You have arrived here because you wish to have your hearts’ desires witnessed by Spirit in a non-traditional wedding at a place and time chosen by yourselves. Honouring all the sacred elements and this beautiful planet that we live on.
Your wedding is a very special occasion as you celebrate two souls joining their lives together in a ceremony that resonates with your own spiritual beliefs. You may also want your friends and family to witness your commitment.
Your bespoke ceremony can be at the time and location of your choice, indoors or outdoors, and can include whatever rituals are part of your Spiritual tradition. Some of the elements that can be included in weddings or vow renewals are described below, but this is not an exclusive list. I am open to honouring your lineage and your traditions. This can be particularly important for mixed culture weddings as elements of both lineages can be incorporated. And I particularly welcome same sex couples or others that are excluded by the Churches because of previous marriages etc.
Some of the options to include within a wedding ceremony are listed before, but there are many others, including hand-fasting which has a page to itself CLICK HERE
In England and Wales, it is still only civil registrars or registered Churches that are allowed to conduct legally binding wedding ceremonies.
Registrar officiated weddings are legally obliged to be devoid of any spiritual content and need to take place in licensed premises. Church weddings are obliged to adhere to the rules of that particular religious denomination. There are also restrictions on where, when, and who can be married in these ways. In particular the Church still often refuses to marry same sex couples, which is not an issue for a celebrant, or couples where one or more of them has been married previously.
Many people want something different from this to celebrate their commitment to one another – perhaps because they want to get married at an outside location or in a sacred place, or perhaps because they want to include intimate and personal Spiritual but not religious content.
I specialise in sacred, spiritual commitment ceremonies which can take place (if you wish) in conjunction with a very low-key registry office wedding for the legalities. Or it can be a stand-alone commitment celebration, witnessed by friends and family, without a legal marriage. In all cases it is about your choice.
The unity candle ritual involves lighting two individual candles at the beginning of the ceremony and then after the vows have been exchanged (or the hand-fasting has taken place) the couple take their individual candles to light a larger single candle without extinguishing their own individual candles. This represents their individual lights coming together into a greater unified power.
The Quaich or Loving Cup
The Quaich is also called the loving cup. It is a small pewter or silver dish with two handles and is usually engraved with the name of the couple and the date of the ceremony. A blessing is offered and each of the couple holds one handle of the dish, whilst one after another they both drink from the cup (whisky, champagne or any other drink of your choice, including water). The historic origins were to ensure that if both parties were drinking, neither one was poisoning the other! Today it is used as sharing of what is available between the couple and may be accompanied by a poem or a reading.
Jumping the Broom
In folk lore brooms were used to sweep the doorstep and hearth of a house and sweeping represents cleansing, sweeping away the old, creating space for a new beginning. When the broom is laid on the ground and the couple jump over it together, it symbolises leaping joyfully into the relationship and a home together, jumping into a clean space. It is often used in vow renewal ceremonies after a period of difficulty in a relationship.
A despacho is an earth offering from the traditions of the Q'ero shamans of the high Andes in Peru. There are despachos for every kind of occasion. All the elements of earth, air, fire and water are represented along with the creatures who live in the seas, the lands and the air, and the stars, the rainbow bridge between the worlds and the masculine and feminine. Wedding despachos also contain the blessings of all those involved in the offering, for the couple as they enter their married lives together.
Usually despachos are burned in a fire, and so the earth offering can take place after a rehearsal the evening before the wedding, or the earth offering and fire ceremony can take place as part of the main ceremony, in which case guests would probably be given bay leaves to blow into with their blessings for the married couple. These blessings are placed in the despacho before it is tied by the couple and burned, sending everyone's good wishes into the cosmos with the power of the fire.
Wedding Fire Ceremonies
Fires have been used throughout the ages for cleansing, letting go, feeding new energies and connecting with all those that have participated in the same ritual throughout the ages.
A wedding fire ceremony can be accompanied by burning that which the couple do not want to bring into their relationship and feeding that which they do wish to bring into the relationship from the heat of the fire.
It can also be accompanied by the burning of a pachamama stick, sending the blessings for Mother Earth of the couple and all their guests into the cosmos using the fire as a portal.
Masculine and Feminine
Many couples, whether same sex or male and female, appreciate the opportunity to honour the masculine and feminine aspects within each and every one of us within their commitment ceremony. My husband George Christie CLICK HERE is also a shamanic practitioner and he can participate with me in holding the space if you wish to explicitly incorporate the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within your ceremony.