No matter how conservative or quirky you and your partner want your ceremony to be, you are spoiled for choice. While I could list lots of rituals available, and describe each one; but, the list is long and let’s face it, you don’t want to read something like an encyclopaedia.
Instead, over time, let me tell you about rituals that have been incorporated into my wedding ceremonies.
The first ritual is a pagan rite to be read before a civil ceremony begins. It’s a calling upon natural powers as was common in many cultures during the Middle Ages circa 500 to 1500AD. It was the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. During those feudal times, village life dominated and leaders were landowners and church officials.
This “Calling” was incorporated into a super casual, intimate elopement ceremony (“legals only” format, short and sweet). We met early morning on Tyagarah Beach on 4 June 2023. There were 6 attendees – the bride and groom, their two year old son, their two witnesses and of course me, as their celebrant.
The beach was deserted and the weather so threatening. While it was pouring to the north and south, it was as if Mother Nature, or the powers that be, called a halt to the driving rain that had lashed the beach right up to 10 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled.
Would you believe the couple were actually flying off to Rome two days after their legal Australian marriage, to have the big Catholic wedding in the groom’s place of birth? Fifty of the bride’s family were also flying overseas to see the bride marry her Italian groom.
The bride’s best friend and legal witness read the “Calling of Directions” out loud. She made a genuine call on the forces of nature and the Great Spirit to bless the couple, their feelings for each other and their future together. I have to admit it was a very moving presentation.
Calling of Directions
Blessed be this union with gifts of the East. The place of air, spring, the child, new beginnings. The place of the rising sun. May the dawn wind blow a freshness and light into your love - opening your hearts and minds - bringing adventure, curiosity and deep joy. May the east remind you of the power of each new day and your deep capacity for growth and change together.
Blessed be this union with gifts from the North. The place of Fire, Summer, the mother and father, the sun at the peak of the day. May the north bring passion, energy, abundance and creativity. May it teach you of strength and courage. It is the place where the moon is full and the light in your hearts can guide you through any darkness - for there is no darkness without light and no light without darkness.
Blessed be this union with gifts from the West. The place of water, autumn, the maga and the magus, the setting sun. May the west teach you the power of emotion. It holds the storm clouds, rivers and oceans, teaching you the capacity to feel through tears of sadness and joy. May the west bless you with a sanctuary in one another to be able to delve into the deepest places one can travel to, trusting in each other’s steadfastness.
Blessed be this union with gifts from the South. The place of earth, winter, of grandmothers and grandfathers, of midnight and the darkest moon. May you find gifts of groundedness, wisdom and balance. It is the place of the physical realm where your stillness and inner wisdom reside. Where all dreams begin and intuition is strong. May the south ground your love and provide a haven of deep solidity and peace.
Blessed be this union with gifts from above, below and within. May your internal flames burn bright and true on their own but shine even brighter together. May your journey be blessed by the Great Spirit. Blessed be this couple.
Since retiring and moving to the best part of Australia, I've been fortunate to meet so many happy couples wishing to tie the knot. Because every couple is uniquely different, each ceremony script is written only for them. Having been married for 48 years, I understand how important it is to start your marriage the way you want; and I believe my job is to make it happen with ease.