Robin Hood possesses Cupid’s arrow of love for one US couple

Joe and Debbie Tencza - new image

Have you ever thought about renewing your wedding vows? Some people aim to recapture that special day in the same location used all those years ago. Some dig out the wedding dress used on the very same day and recreate the occasion to the letter in order to re-kindle the flames of youth. Well a couple from the US have a very different vision for the renewal of their vows, choosing for it to take place right here in Nottinghamshire!

Joe and Debbie Tencza from New Jersey in the US, are making a 3,400 mile trip in order to create the perfect scene for their renewal. The couple adore our local hero Robin Hood and as a result have chosen to carry out the ceremony dressed up in themed costumes within Sherwood Forest on the eve of the Robin Hood Festival. They even named their puppy Robin of Loxley in dedication to the protagonist of all the myths and tales passed down through Nottinghamshire folklore.

Inspiration for the theme came from Debbie who has been a cult follower of Robin Hood since she was a girl. The idea came to prominence when Debbie was diagnosed with cancer last year and after a tough year beating it she now wants a magical day to celebrate the love between herself and Joe.

“Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent several surgeries but my wonderful husband Joe was by my side every moment and I am now cancer free in 2013.”

“So this year seems like the perfect time for new beginnings and for our vow renewal as well. Sherwood Forest is the perfect place for a fresh start of the rest of our lives.”

Debbie and Joe have attended Robin Hood Renaissance Festivals in full costume every year since the 1980’s all across America. In terms of locations they don’t come much more mystical and magical than Sherwood Forest! The couple have visited the forest once previously and instantly fell in love with the charm and character that Nottinghamshire’s unique location had to offer. Speaking of their previous visit Debbie said: “At the time, there was a display of items from the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves movie which was so exciting because it is one of our very favourite movies – the song ‘Everything I do I do for You’ from the movie is our wedding song.”

Joe and Debbie Tencza - NY Renaissance Festival

Joe and Debbie at a New York Renaissance Festival

Debbie has also done an amazing job in educating Joe about Robin during their time together – “I have loved the legend of Robin Hood since I was a young girl.  Joe knew of the legend as well before we met but learned more as we spent time together and are both big fans now! I have many books on Robin Hood and love to read about both the legend and the history whenever I get a chance.”

The Robin Hood festival is a unique event not only in the UK but around the world. It’s appeal stretches far and wide to all those with a love for Nottingham’s legendary figure or those who wish to sample medieval life. Jousting tournaments, archery and many more attractions make up the event. For Joe there was nowhere else in the world more fitting to hold such a special ceremony.

“We are looking forward to renewing our vows and also going to the Robin Hood Festival in costume and meeting others who also love the Robin Hood legend. It looks like the best Festival of them all and of course the location could not be better! It’s magical that the festival starts the day after our renewal of vows ceremony!”

Joe, Debbie and Robin of Loxley the puppy1

Joe, Debbie and Robin of Loxley

The ceremony will take place on the 4th August, with Joe dressed as Robin while Debbie will be wearing a purple peasant outfit to truly immerse themselves in the surroundings. The happy couple will also be in attendance for the entirety of the festival in order to savour the atmosphere of Nottinghamshire’s historical event.

The Robin Hood festival of 2013 which runs from the 5th – 11th August will be, more so than usual, a truly unique occasion thanks to Joe and Debbie and we wish them all the best for their special day!

For more information on the festival including information on how to make the most of your visit to Nottinghamshire throughout August please visit

All images courtesy of Nottinghamshire County Council.

Posted on 24 June 2013
Featured author: Tom

Nottingham lad who’s a proud Notts County fan, cheese fiend, chocaholic and loves travelling and music.

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