Having a Pagan Wedding While Not Offending Those of Other Religions...? (Please Come In If You're Christian!) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 82 Old 02-21-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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I guess I will say that I am the odd one out and would actually include Catholicism in my invite.  My sister is being married in the Church, and sought me out to help her with her invitation wording because she wanted to make sure people understood that this was a Catholic wedding and that certain behavior and attire is expected.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Lastname

and

Mr. and Mrs. Lastname

invite you to the Nuptial Mass of

Name

and

Name

as they celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage

on

etc...

 

She also mentioned that it was Catholic on her website and included that this meant that since the Lord is Truly Present in the Eucharist, respectful behavior and attire is expected.

 

Honestly, I would appreciate if wedding invitations mentioned such things, esp if the wedding is not being held at a church.  If it was a Christian wedding, I would expect it would refer to God, blessings, Christ, etc.

If it was a handfasting, I would expect to see "Handfasting" instead of "wedding".


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#62 of 82 Old 02-21-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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DH and I had an outdoor handfasting for our wedding ceremony. I really torqued myself over making the Christian guests feel comfortable, to the point of ridiculousness. Luckily, dh reined me in and reminded me that this ceremony was our once-in-a-lifetime expression of unity and love to the people we love most. OUR expression. And everything was...fine. OK. Great. Wonderful. We did a full circle, with matched "lords and ladies" at each cardinal point, an altar, breaking of bread and sharing of cider, calling to the corners, handfasting with bells and cord, family and friends creating the circle, etc. Not a single person expressed concern or discomfort to us, ever, and we got a lot of compliments for having such a fun and unique ceremony.

 

We did explain our ceremony step-by-step to our parents and made them communication points for anyone with questions beforehand. Our invitations clearly said "handfasting" on them, and indicated a semi-formal outdoor event (shoes optional), so folks had ample heads-up that this wasn't going to be a typical church wedding.

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#63 of 82 Old 03-01-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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Dh and I are Pagan and we had a female Celebrant perform our ceremony in a backyard wedding. I wrote the ceremony with some help from a bunch of pre-scripted versions the celebrant emailed me. I also purchased a couple of books on non traditional weddings. It was FUN to write our ceremony!

 

What helped is that we had a slightly Renaissance themed wedding and that my family is Irish and Scottish. A lot of elements in the wedding appeared “days of old” instead of Pagan.

Our ceremony used the very common wedding flow which I think helped people understand what would happen next. Flowers girls walked down the aisle tossing rose petals. We walked down the aisle. The celebrant welcomed folks and said what the ceremony was. She talked about commitment, love and unity. Poems were read. We said our vows. We exchanged rings. She announced us as married/handfasted.

 

Here are some Pagan elements we included:

No one gave me away. DH and I walked separately from different direction and met at aisle, then proceeded to the altar.

We had an altar with candles, flowers and other subtle Pagan elements

Invoked the four directions with friends reading a brief prose in that direction

Invoked the Goddess and God very subltly in the wording at the opening

We did a unity candle

We did a cord Handfasting around our wrists as we said our vows

We jumped a crossed sword and broom as the Celebrant announced us

 

We also had a bagpiper and did a Spiral Dance with all the guests during the reception. They loved the “folk” dancing!

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#64 of 82 Old 03-01-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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I am a Christian and I would have no problem attending a wedding conducted according to another faith. And, TBH  I would be a little bit surprised if it was made a big deal of in the invitation. It would make me wonder how bizarre it was that I needed to be pre-warned!

 

IME you can kind of tell what type of event it's going to be from the invitation anyway. If the ceremony is in a church then it's likely to be a reasonably traditional wedding according to the faith of whatever church it is. Outdoor could be anything but is likely to be less traditional. If the invitation is asking you to a handfasting well that  tells you what to expect also.

 

And it's pretty easy to just quietly not participate in anything which makes you feel conflicted. I went to a catholic baptism on the weekend. It is not acceptable in my faith to call on dead saints to pray for us, so, when the priest did the bit where he says "Peter and Paul, pray for us" etc and the congregation is supposed to join in on the "pray for us" I simply didn't say anything. I doubt anyone noticed.


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#65 of 82 Old 03-01-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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I am Christian and I wouldn't mind at all attending a Pagan wedding. I personally would be "offended" if asked to participate in a Pagan invocation or something like that. I also like the flyer in the invite idea... 

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#66 of 82 Old 03-01-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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I'm a Christian. I'd be curious to attend a Pagan wedding. The only thing I can think of that could be offense to me would be if I was made to participate in some sort of ceremony, Like everyone having to hold hands and chant or something that I couldn't subtly no participate in, as I wouldn't want to cause a scene, but wouldn't want to do something I was uncomfortable with. 

 

Seriously though Weddings are a celebration of two lives. Live your life and have your wedding. Congratulations on engagement and thank you for thinking about your families religion.

 


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#67 of 82 Old 03-01-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

I'm a Christian. I'd be curious to attend a Pagan wedding. The only thing I can think of that could be offense to me would be if I was made to participate in some sort of ceremony, Like everyone having to hold hands and chant or something that I couldn't subtly no participate in, as I wouldn't want to cause a scene, but wouldn't want to do something I was uncomfortable with. 

 

Seriously though Weddings are a celebration of two lives. Live your life and have your wedding. Congratulations on engagement and thank you for thinking about your families religion.

 

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Okay so she said what I was trying to say, but much, much better!
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#68 of 82 Old 04-01-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but my sister and I were both practicing for several years when we got married so our family and friends all knew about my beliefs and learned a lot more in just discussing general wedding stuff. 

 

My handfasting was small and we also had a civil ceremony later (my husband is an atheist).  Everyone was invited to both, but lots of family members (especially those that had to travel) choose to go to just the civil ceremony and that was completely fine. 

 

My sister had a state recognized handfasting with the reception following at the same site (a private home) so she had way more guests at the handfasting.   Neither of us made any special concession except that we knew that some people would not feel comfortable participating in circle so there was an area where those that didn't could sit and just watch the ceremony.   At my sister's handfasting she had some pre-teen friends, who greeted people when they arrived and took their coats, etc and nicely explained the situation.  They were available to guide them to the correct place if necessary.  We also  let people know ahead of time what was being planned and even shared copies of the ceremonies if they were interested.

 

Our receptions were pretty standard I guess.   We had the usual blessing that many have and and no one seemed to be offended by having a person of a different faith say the blessing.

 

 

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#69 of 82 Old 04-03-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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I know how you feel, I had a similar situation occur when DH and I got married. I'm a witch, he's in-between religions. His parents are open-minded Christians, my family was mostly understanding. His extended family is another story, some of which are fire breathing southern baptist.

 

We went with a themed wedding, we both like the medieval and Renaissance time periods. So we had a Renaissance  wedding where we wrote our own vows. We subverted the standard candle lighting ceremony. We dressed up, and encouraged our guest to do the same ( DH wore a sword). And had his uncle (an open-minded minister) perform the ceremony.The one

 

member of the family we most feared offending (His mother's mother), said it was the most beautiful ceremony she's ever been to.

 

I'd be be happy to provide more details, if you want.

 

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#70 of 82 Old 04-15-2011, 10:56 PM
 
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I know this was an old thread, but I will share anyway!

 

Although I am no longer pagan, I had a very pagan wedding.  It was a completely wiccan handfasting, straight from my tradition's book of shadows.  

Our invitations said "you are invited to our Handfasting" instead of wedding, and we did include a little card with an explanation.  On one side it said something like "handfasting was the old custom of marriage in britain.  The ceremony will be performed by a high priest and priestess" and on the other side it had the hotel info for out of town guests.  At the actual ceremony, the ritual was performed by my coven, with everyone watching, like you would watch in a church or at a usual wedding with the ceremony up front and the seats lined up.  People were invited to join in after the circle was cast, and I think about 4 or 5 people did, everyone else just watched.  It went pretty quick - they cast the circle, we were brought in, vows were said, hands were tied, broom was jumped, flowers were thrown, and it was closed up.  Most people thought it was 'neat' and I'm sure a few thought it was silly, but no one was asked to do anything they weren't comfortable with, and nobody was offended.

 

Most weddings I've been to did not include any participation on my part.  In a few there were prayers, but it was simple enough not to say them.  I wouldn't warn people if I was doing a pretty typical wedding but with pagan elements.


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#71 of 82 Old 07-18-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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Why are you so worried about offending your family and friends.....what about offending God?. After all they aren't the ones deciding your future in eternity.  Be sure what you believe is true, only you will find out.

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#72 of 82 Old 07-18-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vbhnp 4444f View Post

Why are you so worried about offending your family and friends.....what about offending God?. After all they aren't the ones deciding your future in eternity.  Be sure what you believe is true, only you will find out.


Huh, how is any of this offending a deity?
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#73 of 82 Old 07-23-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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I'm getting married soon, within the next year or so, and i'm kind of worried how my family will take the pagan handfasting. My hubby-to-be's family will have no problems i'm sure, but my family is devoutly christian, and my parents get angry if i even post that i'm pagan on my facebook page. i'm planning on having my invites say flat out that it's a handfasting, and have the first thing you see a pentacle. other than that, i'm not announcing that it's a pagan ceremony. but it would hurt to have my family not show. and another thing, i know it's slightly off topic, but my fiancee follows the norse pantheon, and i the greek, any ideas how to combine those two into a tasteful ceremony? any help with any aspect of this planning would be much appreciated.

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#74 of 82 Old 07-24-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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Well, my marriage ceremony was non-traditional and non-religious. Dh is atheist and I was more agnostic. His family overran my wedding and made it theirs. They even invited work buddies we had never met to our wedding 3 hours away on our dime. Then they convinced us to elope so they could drive out to go to Las Vegas and gamble after our wedding (in Arizona). Then they had the nerve to not show up. I was very disappointed in my wedding-it wasn't about a celebration of our love and what we wanted, but trying to make his family happy. My point is to do what YOU want for YOUR wedding and what's in your heart. Don't change your wedding or worry about it offending people of other religions by cutting out a part of your religious beliefs and ceremony. I can't imagine other religions would do the same from all of the other Jewish/Secular/Catholic/Baptist/Methodist/Etc. weddings I have been to. They follow their beliefs and guests are welcome to opt out if it's uncomfortable for them. I hope it worked out for you, OP!

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#75 of 82 Old 07-25-2011, 05:10 AM
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vbhnp 4444f your post is not an appropriate contribution to this discussion. If you wish to discuss your religious views and paganism you can start your own thread about it here in the Religious Studies forum. 


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#76 of 82 Old 07-25-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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I have been to a Jewish wedding and a Christian wedding and many non-denominational weddings.  As a non-believer, I found it easier to enjoy the weddings that were more brief than the ones that had extensive ritual. I know that weddings aren't designed necessarily for entertainment purposes, but that was my personal goal at my small wedding.  I wanted everyone to get swept up, then Bam! the kiss and we were married. Joy and clapping and laughing all around! I felt like I was orchestrating a collective spiritual experience.  I felt that by including too much, I would "lose my audience" so to speak.  So, if I wanted a Pagan wedding with meaningful rituals, but didn't want to alienate the non-believers that chose to come, I would keep it fairly simple.  


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#77 of 82 Old 08-14-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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I was handfasted on the 6th of August!  I am Pagan w/ a Buddhist element, and my husband practices Northern Cheyenne religion. There were about 45 people at the ritual, and of them there were about 8 people that already know about our faiths. (My adult son was my witness, and my almost 18 yr old daughter lit the elemental candles etc) We knew that to most of our guests this was going to be way outside their 9 dots!

 

We sought balance between having a ritual that was thorough and meaningful according to our paths, and in not freaking people way out unneccesarily. A few we talked to said things like, "Screw people who are uncomfortable! This is your day, not theirs."  And while that is true we didn't want any bad feelings created for no reason. We worked to create ritual that fit. You just have to ask yourself "What is really important to include in the ritual? What will I regret if I leave it out? What pieces don't really move me?"  One thing that we both decided was super important was the disclosure of causing one another pain in our vows. If I had left that out I would have regretted it. We left out cake and wine, and I am still not quite sure how I feel about that one. We also didn't include the blood sharing piece, wondering if it would be "too out there" for most and therefore lose it's meaning.

 

There are so many resources on line! You can find little bits of inspiration all over. I ended up writing our whole ceremony, and it went beautifully. I created an insert for our invitations that super nutshelled what handfasting meant. It prompted some questions (mostly regarding legality), but also alleviated several we would have been asked had we not included it. In the end, we figured anyone that showed up was okay enough with our traditions. Probably a bit curious too!

 

 


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#78 of 82 Old 08-14-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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Quote:
If it was a handfasting, I would expect to see "Handfasting" instead of "wedding".

Agreed. Our invite read:

 

His name and My name

invite you to attend their

   handfasting

on Saturday, the sixth of August

Two Thousand Eleven

at four o'clock 

 

etc etc.


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#79 of 82 Old 09-13-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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well, i don't need the help with the wedding anymore, my fiancee dumped me. so thanks for the help anyway!

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#80 of 82 Old 09-13-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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:(  I am so sorry.

 


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#81 of 82 Old 03-18-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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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.

 

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#82 of 82 Old 03-21-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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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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