“I’ll bet you’re looking forward to this wedding,” bride Jen said to me as we waited at the front gate of the Renaissance Festival in Holly, Michigan.
That was definitely an understatement. It’s not often that you get to photograph a couple and thousands of their closest friends who went all Medieval on them before, during and after the ceremony.
I knew things were going to be memorable when Jen was accosted by the Village Idiot imploring her to travel the world first, before jumping into matrimony. That’s okay, The Queen (I wanna say Elizabeth, but was unable to confirm her royal lineage) blessed her union with new hubby Dave Roby.
More than a quarter million fair-goers visit the festival each year. Held on weekends from mid-August through the beginning of October, the Michigan Renaissance Festival has been going strong for 37 years. Sprawling over 17 acres, the festival features 300 artisans, themed stages, jousting, camel rides, a cornucopia of food and last Saturday, a wedding as well.
The wedding party and their lucky guests were feted and featured as they were paraded through the festival, first with the bride-to-be, then with husband and wife. After the nuptials, they were all seated for a rather lavish five-course meal in the castle on the grounds and treated to ongoing performances featuring sword fights, acrobatics, fire juggling and all manner of mayhem.
You’d have to be a Village Idiot not to enjoy something like that. And I have it on good authority that even the idiot had a blast as well.
Enjoy a small sampling of the photos. Here’s to Lord and Lady Roby. Hip hip, huzzah!
Jen waves to her friends as she waits for the festivities to begin.
Before the actual ceremony, Jen is paraded through the grounds underneath a portable canopy.
With Jen’s father helping out, she and her mother walk beneath the bridal canopy.
Dave Roby had been waiting underneath the gazebo as Jen was paraded through the festival.
After saying their vows, the couple seal the deal.
A detail showing Jen’s rings, nails and burlap bouquet wrap.
Jen’s son was the couple’s ring bearer.
Guests were encouraged to dress for the occasion, including this friar (or monk or abbot or cleric or curate or …)
Jen and her maiden of honor goof around as Dave and his best man look on.
The new family pause for a pose.
Hugs and smiles after the ceremony.
Jen gets bustled in the castle.
The castle doors featured a fearsome knight in duplicate.
A sword fight breaks out in the middle of the reception.
Dave and Jen share a smooch, as seen from the catwalk above the castle.
Before the cake cutting, Jen jokes around with the business end of a cake knife.
“Hey Rodney … Rodney, take our picture,” they beseeched me.
The bridal couple share a dance with a cast of Renaissance characters who joined them for the reception.