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Thread: Guest requests at weddings

  1. #1

    Guest requests at weddings

    So. Wedding feasts in Arthurian myth are apparently when random people show up to ask for things from... the hosts? (This gets to my question.) A point in time for marvels to appear, the [host] to appear generous, and the bride and groom to appear... together. Right?

    Time for another of my numbered question sets!

    1. Ok, so what are the boundaries to this custom? Can just anyone walk up to the feast, or only guests normally--and the odd stranger who slips in ab-normally? (Give those guards a stern talking-to later!) If someone appeared outside of appropriate dress that means they don't belong there, right--and should be tossed out? (This has connections to Biblical parable.)

    2. Are there boundaries according to custom to the requests that are granted? Or are the boundaries generally on both sides: the guest is expected to keep their greed and imagination in check, while the host grants whatever is requested?

    3. Can we assume that the station of the guest bears on the magnitude of the request that is considered appropriate? A commoner who worms his way in could not expect to have a land-grant on request, after all! (Or, in wrong company: yes gifted land, but he gets three feet of steel for asking, too.)

    4. Who at a marriage feast, is considered the host for granting requests? The groom--sure. But if the groom is a lesser knight, and the feast is organized by his family of higher rank, would the ranking family member act as grantor? E.g. the as-yet unlanded household knight son of the Duke gets married, with dad organizing the event--does the Duke grant requests or the son? Does it vary by request? ("A kiss from the bride" would be within the groom's power to grant but inappropriate for daddy-Duke, for example.)

    Thanks!

    --Khanwulf
    Last edited by Khanwulf; 10-24-2018 at 04:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Khanwulf View Post
    So. Wedding feasts in Arthurian myth are apparently when random people show up to ask for things from... the hosts? (This gets to my question.) A point in time for marvels to appear, the [host] to appear generous, and the bride and groom to appear... together. Right?

    Time for another of my numbered question sets!

    1. Ok, so what are the boundaries to this custom? Can just anyone walk up to the feast, or only guests normally--and the odd stranger who slips in ab-normally? (Give those guards a stern talking-to later!) If someone appeared outside of appropriate dress that means they don't belong there, right--and should be tossed out? (This has connections to Biblical parable.)
    Probably anybody at the wedding, although depending on the size of the wedding and the glory of the asker, it might be possible to crash it and ask for something without be noticed as a gate crasher. I suspect the laws of hopitality apply here. If someone was given permission to be there, they are allowed to ask. If not, then the host probably isn't obligated to honor the request, but might do so to show his largess.


    2. Are there boundaries according to custom to the requests that are granted? Or are the boundaries generally on both sides: the guest is expected to keep their greed and imagination in check, while the host grants whatever is requested?
    Almost certainly. You probably can't walk up to the host and ask for his life and lands. I'd probably use yearly income and ransom as a guide. I could see a vassal knight asking for a charger (£10), a destrier might be pushing the limit (£32) but ten desiers is probably going to far. Need and circumstances probably factor into things too. It's probably considered indulgent or selfish to ask for something you don't need, especially if it is pricey, and probably modest to ask for less that you might be entitled to.

    3. Can we assume that the station of the guest bears on the magnitude of the request that is considered appropriate? A commoner who worms his way in could not expect to have a land-grant on request, after all! (Or, in wrong company: yes gifted land, but he gets three feet of steel for asking, too.) [/qoute]

    Pretty much. I think ransom is about right for an upper limit, yearly income about right for a limit without seeming greedy. Probably 1 years income or less more reasonable. It's probably considered rude to ask for a lot if you already have a lot to. So Barons and Duke probably don't ask for expensive (to them) things. But I also expect that the station of the host bears into it too. A king is expected to be able to give more than a vassal knight. We might want to look at the universal aids thing. The wedding of the eldest daughter is worth a tax equal to a years income, so that is probably what the Host has to work with.In which case downgrade everything I said above.

    I think a commoner couldn't expect to have a land grant, but could ask and might possibly get it, if the lord were so inclined. He might get laughed out of the manor, or flogged.

    4. Who at a marriage feast, is considered the host for granting requests? The groom--sure. But if the groom is a lesser knight, and the feast is organized by his family of higher rank, would the ranking family member act as grantor? E.g. the as-yet unlanded household knight son of the Duke gets married, with dad organizing the event--does the Duke grant requests or the son? Does it vary by request? ("A kiss from the bride" would be within the groom's power to grant but inappropriate for daddy-Duke, for example.)
    I'd say the father of the bridge. By custom he's the one paying for it, and the one who gets to call up a tax to do so. Now if someone else pays for it then they would be the host.
    Last edited by Atgxtg; 12-04-2018 at 11:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Thanks Atgxtg!

  4. #4
    Nothing concrete. I would probably go with the tallage as how much the Host has to spend and guest probably keep that in mind with what they can ask for. So if a vassal knight gets £6 (or £10? BotE) and has 100 guest at the wedding they probably shouldn't ask for something worth much more than 14p/24p (2 shillings). King Arthur, whose annual income is in the thousands, would be expected to give more expensive gifts.

  5. #5
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    GPC p. 145 has instructions on the wedding gifts, both to the wedding couple and back to the guests. It is reciprocal.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    GPC p. 145 has instructions on the wedding gifts, both to the wedding couple and back to the guests. It is reciprocal.
    Cool. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Morien View Post
    GPC p. 145 has instructions on the wedding gifts, both to the wedding couple and back to the guests. It is reciprocal.
    Thanks Morien, that's the pointer I needed!

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