Our Secular, Renaissance-Themed Wedding
This next week, Keith and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary! I’ve been recalling the happy occasion by editing our wedding video—yeah, it has taken awhile. But I have not had Camtasia Studio until this year, so that’s my excuse. If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to share some fun memories from our wedding…
Keith and I created a unique wedding. We naturally wanted an outdoor, summertime wedding, and we went with a Renaissance theme. Our friends were all very relieved that we did not choose to get married on top of a 14er, which is where we were engaged. Here’s the engagement video:
Keith already had a great costume (he used to work at the Maryland Renaissance Festival), so I bought part of a costume to match his—and he sewed the rest of my dress. That’s right, my husband knows how to sew. I can barely attach a button to a piece of cloth, but he can sew.
As an atheist/agnostic couple, Keith and I wanted a secular wedding. We designed the ceremony just how we wanted, and asked a friend of ours if he would officiate. In real life, this friend is a captain, so we had him dress as a Renaissance-era captain for the wedding.
Casting tradition aside, we opted for sisters/friends on both sides, rather than the usual “best man” and guys standing on the groom side and ladies standing on the bride side.
I also don’t care for the whole “giving away the bride” tradition since this implies that she is the property of someone else—generally the father—and will now be the property of her husband. Frankly, I find this offensive. By this point I had been living as an independent adult for well over a decade. Rather than having my parents walk me up the aisle and “give me away” to Keith, Keith and I entered together as equal partners in life, then we both expressed appreciation to our respective sets of parents for all they have done for us.
Captain Dave did a phenomenal job of officiating. He’s a natural speaker and entertainer, and shared various stories for everyone’s amusement.
Several friends generously provided live music for us: piano, cello, and voice. I had always wanted an outdoor wedding with live music!
We wrote out our own vows and read them to each other during the ceremony.
We had two ring-bearers—one for each ring!
Since anyone in the State of Colorado can legally perform a wedding ceremony, Keith and I took matters into our own hands:
The ceremony ended as Keith and I fulfilled another wedding fantasy I’d had for years: a dance to The Blue Danube. Captain Dave introduced us as husband and wife and invited us to perform our first dance as a married couple:
After the wedding we had a big gluten-free sheet cake which we served first, before the meal. Because we can eat dessert first at our wedding reception if we want to. And we did not smear it on each other’s faces!
We also skipped out on the over-used traditions of throwing flowers and garters—I didn’t even wear a garter.
My mom also invented a special and delicious wedding punch just for the occasion!
My mom’s recipe for the punch: Small handful of dried hibiscus flowers, large handful of dried elderberries, handful of dried rosebuds, 1 lemon and 1 orange, each sliced thinly, 1 large cinnamon stick, and a gallon of water. Mix, let stand 3+ hours, chill and sweeten to taste.
During the reception, Keith taught everyone a folk dance.
Then we stripped out of our Renaissance costumes and slipped into some cooler clothes to swing dance the afternoon away, because who says we have to stick with the Renaissance theme all day?
We heard over and over that our wedding was the most fun wedding any of our guests had been to before. Everyone seemed to have a great time! And it was also a fraction of the cost of an average wedding, thanks to all the many helping hands with the food, the music, the cleanup, etc…it would not have been possible without the generous help we received from several key people. We are VERY grateful to them.
Well, I hope you all enjoyed my little stroll down memory lane… And Happy Anniversary, Keith! You’re the best husband EVER!
My husband and I are nomads, having lived in over a dozen U.S. states, plus Mexico, Antarctica, and Ecuador. I write. I recently released the 2nd edition of my 2nd book, "Live Like a Local in Loja," and I'm looking for a publisher for my third book, "Seven Years Running"--the true story of my fugitive childhood.