Bryan and Laura's Wedding
Our wedding took place on June 23, 2001. The wedding had a medieval theme. Specifically 14th century or so. The wedding party was in costume, and almost all the guests were in costume as well. What good sports they all are!
The ceremony was held outdoors on the tourney field of Camlann Village, conducted by our friend Damiana. You will find the text of our vows below. The wedding party then led the procession indoors for the feasting and entertainment. We had a 3 course feast, including about six dishes per course. Below I have assembled some links I found helpful in medieval wedding planning. Ours came off without a hitch... no wait, WITH a hitch, since that was the idea, but without any major catastrophies. I hope you are blessed with the same luck.
Wedding Vows for Bryan and Laura
Ceremony officiated by Damiana Swan
In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East.
Communication of the heart, mind, and body
Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun.
The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South.
Warmth of hearth and home
The heat of the heart's passion
The light created by both to illuminate the darkest of times.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West.
The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river
The refreshing cleansing of the rain
The all encompassing passion of the sea.
Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North
Firm foundation on which to build
Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives
A stable home to which you may always return.
Each of these blessings emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union.
Yet they are only tools.
Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.
Declaration of Intentions (Vows)
Do you, Bryan, take Laura to be your wife,
To be her constant friend,
her partner in life, and her true love?
To love her without reservation,
honor and respect her,
protect her from harm,
comfort her in times of distress,
and to grow with her in mind and spirit?
Bryan: Yes, I do.
Do you, Laura, take Bryan to be your husband,
To be his constant friend,
his partner in life, and his true love?
To love him without reservation,
honor and respect him,
protect him from harm,
comfort him in times of distress,
and to grow with him in mind and spirit?
Laura: Yes, I do.
The Exchange of Rings
The symbolism of the circular rings was explained by the great Native American leader, Black Elk, who said:
"Everything the Power of the Worlds does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are the stars. The wind in its greatest power whirls. Birds make their nests in circles ... The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always coming back again to where they were. The life of a man or a woman is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves."
I commit myself to the bond and unique relationship that exists between us, and pledge to keep it alive. As this ring has no end, neither shall my love for you,
I commit myself to the bond and unique relationship that exists between us, and pledge to keep it alive. As this ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.
I pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss to seal your pledge.
This was a printed in the wedding program:
Words of Wisdom on Relationships
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between to shore of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping,
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Possibly Useful Links
- Camlann Medieval Village not far from Seattle, WA
- Renaissance/Medieval Wedding site.
- Irish Made Gold & Silver Celtic Rings from The Mystic Caravan If you are in the U.S. be aware Irish ring sizes are slightly smaller than U.S. sizes.
- DisplayCostume.com - Costumes, Party Supplies & Seasonal Decorations
- Xcentricities,Damiana and I both got corsets from this wonderful artisan!
- Medieval Moccasins
- Crimson Gypsy
- Faire Pair Tights and Such We got Bryan & Gareth's gorgeous velvet tights here.
- Visabella Mythic Clothing Catalog
- Gothic Medieval Dresses
Weddings in General
- Handfasting Info (My site on Handfasting)
- The Knot
- Wed Net