I recently got married on October 5th, 2019, to my best friend and soulmate, and it was the most beautiful day. However, planning the ceremony wasn’t as easy, especially considering that his family is Christian and mine is Catholic, but I have a pagan belief system.
What’s a witch to do?
Spiritual Wedding Decor and Overall Aesthetic
For starters, I decided on a bohemian theme.
My bridesmaids wore flower crowns and different colored dresses in different styles. I wanted them to pick a dress that they loved and that was right for them, rather than something I picked out. I wanted a flower crown as well, instead of the traditional veil.
The men wore vests and plaid shirts, except for my groom, who wore a plain blue dress shirt and a special plaid bowtie that I picked out. We got married outside at a park that was special to my groom and I, so minimal decor was needed for the actual ceremony.
The Spiritual Wedding Ceremony
We rented the pavilion at the park— for free!— and decided on getting married under the willow tree beside it. Willow trees have always held a special place in my heart.
The “aisle” I walked down with my dad was grass, sidewalk, the middle of the pavilion, and three steps down to the tree. In case you couldn’t tell, I enjoy doing things differently.
For the entire ceremony, I was barefoot except for a pair of barefoot sandals because I wanted to be connected to the earth, my goddess.
The prelude and processional consisted of instrumental versions of songs that were significant to us, played by one of my coworker friends on acoustic guitar. Our recessional was played on bagpipes by the father of my childhood best friend as he led us down the “aisle.” Music is very important to us as a couple, so at the end of the ceremony, my husband played an acoustic song on guitar that he had written and shared with me just before we said “I love you” for the first time. I also sang a song to him (“All That I Am” by Amanda Sommerville) at our reception as a special surprise.
Our officiant was the mother of my childhood best friend, who had basically been a second mother to me since I was three. She is Catholic and a certified spiritual director, and I knew she would be supportive of our unique ceremony because she is very spiritual and open. During the ceremony, my husband and I stood in the middle of a circle of stones that represented a sacred space and was our simpler version of “casting a circle.”
We chose two readings, Corinthians 13 and a blessing called “The Elements of Love” that I found on Pinterest. The first piece I’ve always loved, and I always wanted it read at my wedding. I also thought the Catholic/Christian majority of the gathering would appreciate hearing a reading from the Bible. The second piece represented my strong bond with nature that had been growing since I was little and finally blossomed a couple years ago when I discovered pagan paths. The elements are very important to me, so I wanted them incorporated in our ceremony.
Before the vows and ring exchange, we did a handfasting. Handfasting is an ancient practice used by many pagan traditions, as well as in other cultures, where two individuals have their hands tied together with ribbons or ropes to symbolize their union. My husband and I picked out our cords together at a craft store and chose a few little charms to thread onto them to personalize them. With each cord that was draped over our hands by our officiant, we made promises to love and support each other always.
I also chose the following handfasting reading that I found on Pinterest for our officiant to read before we tied the knot— yes, that’s where the saying comes from.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
More about the Elements
When I chose the colors for my bridesmaids’ dresses, I actually didn’t have the elements in mind, but I ended up accidentally channeling them anyways. One wore navy blue (water), one wore mossy green (earth), one wore deep red (fire), one wore golden yellow (air), and one wore lavender, which I now interpret as the fifth element, spirit. I find this symbolism even more powerful since I didn’t plan it that way on purpose.
As gifts for my bridesmaids, I picked out a necklace with a different crystal for each of them that corresponded to the color of their dress while also having properties that I thought would be most meaningful to them individually. I found this a simple, yet powerful, way to incorporate my craft into my wedding while also expressing love and gratitude to the important women in my life.
I wanted my wedding day to be as magickal as possible, and it truly felt like something out of a fairytale. When I think back, I know the memories will always carry a special kind of energy.
Copyright 2020 Allison Campbell & Plentiful Earth, LLC. / All Rights Reserved.