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post #81 of 82

As a solitary practitioner I would say to you, you should join your spirits in the way that is meaningful to you.  It is also important for you to know that Wiccan, Pagan or Celtic marriages and vows are very spiritual events and need not be "bizarre" to those that practice their faith otherwise.  Pagan traditions have lineage that most Christian or traditional marriage ceremonies share in common.  The casting of a protective circle, the summoning of the God and Goddess and protective energies are probably the most different portions of the traditional event as compared to more Christian and contemporary ceremonies.  The vows are not all that different.  In fact, Christian vows have their roots in Pagan or Wiccan vows. Look for Wiccan, Pagan or Celtic vows online and see how they fit into you day's plans.  No one need feel uncomfortable, especially you.  I perform handfasting and marriage ceremonies and I have never had anyone react with anything but surprise at how much more alike we are than different.  Blessed be.

 

post #82 of 82

I realize this is an old thread that has been resurrected, but I thought I'd chime in anyway in case someone else had this same question.

 

A wedding is supposed to be personal. There are certain "elements" that people expect to see, but people really like it when a couple makes the ceremony their own. If you're not doing an all out circle casting/element invoking/god and goddess mentioning kind of ceremony, then no one will really notice that it's a pagan ceremony and not just a personal ceremony. (Btw. I have ZERO problem with a circle casting/element invoking/god and goddess mentioning ceremony, but that's not what the question was about.) Do your wedding the way YOU want to do it.

 

For my own wedding I did a lot of personalization, and included enough pagan elements to satisfy my religious side. However, I felt that the ceremony was more of an expression of DH and I's commitment to one another, rather than a strictly religious experience only. The basic layout went like this:

 

 

We had a wedding arch set up outside in front of a fire-pit, with an altar set up to the side with various things on it - to include our rings, handfasting scarf, and a necklace we gave to DD. The officiant came early, and smudged the ceremony site, set up the altar, and when we walked down the aisle there was still incense burning.

 

-Family walked down the aisle

-DH walked down the aisle

-DD as flower girl walked down the aisle to hold DH's hand

-I walked down the aisle on my Dad's arm. (Well, we danced a little down the aisle! haha.)

-Dad handed me off to DH, and then we each took DD's hand under the wedding arch.

-Female officiant had everyone be seated, welcomed everyone to our wedding, said a little something about our decision to marry and create a family with DD.

-DH and I each said vows to DD and then presented her with a necklace that was on the altar.

-We then did a modified version of the hand blessing (no mention of deity in my version)

-We exchanged rings that we took off the altar after our hands were blessed

-Then our hands were fasted. Officiant explained a little about this, but in a non-religious way. More of a this binds them hand to hand, heart to heart, life to life, kind of way -- but different language.

-While our hands were still tied, the officiant read the "Apache" wedding blessing.

-Officiant proclaimed us handfasted, and said a little something about the circle of the knot-ed scarf as she took the unbroken circle off of our hands.

-We were announced husband and wife.

-We kissed.

-People blew bubbles as we exited.

 

 

Everyone couldn't stop talking about how lovely the ceremony was. I had a few people say that it was "modern." And a couple of the guys joked that we "really tied the knot" with the handfasting. No one said a single word about religion in relation to the ceremony at all.

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