April 21, 2011

Beltane Handfasting...

with non-pagan guests.

As some of you may know, I was recently handfasted to an amazing man.  The challenge being that we're Pagan, we wanted the ceremony and reception to capture the essence of Beltane, and most of our guests aren't Pagan.  This was made easier because most of our friends and family know (to some extent) that we're Pagan.  The day was beautiful and everything went perfectly.

We wrote our own ceremony.  One of our debates was whether or not to have our officiant say "Goddess and God".  It was important to us that our guests enjoyed the day as much as we did.  In the end we decided, what harm could come from those words.  And it was very important to have the ceremony reflect us, our beliefs, and incorporate our children.  A very special part was our family sand ceremony.
Now we will celebrate the creation of a family. The couple will first pour their sands into the vase, showing that their marriage is the foundation of this family. Their sands mix together and symbolize their bond of love and respect that can never be separated. Now as each child add their sands, we are reminded that though we are all different people, it is our individuality which adds a unique color to the tapestry of a family. Like the sands poured before it, so these sands will also mix and be unable to be separated.
We poured our dark green and blue sands.  Then each of our four children added their sand.  Bug light green, Monkey red, Duckling purple, and Potato yellow.  This was a tangible way to show how even though we are all separate and different people, together we make an inseparable family.

Belanos Table

Maypole on Var Table

 For our reception, we gave each table a God or Goddess name.  I had read somewhere (while I was working on the seating plan), that numbered tables could hurt feelings.  That was a good enough reason for us to add different Deities to the decor.  The center piece on each table was a small Maypole.  The May Poles was definitely part of the plan from day one.  What better way to celebrate a Handfasting on Beltane than with a May Pole.  I suppose if we had the time and space, it would have been lots of fun to have everyone dance around a bigger Maypole.  We did keep one to use on our home Alter. 
To make your own Maypole - Altar Maypole Centerpiece
I wanted to have a bonfire, but that wasn't possible at the location for our ceremony and reception.

All of my concerns about completely coming out to all my friends, family, and his family I didn't have anything to worry about.  Everyone enjoyed a day of celebrating, singing, and dancing.  I couldn't have asked for a better day.

My advice to any of you partially or fully in the broom closet, make the day about you and your love, don't worry too much what others may think, and enjoy your day together.

~Your Earthy Mom

To Read what my sister thought of our Handfasting.
Thanks to Victoria Chapman, Melissa Meadows, and Shana Boss-Hill for the pictures.

My bouquet


  1. So glad you can enjoy the pictures and use them! I really enjoyed the whole ceremony. And with our family, I'm pretty sure there isn't anything to worry about. They always seem to accept people for who they are!

    Love you!

  2. Hi, I m going to have my handfasting on 31st May, this is in the Beltane phase of the Wheel of the year, I am looking for ideas this was a help thankyou I have foru months now but Im sure it will all come together, it will be our 10th wedding anniversary on 29th May but I wasn't Pagan then so what better way to celebrate than to renew our vows Pagan style. BB. Angie

    1. Congratulations on your 10th wedding anniversary! I'm sure that every thing will come together the way that you want. I'm glad I was able to help you. Enjoy your handfasting!