Tag Archives: handfasting

Mini-Glastonbury Bohemian Festival Wedding

After swiping right, Laura and Marc had a laid back boho festival wedding, with a humanist ceremony, at Mansty Farm in Penkridge. “We wanted to try and make it a mini-Glastonbury festival as it’s our favourite place,” said the bride. “We tried to put our personal touch into everything. We wanted it to be an ‘unwedding’ wedding. No quirky love letters or anything that didn’t mean something to us. From the seating plan to the log fires, everything had a bit of us in it.”

With guests camping, the outside ceremony with rugs as the aisle, the summer sunshine, marquee, and partying into the night with bands and a DJ, this is the perfect festival wedding vibe. And as with many festival marriages, the couple picked their own vows and promises and had a handfasting ritual.

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DIY Lord of the Rings Wedding in Italy

Being literature lovers and self-confessed huge nerds, the second they decided to get married Veronica and Marco knew the wedding theme would be Lord of The Rings.

Doing most things themselves meant that the budget for their Italian wedding was kept to just €4000. “We only had six months to plan and actually make everything, and we did it all by ourselves!” explained Veronica. “The theme itself was particular, and quite difficult to accomplish without being kitsch or exaggerated, but we think we achieved it.”

The ceremony itself was a non-religious version of the pagan ritual of handfasting. The bride said, “We did some research, searched for a lot of different versions of the cermony, then pulled them together, choosing our favourite parts and writing new ones. The outcome was so heartfelt and personal it still brings tears to our eyes when we read it. We made the guests participate by toasting to us together and even answering a couple questions. Greta and Dario, two of our long time best friends, each had a speech for and about us.”

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A Glastonbury Handfasting & A Las Vegas Elopement

Gaia and Calum didn’t just have one awesome wedding, they had two! The first was at their beloved Glastonbury in the gorgeous tipi field, and the second in Las Vegas at A Wedding Chapel: Two very Rock n Roll places!

Everything was a romantic whirlwind and the couple just went with the flow. The bride said, “We didn’t have a theme, we just wanted to have something special in our favourite place (Glastonbury), and an elopement adventure! We’d been engaged for a year and a half, together for six, and we just decided we didn’t want to wait any longer to be married. It was very last minute – we only started planning it in February and we got married in July!”

It must have felt like one long summer party as the ceremonies were only about ten days apart. Gaia planned the Glastonbury ceremony and Calum was on Las Vegas duty.

The bride said of the planning, “With Glastonbury, we were trying to do it as cheaply as possibly as we had spent most of our money on the Las Vegas wedding. The Glastonbury ceremony was quite last minute as we didn’t know if we would have re-sale tickets until the end of April! We had to wait until we knew for sure to make arrangements, so we really only had two months to organise it. We spent around £350 in total on this, not including the festival tickets. With Las Vegas, it cost £5000 including rings, flights, 5* hotel, hire car, ceremony, photographer, dress, suit, flowers, eight nights’ stay and a holiday!”

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Metal & Pagan Handfasting Wedding in Wales

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Sadie and Aaron initially wanted a Steampunk wedding, but after two years of planning it developed into an outdoor event in the Welsh hills with a dash of gothic, a hint of metal, and a sprinkle of pagan thrown in for good measure!

“We wanted to completely abolish the formality and pressures of a traditional wedding,” explained Sadie. “Our attitude towards the end of planning was ‘what will be, will be’. What was important to us was that not only our guests were chilled and enjoying themselves, but we were too. We decided to do without a sit-down meal and have an awesome buffet instead which meant that everyone could mingle easily. The guests also got the opportunity to explore the ruins near where we had our ceremony, and soak up a bit of history if they wanted too.”

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They had an outdoor handfasting ceremony which also included a unity candle ceremony. “Our ceremony was absolutely wonderful! Our celebrant, Ellie, even made our son Izaiah his own little cord (to match our handfasting cord) to tie around his wrist to symbolise our little family coming together. That bit made everyone cry! It was also unplugged which is something we will never regret. We wanted everyone to be in the moment with us, to watch and to listen as this whole thing would only happen once in our lifetime. Having banned the cameras and phones meant our photographer, Sassy, got some killer shots of our family and friends reacting, as opposed to staring at us through a screen.”

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Homemade Witch Doctor Woodland Wedding

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Chris and Allison’s handfasting witch doctor wedding in the woods was completely homemade. The bride made her own dress and wore shoes from eBay, which she decorated herself. She also made her own headpiece. The flowers were put together by the couple themselves, they created their own invitations, they even self-catered the whole event!

The couple met online in 2011. Alison was living in South Africa at the time and in April 2012 she took a leap of faith and moved over to the UK to be with Chris. Their meeting was unconventional, so their wedding had to be too!

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“It has to be recognised, right from the start,  that this was never going to be a normal wedding”, said the bride. “Discovering the cultural differences between us and integrating them into a life together was often surprisingly more difficult that you might imagine. Add to that a determination not to follow the crowd and ‘do everything right’ drove things in an unusual and joyous direction from the start. Throw a group of mildly lunatic friends into the mix, determined to make things work for us despite there being no cash whatsoever available and a very firm direction was set.”

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DIY and Handfasting Wedding in A Big Top!

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Lizzie and Louie’s incredibly detailed big top wedding, unbelievably, only cost them £6000. The bride even had two dresses!

“The theme was ‘anything goes!’. We didn’t have a colour scheme, we just wanted to have as much fun as possible!” the bride explained. “We wanted our wedding to truly represent us as a couple, and as so many friends and family helped us out, we wanted it also to represent them too. So if someone wanted to contribute in any way, we just let it happen. By doing this the wedding evolved into a beautiful eclectic mix of everyone’s talents and energy.”

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“The flowers were bought and arranged by my grandmother. We also had dried flowers, which I made by collecting and drying discounted flowers from supermarkets! The catering was all done by my mum and grandmother. They made Devon pasties and salad and a buffet of cured meat and cheese for the evening. All the decorations were made by us including the table plan which had a Game of Thrones theme. We also made the place names which were butterfly origami with a raffle ticket hidden inside for raffle after the meal. My mum made the bunting and chair covers. I made the sequin lampshades and collected all the teapots, plates, glassware and cutlery from charity shops! Our band was my brother’s band.”

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Eclectic Bohemian Hippie Wedding

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Kirsty and Mike were married on Friday 31st July at Barmbyfields Barn in York. They chose that date because it was a Blue Moon (the 2nd full moon in a month which only happens every three years) which is said to be a very powerful and magical time to get married.

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“Our wedding theme evolved as we went along, but I guess you could describe it as boho hippie goes to a metal gig!”, the bride began. “It was a very eclectic mix of ideas from ourselves and our children. We collected things and recycled stuff and we kind of wanted the barn to feel like our house rather than a wedding. We even took a fireplace there and set up some logs and some trinkets and we hung a picture of My Dad it. We set our head table in front of the fireplace and we brought our own chairs from home to sit on.”

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Handmade, Thrifty and Locally-Sourced Wedding

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Alex and Steve’s wedding was all about being thrifty but also not being wasteful. They had a £3000 budget, had their reception at a community hall and the bride wore a dress made by her mum from organic cotton an bamboo. The flowers were all picked on the day and the cake was made by the mother of the groom.

“Our inspiration was our friends, their creativity, and nature”, began the bride. “Most of the decoration was made by friends and family. Our ‘theme’ was handmade, simplicity and local. Steve’s mum crocheted over 100 flowers that were on guests’ plates to wear as corsages. We organised a day of willow weaving (run by a friend) in the run up to the wedding to make the willow hearts and flowers. Alex’s niece and nephew collected and painted stones from the beach for the place names.”

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“All the food was local: we got the meat from a local organic small holding, the veg was grown by friends who run an organic veg box scheme, the rest was bought at our local independent health food shop. Alex’s Dad made a barrel of homemade cider, and a friend brewed two barrels of ale for us. We made a big batch of elderflower champagne for guests as they arrived at the hall. Alex’s school friends brought a dessert each to share with everyone. The night before about 20 friends and family helped us set up the hall, and more came in the morning helping us do the final touches. It was a lovely way for people to meet each other and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

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Colourful Outdoor Pagan Wedding

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Cherry and Marco had a pagan wedding at Furtho Manor Farm near Milton Keynes. The bride’s grandmother officiated the ceremony.

“All we really knew was that we wanted a handfasting ceremony and we wanted it outside”, began the bride. “We also wanted it to be personal and fun. The rest kind of just fell in to place. We love Mexican food, we love ice cream, and we love being outdoors – turns out so did all of our guests! We didn’t do a lot of the traditional wedding stuff, after the ceremony we just had a big party. It was awesome.”

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“We didn’t consciously have a theme either, we just wanted to make the place look magical. I suppose it was sort of rainbow festival-y in a way, not sure how that happened, but it did! You won’t find colours anywhere in my wardrobe but our wedding was super colourful!”

“We also DIYed loads! Pretty much all of our décor was homemade or bought from Etsy. My bridesmaids were brilliant and we had a couple of really funny afternoons making paper pinwheels and other hilarious Pinterest bits. The day before the wedding we had a production line going of us six girls and Marco, all cutting and folding fabric to make covers for 60 hay bales. It was mental and I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. I highly recommend DIY’ing your wedding, it’s way more fun.”

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Somerset Stone Circle Celebrity Wedding

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I don’t really get that excited by celebrity weddings, but when wedding photographer Woz of Howelljones Photography emailed me and told me he’d shot the secret wedding of Nicolas Cage’s son on an organic farm in Somerset, I was intrigued to say the least! The whole wedding was very low key, super intimate and shrouded in secrecy to avoid the press.

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DanielleDawn and Weston had a pagan ceremony followed by a English pub reception. “I got a call from Nic’s agent saying that there will be a wedding on Monday morning in Huntstile Organic Farm, Bridgwater and I need to be there for 10am”, Woz told me. “I didn’t know who it was I photographing until I got there as they didn’t want the press to get hold of it.”

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“We all had breakfast in the barn then boarded a tractor and it took us to a stone circle high on a hill near Bridgwater. The pagan ceremony lasted an hour, everybody had to drink from the cup and jump over the sacred sticks.”

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Fantasy and Fiction Wedding

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Lauren and JP’s Glasgow wedding was based on their mutual love of Scotland and literature. “Our inspiration was really just stuff we like”, Lauren wrote. “Medieval mixed with Scottish mixed with books mixed with 50s mixed with tattoos mixed with pumpkins! It was lucky that our mish-mash just worked in the space together! There’s nothing like that moment when you see your vision for the day come together so well.”

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“If I had to describe the theme to someone I would say ‘fantasy and fiction’ as books really ended up as our main theme. We had the tables named after our favourite authors, bookmark favours and many other little nods to authors like the card box in the shape of the luggage from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld book series.”

“The cake was made by my brother and was decorated with spines of books we have read and loved. It was a chocolate and whisky sponge and looked amazing! The cake was my big surprise on the day as he kept his plans a secret. My brother is a pastry chef and has worked in some pretty prestigious places so a lot was expected of him, and he certainly delivered! After the wedding he tweeted pictures of his cake to some of the authors featured on it and they responded!”

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Crazy, Colourful and Handfasting Wedding: Charlie & Barney

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Charlie and Barney wanted a fun and laid back wedding that was all about being themselves. Their dress code was ‘come as you are’ and their invitations made it clear that it was going to be a party wedding! “We got everyone drunk by 3pm because of the Jagerbombs”, Barney wrote. “By the time the DJ started in the evening, it felt like a giant house party, which is what we always wanted.”

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“Almost everything was unusual”, he explained “and the most important thing for us was to make it a true reflection of our personalities (we are somewhat known amongst our friends for throwing parties, for always being the last ones standing on a night out, and for enjoying a Jagerbomb or five). We were also determined that no one should be bored. Charlie wanted it to be a handfasting ceremony, which started to shape the day because it meant we would have two ceremonies. The first was a small, very intimate and very secret civil ceremony in the morning, attended by a handful of immediate family, just sat around the library of Oxon Hoath, casually perching on the sofas. It was meant to be as relaxed as possible, and despite Charlie turning up half an hour late, it was surprisingly stress free!”

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Stonehenge Wedding at Sunset: Shawna & Kevin

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Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, had always fascinated Shawna and Kevin. They flew over from the US to marry there. “It is nearly impossible to describe how it felt to walk among stones that have stood there for millennia”, Shawna wrote. “They have seen empires collapse, civilisations come and go, and yet, there they stand. And while they are not as perfectly placed as they once were thousands of years ago, they are still there and will be for a long time to come. We were, and are, in awe.”

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Their setting really defined this whole wedding and the ceremony was conducted by Druid priests. “Other than our attire, there was nothing normal about the wedding”, she continued. “We did everything out of order. First, we flew to the UK to get married at Stonehenge on September 16th inviting only the druids and our photographer to take part. After the ceremony, we honeymooned through Scotland for over a week. When we returned to the US, we invited our family and friends to celebrate our marriage on October 5th at an authentic North Carolina BBQ joint called The Pit – it was here that we made our marriage legal.”

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