School Reunion Party Theme - Medieval
My twentieth high school reunion had a Medieval theme. At first I thought it wasn't a good idea, because fewer people come to their twentieth reunion then the fifth or even tenth and it would be a lot of trouble to get a costume.
I wasn't planning on attending, but one of my old friends, Jeannie, called me up and talked me in to it. She had asked the reunion coordinator if they had a specific Medieval century in mind and they had chose the 15th century. She knew all about costuming since she is a member of an historical preservation organization specializing in the Medieval period so she helped me find something historically accurate as well as affordable.
I bought a plane ticket and made arrangements to stay with Jeannie and her husband for the weekend because my husband was on a business trip. I hadn't seen either of them since her wedding nearly fifteen years ago though we had talked on the phone and sent Christmas cards over the years, I was really excited about seeing them.
We took our time getting dressed on the afternoon of the reunion. Jeannie and her husband, Michael, looked perfect in Medieval Scottish noble costumes--wearing their finest linens and wool tartan. I wore a simple blue, cotton, peasant dress with a white linen blouse underneath and my hair braided and put into a bun.
The committee had gone out and rented an manor house which is a replica of an authentic Medieval manor. The house was decorated with a few authentic Medieval antiques, but mostly reproductions of furnishings, artwork and tapestries from the 15th century. In the great hall heraldic banners hung from the open beamed ceiling and a group of Musicians played period wind and string instruments near the huge stone fireplace. White candles were placed in metal sconces on the walls and in the wood and metal chandelier over the u-shaped wood, Medieval banquet table in the center of the room. I felt as if I had gone back in time.
Although I was dressed as a peasant woman, I received the same royal treatment as all the other alumni. I was amazed by the number of my classmates who showed up. Apparently, putting a Medieval twist had a wide appeal. In talking to them, I learned that most of my classmates weren't planning to attend until they heard about the exciting theme. I guess people really love to playing dress-up. Many alumni brought their cameras and a few brought and video cameras. I don't know how many times I was asked to say, "Cheese". I also and took lots of photos with the disposable camera I bought.
A table was set up at one side of the hall with trays of sliced vegetable, sliced apples and pears, cheese, French bread and a tasty spinach dip for everyone to snack on. There was sparkling apple juice and white grape juice to drink.
About an hour after we arrived, waiters dressed as servants began setting the banquet table for dinner. Tapestry runners were laid down the center of the table and beautiful silver candle sticks placed on top at regular intervals. Baskets of freshly baked bread were placed between each pair of candle sticks. Each place was set with pewter dishes, a metal goblets and a set of utensils on linen napkins.
Dinner was a lovely Medieval feast. The first course was a hearty vegetable soup served in a round loaf of bread. The main course was a choice of Cornish game hen or lamb, honey glazed carrots or asparagus (potatoes hadn't been brought from the New World in the 15th century) and pecan pie and fruit tarts for dessert. Each course was served by waiters dressed as servants who also carried jugs of wine and ale to refill our goblets.
After dinner, Jeannie, with the help of some of our classmates, demonstrated English country group dances and once we saw how easy they were to learn everyone joined in. These kinds of dances are great way to get the guests to mingle since you are always trading partners and moving around the room. Everyone had a fantastic time. Jeannie and Michael were dubbed Lord and Lady of the manor.
Everyone got to take home their metal goblet as a favor. Each one was engraved with the name of our high school and date of our 20th reunion. Everyone was also given a printed booklet of contact information for all the attending alumni to make keeping in touch easier.
Weeks later we were still trading pictures we took at the event. A friend of mine even created a Web page and put a bunch up for everyone to see. After seeing the pictures, my husband wished he could have gone. As a way to make it up to him, I rented the outfit again and made him my own version of a Medieval feast, at home. He thoroughly enjoyed it.