Let us reassure you again that you don't have to think of yourself as a "Pagan" to use our service! Please also note that your ritual does not have to include any of the customs described here, it can be as simple as you wish, but, whatever your choice, all our wedding rituals are fully legal if required. As stated, our background is mainly Druidry and Wicca so our rituals tend to reflect this, but we are are happy to work with you to produce a ritual which is perfect for you and which reflects your own traditions.
Often "handfastings" take place within a cast circle, where sacred space "between worlds" is created for the duration of the ritual. For this purpose we can provide ritual swords, staffs, shamanic drums and rattles, wands and athames, to your preference - and we have established good relationships with our local constabulary to avoid any embarrassing legal repercussions from waving sharp objects around!
Another aspect of a handfasting that is traditionally incorporated in the ceremony and which is very popular with modern couples, is the practice of the couple jumping over a broomstick together after they have taken their vows. The broomstick may represent the couple's home and, more specifically, their hearth fire at the heart of their home. This custom may have African-American and Romani origins, although the Welsh had "priodas wes ysgub" - "broomstick weddings". This may symbolise the "leap of faith" which the couple are taking as they start their new life together. Again, we can provide a traditional besom for this purpose, if you require one, which we decorate with seasonal flowers and herbs from our own garden.
Following requests from couples, we also make miniature besoms (from materials sourced ethically in Orkney) which you can also jump over and then take home with you - these make a lovely decoration for the house and a wonderful keepsake.
Unless requested otherwise, we provide couples with a mead toast from a quaich for them to take their first drink together as husband and wife. This is a traditional Scottish practice from the highlands. Couples can provide their tipple of choice, such as whisky, if they would prefer. We also make a non-alcoholic mead (a mediaeval recipe of honey and apple juice) on request.
We provide a candle (in a hurricane lamp), appropriate incense, and a small altar posy for the altar (the incense and posy are usually homemade using seasonal flowers and herbs from our garden), unless requested otherwise, and we bring a homemade honey cake as a gift for the spirits of the place. A choice of altar cloths are available.
You and your guests can wear whatever you want during your ritual, whether that is traditional formal wedding attire, ceremonial robes, or themed costumes. Likewise, as your Celebrants, we can wear formal "business suits", ceremonial robes, or tartan according to your preferences.
Although modern Pagans might still refer to their wedding as a handfasting, these days Pagan weddings have no set format; rituals can be conducted within the carefully cast circle of the magick worker, or without grandeur around a shamanic hearth, or simply in a beautiful place which reflects the love you have for each other. As such, a modern Pagan wedding can provide the ideal choice for couples who want a wedding that is designed to their own specific tastes and spiritual beliefs.
Your ritual can be from any path of modern Paganism and can include themes of your choice. It is equally acceptable for couples to amalgamate themes from a number of paths, your own individual paths, or even none. It is up to the couple to decide how much reference they wish to make to deity, if any.