Melbourne Wedding Pagan

What Is A Pagan Wedding?

One of the fastest-growing religions in the world is modern Paganism. At its core, Paganism is only a reimagining, in contemporary terms, of the ancient European spiritual traditions that existed before the arrival of Christianity. Still, we're living in modern times. Current principles and ethics, such as feminism and environmentalism, have had a significant impact on modern Paganism.

Furthermore, we have been communicating with Jacqui and Emma of Pagan Wedding Planners in the picturesque city of Glastonbury. They have almost 60 years of combined experience in ceremonial and magical work, and they take great pride in instilling that confidence in their clientele. Listen closely for Jacqui's asides as she explains their background and methods.

Many ceremonies are held by persons who have the belief that they hold some sort of sacred meaning. Celtic, Wiccan, and Pagan adherents recognise and admire the majesty of the elements of nature and the energies inherent in living things. Religious ceremonies of the Celtic, Wiccan, and Pagan faiths have a rich history that spans many generations.

A Pagan wedding is likely to look and feel extremely different from a Christian or Jewish one. Pagans, thankfully, hold a belief in openness, and the newlyweds are likely to be hyper aware of the fact that their actions may make others feel uneasy. They'll make sure you know what's up ahead and provide you with some context for what's happening. Just ask, and they'll be just as delighted to fill you in on the meaning behind their nuptial rituals as you would be to share your own.

Is there any solution if your faiths don't coincide? As a first step, let's define a few terms. In a strict sense, a Pagan wedding is one that is not Christian or Jewish, but in practice, your friends who identify as Pagans are more likely to be inspired by Celtic or Druidic ceremonies (or their best guesses at reconstructing them). Wiccans and Pagans are often confused, but they are not the same. Wiccan wedding is what they call it if it is a Wiccan ceremony.

It's natural to want your wedding to feel personal and special. Adding a "unity ritual" to their ceremonies is one way modern couples want a more personal touch for their wedding. A unity ritual, as the name implies, is a symbolic act performed by a couple to show their devotion to one another. In spite of the many different types of unity rites, one in particular—the handfasting—has become extremely common in recent years. A couple ties their spiritual and physical destinies together when they hold hands and wrap them with ribbon (yes, this is where "tying the knot" comes from). Although this ritual is currently usually performed as part of a larger traditional ceremony, it was formerly its own (sometimes thoroughly unromantic) event in and of itself.

Pagan wedding rituals have a long and storied history, going back hundreds of years or more. They provide couples with opportunities for distinctive commitments because of the depth of their spiritual ties and shared values.

A belief in Paganism is the inspiration for Pagan wedding rituals. You may expect them to include at least three distinct spiritual traditions. Nature-centred religion that celebrates the changing of the seasons: Druidry: the Celtic art of storytelling. Finally, Asatru—consider the Norsemen and their Nine Great Ways. Each partner pledges to uphold the other's dignity, affection, and spiritual respect.

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Pagan Weddings

Handfastings, the Pagan term for wedding ceremonies, celebrate the joining of two persons in a committed, mutually loving, and sexually equal union.

Pagans place great value on oaths and think it crucial that they reflect the genuine and well-considered intentions of the individuals making them, rather than simply being a rote repetition of a formula.

The handfasting vows that a couple will make to each other in front of their deities will be discussed and settled upon in advance by the couple in conjunction with the Priestess or Priest performing the ritual.

All couples will promise to love, honour, respect, and defend each other and their offspring, but it is ultimately up to them to create the foundation for their committed partnership.

Traditional handfasts last for a year and a day, and it is standard practice among Pagans in committed partnerships to reaffirm their vows annually. It's been a day since they last saw each other, so they no longer take each other for granted. Some people, inspired by Pagan ideas of reincarnation, make handfasting vows that extend into their afterlives.

The specifics of each handfasting process will vary, as is the case with every other Pagan ritual, but there are some elements that are virtually ubiquitous.

If it is possible to do so, the ceremony will take place in a natural setting, and will begin with the delineation of sacred space (often in the shape of a circle), the recognition of the Four Elements, and the greeting of all those present.

The couple will pray to the Gods and Goddesses for their future happiness. After the couples have taken the oaths that will define their relationship going forwards, their right hands will be linked together (thus the name "handfasting"), and then they will be released to show that they remain together of their own free choosing.

After the rings have been exchanged, the couple will 'jump the broomstick,' or leap over a broom held horizontally in front of them, symbolically bridging the gap between their individual lives and their new, combined life together. Celebration and feasting are commonplace after a handfasting, as is the case with most Pagan rites.

What Exactly Is Paganism?

The term "Pagan" encompasses a vast range of religious and spiritual practices, some of which are indeed recognised by government institutions. Within Paganism, the three most common religious tenets are:

  1. Wicca:  A religious practice based on observing the changing of the seasons. The Rede, which can be summed up as "As well and it hurt nobody, do as thou wilt," is one of Wicca's core doctrines.
  2. Asatru:  An interpretation of Norse mythology from the past. Imagine the Vikings and you won't be far off the mark. Three of Asatru's Nine Noble Virtues are "courage," "truth," and "honour."
  3. Druidry: An attempt to reenact traditional Celtic rituals, with an emphasis on poetry and narrative. A common Druidic teaching is the Celtic triad, "3 things lovely in a person: tranquillity, wisdom, and kindness."

Polytheistic religions like ancient Paganism, practised all throughout the world, gave rise to modern forms of Paganism that venerate a variety of gods and goddesses and emphasise rituals like sacrifice, meditation, and spiritual offering. Even though pagans have been wrongly accused of using black magic throughout history, their religion is older than many of the world's major religions. Let Vogue Ballroom Wedding Venue help you create the most magical day of your life. 

Neo-paganism, or modern Paganism, has a much more tolerant outlook. Its many subsets may differ greatly in their theology and practise, but they all share the conviction that a polytheistic approach to religion is preferable because it fosters greater religious pluralism, freedom of expression, and mutual respect.

Pagans exchange the vows of love, honour, and respect through a ritual termed a "handfasting." When it comes to handfastings, the emphasis is not on following a set ritual but on addressing the unique needs of each couple. Some couples prefer to handfast for the customary "year and a day," with annual vow renewals; others choose to handfast till death, or "forever."

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Are Pagan Weddings Legal? Is Handfasting A Real Marriage Or Not?

The specific meaning of a Pagan handfasting depends on the beliefs and practises of the couple becoming married. A valid marriage is possible. Either a common law or civil union commitment ceremony might take place here. For those who want to take it slow as newlyweds, it can serve as a "trial marriage." A wedding ceremony of any degree of formality is acceptable.

An officiant, member of the Pagan clergy, a trusted friend, or the couple themselves can perform the ceremony. Our religious community is relatively tiny, therefore it can be challenging to find a priest or minister who is also a licensed public minister.

This means that Pagans who want to "get legally" married usually do so either before or after the ceremony. They plan to take care of all the necessary legal formalities at the town clerk's office or some other government agency's designated location.

What Should I Expect To See At The Ceremony?

A lot of the ceremony may feel quite familiar to you.

  • Promises will be made.
  • Possible sighting of the bride-to-be dressed in white.
  • It's not uncommon for the bride and groom to have a toast with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee as a symbol of their love for one another.
  • In ancient Pagan Rome, brides wore veils of brilliant colours to ward off evil spirits, so it's not uncommon to see a bride in one.
  • Rings or other symbols of affection, such as necklaces, will likely be exchanged by the pair in front of onlookers. People have been using rings and other jewellery to signify their oath of loyalty to a cause or person since at least the Iron Age. Candles may be lit, and a unity candle ceremony may even take place.

The Ceremony

There are many various styles of Paganism, and many modern couples choose to create their own unique ceremonies.

An important part of many rituals is the casting of a circle at the beginning. (Although, occasionally you'll stroll in and find a circle that's already been cast and sanctified a few hours before your arrival.) To do this, the officiant must face the four cardinal directions, one at a time, and pay respect to the elements of earth, fire, water, and air.

Inside the circle, you could find an altar with common ritual items like a cup, knife, and trowel. Salt (earth), a feather (air), a candle (fire), and a bowl of water (the fifth element) are all things you might find in an elemental shrine.

Pagans are not likely to have a traditional "bride-giving" ceremony, although there may be rituals honouring the families (and perhaps even the ancestors) of both the bride and groom. To represent the development of their love, the couple will likely come from the east and enter the circle from that direction.

The officiant may enquire whether anyone has any problems with the marriage, just like at a traditional ceremony. The couple will make their vows, which are nearly often written just for them, and will exchange rings.

The couple may share a toast out of the same glass, or the officiant may have them each cut a strand of hair to place in a wooden or silver box as a symbol of their unity.

Two handfasting ceremonies are traditionally held by engaged couples; the first lasts for a year and a day, and the second lasts for life if the pair is still fully committed to one another.

The hands are bound in a handfasting to symbolise a holy union. Traditional weddings employ cords in the wedding party's favourite colour. Different hues stand for many qualities: red represents determination, strength, bravery, and fertility; orange, encouragement, attractiveness, and kindness; and blue, tolerance, comprehension, wellness, and loyalty.

A Pagan wedding's second most memorable moment is when the bride and groom jump over a broom made of rushes. This gesture symbolises the couple's sexual union and the new phase of their lives together as husband and wife. This practise originated in Africa long before slavery was outlawed. Slaves were considered unfit for marriage under both the law and religious doctrine at this time. To demarcate the transition from dating to marriage, this simple ceremony was developed. Traditional African American weddings have always included jumping over a broomstick.

Handfasting

Handfasting, in which a ribbon or chain is wrapped around the couple's interlaced fingers, is a common ceremony in Pagan weddings. What this means to each individual is up for debate; historically, a handfasting was a "trial marriage" in which the pair lived together for a year and a day before deciding whether or not to make their union permanent. Couples today often treat their wedding as permanent from the start, although they often still include the handfasting tradition in their ceremony. In a year and a day, they may get back together to renew their wedding vows. A Pagan wedding may involve the couple exchanging vows with their hands tied; if this is the case, one of your duties as a wedding attendant may be to hold cards with the vows written on them for the couple to read.

During the ceremony, the officiant will likely give the couple some advice on how to respect each other and maintain their marriage, and then may ask the guests to confirm their support for the union. Your words here will most likely be predetermined for you, but if they aren't, any expression of enthusiasm will suffice.

Pagan Wedding Melbourne

 Is Handfasting A Legal Marriage? Are Pagan Weddings Legal?

The specific meaning of a Pagan handfasting depends on the beliefs and practises of the couple becoming married. A valid marriage is possible. Either a common law or civil union commitment ceremony might take place here. For those who want to take it slow as newlyweds, it can serve as a "trial marriage." A wedding ceremony of any degree of formality is acceptable.

An officiant, member of the Pagan clergy, a trusted friend, or the couple themselves can perform the ceremony. Our religious community is relatively tiny, therefore it can be challenging to find a priest or minister who is also a licensed public minister.

This means that Pagans who want to "get legally" married usually do so either before or after the ceremony. They plan to take care of all the necessary legal formalities at the town clerk's office or some other government agency's designated location.

So Why Would You Have A Pagan Wedding Ceremony?

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There are a plethora of advantages to this arrangement that make it a popular choice amongst today's couples. Since most Pagan rituals take place in the great outdoors, this is a great option if you're looking for a setting that includes natural elements like a sweeping moor or ancient monuments. Some core moral and spiritual convictions are highlighted. These celebrations frequently involve handfasting rites, which are meant to forge a sacred bodily tie between the couple, as well as the Jumping of the broom or Besom. The broom, or Besom, represents a threshold that the bride and groom will soon pass as they take the next step towards marriage. For the same reason, this rite is frequently selected to represent the eradication of bias.

There is a long tradition of the year-and-a-day Handfasting ritual among Pagan couples. A ceremony when a couple pledges their love and commitment to one another and where they will be handfasted again a year later to seal that vow and make it binding for the rest of their lives. That way, two ceremonies might be held instead of simply one.

Guests at pagan rituals typically stand and form a circle around the newlyweds as a sign of solidarity and support. As part of the ritual, the area where the ceremony will take place may be declared holy through the use of incense, the sprinkling of herbs, or the ringing of bells.

Handfasting cords are used in these ceremonies and can be customised to fit the couple's tastes. Alternatively, have everyone sign the jumping broom. Vows and promises are also acceptable. Vogue Ballroom is your ultimate Wedding Reception Venue to create your dream wedding. 

Conclusion

The atmosphere and atmosphere of a Pagan wedding will be very different from that of a Christian or Jewish ceremony. Celtic and Druidic rituals are more likely to spark enthusiasm among your pals. Wiccans and Pagans are frequently lumped together, despite their differences. A "unity ritual" is a symbolic gesture of love and commitment between a couple. There is a rich history behind Pagan wedding customs that date back hundreds of years or more.

As a result of the strength of their spiritual bonds, they offer couples the chance to make unique vows. To ensure a happy tomorrow, they will offer up prayers to the gods and goddesses. To symbolise their union, the pair will "jump the broomstick," or leap over a broom carried horizontally in front of them. Modern varieties of Paganism can be traced back to ancient polytheistic religions like Paganism. The focus is not on rigidly adhering to any particular ceremony, but rather on catering to the specific requirements of each couple.

The ceremony might be conducted by an officiant, a member of the Pagan clergy, a trusted friend, or the couple themselves. Pagans may have rituals honouring the families of the bride and groom, but they are unlikely to have a "bride-giving" ceremony in the classic sense. During the ceremony, the pair will exchange rings and say their vows, which are typically written by the bride and groom themselves. A handfasting is a religious ceremony when the couple's hands are joined together. The pair may exchange vows with their hands bound in a Pagan ceremony.

Any sort of ceremony, regardless of its level of pomp, is allowed. Do the Laws Permit Pagan Weddings? The ceremony might be conducted by an officiant, a member of the Pagan clergy, a trusted friend, or the couple themselves. Most Pagan ceremonies are performed outside, so this is a perfect choice if you want to incorporate aspects like a vast moor or historic buildings into your ceremony.

Content Summary

  1. Modern Paganism is one of the world's fastest-growing religions.
  2. Pagan spirituality is really just a modern interpretation of the pre-Christian spiritual practises of ancient Europe.
  3. And we have been in touch with Jacqui and Emma of Pagan Wedding Planners in the lovely town of Glastonbury.
  4. People who think the rituals they observe have religious significance perform numerous ceremonies each year.
  5. Celtic, Wiccan, and Pagan rituals have a long and storied history, spanning many cultures and religions.
  6. The atmosphere and atmosphere of a Pagan wedding will be very different from that of a Christian or Jewish ceremony.
  7. If you enquire, they will be just as happy to explain the significance of their wedding traditions as you would be if you told them about your own.
  8. Although your non-Christian and non-Jewish pals may consider their nuptials to be "Pagan," they are more likely to draw inspiration from Celtic or Druidic rites (or their best guesses at reconstructing them).
  9. If the ceremony is practised in the Wiccan faith, it is referred to as a Wiccan wedding.
  10. It is only natural to want your wedding to reflect your unique personality and style.
  11. One way that modern couples desire to make their weddings more unique is by include a "unity ritual" in their celebrations.
  12. The purpose of a unity ritual is to symbolise the couple's commitment to one another through a shared experience.
  13. Despite the diversity of unification rituals, handfasting has exploded in popularity in recent decades.
  14. There is a rich history behind Pagan wedding customs that date back hundreds of years or more.
  15. Because of their strong spiritual bonds and common ideals, they offer couples the chance to make unique vows.
  16. Pagan wedding ceremonies derive their meaning from the beliefs of Pagans.
  17. Common practise among Pagans in committed couples is to renew their vows every year, as traditional handfasts endure for a year and a day.
  18. As a nod to Pagan reincarnation beliefs, some people form handfasting vows that cover both this life and the next.
  19. A handfasting, like many other Pagan rites, is followed by a time of celebration and feasting.
  20. There is a broad spectrum of spiritual and religious traditions that fall under the umbrella term "Pagan," some of which are officially recognised.
  21. A faith that bases its rituals and ritualizations on the passage of time as it is manifested in the seasons.
  22. Modern varieties of Paganism, which derive from ancient polytheistic religions practised all over the world, venerate a wide number of deities and place a focus on rites like sacrifice, meditation, and spiritual offering.
  23. Their religion is older than many of the world's major religions, but pagans have been falsely accused of employing black magic throughout history.
  24. Modern Paganism, often known as Neo-Paganism, is significantly more accepting of diversity.
  25. Its many branches may have vastly different theologies and practises, but they are united in their belief that a polytheistic worldview is superior since it allows for more religious tolerance, diversity of opinion, and mutual respect.
  26. The Pagan ritual known as a "handfasting" is where the couple exchanges promises of love, honour, and respect to one another.
  27. What a Pagan handfasting means in practise depends on the couple's own set of values and traditions.
  28. There is the possibility of a legally binding marriage.
  29. Any sort of wedding ceremony is fine by us.
  30. The ceremony might be conducted by an officiant, a member of the Pagan clergy, a trusted friend, or the couple themselves.
  31. If a Pagan couple wants to "be legally married," they will typically do it either before or after the ceremony.
  32. In front of witnesses, the couple may exchange rings or other tokens of their love, such necklaces.
  33. There could be candle lighting or perhaps a unity candle ceremony.
  34. There are different branches of Paganism, and many contemporary couples design their own rituals to reflect their individuality.
  35. The first act of casting a circle is a significant aspect of many rituals. (Within the circle's confines was an altar stocked with typical ritual implements including a cup, knife, and trowel.
  36. While the family of the bride and groom may be honoured with ceremonies, there is unlikely to be a "bride-giving" ceremony in a Pagan wedding.
  37. The pair will likely enter the circle from the east to symbolise the growth of their love.
  38. Like in a traditional ceremony, the officiant may ask if there are any concerns about the union.
  39. The couple will exchange rings and say their vows, which are typically written specifically for them.
  40. Traditionally, engaged couples have two handfasting ceremonies: the first lasts for a year and a day, and the second, if they are still entirely dedicated to one another, lasts for life.
  41. A handfasting is a religious ceremony when the couple's hands are joined together.
  42. Cords of the wedding party's favourite colour are used at traditional weddings.
  43. The second most memorable part of a Pagan wedding is when the bride and husband jump over a broom made of rushes.
  44. This action represents the couple's sexual union and their transition into married life.
  45. Jumping the broomstick has long been a staple of African American wedding ceremonies.
  46. Many Pagan marriages include the ritual of handfasting, in which the couple's fingers are interlaced and a ribbon or chain is tied around them.
  47. Even though the handfasting ritual is less common nowadays, many modern couples still consider their wedding to be permanent from the very beginning.
  48. It's possible they'll get back together to recommit to each other after a year and a day.
  49. If the couple is exchanging vows during a Pagan ceremony, you may need to carry cards with the vows printed on them so they may read them while keeping their hands tied.
  50. The ceremony might be conducted by an officiant, a member of the Pagan clergy, a trusted friend, or the couple themselves.
  51. Since our religious population is so small, it can be difficult to find a priest or minister who is also authorised to preach in public.
  52. If a Pagan couple wants to "be legally married," they will typically do it either before or after the ceremony.
  53. Some fundamental ethical and spiritual beliefs are emphasised.
  54. Rituals like the Jumping of the broom (also known as the Besom) and handfasting (when the bride and groom physically bind their bodies together) are common parts of these parties.
  55. Handfasting ceremonies have been practised for centuries by Pagan couples.

FAQs About Pagan Weddings

Pagan wedding ceremonies are called handfastings and mark the coming together of two people in a formal, loving and equal sexual partnership. Others vow to handfast for life while a few, in accordance with Pagan beliefs in reincarnation, do so for all their future lives as well.

Hand-fasting is a symbolic unity ritual in which a couple stands face to face as their hands are tied together, hence, tying the knot! As their hands are bound, words are recited that express their commitment to each other.

Marriage was an important feature of Viking culture. Viking weddings, also known as Norse weddings, united not only the bride and groom, but it allied both of their families. The families arranged the marriages, and the bride and groom didn't speak much to each other before the wedding.

You will probably see the couple exchanging rings or some other token of their love, such as necklaces. Rings and other jewellery have been used for the purpose of binding people to an oath since at least the Iron Age. You may see the lighting of candles, possibly even a unity candle ceremony.

The best-known pagan wedding practice is handfasting, which is possibly Celtic in origin. A ribbon or cord is used to bind the couple's hands together. A handfasting ceremony can be performed by a properly ordained clergy member, a mutual agreement between the couple, or even with the presence of witnesses. As modern Paganism grew in the early-to-mid 20th century, Pagans sought marriage rites that had historical value without strong links to other religions.

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