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Me and my husband have been legally married for 1 1/2 years (we had a small civil wedding, family only, in a Light house)

I have always been drawn towards Paganism, since I had H even more so. We have begun to live more in line with Pagan beliefs over the last year, a few months ago a friend of my husbands mentioned that he kept forgetting that we were married (it was just a comment not meant to be hurtful in any way) because we had no celebration with friends here before or after our wedding. Now it doesn’t bother me because as long as me and my husband know it’s ok smile but it got me thinking that it would be nice to renew our vows with friends in attendance at some point. Then it dawned on me yesterday while we were cycling (amazing how meditative that can be) that I would have loved a hand fasting and maybe wished we had done this in the first place, instead of stupidly worrying about what others said.

So on a shoe string we are maybe thinking of have a hand fasting either for our anniversary coming up or the one after…. So…

I am now just stumped on where we have it.. I suggested our back garden which isn’t large but would be ok but my husband wasn’t keen on this and was thinking of a forest or woods. We live in the west midlands and would want it somewhere that was not too far to travel. So I was wondering if anyone knows how you go about getting married in a woods or forest without paying thousands.

Thanks in advance (any other ideas would be greatly appreciated)

Mommy of a gorgeous little boy born Nov 2012 My new blog, mainly for my husband to see our adventures

As well as the wisdom from the other ladies on here, Clare2g had just what you’re describing!! Drop her a PM, she’ll have loads of advice XxxxX

Open All The Boxes

Mommy to Jacob (13.03.04), Joe-Joe (17.01.10) Noah (02.03.11) and Thomas (19.05.13)

Taking baby steps towards a more sustainable, conscientious lifestyle.

Oooo grin  thank you TeamCarr I will PM her in a bit x

Mommy of a gorgeous little boy born Nov 2012 My new blog, mainly for my husband to see our adventures

Squeeee! So happy for you!

Through MamaPixie I’ve made a couple of handfasting cords, as well as our own, so I can advise with that if you need it! Ours was long plaited ribbons in the colour scheme of the ceremony (green, silver and white) with lots of handmade silver charms on, representing each of us, and the different things we wanted for our lives together. (Chinese coins for prosperity, little sun charms, our initials, green hearts, stars and so on). Close friends of ours had *their* handfasting cord slightly different. Each guest at the wedding tied a ribbon around the couple’s joined hands, which was lovely. They still have all the ribbons too!

At out handfasting, we said that we already had everything we needed, so if people were desperate to give a gift, we’d rather they contributed towards the handfasting itself. As a consequence, all the cupcakes were handmade (by 6 different people! - it was quite an eclectic mix!), there was food brought to add to the rest of the handfasting meal that my DH and I did (yes, we catered our own handfasting!), we had someone make bunting for us in the colour scheme of the day, someone lent us a giant chess set (it was Alice In Wonderland themed!), another friend hand-wrote all the favour tags (which were jars of sweets, so the tags said ‘Eat Me!’), plus a bunch of other wonderful things!

That’s always a nice way for people to feel involved, without you actually giving away any ‘creative control’... wink

You’ll need to think about if you want a handfasting cord or not, whether you’d like readings, whether you’d like to call the corners or the elements or not at all, who you’re going to get to do the ceremony for you (as it’s not recognised as ‘legally binding’, you could have a pagan friend do it for you, or just a friend you particularly trust and love. You can think about whether you’d like to call on your ancestors to be with you, the God and Goddess… it all depends on what area of Paganism you’re personally feeling a resonance with.

We didn’t cast a circle, or call the elements or ancestors, but the friend doing the ceremony for us blessed the gardens we were in beforehand, as did DH and I on a private visit beforehand; but we did have readings, vows, exchange rings and then the handfasting cord, and then whooping and hollering! smile

It’s often traditional to have a broom there too, I can tell you more about the history of that if you’d like? Oh, and often some form of ‘cake and ale’ is incorporated into the ceremony too.

I can recommend a few books and websites that might be helpful, if you fancy it.

Blue-haired crunchy Mama to Ru (5 yrs), Pixie Willow (3 years) and Baby Gaia (7 months).

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And mostly, if it’s in an open public space, as it’s not a legally binding ceremony you often don’t need permission for it. Obviously if it’s on private land, it would be polite to ask first… In public woodland, there’s not much they can do about it!

Blue-haired crunchy Mama to Ru (5 yrs), Pixie Willow (3 years) and Baby Gaia (7 months).

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MamaPixie on ETSY!

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It sounds wonderful. That’s what we’d love to do too. But decided to wait a couple more years until our youngest is a bit older so she will have a better memory of it. I bought a book from mamapixie which I meant to put on here to sell with a few others. I’ll dig it out this week and post a few so you may want to look out for it.

Sarah x

Also, where in the West Midlands are you? I know a few people with woodland that might be open to it being used for this.

Sarah x

We had Jude’s Naming Ceremony in the forest - and both girls’ half-birthday party this year. We will probably have a joint one for the new baby’s naming ceremony and the kids half birthday next year in the forest too. It was basically free - if you use public woodland you won’t have to pay anything, and we had a bring-and-share picnic, so we only had to take the food basics! My MIL made us a lovely cake, and there really weren’t any other expenses.

Anige Sea Glass Jewellery from the beautiful South Coast[/color] , Nannie Cool - for beautiful slings, playsilks, toys, nappy wraps and accessories made by Grace’s Nannie. All designs are “Approved by Grace”

We had a handfasting in a castle.  My dad gave his blessing rather than gave me away, and we also had three coloured cords.  My mum brought one, MIL brought the other to represent joining two families, and Harry who was about 16 months held the other.  we also included him in the ceremony, with dh promising to care and provide for any children we created together.  we had an actual officiant, Elinor Predota, as we held ours in Scotland for it to be legally binding, and she was very good and will tone things to your preference and attendees iykwim.

sorry for bad writing, feeding baby!

Mother to Harry (6) and Oliver (4) and Hannah who arrived at 5.57pm on Friday 10th May 2013 - our new blog, Three Little Monkeys

and Clare2g’s day was exquisite…we were lucky enough to be part of it.
Tons of information and ideas on the internet.
have a joyous day - if you keep it relaxed and personal to you then you won’t go wrong.

Mum to DD1 Aug 2000, DS1 July 2002, DS2 May 2001 and our gorgeous gift of a baby boy Aug 2011.

‘Don’t Imagine. BELIEVE’ DS1 age 7

Eek this is exciting!
I have two books that you are welcome to borrow that i used as some inspiration.
If you like I can post you a YouTube link to the ceremony we had- a friend videoed it. I used to be a bit secretive about that vid as its such a personal thing but one year on I just love showing it to people- any excuse really to relive the day- it was the best day ever!
We had or ceremony in a circle of ancient oak trees in Baggeridge country park- near we’re we live in Gornal.
My best friend was our celebrant and together her I and James wrote our order. We picked readings that sisters spoke and had songs performed by the best man- ‘love’ by John Lennon- he did such a beautiful version and then a group song- it must be love by madness! Hilarious! And not as cringy as I thought it might e- everyone joined in!
Little Rose who you met with us- her mum is a celebrant! Just a thought- she would defo e able to guide you or do the ceremony if you’d like- her web page is :

My friend sang to start the proceedings a beautiful hand fasting song- here’s the link-;_uri=/watch?v=AVnshW-W8tM
That was amazing!
I made our cord- simply plaited 3 lengths- one lace, one ribbon and one velet type thing and added charms and bells etc. it’s hanging in my living room as I write- beautiful.
I made reams of bunting from lace an sack cloth and hung it around our space- I burnt insence on a charcoal that I’d blended.

My dad decorated a broom and we jumped it at the end of the ceremony while the guests threw real rose petals dried all summer by my mum in law.
Little will carried our rings in a bowl of moss! Cute!!
The sun shone- It felt like the only real day of summer we had last year, the setting was beautiful- we had a marquee for the reception and a fire pit, band, dancing! Such fun!!
Here goes- link to my day- if your interested x

Just watched it again! Best day ever!!

Mummy to William, Beltane baby born 1st May 2010. Finding my way as a natural mummy respecting baby and the world we live in.

My blog!!

Thank you everyone grin so much to think about…

MamaPixie- Your hand fasting sounds lovely! You have given me lots to think about, I think readings will be quite an important part, also after thinking it through I don’t think we shall be calling on the elements but I do like the idea of calling on our ancestors to join us. It’s very difficult because although I am not worried about what others think I would like to make it as accessible to them as possible if you see what I mean.

I love the idea of everyone bringing a different ribbon and placing them over our hands, the day will be very much about celebrating with our family and friends and this would be a lovely touch to make everyone feel included.

We will be exchanging new rings as well, although I like my wedding ring it is a bog standard silver ring, I have been looking at some lovely rings that are made from fallen wood, which really appeal to me. 
I would like to jump the broom, I know a little about the history behind it but would love to know more please grin

Clare2g- your hand fasting is exactly what we would like! the video is lovely, thank you for sharing it with me. was actually the website I showed to my husband just before I posted here, we don’t really have any friends that would be able to do this for us, so we would need a celebrant, and from the video she did a very good job of your hand fasting, I shall be getting in touch with her in the next few weeks I should think.

I like the place where you had yours it’s not too far from us either really. I have found somewhere that I would like to have it but it depends on what they say, if not the woods looks perfect or possibly the lady from perfect hand fasting’s may have somewhere else that catches our eye.

Thank you again x

Mommy of a gorgeous little boy born Nov 2012 My new blog, mainly for my husband to see our adventures

*Do* you need a celebrant? I didn’t like the idea of another person taking such a large role in our wedding, so i rewrote the service and pretty much wrote out the priest! Because it was a church wedding, there were some legal bits he had to do, but mostly we did it ourselves. I always think it’s slightly odd to be standing there, while someone else saying “x and X have invited you to be here today….”. We just said “we are really pleased to have our friends and family with us today” and carried on from there.

We did the same with Jude’s naming ceremony in the forest too, although my mother was somewhat horrified at how short it was, so it may not be the best example. We were happy with it though.

Angie Sea Glass Jewellery from the beautiful South Coast[/color] , Nannie Cool - for beautiful slings, playsilks, toys, nappy wraps and accessories made by Grace’s Nannie. All designs are “Approved by Grace”

She didn’t do mine tht was my mate Jude- a stand up comic not a celebrant but she was brilliant! I met Rhiannon after we arranged it and to be honest preferred to have Jude as she knows us so well. I’m sure they are good though- happy to our u in touch if that’s what you decide to do x

Mummy to William, Beltane baby born 1st May 2010. Finding my way as a natural mummy respecting baby and the world we live in.

My blog!!

Clare2g…your wedding looked beautiful and you are such a stunning bride!  I love how natural it looks xx

Unschooling Mama to Ava (2) and Ezra (due April), living and parenting as mindfully as possible.

MamaMake, handmade whimsy -

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