Jim & Stacey
"Tradition Meets New Ideas"
In this day and age, finding the person that you are meant to be with is difficult enough. When you stop to think about it, the whole thing is really amazing. What are the chances that, with so many people in the world, that we can somehow come into contact with “the one”.
As if that were no impressive enough, then comes the wedding. Your wedding is hands down the most important day of your life. However, it is also probably the one day which will involve more hours of decision making and planning than an entire year’s worth of “regular” days.
And sometimes things are even more difficult than usual. Maybe the bride is Catholic, and the groom is Baptist… or perhaps neither claims a specific religious orientation. Maybe the bride is from another country and wishes to incorporate some of her customs. Maybe the groom is in the military. Maybe…
A lot of these circumstances can plague many couples when planning for that special day. Often times it may not even be of direct consequence to the bride or groom, but perhaps a family member who has this perfect plan of how her daughter or son’s ceremony should be. Never fear. There is ALWAYS a creative way to incorporate your own special style into your special day.
Stacey, natively of San Francisco, but now currently living in Louisville with her new husband Jim, came up with several solutions to these dilemmas.
Stacey knew when she stood in Bridals of Regiss Park selecting her gown that her wedding was destined to be something different. She chose to have their ceremony on Halloween night, with a distinct elegant flair, focusing on autumn colors and a “harvest” feel. No goblins or vampires were in attendance.
The ceremony was held at Claudia Sanders Dinner House in Shelbyville, Kentucky. This was a wonderful choice, therefore allowing both the ceremony and the reception to be in one location, which was very convenient for the bride and groom, the guests, and everyone who made the wedding memorable. This was also an excellent decision for Stacey, who opted to have a less traditional ceremony, incorporating handfasting.
Now you may ask what exactly is “handfasting”, and who might incorporate it? Well, some couples may use handfasting at the end of their traditional ceremony, or they may wish to use it as the focal point of their vows.
This ancient ritual dates back as far as any record of marriage. In fact, handfasting was once the only way to carry out a wedding ceremony. The Celts saw it to be valid for one year and one day, after which time the agreement could be made permanent. Some people might see the idea of handfasting as rather “new age”, but it is quite the opposite. In fact, the term “new” shouldn’t be used anywhere near the concept of handfasting.
The entire idea can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. There is no right or wrong way to complete the actual fasting of hands. The only consistency seems to be tying the bride and groom’s hands together with a chord. Depending on the religious or cultural connotations, words will be spoken and vows exchanged.
Now who can use this traditional rite? Well, anyone. However, typically, handfasting is used in ceremonies of an Irish, Scottish or Celtic heritage, or when a part of an earth or nature based religious ceremony. As can be expected, handfasting is also quite popular with renaissance weddings. It is also incorporated into a lot of “green” weddings, again tying into a nature based philosophy.
For Stacey’s reception, she gave her guests the option to wear costumes. This made the atmosphere fun and relaxed, versus the elegance of the ceremony, wonderfully expressing the bride and groom’s complementing styles.