If ever there were a fairy-tale wedding, it was Elysa Torres and Robert Boyer's.
Standing in the chapel amid the village of Revel Grove, he painted a dashing picture in his green suede jerkin vest and knickers with brown suede boots laced up to the knee. His betrothed was lovely to behold in a multi-colored striped frock with tight bodice and white blouse underneath.
Standing before each other and a host of friends and family, they proclaimed their intentions to the world in a manner befitting the scene:
"By the life that courses within my blood, I take thee to be my chosen one," he said, gazing into her eyes.
Then she repeated the vows that they had written together.
And so the cardinal pronounced them married, proclaiming, "Now you will feel no rain, you will be shelter for each other."
It was a magical scene, although a typical wedding for Revel Grove, a charming but purely fictional village where real people dress up in 16th-century costumes and take their wedding vows.
It all takes place on weekends at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville.
There, actors roam the streets as members of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon's court and entertain crowds with music, storytelling, jousting, crafts and general merriment.
Between the many scheduled shows the actors and musicians perform, they also interact with festival-goers, greeting them and sometimes teasing them in Old English.
For the past 10 years, Tony Guida has portrayed Sinnius Vice, a naughty cardinal who spends much of his time encouraging villagers to sin.
"If there was no sin, then I'd be out of work," he explained. "So the more sin you do, the more work for me."
Early on in his role as street performer, Guida developed the habit of teasing festival-goers, playing matchmaker by randomly assigning couples from the crowds.
"I would mess with them," he said. "I'd tell them that they were officially married as long as they exist in Revel Grove."
His performance was so convincing that it gave some fairgoers ideas.
"People would come up and say, 'Can you really marry us?' " he said. "So I learned how."
Since obtaining credentials to conduct marriages four years ago, Guida has been performing up to 10 ceremonies during the festival season, which runs nine weeks each fall, through Oct. 24.
"It's an opportunity to enjoy a world that we've created," Guida said. "It's make-believe but to most people it feels real."
It was completely natural for Celenda and Scott Russell to decide to be married at the Renaissance Festival. After all, the couple had visited almost every single weekend for a year before they got engaged.
"I thought, who else could marry us? Then I remembered that captains at sea are allowed to perform weddings, so we asked the Captain Fletcher Moon [Brad Howard, a street performer at the festival] to marry us," said Celenda Russell, who said she had attended the festival religiously for 10 years before marrying there last fall.
The Russells' marriage, however, was a mock ceremony that put a lighter note on their official marriage, which took place the day before at the courthouse in Prince George's County. Wearing renaissance costumes and surrounded by family and friends, the two exchanged vows at the White Hart Tavern, a village pub on the fairgrounds.
"When you come here, you create an alter-personality and leave the old you behind," said Scott Russell. "People come here to have a good time."
Festival officials said they can arrange weddings for up to 250 attendees and provide catering with traditional medieval fixings: steak on a stake and large turkey legs, of course.
"It is not the typical wedding you get in a regular church," Boyer said. "If you want fairy tale, you can't get more fairy tale than this."