Last week I got married.
Where do I even go from there? Nothing I say here will even come close to explaining just how magical the ceremony was nor how amazing my now husband and I felt on that day. But alas, I promised a post about the ceremony so here it is!
What is Marriage?
To me and my husband, marriage is a stepping stone to raising a family (that doesn’t mean we believe it’s necessary for others but for us it’s important) and having a family has been one of my lifetime goals since I was a little girl. In fact, Brian and I have very similar life time goals, including raising a family, and this was the reason we decided to get married. Sure, we love each other and that’s a lot of the reason why we’re still together but it’s not the reason why we got married.
Marriage is how you say to the world “we’re a team and we will deal with everything together”. It’s a guarantee to our future children that there will always be someone there who will love and take care of them because we are bound not only by law to each other but also by our souls; in both inner and outer worlds so to speak.
We chose to hold the ceremony on the full moon as this is when I believe my power is at it’s greatest (plus it’s pretty).
The Spiral Aisle
Our aisle was created by our guests into the shape of a spiral. To me, walking into the center of the spiral signified entering into the inner world. Before we walked down the aisle we stood at the entry accompanied by our wedding party, while our celebrant explained the extent of the commitment Brian and I were about to make to us and our guests. He then asked us both separately if we were here of our own free will and accord. Our bridal party then walked down the aisle, alternating boys/girls, followed by me and Brian walking together hand-in-hand. We then conducted the spiritual ceremony in the center of the spiral.
Blessings, Cleansing and Drawing Down of the God and Goddess
The inner circle of the spiral aisle consists of the Bridal Party, our family and then our friends around the outside. Once we have settled into the center of the aisle our celebrant asks our guests if we have their blessings. There’s a number of ways to do this but we chose to get our guests to yell it out all at once. It took about 3 goes to get a good loud response from everyone but it made everyone relax – with such an out of the ordinary wedding I feel this really loosened up the atmosphere a bit (and stopped me from shaking with nerves haha).
We were then cleansed and told to leave our worldly worries behind us so as we may focus on our wedding ceremony. We chose to use salt water but you could use anything really as long as you feel new and free afterwards. After the cleansing we called down the God and Goddess into Brian and I respectively. Our celebrant placed a crystal wand on one of our shoulders then starting with Brian said:
“Brian, I ask you to call upon all that is divine within you, let it come forth and shine. In you lives the essence of the Gods, the active force that has sparked and powered all life.You are he who has been worshiped and adored throughout the ages. You are husband, father, lover, protector, visionary, friend and confidant. In you is everything that anyone could ever aspire to be and more. In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace. Shine mighty one and show to all the God within.”
“Amanda, I ask you to call upon all that is divine within you, let it come forth and shine. In you dwells the essence of the Great Mother and the divine feminine principle of the Universe. You are she who has been worshiped and adored throughout the ages. You are wife, mother, healer, friend, prophet, and confidant. In you is everything that any one could ever aspire to be and more. In you is strength and wisdom, perfection and peace. Shine dear one and show your true nature as Goddess.”
This felt right for us as Brian and I identify with the qualities of the God and Goddess however it could be the other way around. It doesn’t have to be God=the man and Goddess=the woman. Nor does it even have to be a God/Goddess at all, it could be anything as long as it makes you feel strong and like your true, inner self.
Exchanging Rings, Handfasting Ritual and the Vows
We then cleansed our wedding rings in water from the place we got engaged, again this can be done in any way. Wedding rings are still an important wedding tradition in modern times (if I could do it again though I would try harder to find Brian an engagement ring and plan a proposal for him). Our rings are in the shape of a circle which has no beginning and no end, a circle symbolises a continuing bond and the equality of the wearers. We chose rings that had a similar theme (mine is in the shape of leaves and his is inlaid with wood) which we believe links us and our common goals. Once they were cleansed we handed them to our parents to ‘warm’ – they infused good thoughts, feelings, advice, etc into them.
We were then given our rings to hand to the other if we chose to be wed. First Brian, then me. We put the rings on each other then said some standard vows.
Our celebrant then called upon our mothers who were minding each of our handfasting cords (which we made ourselves). Our celebrant twisted them together and then tied them around our clasped hands.
Whilst our hands were clasped we stated our personal vows. As a general thing I said what I believe our marriage will be about and promises that I intend to keep. I also spoke about what I wish for our future.
Removal of Handfasting and Blessing of the Hands
At this point we let our hands go, leaving the handfasting cord tied. A red sash was then draped over our holding hands again and a blessing was said over them.
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 for the rest of your lives.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 in the twilight of your years, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
After the blessing of the hands, we sealed our vows with a kiss then exited the spiral and went to do all the legal stuff. At this point we then walked back down the aisle to be presented as Mr. and Mrs. where our friends and family congratulated us on our way back out and rained rose petals over us.
I think if I could do it over again, there would be a few things I would change. In saying that though I’m extremely happy with how things went on the day and it’s only in hindsight I have those thoughts.
Brian and I wanted to create a ceremony which reflects us as people and clearly represents the people who we aim to become. We want future generations to not be restrained to having traditional beliefs, ceremonies, rituals, etc just because that’s what’s expected. It was a hard journey as most of our family were very skeptical of what we had planned, but in the end it turned out beautiful and everyone was pleased and moved by how emotional it was.
Rituals are important to me, you just have to look back through my posts to see that. This one was one of the most important ones that I will ever have to attend and I’m glad we chose to personalise it as much as we did.
Note: Please don’t steal any of these photos. They are images of a very important and vulnerable time for Brian and I. We would appreciate your respect and understanding in making sure that if you want to share them, to keep the corresponding information with them. Thank you.