Tag Archives: handfasting

Gothic, Pagan Handfasting in the Woods

Amelia and Tess were married in 2016, before Tess’ transition. Since their wedding, Tess has come out as bi-gender, sometimes having days when they identify as male, but others when they’re female. The couple wanted to celebrate Tess joining their family, so with the help of daughter Ivy they had a gothic styled, handfasting vow renewal in the same place they were originally married, Whistlewood Common in Derbyshire.

“Tess falls under the trans umbrella and is bi-gender – switching between two different genders, can be binary and/or non-binary genders”, they explained. “They switch between the two binary genders of male and female. Tess found the term to explain how they feel and has since been ‘out’ for a year and a half.”

The day had a gothic, pagan vibe and the woodland location set the tone for a lot of their stylistic choices. The day felt very ‘them’ but also complimented the surroundings perfectly. “We wanted to update our vows and wedding photos to include Tess”, they continued, “to have a visual representation of how our family is now. Amelia is Pagan and wanted to keep some of our original woodsy themes but with a darker, older feel. Amelia performed the ceremony herself, incorporating parts of our original wedding. Ivy played a bigger role with her being old enough to want to join in with the handfasting this time around.”

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A Druid Handfasting meets Glastonbury Wedding Full of Colour, Sequins & Morris Dancers

James and Bex go to Glastonbury every single year, but as there was no festival in 2018, they decided they would get married on the same weekend and host their own! The day was held at The Pheasantry Brewery, near their home in Nottinghamshire. As well as making their day feel perfect for them, their family and in particular their children were a really important part of the day. Between them they have five kids, two each from previous relationships and the youngest, Frank, together. They even painted Frank’s buggy with the pyramid stage and portraits of Michael Eavis and Dave Grohl on it!

“Our wedding was a Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Glastonbury festival meets English village fete meets The Wicker Man!” said the bride.  “As a family we usually go to Glastonbury Festival, its where James proposed in fact, and on hearing 2018 would be a fallow year and there would be no festival we decided to have our own, that way we get to celebrate our anniversaries there!”

The druid handfasting ceremony was a really special moment (they did the legal ceremony a few days prior). Instead of an aisle, their guests were gathered in a circle around them, their children were also really involved.

Being a festival wedding, the entertainment was obviously a big consideration… Their children are all quite musical so they held an open mic session at the reception where anyone could stand up and perform! All the kids sang, as did Bex and her bridesmaids.

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A Romantic Pagan Wedding in Glastonbury

Living in Australia, Saskia and Sean met through the emerging alternative music scene in Melbourne in 1982. Sean was in a band, EDEN, and travelled a lot so they lost touch over the years but reconnected in 2016 when he was on tour for his sixth album. They were married in Glastonbury, UK, which they chose for it’s obvious connection to music and Paganism.

“We met again at the end of 2016 when Sean tracked me down”, Saskia explained. “We met a few weeks later, fell madly in love, were engaged the following year and married the year after. Nothing has changed – we were best friends then and remain so. We were destined to be together.”

The inspiration for their wedding was obvious: Their own lifestyle. “In Australia, we live in a small romantic Cornish miner’s cottage built in 1863 in the heart of the Victorian goldfields”, she said. “The cottage backs onto a steep hill with a gold reef running through it. This is what we fondly call our ‘Tor’ and was the setting for Sean’s proposal. Having both visited Glastonbury in the past, the temptation to exchange vows at the Glastonbury Tor seemed logical and destined. Arthurian legend and the history and mysticism surrounding Glastonbury have been a key inspiration for Sean’s music over the years. Our clothes were inspired by the gothic alternative scene we are a part of in Melbourne and the music scene that has been a part of our lives since we met in the eighties.”

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A Royal Fairy Tale Wedding in Paris… with a Groom in a Cape!

Public service announcement: This is the new base level for the kind of extra you need to be on your wedding day.

Riccardo and James married in Paris in the most over-the-top yet totally intimate and personal way. Their ceremony was held outside Le Petit Palais, an art museum, where they had a hand fasting ceremony officiated by Michelle Wahila of Ruffled by Grace.

Both men wore suits made by Sebastian Cruz, styled in their own unique way – and for James that meant faux flower epaulettes and the most dramatic groomal (is that a word?!) cape I’ve ever seen. It was designed and made by Alexandria Daniels (including the flowers) and the guys added the appliques and crystals. I’m going to start campaigning to see more men in capes please!

The couple met in LA, after James moved there from Huston and began hanging out at the bar where Riccardo worked. They were married in September and were inspired by their love of Paris for the day – so much so that, in the end, they just decided to fly there and do it properly! “It was actually so much easier, cheaper, and less stressful to have a destination wedding”, they said. “Also everything was cheaper than getting married at home. The cost of weddings in the US are so over-inflated. We only spent about 1/3 of what we would have spent in America.”

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice meets Glastonbury Summer Solstice Wedding Weekend

Fern and Adam were childhood sweethearts, meeting in sixth form and getting together while both at their second year of university. Fast forward eleven years later, and adventures like living and working in Australia together, completing the Rickshaw run in India and many a Glastonbury festival and you’ve got yourself a modern romance!

It was their experiences at Glastonbury that gave them a ton of inspiration for their wedding festival – even choosing the dates they got married around it, as it fell on Glasto’s ‘fallow year’, and summer solstice. They had their handfasting ceremony, performed by a Celtic Priestess, on the Friday; it was held inside a stone circle in Tholt-y-Will Valley on the Isle of Man, which runs along powerful ley lines similar to that near Glastonbury.

Their ceremony incorporated visiting the elements of air, fire, water and earth, where various rituals were performed including smudging using incense, and lighting three candles to symbolise Fern’s family, Adam’s family, and their unison together as a new family. Tradition was kept by exchanging rings and saying vows to one other before the handfasting with hoop, wand and ribbon and jumping the broom.

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Spiritual Woodland Wedding with Crystals and Sage Stick Smudging

If you are interested in spirituality, this is the wedding for you. Felix and Jack’s delightful woodland wedding, held in the garden of their family home, was inspired and led by their spirituality, with numerous rituals taking centre stage.

“We were inspired by our belief that all things are connected, and energies are much more profound when shared collectively,” the couple explains. “Upon arrival, our guests took part in a sage purification ceremony to rid themselves of any negative energies. The ceremony involved walking through the billowing smoke of burning sage smudge stick, then balancing the masculine/yang aspect of that exercise by passing through the feminine/yin aspect of incense. Clapping or ringing a bell between the two produces a total cleansing effect.”

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