OK, we’ll admit it, stealing wedding ideas from the Tudor era may seem a little risky, considering that two thirds of Henry VIII’s wives were either executed or divorced!
But while Henry could never be described as the world’s greatest bridegroom, he did know how to build a magnificent ship (ahem) and he also knew how to throw a fabulous party. And so do we.
The Mary Rose Museum captures everything that was magnificent about the Tudor era – the spectacle, attention to detail and the sheer uniqueness of the vessel herself – the ship remains the world’s largest Tudor artefact.
And while our stunning modern facilities do away with the worst aspects of Tudor life, we believe that a wedding at the Mary Rose Museum allows the era’s best aspects to shine – the food, entertainment and the commitment to making sure guests have the experience of a lifetime.
The Admiral’s Gallery, located at the heart of the Mary Rose Museum, can hold a seated celebration for 100 people, with a little flexibility for extras, and for smaller events try The Wardroom (seating up to 18).
We’ll help you organise the event of your dreams, but if you do want your Mary Rose wedding to nod to the Tudor era what should you be doing?
Well, for starters, the groom may want to wear white; Research has shown that this was a popular colour for grooms although any colour was deemed suitable, including black, red and green.
Most of the guests at a Tudor wedding were invited by word of mouth, with letters dispatched to those living further afield, and all but the poorest couples would serve wine or ale, sometimes even in the church itself.
Like today, it was traditional to hold a wedding feast, with some including dances and whole plays performed, but there was no honeymoon – the happy couple were often put to bed by witnesses, to give them a chance to consummate the marriage and hopefully produce heirs.
If all this is too extreme, consider some more subtle Tudor touches.
Think about the flowers; the Tudors adored herbs and so incorporating springs of mint, lavender and rosemary into your table arrangements would do the trick. Mead was a popular drink during the time but if that isn’t your style, try serving English wines and choosing English craft beers.
Food should be plentiful – the diets of the wealthy comprised three-quarters meat with vegetables of the season and bread was a popular foodstuff, too. And, for puddings, look no further than syllabub, a creamy dessert that stretches back to the time of Henry VIII.
The most Tudor thing you can do, of course, is enjoy yourself. Not hard when we’ve taken care of everything and all you have to do is relax and relish your wonderful wedding party.