There are many branches on the tree of Paganism and when it comes to planning a wedding, there aren’t any rules to follow. As a Pagan, a Priestess, and an alternative Pagan wedding celebrant, I can create you a wedding perfect for you and your beliefs.
What Pagan Path do You Follow?
One of the first questions I ask prospective clients who enquire about a Pagan wedding is what Pagan community or branch of Paganism they belong to, practise or follow.
These are just a few of the many paths of Paganism. There are those who aren’t pantheon based Pagans. Many may cross the various pantheons (eclectic Pagans). The majority of Pagans I create and lead ceremonies for are solitary Pagans who practise alone rather than being associated with specific groups.
What Happens During a Pagan Wedding?
What happens during a Pagan wedding is chosen and decided by those the ceremony is for. As we are all different and we work with our own deities, what is included will vary. As different branches of Christian weddings vary so do Pagan weddings. If it feels right to you and it is acknowledging your God/Goddess and beliefs, you can include it into your wedding.
Setting an altar for chosen deities is important. Creating a sacred space and circle casting/opening can also be done if required. Your Pagan wedding can be as full on, or as touched upon on your beliefs as you require.
What to Wear for Your Pagan Wedding
What you choose to wear for your Pagan wedding is up to you. There certainly aren’t any requirements to wear Viking, Medieval, witchy, or Gothic attire (unless this is your theme). Many choose to wear white wedding dresses; many decide to wear outfits with colours associated with their deities.
Witches more commonly are followers of Wicca, but some also or prefer to follow other Pagan pantheons. The presence of the triple moon, pentacle, a broom, and handfasting are part of Wicca following witches wedding ceremonies. Calling in the elements are also important.
When is the Best Time of the Year to Have a Pagan Wedding?
As it is your wedding, whatever time of the year you want to have your wedding, have it then. Pagan weddings are usually always held outdoors (regardless of the weather). Pagans are worshippers of nature so being outdoors for a wedding ceremony isn’t a choice; it is a given most will expect it. As the weather in the UK is variable regardless of what time of the year it is, August won’t guarantee a hot day.
Wiccans and those who follow the Celtic path may choose to have their wedding during a certain Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year. Beltane is a favoured time for a Pagan wedding as it was time of the Great Wedding of the God and the Goddess.
Many choose Samhain (Halloween) to hold their wedding as this is the time of year most associated with connecting with our ancestors and for many, (like Yule), it isn’t the ‘right’ time of the year to hold a wedding. However, depending on your own Pagan beliefs, you can hold your wedding anytime suitable to you.
Image by: My Beautiful Adventure Photography
One wedding custom many branches of Paganism include in a wedding is handfasting. Handfasting is a Pagan wedding custom reportedly where the term ‘tying the knot’ comes from.
The hands of those the ceremony is for are bound together in unity and ritual in the name and presence of the Goddess or their called in deity.
Handfasting cords/ribbons should be braided together or set with the personal intentions of those the ceremony is for. I have made hundreds of sets of handfasting cords, no two sets the same. I always encourage those who book me as their wedding celebrant to make their own as it is personal to them.
As a Priestess and a witch I will make and bless handfasting cords/ribbons/bindings if required to do so. All given the intentions required for an eternal union as handfasting is eternal. Some Pagans believe death parts but those bound together will find each other in the Summerland or their next world.
Handfasting bindings can have charms or decorations on the ends if requested. The colours represent different attributes or personal meanings. Chosen people can wrap the handfasting bindings if required. Most Pagans want a selection of cords or ribbons braided together as this is the traditional way. Non-Pagan handfasting ceremonies do take place with individual coloured ribbons rather than a braided binding.
Pagan Wedding Vows
Wedding vows are usually said during or just after the handfasting ceremony takes places. I encourage everyone to write their own vows to each other as this is what will make every union unique and personal. Vows are said in the presence of guests, the elements (if called in) and their deities. Some decide to speak from the heart on the day rather than to write their vows before. Whatever feels right for you, do it your way.
Exchanging Rings or Other Items
Most wedding and marriage ceremonies regardless of a belief or non-belief involve the exchanging of wedding rings or items of jewellery. Viking couples will exchange swords or arm rings. Many Pagan couples choose to exchange necklaces or bangles rather than wedding rings. A few decide to exchange both, the choose is yours.
Wine or Mead?
As an offering to their deities, a toast to their new union, or as part of the ceremony, many Pagans include a mead or wine ceremony. Mead is preferred by most as it is traditional and a symbol of fertility. I highly recommend any of these meads for a wedding or handfasting ceremony to all who ask me as they are very special meads.
Pagan Celebrant for Pagan Weddings and Handfasting
If you are a seasoned Pagan, a newbie to Paganism, or want a Pagan ceremony as one of you are Pagan, get in touch so we can start planning your Pagan wedding and handfasting.
Main image by : Gearheart Photography