Ideas for Creating a Unique, Modern Wedding Using Ancient Pagan Rituals and Traditions

“I’m really torn,” Amber said. “I want to do something different for my wedding…but I also want some tradition, too. We aren’t religious, but we don’t want to just go to the courthouse either. Can we do a reading around this?”

I love it when people use psychic readings in their daily lives—and for planning life events. Psychic readings and intuitive guidance aren’t just for spiritual purposes! I assured Amber that this was a great idea, and we settled in for the reading.

After a moment, I saw her and a male figure standing in a grove of trees. They had a white cord wrapped around their clasped hands—clearly a hand-fasting. Every person at the ceremony was dressed in white, too, and there were dogs and plenty of children in the scene. I related what I saw to Amber.

“I love it!” Amber exclaimed. “Is there more?”

The reading unfolded just like a video of her wedding-to-be. There were several components of Pagan or Wiccan traditions present, and these turned out to be the perfect rituals for the unique yet meaningful celebration Amber wanted.

Pagan Wedding Traditions

Pagan wedding traditions are simple, elegant, and symbolic, as well as festive and group-oriented. Although Amber doesn’t identify as Pagan, she and her partner were inspired by the relaxed, nature-oriented feel of these traditions.

Hand-fasting is perhaps the most well-known Pagan tradition, and it’s what I saw first in the vision I had for Amber. Historically, this practice was used when communities and families made marriage matches based on land trades and other practical matters. The ritual uses special cords you can either buy or make. They can be any color or material that you like. Amber chose decorative white cording with jeweled tassels, making them herself and blessing them ahead of time with a simple ritual.

Your officiant, friends, or family will wrap your hands after you say your vows, symbolizing that you are now bound in loyalty to each other. If you are using rings (an ancient symbol and practice itself), you can exchange those before the cords are wrapped as well.

A Sacred Circle can be created for the couple to stand in. This may be marked out with candles at the four directions, a circle drawn in sand, or a circle of flower petals. The officiant will bless the space, and you may want to call in the elements, your spirit guides, angels, or ancestors. Amber and her fiance chose to call on departed family members as part of their sacred circle. Drawing a circle is particularly well-suited to weddings in outdoor locations where they may not be a defined place to stand.

Within the circle, you can place an altar holding a unity candle, the rings, or fresh flowers or fruit. Guests may be asked to contribute to the altar, or you may create it yourself. Amber thought this was a great job for her matron of honor and her two flower girls.

Unique Vows are often used, drawn from ancient traditions or created by the couple themselves. Your officiant may have suggestions or even have their own ceremonies they have written. Amber and her partner wrote poems for each other that incorporated their vows. Creating vows that are unique to you and your fiance is a great way to bring a modern feel to an ancient tradition.

The Maypole Dance is a springtime ritual which is a fun way to start off the reception. The pole can be crafted of any material and is usually 6-8 feet tall. Ribbons are affixed to the top, and as celebrants dance around the pole, they wrap the ribbons around it. The decorated pole can be “planted” in the earth at the couple’s home to symbolize fertility, abundance, and growth. It’s a great twist on the first dance at a reception that involves the whole gang. At Amber’s wedding, they danced around a live tree hung with ribbons. A Celtic harpist and fiddler played under the tree as the guests danced around it.

Other traditions—such as guests standing or sitting in a circle, ceremonial fires or candles, or multiple blessings from the guests—may be used, too. Wiccan weddings are typically outdoors, but if your date or geography makes this difficult, simply bring the outdoors to you with plants, trees, flowers, or by using a space with a great view of a natural setting.

Making It Your Own

Amber loved the vision I had for her. She asked all the guests to wear white and held the ceremony in a state park—making it clear that children and pets were invited! It was a delightful wedding; thoroughly original, as Amber had wanted, and yet still tethered to old traditions.

If you want to add these traditions to your wedding, I recommend finding a Pagan officiant to guide you. Often, psychics are able to legally marry people and have a wealth of knowledge about ancient traditions. State laws vary, so check what is legal in your area.

Though it’s important to respect these traditions, it is also great to remember that it’s your wedding, and there are lots of ways to create a wholly unique celebration which incorporates your personal interests. You may want to include some information on your ceremony in your invitations, just so your guests will know what to expect. Ultimately, Pagan traditions are simple, beautiful, and fun for everyone—not just the bride and groom. You can have a modern wedding with age-old traditions that are customized to fit your unique beliefs and desires.

Curious about Wiccan or Pagan traditions? Or looking for guidance about how to make your wedding extra special? Advisors on Keen can help—call today!

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