now. We are not arguing or having huge difficulties. It's mainly just that he only kind of looked for a job within a 9 month period and I got tired of it. He's shown this behavior before and it lead us moving in with his Mom and Brother. It was unhealthy for him to stay at his Mom's (that's a whole other story, and a long one too!), so he arranged to move in with some of our friends. He already has a job and they are not asking much in terms of rent from him; $300/mo. plus his 1/3 of shared utilities (it's him and two friends). All in all, he shouldn't be paying more than $500 max a month for the rent, shared utilities, and shared food. To me personally, that's a steal! He couldn't come with me because my parent's rule for helping me was that they would not also help/support him. They know he's been lazy and dragging butt on getting a job. I understand and agree. I told him that this would be a perfect time for him to get his life together before we continue with the relationship, even if that doesn't include marriage. I'm hoping that living completely on his own and having to depend on himself will help him with that. If not, then oh well there's nothing I can do. Hence the reason I am living with my parents again in the first place.   
"If you like rainbows, then you'll have to get used to the rain."