For more than 30 years, our Minnesota Renaissance Festival has been a summer highlight every weekend in August and September each year. This year was very special for all of us because of Jaime and Randy's wedding there. Opening day of the festival starts off with a bang - literally! The cannon shot that opens the gates to the village can be heard for miles!
We started off the morning with Jaime (the bride) and her sister Jessica (both in costume) having their hair professionally braided in preparation for the wedding. As early as it was, they still had to wait in line.
Jaime's wedding gown is a silky white fabric banded in gold. Jessica's gown is black brocade with a pleated burgandy inset flowing down the front under tight lacing. We'll be going shopping soon to find the perfect white blouse to complete her costume. While we waited, we got some great pictures of the family. Jaime, Randy (groom), the three boys are Rhys, Zane, and Gage. Heather (my oldest daughter) sneaked in a few pictures of me too!
After quite a wait, all three of the girls got into the braiding tent. Don't they look fabulous! The boys were getting restless, so Jaime took off with them before I could get any closeup pictures of her hair, but Heather and Jessica let me take some good photos.
Next up on the agenda was the face painter! Jessica decided she had a pretty good 'Celtic Princess' theme going here so wanted to embellish that with a bit of face paint. She had earlier applied all her base makeup while we waited. Then off to the face painter! An arm tatoo too!
We took off too then to just wander around and try and absorb the Festival. We had several hours until the wedding. Each weekend of the Festival has it's own special theme, this first weekend is called 'Highland Fling'. We witnessed amazing feats of strength during the Heavy Games where men in kilts picked up and threw huge long logs of wood, and thrilled to the bagpipes skirling to the traditional Highland Dancing.
The Irish lasses put on a great demonstration of the traditional dance around the Maypole. By the time they were done, the pole was intricately braided with ribbons! I was beautiful to watch and they never made a mistake weaving in and out and around each other.
Many streets wind through the forested village, with shops and buildings lining each. Entertainers are everywhere. I wasn't able to take pictures of everything, there were just too much. Here is a small sampling along with some of the fabulous costumes. Notice the giant carved wood bear in the first picture! We found a wonderful blouse for Jessica, it really finished her costume.
We finally ran into Jaime again so I could get a picture of my three girls together.
That brought us back around to the Green where many of the games were taking place. The Chapel, Dog Races, and much more.
Jessica was particularly taken with the costume of one of the fabulous Forest Fairy's and wanted many pictures. Do you suppose she has 'fairy' plans of her own for next year? The Fairy's wings were so sheer and delicate, almost invisible!
The time for the wedding was getting closer! At the 'Queen's Court', the bride and groom were toasted by the King and Queen.
At last it was time for the wedding. Since this was a civil ceremony, Jaime and Randy chose to have the ceremony take place in front of the waterwheel on the side of the print shop which a good friend of theirs had designed and built. It was a beautiful peaceful place surrounded by a forest of gigantic oak trees. A moment of prayer, and they were saying their vows.
The happy bride and groom!
What a wonderful romantic day it was.