Robin Hood themed wedding
Published on 07 July 2015
So you've got engaged and decided on a medieval-themed celebration set in historic Nottinghamshire. How about taking things a step further and having a Robin Hood theme too!
Tales of Robin Hood have been told for more than 800 years. The romantic image of Robin Hood is of a medieval hooded figure dressed in Lincoln green, a master bowman with a quick mind and mischievous sense of humour. Robin and his true love, Maid Marian, are said to have lived in mighty Sherwood Forest in the 1200s. What better inspiration for a medieval-themed wedding or civil partnership!
The first decision most couples need to make is what type of service you want – religious or a civil ceremony - followed by finding a venue. In Nottinghamshire we have the perfect venue for Robin Hood enthusiasts in Sherwood Forest, the historic home of Robin Hood.
Tie the knot in historic Sherwood Forest
Sherwood began holding civil ceremonies in May 2012 and Sarah and Mike Harrison were the first couple to get married there. Sarah had loved the legend of Robin Hood since being a child and had fond memories of visiting Sherwood as a child. Although their actual wedding ceremony couldn't take place outdoors, they were able to have an outdoor renewal of vows ceremony straight after their wedding service and held this in the middle of Sherwood Forest.
Mike said: "Getting married in Sherwood Forest was exciting – it's certainly something to tell the grandchildren! We decided to have an additional celebration of vows ceremony outside to make the most of the beauty of the forest.
"Both ceremonies were personalised with our favourite rock songs being played in a classical style, including Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do from the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film!"
The Oak Room is licensed for civil ceremonies and can seat up to 60 people. The Forest Table restaurant can seat up to 60 for a wedding breakfast and to up 120 for an evening reception. There is a licensed bar and a covered outside patio area – an ideal space for a hog roast or barbeque.
Renewal of vows ceremonies can be held outside in a leafy glade in the Forest. Find out more about Sherwood weddings and civil partnerships at: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/sherwoodweddings
Your Robin Hood theme can be as subtle or as grand as you like and we’ve pulled together oodles of ideas for each element of your day…
A good way to save some money is to make your own invitations. For a medieval theme, use parchment paper, withmedieval language and font, rolled up into a scroll and posted in a tube.
Taking this idea further, once you’ve printed your invitation, scrunch the paper up into a ball, unfold it and then scorch the edges of the paper by setting it alight and blowing the flame out again quickly. Do this several times around the whole sheet of paper. Next, rub damp used tea bags onto the paper to give it a stained effect. You should now have an invitation that looks like an ancient scroll!
Alternatively, for a traditional card-style invitation, feature an oak leaf, a bow and arrow or Robin’s famous feathered hat on the card and seal the envelope with a traditional wax seal.
If budget allows you could hire a calligrapher to hand-write your invitations in medieval script.
This is the groom’s chance to become Robin Hood for the day! Robin is often portrayed in Lincoln green, with long boots, brown belt and distinctive green feathered cap. Contact a medieval costume hire specialist to get their ideas.
Go all out for a medieval style wedding dress with a lace-up bodice, embroidery and long fluted sleeves in a floaty material for a summer wedding or a rich velvet for a winter wedding. A long cape and a circlet of flowers in your hair would complete the Maid Marian look.
Dress your Best Man and Ushers as Robin's Merry Men! You can hire Friar Tuck, Little John and Alan-a-Dale outfits.
Finally, get your guests involved and ask them to dress in medieval costume too. Or just give them a colour theme to stick to and provide them with props on arrival!
At some venues, including Sherwood Forest, you can have a medieval banquet or a hog roast complete with mulled cider and warm spiced ale. To really keep with the medieval theme, sit at long tables and serve only food that can be eaten with your hands (no cutlery!) and drink from goblets!
In medieval times herbs were used instead of flowers so why not have a herb bouquet or a mixture of herbs and flowers? Lavender has a lovely fragrance and brings wishes for luck and devotion, sage symbolises wisdom and long life and rosemary is for love, loyalty and fidelity. Investigate the different meanings of herbs and discuss their use with your florist.
Now's the time to get really creative! Why not have a cake shaped like a medieval castle? Or a Major Oak cake with Robin Hood and Maid Marion underneath the canopy? Alternatively, have lots of individual cakes decorated with targets and bows and arrows on the top. If you'd prefer a plainer cake you could still top it with a Robin and Maid Marian cake topper to keep with your theme.
Decorate your reception tables with garlands and swags in Lincoln green and have large candle centrepieces.
Create balloon trees made from brown balloon 'trunks' and green balloon 'leaves'.
Use pine cones as your place card holders on the tables and spray them to match your colour scheme.
Search online for an old, worn book you could use as a guest book so people can leave messages about your special day.
Music and entertainment
In Robin's time people loved listening to wandering minstrels playing their lutes, fiddles, flutes and recorders and singing songs. You could hire a traditional entertainer to play this kind of music or to keep within budget, play a CD of medieval music instead.
Walk down the aisle to Bryan Adams' Everything I Do from 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' or have it as your first dance song!
Have an owl swoop in and deliver your wedding rings – there are companies who will provide this service.
Have a special medieval Master of Ceremonies to make announcements at your reception.
Jugglers were popular entertainment in Robin's time, as were medieval dancers. If you have room you could even set up a fun archery tournament!
If you have any medieval or Robin Hood themed ideas to share let us know by commenting below!
For further information contact Weddings@nottscc.gov.uk
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You've decided on a medieval-themed celebration. How about taking things a step further and having a Robin Hood theme too!