We all know the tale of Robin Hood. Or do we? The popular image is of a fallen English noble man back from the crusades, come to find his lands taken and his position usurped. The root of the problem is Prince John (probably the worst English King ever) muscling his way through medieval England doing what he pleased.
Good Robin takes himself away to the Forest where he basically fights a guerrilla war against the Sheriff of Nottingham plus Sir Guy of Gisburne, along with his band of Merrie Men and the Maid Marian. He is, eventually, pardoned by King Richard and marries Marian in the wooded glades. That part is something you could recreate in Gloucestershire especially if its weddings in the Forest of Dean you are looking for, by recreating a part of this historic love story. An article at Happy Weld gives some incredible design ideas for a beautiful forest wedding.
You might just be recreating the only part of the story that may well be true. The rest is all pretty much hearsay.
First of its very unlikely that Robin stole from the rich and gave to the poor. It’s more likely that he kept it. He may gave given to the poor to buy their silence over the massive rewards that the Sheriff was offering for information on his whereabouts. 100 groats could get you a long way in the 12th Century and that must have been a tempting offer. The locals then would have had to have tread a fine line between Robin and his cut throats on one side and the Sheriff and his local armoured goons on the other. The name Robin Hood might have been used as an alias by several different outlaws. It might have depended on the day which Robin you came across!
One of the major holes in the story is the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. It’s purported to be the hiding place of Robin and his general base of operations. The only problem is that dendrologists have dated the trees age at around 800 years old, so it would have been a sapling at the supposed time Robin was using it as his HQ. Lincoln green is also far too bright to camouflage yourself in a forest and it doesn’t explain why Will Scarlet insisted on wearing red which would have only been relevant in the Autumn colours. It is suggested he wore it because of the amount of men he had killed, and he was a blood thirsty murderer (so that’s the Best Mans costume sorted then!)
Let’s look instead at the more romantic side. Marian is not mentioned in any of the early recorded references to Robin and doesn’t come into the story until the 1600’s. They are married by Friar Tuck in Edwinstone in an emotionally charged ceremony and perhaps its best we leave it there. You could look at recreating this ceremony with a wedding hotel venue in the Forest of Dean. After all wedding themes are all the rage now and it’s not so far as Nottingham!