Imagine living in a world without technology, cars, or many of the freedoms we take for granted today. Let’s travel back in time to 1559, a simpler age with ball gowns, royalty, theatre, war, and new discoveries. Queen Elizabeth I reigned during the “Golden Age,” from 1558 to 1603. The word “renaissance” means reawakening. During the Renaissance period, many things “re-awoke” and became popular again. Elizabethan England was a time of change, because of its developments, cultural traditions, entertainment, theatre, battlefield victories, and explorations of the New World.
The first stop is the French Court, where forks were used for the first time in 1589. Many inventions like this were created in order to make life easier. Some of those developments include pencils in 1565, new illnesses and medication techniques, the printing press, the telescope in the year 1600, decimal fractions in 1576, a new kind of art—like Michelangelo’s work, the Kabuki theatre in 1586, Shakespeare’s plays starting in 1592—his first play was Henry VI, and the game of billiards in 1550. William W. Lace said that Queen Elizabeth I “cannot be given full credit for the accomplishments of Elizabethan England. She was careful, cautious, and conservative. Some achievements during her reign occurred despite her wishes, not because of them” (Lace). Elizabeth’s reign lasted from 1559 to 1603, during the “Golden Age” and the Renaissance. This time period consisted of these and many other inventions. Now that we have learned about the Renaissance’s developments, let’s go attend an Elizabethan style wedding.
When you are at a wedding, you must be prepared to eat a feast fit for a king! The special dinner was planned carefully, full of exotic dishes and attractive arrangements. Another carefully planned aspect is the clothing. Brides “did not wear a white dress, this was a later tradition” (Alchin). She would simply wear her best gown. The material type showed status, and the dress was typically full length with a low neckline and plenty of jewelry, including a wedding ring. Remember that “flowers were central to the clothing” (Alchin). They would be worn in their hair, on their gown, in a traditional bouquet, and anywhere else it could fit. “Unmarried girls were allowed to wear their hair loose, but once married it had to be held in a bonnet” (Alchin). The bridesmaids were similarly dressed. The groom would also wear his best clothing to the occasion. Clothing colors came in a wide variety; however, yellow would not be worn, as it was seen as a “sign of mourning” (Alchin). It was a festive event, but it gets more serious during the church portion. It was necessary during this time period, to be married by a priest. After the couple is married, they celebrate their new life opportunities with a wedding feast. Now that you’ve experienced a wedding, you can take a break and participate in some leisure activities.
Well, weddings are fun, but I would rather do something more...