Shakespearean Costume Wedding with a Butterfly Banquet, Falconry & a First Joust

Robin Ball

May 22, 2020

I know this is not exactly rock ‘n’ roll,” wrote bride Emma, “but we felt there was a certain uniqueness in a pair of ageing rockers marrying in full Shakespearean costume followed by a banquet including butterflies, falconry and a first joust instead of first dance.”

Far from it, Emma – with our mission statement at Rock n Roll Bride being that ‘Rock n Roll is not about being cool, a rebel or even thinking of the most unique idea you can. It’s about planning a day that reflects you and your partner and declaring your love in your own special way’, and we couldn’t think of a wedding that symbolises this more!

Emma proposed to Gary in an art gallery in Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-Upon-Avon; using art instead of an engagement ring. They went on to celebrate in New Place gardens, the bard’s final home, and Gary said, “Wouldn’t it be great having actors and music in a garden in Stratford?” The rest was even more glutenous history.

“We were the first fully costumed wedding in the Stratford theatre,” explained Emma, “which has amused us. The whole day was wonderfully bizarre, with the guests really making it by getting over-enthusiastic. There was champagne cannon fire between the two boats from the theatre to the marquee, and improvised performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from some of the bridal party which was exceptional. An over-competitive jousting competition caused four injuries! Finally, having the streets of Stratford dancing to blues brothers style music in the fantastical red sunset really topped it off.”

With a budget of £25,000, the couple were able to put on lots of surprises for their guests to really immerse in the madness of Shakespeare’s worlds, including falconry and a ring-bearing owl, a tour of Stratford Butterfly Farm and flashmob acting from Tread the Boards. They dressed up space hoppers for the aforementioned jousting, which took place of a first dance. The Costume Company provided a full banquet, complete with venue dressing and guests costumes. The couple brought in their own table decorations, with Emma enjoying being able to flex her crafting and curio hunting skills at second hand shops and car boot sales. They topped it all off with an incredible Tattooed Bakers’ cake.

“The best thing about planning our wedding was having the conviction to do exactly what we wanted,” concluded Emma. “This meant that there was no idea that was too far. We loved finding the ridiculous companies who would satisfy our extravagant taste buds. The most fun we had planning was choosing two personalised Shakespearian quotes (a compliment and an insult) which was engraved on everyone’s pewter tankard as a favour.”