Jay and Wisia had a Pagan ceremony in the woods. They wanted their wedding theme to be folklore and fantasy inspired without being too cheesy.
“There’s a fine line between themed and fancy dress”, laughed the bride. “Our special day was a cross between Viking and Elvish visual themes with elements of Pagan.”
“We were inspired by our love for one another and the love that surrounds us from all the incredible people we know. Other than that, it was influenced by our favourite films, TV episodes and books such as LOTR, The Hobbit and Vikings. We were also deeply inspired by our favourite place to be together… the woods!”
“There are several things that we did that were particularly unique whilst staying very ‘us'”, she continued. “First of all we picked our own surname. We became Mr & Mrs Ælfær (an old English name meaning ‘whole’ that we had chosen together).”
“We had a Pagan handfasting ceremony, which got all of our guests involved as they stood surrounding us in a huge circle to witness the special moment. For part of the circle there was a thin tree that we had decorated with hand-painted pieces of driftwood that had the names of all those we wished could have been there on that day. It’s what we call the memory tree.”
“After the handfasting itself, we broke gluten free bread and shared a chalice full of mead (which Jay had home-brewed) and spoke the words ‘never hunger, never thirst’ to one another. We then left while be showered with dried petals, leaves and buds that my mama, bridesmaids and mother-in-law had helped to dry.”
The wedding was almost completely DIY, especially all the decor. “We’re both artists so if we didn’t have DIY then it just wouldn’t be right! Our living room is filled with pallet furniture that we built together so not having pallet furniture there would just not be us! We ended up using a lot of our own belongings from our home and moved them into the tipis and woodland so it closely resembled our house, which was recognisable to the majority of our guests and felt very welcoming to others and us.
“For place names we hand-painted all the names in a runic style font onto rocks and pebbles and each displayed a Yin Yang (symbolising our unity). Guests absolutely loved these and they also doubled up as wedding favours too. We decorated our Wicker Peacock Chairs from home to use as our thrones! These were stunning. I used ivy, fern, berries; spray roses and gypsophila to decorate mine, and Jay decorated his with driftwood and twine.”
“Jay also home-brewed nearly all the alcohol. He brewed mead, wine, desert wine, gluten free strawberry beer, gluten free pilsner, coffee milk stout, and a Nutmeg and cinnamon spiced brown ale! We didn’t want guests to have to worry about spending money, so all alcohol and food was paid for, we only asked that they could get there and back!”
“Our biggest expense was the tipis! They are just really expensive to hire. We really saved on my dress though which was £80 from eBay! I paid another £100 to have it altered to fit me and add flared sleeves and beading. They actually made me a veil to match too but I forgot to wear it it on the day! Having home brewed alcohol also saved us a huge amount of money.”
“Our wedding would not have been the same without all our wonderful and amazing guests!” she concluded. “Everyone made the day so, so special! We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful, caring, creative and inspiring people who we get to call friends and family! It would not have been the same without them and they all mean such an incredible amount to us.”