Hi, beautiful beings and welcome to Wiccanow! Previously we’ve explored a topic that interests many people, namely what happens in the Wiccan Afterlife. Today we’ll explore a topic that’s also close to many Wiccans hearts, Wiccan weddings! Whether Wiccans celebrate marriage in a traditional sense, what a Wiccan wedding is called and how a Wiccan wedding is celebrated are all topics that we’ll explore in detail. If you’re interested in partaking in a Wiccan wedding yourself or you’re just curious about the topic, I’m sure you’ll find all of the information you need in the post below. Enjoy!
If you are interested in reading more about Wicca check out these posts on what Wicca actually is, one about what Wiccans believe, a great post about how to become Wiccan, the complete text of the Wiccan Rede and a post detailing what the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft actually is.
Wiccan Weddings – A Heavenly Handfasting Ceremony
Yes, Wiccans celebrate weddings! In fact, Wiccans have their own version of the wedding ceremony called a ‘Handfasting’.
A handfasting ceremony joins two Wiccans in symbolic marriage. Often the handfasting vows will take place between two members of the same coven. However, it also perfectly normal for members of different covens to marry so not to worry if you fall in love with a witch from another coven!
A Wiccan wedding, or Handfasting, has a few key differences compared to a traditional Christian wedding. One of those differences is that the handfasting vows generally do not include the phrase ‘till death do us part’. In fact, Wiccans often use the vows ‘as long as our love lasts’. This allows both to go their separate ways should they ever fall out of love with each other.
Furthermore, it is quite common for Wiccans to have a trial marriage of one year and one day, so 366 days, before committing to a full handfasting ceremony. If at the end of the 366 day period both partners still believe in the marriage and are happy within the relationship then the marriage continues and a formal handfasting ceremony can take place. However, if after 366 days the couple is unhappy, they can break the marriage and go their separate ways.
A Wiccan handfasting ceremony is traditionally performed by the High Priestess or High Priest of the coven. White robes are often worn by all who attend the ceremony. Some couples prefer to be ‘skyclad’ (nude) for their wedding ceremony. Similar to a Christian wedding, rings in gold or silver are exchanged between the couple to formalise the bond.
The hands of the couple may also be bound together with a consecrated cord to symbolise the that they have been joined together in union.
Historically the couple would travel to the ceremony on a small cart which would be pulled by members of the coven. The cart would be decorated with flowers (a sign of fertility) and flowers would be strewn along the way. The procession would end up at the Wiccan wedding circle. The circle might be decorated with flowers, fruits and nuts, leaves and berries.
The circle would generally be cast larger than usual to allow for the additional wedding guests to take part in the ritual. The High Priestess and the High Priest would wait at the entrance of the circle, ready to welcome and anoint the witches of the coven as they enter the sacred space.
The actual handfasting ceremony varies from coven to coven. A beautiful handfasting ceremony, borrowed from the wonderful book ‘Wicca for life: The Way of the Craft – From Birth to Summerland’ by Raymond Buckland is detailed below. (Click here to buy this book on Amazon – please note we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase an item https://amzn.to/35p4kPp)
What is a Wiccan Divorce Called?
The opposite of a Wiccan wedding, or handfasting, is a handparting. A handparting is the Wiccan ceremony that dissolves the marriage partnership between an unsuited couple.
Gorgeous Wiccan Wedding Decoration Ideas
As Wicca is a nature-worshipping religion many Wiccans prefer to have their Wedding or handfasting ceremonies outdoors. A forest glade, a summer meadow or a beautifully decorated lawn would make the perfect wedding locations.
Flowers, nuts, fruits and berries make wonderful decorations as these symbolise fertility and abundance. You could also use mosses, leaves, branches and tree bark for a rustic earthy touch.
Candles create a beautifully romantic and mystical ambient. And what about a glorious bonfire? Imagine throwing bunches of fragrant herbs into the flames as you celebrate together.
A Beautiful Wiccan Wedding Script
The ritual should be performed on the waxing cycle of the new moon. The Circle is suitably decorated with flowers. All of the candles are alight. The High Priestess HP and the High Priest HP, properly prepared, great the bride and the groom (or the groom and the groom or the bride and the bride!) at the east portal and anoint them with oil. As they draw the cross within the circle on the forehead and the pentagram over the heart they salute and say:
HP/HPS: “Here I do consecrate you in the names of the Lord and the Lady. Be here in peace and love, with honor to all life”
The bride and groom enter and stand facing the altar. Other coven member enter, are similarly anointed and stand around the Circle.
HP and HPS move to stand in front of the altar which has all of the tools on it. Along with regular tools is a three-foot length of red silk ribbon, and, if the couple wishes to exchange rings, the wedding rings. The candles beyond the circle are alight, but not the four-quarter candles around the Circle itself, or the altar candles. The wine goblets are full.
HP rings the bell three times.
HPS takes up her atheme, kisses the blade and holds it high in salute.
HPS: “Hail Lord and Lady. Here I do build a temple of life in which to honor you. Assist me as I lay down the foundation stones on which I will build my cone of power”
HPS lowers the blade and walks over to the east point in the Circle. She points the tip of the blade at the line drawn on the ground and slowly walks around the circle directing energy as she goes. She continues until she returns to the point where she started. There she raises her atheme in salute and describes the pentagram in the air. She kisses the blade and returns to the altar.
HP now walks over to the east point in the Circle, taking with him a lighted taper. He lights the east candle
HP: “Here is the light at the east, where the life-giving sun rises each day. Here is erected the Watchtower of Air, standing over this temple of the gods”
He moves on around to the south and lights the candle from the taper.
HP: “ Here is light at the south, where the fire rises up to warm and illuminate the earth. Here is erected the watchtower of the Fire, standing guard over this temple of the gods”
He moves on around to the west and lights the candle from the taper.
HP: “Here is light at the west, where waters move gently to give the moisture of life to the earth. Here is erected the watchtower of water, standing guard over this temple of the gods”
He moves on around to the north and lights the candle from the taper.
HP: “Here is light at the north, where the earth forms a solid foundation for all of life. Here is erected the watchtower of Earth, standing guard over this temple of the gods”
HP returns to the altar and lights the altar candle(s)
HP: “Here is the light that I bring into the temple. Let it light the way through the darkness of ignorance to the world of knowledge. Light to life, in all things.
HPS again takes up her athame and dips the tip of the blade into the bowl of salt.
HPs: “Salt is life. Let this salt be pure and let it purify our lives, as we use it in this rite dedicated to the God and the Goddess in whom we believe”
She takes three pinches of the salt and drops them into the water. Moving her atheme blade across the dish, she dips it in there.
HPS: “Let the sacred salt drive out any impurities in this water, so that together they may be used in the service of the deities, throughout these rites and at any time and in any way we may use them.”
She mixes the water and the salt with the atheme blade, stirring in a clockwise direction three times around, then lays down the atheme and picks up the dish of salted water. She goes to the east point of the Circle and raises the dish.
HPS: “I use this sacred liquid now in the building of this, our sacred temple. I dedicate it to the gods, in love and light”
Lowering the dish HPS starts once again to walk slowly around the Circle, dipping her fingers into the water and sprinkling it along the line of the Circle. She returns to the east point and raises the dish briefly in salute, then returns to the altar. She puts down the salt dish. HP takes up the censer and goes to the east point where he raises it in salute.
HP: “The fire of this censer, with the fragrance of its smoke, serves to cement the foundation of this, our temple, dedicated to the lord and lady”
HP lowers the censer and again passes along the line of the Circle, swinging the censer so that the fumes and smoke pass along it. When he returns to the starting point, he again raises the censer in salute then returns to the altar.
HP replaces the censer and both he and the HPS take up their athemes. They raise them in salute and describe the pentagram over the altar. All Witches raise their athames also.
HPS: “Lord and Lady, God and Goddess, I invite you to enter into this temple constructed to venerate you. Be with us here and witness these rites held in your honor. Here today are two who would be made one, in your eyes. Witness their promises to one another and stand beside them throughout the life they wish to lead together. So mote it be”
ALL: “ So mote it be”
All kiss their atheme blades and they set them down or replace them in their sheaths. HPS dips her fingers into the water and marks a cross within a circle on the forehead and a pentagram over the heart of HP.
HPS: “ Here I consecrate you in the name of the Lord and the Lady. Be here in peace and love, with honor to all life”
HP does the same, dipping his fingers in the salted water and consecrating the HPS.
HP: “Here I do consecrate you in the names of the Lord and the Lady. Be here in peace and live, with honor”
HP rings the bell three times or nine times in all
HPS: “Welcome, my brother’s and sisters. And doubly welcome to you who come to this sacred place to be joined in the time-honoured Handfasting rite”
HP (to bride): “What is your desire”?
BRIDE: “To be made one with my soul mate (name), in the eyes of the gods and my brothers and sisters of the Craft”.
HPS (to groom): “What is your desire”
GROOM: “ To be made one with my soul mate (name), in the eyes of the gods and my brothers and sisters of the Craft”.
HPS: “Do you both wish this in the names of the Lord and Lady, God and Goddess of the Craft”?
BRIDE and GROOM: “We do”
HP (to bride): “What do you bring with you to this marriage”?
BRIDE: “I bring love and respect. I love (name) as I love myself, honoring and respecting him in all things. I will always support him in everything he does and join with him in his love and praise of the gods in whom we believe. I will defend his life before my own. May the gods give me the strength to keep these vows”.
HPS (to groom): “What do you bring with you to this marriage”?
GROOM: “I bring love and respect. I love (name) as I love myself, honoring and respecting her in all things. I will always support her in everything she does and join with her in her love and praise of the gods in whom we believe. I will defend her life before my own. May the gods give me the strength to keep these vows”.
HPS: “Lord and Lady, here stand two of your folk. Witness now that which they have to declare.
HP rings the bell 7 times.
The bride and groom face each other. They grip right hand to right hand and left hand to left hand. HP binds the hands together with the red ribbon. HPS holds the censer under their hands, censing them. She then holds her athame over the tied hands while HP holds his athame under them
BRIDE and GROOM: “We come to this sacred Circle of our own free will, to join together as one in the eyes of the Ancient Ones. We are no longer two individuals but are now two halves of one whole. Each of us is incomplete without the other. Be with us in all things Lord and Lady, and help us cleave together throughout this life and beyond. All this we ask in your names. So mote it be“
ALL: “So mote it be!”
HP and HPS replace their athame and untie the hands. HP gives the bride the groom’s ring and HPS gives the groom the bride’s ring. The bride and groom put the rings on each other’s fingers. They then hold hands.
HP: “ As the grass of the fields and the trees of the woods bend together under the pressures of the storm, so too must you both bend when the wind blows strong”
HPS: “But know that as quickly as the storm comes, so equally quickly may it leave. Yet will you both stand, strong in each other’s strength”?
HP: “Know that no two people can be exactly alike. No more can any two people fit together, perfect in every way, no matter how hard they may try”
HP: “There will be times when it will seem hard to give and love. But see then your reflection as in a woodland pool…When the image you see looks sad and angered, then is the time for you to smile and to love (for it is not fire that puts out fire)”
HPS: “In return will the image in the pool smile and love. So do you change anger for love and tears for joy. It is no weakness to admit a wrong; more is it a strength and a sign of learning.
HP: “Ever love, help, and respect each other, and then know truly that you are one in the eyes of the gods.
HPS: “So mote it be”
All: “So mote be”
The bride and groom kiss each other, then salute HP and HPS. They turn and move around the Circle, saluting and embracing all within.
Then follows the ceremony of Cakes and Ale, followed by celebrations and the closing of the Circle.
Wiccan Weddings – Awesome Wiccan Wedding Dress Ideas
The choice of a wedding dress depends on the wishes and traditions of the bride. Some Wiccan brides get married in white robes, others prefer to be married skyclad (nude), others still prefer to wear bright colours.
My loves, I hope this post has provided you with some answers and inspiration. Wiccan weddings are a beautiful celebration of love between two people and I can’t think of a ceremony I adore more. I wish you all the love in the world. As always, Blessed Be!