Woodland wedding ceremony for forest dwellers

A Woodland Wedding Ceremony for Forest Dwellers

“We feel ‘Spiritually Married’. This was our Spiritual Ceremony”

Jasmin & Luke‘s wedding ceremony

I was really struck by Jasmin telling me that for her the Woodland Ceremony she and Luke celebrated was their ‘spiritual’ marriage ceremony. The Legal Ceremony left her feeling ‘Legally married’. The Woodland one left her feeling ‘Spiritually married.’ It has been 20 years since I studied Theology and Religion at University. My dissertation was about Contemporary Spirituality in Britain. It is obviously well and truly out of date! Jasmin and Luke of course would have been children. Contemporary Spirituality continues to change, mutating steadily over time, the way it always has.

Paulo Santo wood burning
Using natural elements to ‘sanctify a space’. This guest is lighting the piece of wood for the fragrant smoke. Palo Santo is considered a sacred Ceremonial plant and the smoke is used to cleanse a space in preparation for ritual photo Charlotte Burn https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/

This is a photo of a guest lighting a piece of Palo Santo wood, which literally translated means ‘Holy Wood’. It is found in South American countries and is known for its resin and traditionally is used to burn for cleansing negative energy. Not that there is ever much of that with these two. They are the calmest, kindest couple. For Jasmin & Luke ‘connectedness’ and ‘oneness’ was what they believed in. Everything was about harmony with nature. Jasmin is a gardener. Luke defines himself as a Forest Dweller. He is passionate about fungi, their miraculous qualities and the interconnectedness within their nature.

They had biodegradable rose petals for confetti. They had been drying for 2 years by the time the ceremony finally took place after many postponements. When we finally reached the day there were buckets of them

2 years worth of dried rose petals
Home made Eco Conscious, biodegradable rose petal wedding confetti

A Wedding ceremony in tune with nature

The sound of the singing bowl ringing through the trees had a lovely human resonance to it. Something ancient in that space. A call to gather among the elderly trees in a time of terrible uncertainty. There among the trees we felt safe that day. People wore crowns of dried flowers in their hair. The rose petals were hand dried from Jasmin’s garden. Everything was very in tune with nature and eco-conscious. Very much reflecting the couple’s values. It was so gentle and tender and everything felt so right in that ancient space. Jasmin and Luke’s spirituality is very much of their time whilst also being rather timeless. They are of a generation with concern for our world and a desire to respect nature and live in harmony with it. This is not new, it is a ‘returning’. But neither are they Pagan, Wiccan or identified with any particular religion. They are respectful of themselves, their families and the world they live in. It is common in every generation, and in any period of great societal change, for people to ‘return’, to seek understanding in the ‘past’, to have a sense of rediscovery. It relates to people retuning to a previous more ‘pure’ time. Generally it means that people are seeking more simplicity in an imagined time in our minds where we invent a time before everything became corrupted. It give us hope i think to believe that we can learn from our pasts and that there was indeed a better time and a better future to be imagined. This day though, was perfect.

Jasmin's Mum and sister
The Mother of sister of the Bride wearing their dried flower crowns and enjoying Jasmin’s happiness https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/

The ribbons were all hand-dyed by Natural Due Works https://www.thenaturaldyeworks.com/ where they are dyed over long periods of time using natural pigments and plants. They were used for a beautiful hand fasting involving all the family as a sign of ‘connectedness and oneness’ and belonging. Again this detailed focus on supporting the environment through natural processes and also supporting innovative environmentally conscious small businesses.

Naturally dyed ribbons for handfasting
Ribbons dyed using an ancient natural process using plants and natural pigments .https://www.thenaturaldyeworks.com//

A wedding ceremony involving all the family

This wedding ceremony involved all the family right from the beginning. The rings were hand made and kept in a box with fern leaves and brought forward by a family member with great concentration. Luke’s ring was made metal but the inside was lined with wood. A Holy wood from Bethlehem The rings were sent around the gathering for each person to hold and send their good wishes. People were given the opportunity to pray for the couple if they were people of faith, think of them, ‘send them good energy’, whatever people needed to do. This little person was very serious about their job. This photo is of the rings being given out from wooden bowl with the ferns

Ring Bearer
A wooden bowl with a wooden ring covered with ferns photo Charlotte Burn Photography https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/

A Ceremony for everyone

Sometimes people choose ‘hand fasting’ and ancient tradition where the couple choose to have their hands tied together. There are many permutations. It is a tradition which can still be seen in the Church where the Vicar uses their ‘stole’ from around their necks to tie the couple’s hands. The Christian Church probably borrowed it from more ancient traditions.

Here at this ceremony lots of family members joined in with tying the hands and much fun was had and a little chaos too.

So much fun involving everyone .Photo from Charlotte Burn Photography https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/
Best friends. Photo from Charlotte Burn Photography https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/

Sending them on their way

We Sent Luke and Jasmin on their way using this lovely sending quote

“Under this wondrous canopy of nature and with all the vast universe as our witness, we hope forJasmin and Luke harmony and happiness as they grow forever together.”

Before they went off we all stood together and surrounded them, holding hands for a few mintutes in a symbol of solidarity and unity with them.

surrounding them with love
Jasmin and Luke asked me to end their wedding ceremony by forming a circle holding hands around them. Basically a circle of love. Photograph https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/

“Under this wondrous canopy of nature and with all the vast universe as our witness, we hope forJasmin and Luke harmony and happiness as they grow forever together.”

Rose Petal Confetti

We sent them on their way…and we all feasted under a huge tipi. It was one of the most special weddings I can remember. All are special, but this was particularly special. We had all waited such a long time. We had a zoom wedding on their original date and so when finally after so many postponements and lots of bereavements doing this added some happy memories to some tough ones.

perfect home grown and home dried rose petals for confetti
perfect home grown and dried rose petals https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/
radiant bride
Beaming in the sunshine after such a long wait. Charlotte Burn Photography https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/
sSending them on their way https://www.charlotteburnphotography.com/

Thank you Jasmin and Luke for sharing your lovely souls with me on such a special day in such a special place. Thank you to Charlotte Burn Photography for her generosity in sharing these fabulous photos.


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