Gothic Weddings

Sensitive Issue

My fiance and I are both Pagan and would like to have a traditional handfasting for our wedding ceremony. The ceremony itself is beautiful, essentially it asks for blessings of the various elements of nature, the bride and groom have their hands bound with a ribbon, then the ribbon is replaced with wedding rings. 

The problem is that the majority of our guests are not Pagan, so how should I present the ceremony to them? I was planning on briefly explaining the ceremony in the programs. Should I tell people before hand that it's a Pagan ceremony? Or should I just leave out the P-word completely? 
image
The truth behind a well laced dress

Re: Sensitive Issue

  • leave out the word pagan, and just have an explanation of what the hand fasting means. For instance my family is catholic, I'm voudon, and we decided to jump the broom, our officiant is going to explain it before we do it in the ceremony, but not the voodoo aspect, just the meaning of us sweeping away our past and starting our new life together.
  • I agree with dizzi. You don't need to let the cat out of the bag to still have a handfasting. We're still considering it ourselves. There is a possibility that we'll use unity candles, but to us that still represents our Pagan beliefs. It will be beautiful and meaningful to you and your partner no matter what.
    Visit Gothic.weddings.com
  • As a pagan myself, I've run into similar issues of people holding a bias or stigma against "the P-word" and not understanding that the cultural traditions of our faith hold the same beautiful meanings & sancity of a more "traditional" or mainstream ceremony. I've found that taking the religious aspect back a notch in descriptions to those I know may be less receptive to it, and instead saying something to the effect of: a handfastening is a "historical tradition" honoring my Celtic heritage, seems to make it easier for others to understand. I've even thrown out the fun factoid that this is where "tying the knot" originated, and I think by putting it into terms people are generally more comfortable with really helped their overall perspective of what I was saying about the ceremony itself instead of getting hung up on "wait, so, you don't believe in Jesus???" (LOL)

    Just another thought you might consider, my fiance and I are planning on holding an intimate hand fastening with just our immeidate famalies and best friends (all of whom are comfortable with the concept and offering their positive energies to the ritual and what not) this summer, and then having the larger legal ceremony down the road with much of the same beautiful symbolism (i.e. the ribbon tying, circlet, incense, ect..) but a bit less of the hardcore pagan ritual, since we know some of my fiance's family would be uncomfortable with the idea of the more overtly pagan concepts of openly calling upon the four corners, or having a priestess in full regalia conduct the ceremony.

    Hope this was helpful! 
    (this was my FIRST post on one of these boards, I can't stand how negative some of the others I've seen are, so I've been afraid to contribute knowing how off the beaten path my views and plans would seem to the more catty girls!)

    it made me so incredibly happy to see another pagan bride discussing a handfastening! Congratulations and blessed be!! =)
      

  • I actually never knew what a hand-fasting was until recently, I think it's a beautiful ceremony. If you leave out that it's Pagan I think everyone would be able to appreciate it. '

    I'm supposedly having a Lutheran ceremony, but there is absolutely no mention of religion which I'm absolutely thrilled about, since when I do walk into a church on a rare occassion I'm always afraid I'm going to burst into flames lol. I grew up Lutheran, but I'm on the fence about my beliefs.
  • I don't think this board is catty at all, I think you're complaining in the wrong place and at the wrong ladies. We're all very accepting on this board.
  • Ohhhhhh, gotcha. I've had the same experience myself.
    Visit Gothic.weddings.com
  • We are having a Pagan Handfasting in 12 days time, being in Scotland it is also a legal way to get married, no other people involved for the legal part etc. When we sent out our invites it was basically told to everyone that it was a Pagan Handfasting! You would be surprised at just how receptive people actually are. We have people from all beliefs coming along. I personally wouldnt leave out "Pagan" It is your choice to have the ceremony you wish to have and people will come along and celebrate regardless! It has been one of the smoothest parts of planning the whole thing! We have our cords, mead, cakes, boomstick, wand, vows, candles and incense all ready and set between us and our High Priestess she has been fab! We also receieved our personally written Handfasting ceremony a week back which is just beautiful!

    I say go all out, use the word Pagan, dont be afraid to use it! It is part of who you are and if people dont like it then thats their problem!

    Do you have a set path in which you would like your ceremony to be?
    Do you have anyone in mind who you would like to Handfast you?

    Enjoy every minute of the planning as a Handfasting is so exciting and fun to plan!!

    Many Blessing )o(
    image 67 Invited to our Handfasting!
    image 63 Are ready to watch us jump the broom!
    image 4 Sadly cant be with us!
    image Everyone found the postbox!!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker Photobucket
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-theme-boards_gothic-weddings_sensitive-issue?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Theme%20BoardsForum:673Discussion:2eedf2c1-13ed-4c02-987d-8f4554a5ff93Post:7c309b8e-b8fb-4555-97a9-d049e263b262">Re: Sensitive Issue</a>:
    [QUOTE] Do you have a set path in which you would like your ceremony to be? Do you have anyone in mind who you would like to Handfast you? Enjoy every minute of the planning as a Handfasting is so exciting and fun to plan!! Many Blessing )o(
    Posted by winterwitch[/QUOTE]

    <div>I follow a traditional Celtic path and my FH follows an Asatru path, we wrote the ceremony last night and it is a combination of both paths and really beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes as I read it. One of my friend's husbands is a notory public, so he is going to sign the paperwork for us to make everything legal, my best friend and my fh's best friend are going to serve as High Priestess and High Priest for the ceremony. </div><div>
    </div><div>My family has been really open to the idea, and we were surprised after our year-and-a-day handfasting because so many people were actually disappointed that we just did something small. My concern is more for older guests that I really think will not get it. </div>
    image
    The truth behind a well laced dress
  • That is totally awesome! I bet your ceremony is beautiful!

    Our ceremony is Celtic Druidic, very beautiful indeed!

    As far as the older generation is concerned, you could maybe have the High Priest or Priestess say a little bit about what a Handfasting is and what is happening as you go along, that way they will understand a little more of exactly what is happening! This is exactly what my HP and HPS are going to do. Beause they are legal they are pretty much used to explaining it to people!

    Good Luck!

    Many Blessings )o(
    image 67 Invited to our Handfasting!
    image 63 Are ready to watch us jump the broom!
    image 4 Sadly cant be with us!
    image Everyone found the postbox!!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker Photobucket
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards