Design your ideal, perfect non-traditional wedding ceremony with Handfastings and Weddings by Rev. Debra S. Lippitt, a legally ordained minister of non-denominational services in Collingdale, Pennsylvania. Ordained by Temple of Eternal Light in 1996, I have been operating my own Temple since 1997.
My Temple of Gaia Incorporated is a legal 501c3 non-profit organization. We specialize in handfastings, weddings, civil ceremonies, renewal of vows, hand partings, non-denominational ceremonies, non-religious ceremonies, commitment ceremonies and in other services such as baby naming, rites of passage and house blessings.
We want you to make your ceremony completely your own, merely providing samples of wedding/handfasting ceremonies to get you started. You then add and subtract from these ideas to create your ideal special day.
Handfasting, an ancient ritual of commitment and love between like-minded souls, is performed within a sacred circle and witnessed by the elements of the four directions: north, east, west and south. This type of ceremony can result in a non-state registered ceremony or a fully legal marriage ceremony.
Please see below for a suggested outline of a pagan wedding ceremony, including the bride and groom’s vows. For more information, please contact us using the contact form or call (610) 532-9598.
The following wedding ceremony was written to provide for Pagans who must out of necessity be wed in the presence of those who are not pagan and are perhaps unaware that the bride and groom are pagan.
[HPs] We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of ____bride______ and ____groom. There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls, has come our way through all paths of belief, and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom gathered. Though we are unable to give all this knowledge to these two, who stand before us, we can hope to leave with them the knowledge of love and its strengths and the anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time. The law of life is love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to Life, posterior to Death, initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.
Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, Groom and Bride have come here today to be joined as one in marriage. Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family’s blessing.
Bride, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?
[BRIDE] Yes, it is true.
[HPs] With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you.
[FATHER] She comes with me, her father, and is accompanied by all of her family’s blessings.
[HPs] Please join hands with your betrothed and listen to that which I am about to say. Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time doth pass, remember…
Like a stone should your love be firm like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly.
Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you unease, for the Gods are with you always.
Groom, I have not the right to bind thee to Bride, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.
[GROOM] It is my wish.
[HP] Bride, if it be your wish for Groom to be bound to you, place the ring on his finger. (places ring on Groom’s left ring finger) Bride I have not the right to bind thee to Groom only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in his hand.
[BRIDE] It is my wish.
[HPs] Groom, if it be your wish for Bride to be bound to you, place the ring on her finger.(places ring on Bride’s left ring finger) (to Groom) Repeat after me:
I, (grooms full name), in the name of the spirit of the Gods that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee (bride’s full name) to my hand, my heart, and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.
I (bride’s full name), in the name of the spirit of the Gods that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood, and the love that resides within my heart, take thee, (Groom’s full name) to my hand, my heart, and my spirit to be my chosen one. To desire and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.
(hands chalice to the groom, saying:) May you drink your fill from the cup of love.
(Groom holds chalice to bride while she sips then bride takes chalice and holds it to groom while he sips. The chalice is then handed back to the HP who sets it on the table. Next the HP takes the plate of bread, giving it to the groom. Same procedure repeated with bread, groom feeding bride and bride feeding groom.)
By the power vested in me by the GodS and the State of PA, and by the laws of the Temple of Gaia Incorporated, I now pronounce you husband and wife. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light unto you. You may now kiss the bride!
You may now jump the broom!
I now present Mr. and Mrs.________!