Medieval marriage joy for 20th anniversary couple

A colourful scene from the medieval wedding ceremony. Photo by Ian Hutson (www.vintagephotographer.co.uk).
A colourful scene from the medieval wedding ceremony. Photo by Ian Hutson (www.vintagephotographer.co.uk).
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TWO historical re-enactors celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in spectacular style in Skegness at the weekend - when they held a full 15th century marriage ceremony to mark their happy occasion.

Caroline and Dave Bedford of the re-enactment group The Knights of Skirbeck wanted some special way to celebrate their anniversary and came up with the idea of marrying all over again in the style of the 15th Century.

After months of unseasonal torrential rains the couple were blessed with blue sky and brilliant sunshine for the all-outdoors occasion at Church Farm Village on Saturday.

The ceremony took place outdoors in a nod to the medieval period, when outside the church doors would have been the closest to an altar that most couples could have aspired to.

Dressed in period-correct medieval clothing the couple re-exchanged rings, repeated their wedding vows and celebrated with a feast and dancing in the “village green” of the museum.

The ceremony included ancient customs such as the “garter chase”, where friends and family of the couple chased the bride to win “lucky” items of clothing (limited for modesty’s sake to garters), and the blessing of the marriage bed by the Father, who performed the marriage ceremony in a mix of English and Latin.

After presiding over a tournament in her honour, the bride and her groom were, as was the custom, tucked into bed by those attending the wedding.

Caroline’s daughters acted as bridesmaids and a distribution of alms was made to the guests in attendance while mead was served.

The bride’s bouquet and the bridesmaid’s head-dresses were made from flowers picked from the gardens at the museum just before the ceremony.

The marriage is to be featured in Unique Bride Magazine, and the “happy couple” hope that it will be an inspiration to brides to step out of the more mainstream and into something magical of their own wish and adventurous design.