THROUGH THE STRINGS ON HALLOWEEN - Wolves & Light Sabres
This is one of my favourite times of year! The season around Samhain and All Souls is crisp and colourful and magical!
Over the last two years I have participated in a couple of Halloween and All Souls weddings, so if you are thinking of getting married at this time of year, you might find some inspiration here.
On 31st October Halloween 2018, Victoria & Nicholas were Handfasted in the evocative and spooky venue of Arnos Vale. This huge, rolling cemetery in Bristol made a perfect location for a Halloween wedding. The couple went for a Autumnal/ Halloween/Viking/Red Riding-Hood theme, complete with Wolves.
Apart from my "Through The Strings" shots, the photos that capture this iconic day were taken by Gary from Gary Lindsay-Moore Photography.
Raven & Mark were married in 2017 at Tanworth-In-Arden Church by the vicar, Paul, who just so happens to also be my hubby! They had both a full church wedding, and a Handfasting ceremony which took place later in the day once darkness had fallen. This was led by myself and another priest friend of ours, Simon, who is also the bassist in the band.
Raven rocked the Lord of The Rings look with Fairy Wings created by Wild Plum Boutique.
Raven chose David Bowie's "As The World Falls Down", from Labyrinth.
Victoria chose "Sally's Song & Reprise" from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Raven & Mark are involved with a combat sport called LudoSport, and their fellow combatants formed a guard of honour. Fun Fact 1: Due to the nature of the sport, Light Sabres are counted as weapons and are not allowed inside church!
At the end of the Handfasting Ceremony, the friends and family of Victoria & Nicholas greeted them in time-honoured fashion, with wholly sustainable natural, dye-free, 100% biodegradable confetti provided by Shropshire Petals.
Handfasting - Tying The Knot!
Handfasting is a traditional ceremony in which the couple's hands are tied together by cord or ribbon. Both couples preceded their Handfasting, with a legal ceremony.
With Raven & Mark, we created an Ancestor Handfasting Ceremony at Wootton Park. Around the fire, we invited guests to tie cords sourced from Aradia Hare around the couple's hands. Torches and Light Sabres helped guests follow the ritual which you can download and read HERE
With Victoria & Nicholas, the celebrant used Wiccan symbolism for the male and female principles joined in the ritual. Their celebrant no longer offers handfastings, but there are others, such as my friends Orkney Pagan Weddings. Towards the end of a Handfasting ceremony the couple jump over the broomstick, a tradition known as "Jumping the besom". This represents sweeping away the past, and crossing over a threshold into a new way of being.
Fun Fact 2: Unlike in England & Wales, Handfastings in Scotland can be fully legal because of differences in the law.
- Victoria's striking Red-Riding-Hood dress was created by Fairytas, the neck corset was from Mystic Thread, and the crown from Hysteria Machine.
- Leather Viking armour and complimentary clothing worn by Nicholas came from Black Raven Armoury, and Grimfrost.
- The floral crown that hovered above the ceremony was created by The Wilde Bunch.
- The barn owl which delivered the rings was Molly from Ring On A Wing. (Fun Fact 3: Look closely at the church featured on the Ring On A Wing homepage - it's Tanworth Church where Raven & Mark got married!)
- Seriously addictive stews served in sustainable bowls by Kate's Kitchen Catering Ltd.
- The wedding cake was a cheese cake, literally - a tall pile of organic cheeses from Godminster, with actual cakes from the gods-blessed kitchen of Lola's Cupcakes.
- Evening entertainment was music from Mutt The Band, and a performance by Whispering Wood outdoor theatre company.
The Red-Riding Hood/Viking theme of the day would have been incomplete without the fabulous WOLVES, trained and looked after by the folk from WATERMILL WOLVES. They stole everyone's hearts, and we all cued up to meet them and have our pictures taken with these furry celebrities.
For Jumping the Besom (or broom), Victoria & Nicholas asked me to play the Frank Sinatra classic, "Witchcraft".
The couple chose "Think Of Me", from Phantom Of The Opera for the song that marked the end of the ceremony.
We've already mentioned Raven's Wings, which set off her dress from Camden Market's The Dark Angel, which is also where they sourced Raven's robe for the Handfasting later in the cold November evening.
Evening entertainment was provided by The Meme Punks, a mash-up band from London, that got the party started. This revealed that Raven even had wings on her shoes!
The wonderful woodland roses cake was made by Marie of Marie's Couture cakes.
Here are some of the other songs which I played at both weddings, including a new one I added in specifically with the wolves in mind!
Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza
If these are your kind of weddings and you'd love to do something similar, then you must come along in two weeks time to the weird and wonderful world of EWE!
It's the weekend of November 9th & 10th at The Bond, Digbeth, Birmingham
For the weekend I will be joined once again by Sheep, so come along to chat with Sheep and myself and listen live to some of the songs featured in the playlists above.
Book your advance tickets HERE