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.”
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.