R and K asked me to perform a handfasting ceremony for them. They were legally married in a registrar’s ceremony but wanted something for their extended family and friends. They had the magnificent setting of Ruthin Castle to use, and we agreed that the best time for the ceremony was sunset. R wanted to reflect the Northern tradition in the ceremony, K wanted to reflect her British Iron Age roots in re-enactment. Both extended families had members of other religions, though, so we agreed to limit the amount of explicitly pagan imagery.

We wrote the ceremony together. They wanted a ‘handfasting’, where the couple are bound together at the wrists with cords. Each cord symbolises an important aspect of a union. It was important that they were completely comfortable with the words and the symbolism used. We used a mixture of sound and poetry to make a space. We used a collective chalice to share mead and a collective platter to share special cakes made to a recipe inspired by Welsh mythology. 

K and R said “The handfasting was treated with the same ease and preciousness as our legal ring exchange ceremony. That was thanks to Steve’s skill and presence presiding it”.