Decoration ideas for a Wiccan wedding
I have been to a few Wiccan weddings. I have even officiated at one and speaking from personal experience the decorations have been both varied and interesting. Like everyday weddings the decorations for a Wiccan wedding really depend a lot on personal preference. However there are some decoration ideas that fit in with the Wiccan and pagan ethos more than others. The following are just some ideas taken from personal observation and talking to the various Wiccan groups I am in contact with.
Before the wedding has even started you can add your personal pagan stamp to it with the invitations you send out. Invitations can be anything but why not find an appropriate picture from the thousands of free art sites on the web that you like and you feel symbolizes what you and your partner are about and use that as part of the invitation. Of course if you really wish to be environmentally conscious you can just use e-invitations although be aware some people may have changed email addresses, breakdown of computers etc. So back that up with a personal phone call or ask the grapevine to get in contact with them to make sure that the invitation has been received.
The oldest and sometimes most personal decorating idea for weddings has to be flowers. Throughout history flowers have been used for almost every celebration or commiseration that we have. Weddings, funerals, births, apologies, birthdays, and mother’s day the list is endless. In fact flowers are the universal way of getting across an emotion without actually having to say it! Flowers have a myriad of associations with them and also each person has a personal favourite flower that has meaning to them so flowers for a wedding become a very personal choice on the part of the bride and groom.
However for Wiccan weddings the nicest idea I have come across is to not have cut flowers at all. Instead place on each table if you have tables for a reception a potted plant that has meaning to you and at the end of the night invite each family to take home one of the plants and to plant it in their garden. If this is not possible due to lots of friends and families not having gardens you can get a lot of indoor plants nowadays that they can take home and look after. Not only does this stick to the ideal of not destroying nature but it will give something back to the people who come to your special day.
Many Wiccan weddings will have the official hand fasting ritual where instead of betrothing rings to show commitment (although this is still a big part of it) the couple’s hands are tied together with a plaited cord. The cord is usually plaited from three colours, one for the bride/goddess, one for the groom/god and one to signify bounty.
To use this as a decorating idea is simple. Why not have these three personal colours run through the hall or place of the wedding. Banners with the three colours around the edge will work as will streamers and other types of decoration. Having ribbons of these three colours placed around the walls running horizontally will work. You can even plait them like the hand fasting cord if you wish although that could take a little work and a lot of time. You can even with a little thought make sure that each table has these three colours running around the edge.
Another official part of most Wiccan weddings is a practise called jumping the broom. There is some argument as to where this originally came from but for our purposes there is folklore coming from Wales that a bride and groom could legally marry for a year by jumping over a birch broom placed in a doorway. If they both managed to jump over it and not knock it over then the wedding was a go and legally recognised. If one of them knocked it over it was considered the marriage was doomed to failure and not recognised. After a year if either party was unhappy they could divorce the other person by jumping back over the broom.
For us, jumping the broom has become part of the Wiccan consciousness and the year and a day period is one that you can get hand fasted for although very few people do. To use it as a decorating idea though you could have various brooms placed at thresholds throughout where ever you are holding the wedding. Maybe place a few leaning against walls or if you can make them or get them, have a miniature broom on each table to symbolise the idea.
For wall hangings you can have streamers which we have already mentioned. However another good idea and quite cheap if you get the kits and make them yourselves is to have tapestries or wall hangings with your favourite motif. Be aware though that making this yourself will take a lot of time, so maybe a project to start a year in advance! However more Wiccan supply shops are beginning to sell tapestries and wall hangings so they should not be too difficult to get.
Other wall hangings can be cotton sheets with pictures either painted on with fabric paint if you have an artist in the family or if you have a sewing machine you can always embroider patterns onto the sheet almost like an altar cloth. This would be inexpensive but like tapestries will take a lot of time so another project maybe to do a year in advance. Coloured chiffon scarves or something similar could be used to add colour around the outside if need be.
Music plays a part in any wedding and while it is not a decoration as such it deserves a mention here. It’s likely at a pagan/wiccan wedding you are not going to want the usual hymns unless they mean a lot to you personally. But with the explosion of new age thinking and Wiccan/ pagan groups there has been a corresponding explosion in Wiccan/pagan music. There has always been an undercurrent of Celtic or folk music dancing around the pop charts and some have even crossed over with the likes of Clannad but even if you do not like those types of music there are many people out there you won’t have heard off simply because they don’t get air play where you live.
If you wish pagan or Celtic music at your wedding, take some time to do some research. Make an account with an internet radio service like live365 or any other one and scout around. They often have programmes created by listeners and you can get some wide ranging music here. There are even quite a few Wiccan radio stations on the web if you look. One of these will have music you like for your wedding. But like everything it will take time and patience to find it but once found it can add an entirely new level to your wedding to make it perfect. Remember music, like smells, can evoke powerful memories years down the line.
Finally party favours are becoming quite usual during weddings. Giving your guests something to remember the wedding by is an old tradition, although usually it was food during a feast. For pagan wedding favours why not get lots of little bags made up, maybe embroidered with a green man or a goddess picture and inside you could put random gifts. Charms you have made yourself from inexpensive material, herbal bath sachets or small tumbles crystals are all small inexpensive gift ideas that will give your guests the pleasant thought that you are glad they are there.