Tag Archives: handfasting

Gothic, Pagan, DIY Farm Wedding

Hannah and AJ had a specific mission for their wedding day – for all their guests to be able to celebrate their individuality with them, as they both celebrated their individuality and their love for one another. There was no dress code, their ceremony was held in a spiritual circle which included everyone attending, and they didn’t stick to what people consider to be traditional norms.

With a budget of £7,000, they hired a farm where they could not only have their ceremony and reception, but their guests were free to camp for the weekend – it was important to them that their guests had as few barriers to attending as possible. Their ceremony was held in a cowshed (!) which they decorated themselves with help from family and friends. In fact, a lot of their nearest and dearest dug deep and helped out wherever they could – AJ’s friends provided the catering, DJing and photography and Hannah’s friends did her make up and wedding cake as gifts, and her mum altered her wedding dress. It turned the prep, and day, into a really personal affair, with plenty of community spirit.

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A Dark Medieval Fairytale Inspired Elopement

On October 6th at The Lost Village of Dode in Kent, Natalie and Maxx acted as models for a Snow White and dark fairytale themed wedding shoot. What started as just a pretend handfasting ceremony ended up being really moving and emotional for the couple, so they decided to actually make the commitment for real!

“On the day, a joke turned into a look, which turned into a ‘Shall we?'”, explained Charlotte, who organised and styled the day. “And before we knew it an all kinds of beautiful actual handfasting took place. It was really special and very intimate, no planning just a big fat ‘Lets do this!’ After this, the whole shoot took on a party feel a proper celebration of these amazing people – It was like it was meant to be with every aspect of the styling suiting them perfectly.”

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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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