Local weddings all have a service at either the church or the castle and then go on to the reception at a local Hotel. To get from one to the other, the congregation carry out the traditional Scottish piped walk from one to the other followed by the bride and groom in their chosen mode of transport, though sometimes they do walk down with everyone else. It was at this point that I met them and performed a wee short hand fasting ceremony followed by the traditional jumping of the broom. Well, it was more a spell for their forthcoming life really but we resurrected an old tradition in Aberdour. So, any of you who live close enough and fancy popping by and jumping the broom, just let me know.
If you are doing a hand fasting, you may like to read a new book called “Handfasting – a practical guide by Mary Neasham” – full of interesting facts on marriage and lots of help as to how to carry out your own witchy wedding. Even if you are already married in the eyes of the law, you can still bless your union in the eyes of our Lady and Lord. Incorporate a little ceremony either just the two of you (with the little people as witnesses) or in front of your friends on Midsummer’s Eve. Nothing fancy required and it doesn’t need to be conducted by anyone – just a commitment to each other under the stars then jump over the midsummer bonfire to elementally bind the union. Then follow with your wine and food and it is done.
A wedding horseshoe…
If you are attending a forthcoming wedding, the tradition is to give a used horseshoe, painted with silver paint and threaded with ribbon for hanging to put above the front door of the house. You can decorate with lavender and yarrow sprigs, picked at Midsummer, and pink ribbon and give to the bride and groom. Maybe also pick 7 sprigs lavender, 7 sprigs of yarrow and a sprig of white heather if you can find it, tie with a pink bow and present to the bride…or even better, let the kids or grandkids do it to wish the couple a loving happy future.
Kissing has always been looked on as a sacred act as it represents two people mingling souls (how sweet!) and children should not be encouraged to kiss each other otherwise they will grow up to be foolish with their affections. However, if you kiss someone on the nose, there will be trouble between the two people, and the omen is misfortune to come should someone lean over from behind you and gives you a peck on the cheek – a stab in the back will follow! There is an old saying that kissing is out of favour when the broom is out of season – be aware that the broom flowers all year round!
Superstitions about the big day…
Marry in June when the roses bloom and life will be one long honeymoon. June is apparently the best month to be wed as it is named after Juno, the adored and faithful wife of Jupiter (my ruling planet), who is the protector of women and marriage and bestows special blessings on those who commit this month. May is the worst month to marry.
Another one is “Change your name and not the letter; you change for worse and not for better.” OK there then.
Tying the knot comes from the Babylonians who would take a thread from the bride’s and groom’s clothes and tie them symbolically together – Handfasting still ties the couple together so, so far so good!!
As for the bride’s superstitions, there are many. Apparently marrying in green is really unlucky, though it is Celtic and a symbol of the little people, whilst velvet leads to poverty. A bride shouldn’t try her full outfit on until the day and never view it in a full length mirror, not even on the day (though leaving the shoes off seems to cover this). The bouquet symbolises sex and fertility so the bride carries one for her own marital happiness, whilst the knots tied into the bouquet by friends, or florists these days, brings luck and good wishes to the marriage.
The wedding ring symbolises eternity and it is unlucky if it is dropped during the ceremony. If it is, only the officiate should pick it up, or the life of the couple will be unhappy. The sun shines on fortune hence “happy be the bride the sun shines on”.
Wedding Anniversary traditions…something new
As you know, last year I eloped to Gretna with our kids and married my partner, so thought I would look into Anniversary traditions for something new to cover. Each anniversary has a gemstone, gift, colour and flower associated with it, so thought it would be fun to feature for those getting married in the future.
The 1stAnniversary traditionally is Paper, and represents the frailty of early marriage, the strength of the paper being in its threads. Beginning your new life together is symbolized by a blank sheet! How strong is your connection and your relationship? Will it crumple easily or stand the test of time? The story is yet to be written. Clocks are often exchanged by couples on their 1stanniversary to represent the relationship and the test of time!
The colour associated is yellow or gold (dawn of marriage), the flower, some say Pansy, some say Carnation and the stone is Mother of Pearl. So how will you celebrate? Hold an anniversary dinner with people/family who witnessed your wedding, and maybe use the top layer of your wedding cake, if you had one (I didn’t) as your anniversary cake! You could have paper flowers decorating your table or fancy designed and named napkins.
Your first anniversary sets the trend for future anniversaries so this is when to begin a memories box or album (both will involve Paper inside) so you can reminisce on your marriage journey. Make sure you celebrate in style with a day or weekend trip, plan a city break somewhere you both would like or a luxury dinner somewhere special. If you exchange gifts, it can be a jigsaw puzzle, a book of things to do together, a sundial, magazine subscription, tickets to a show… the list is endless as to how you can celebrate your Paper anniversary. If money is tight, then spend the day having a picnic and make “Love tokens” for later, or make a paper trail with clues round the house. This is your first anniversary so make it special…I know we are…!!
The 2nd Anniversary is Cotton, its interwoven threads representing how the couple have grown closer together in the 2nd year of marriage. Will the weave be strong enough to survive or weak when stretched? Gifts would have included white tablecloths & serviettes hand embroidered with flowers & initials. My mum was gifted one from her bridesmaid and was still using it on Sundays, as a precious present highly valued and always washed by hand.
The crystal is Garnet, a stone that helps inspires love and devotion, promotes emotional harmony, balances sex drive and strengthens commitment in the marriage… a lovely red representative of a 2nd anniversary.
The flower is Lily-of-the-valley, one of my favourite flowers. It has 2 leaves from which the delicate white bell flowers appear on a single stem…maybe representing the children that may result from this marriage. The tiny flowers are sweetly scented and aphrodisiac!! Colours for this anniversary are red and linen white.