Last Friday, Steinunn and I travelled to Brighton via Gatwick airport to attend my sister’s handfasting to her partner. Handfasting involves tying together the hands of the bride and groom. The union typically lasts a year and a day, and once over, the couple will remain together permanently or go their separate ways. My sister said a further two ceremonies happen if the couple stay together. The first signifies a life together and includes a tightening of the knot tied in the initial ceremony and the final ceremony symbolises a union that lasts for eternity.
Over 40 guests attended the ceremony behind the Manor House in Stanmer Park. We shared the space behind the house with a bunch of kids who were being filmed by Channel 4 for some TV show. After a mad rush erecting the gazebo, layout out the food, levelling the tables ensuring the food wouldn’t slip off, and rescuing the chocolate wedding cake, the guests assembled in a circle under a canopy of trees, all holding hands. Elizabeth and Mike entered the circle and walked around the guests ending up behind the altar, facing the high priestess (or witch). The witch, Mike’s sister led the ceremony, which involved the couple saying their vows whilst at knife point. Okay, it was a dagger, a good looking dagger at that. Once all had been said and the groom kissed the bride, the guests, still holding hands, walked clockwise around the couple for about a minute.
After the congratulating the couple, the wrap was taken off the food and a large picnic was eaten by all. Yum. And did I mention the wedding cake was chocolate? It was delicious too, though after all grub I’d eaten beforehand, I could only manage one slice. There were lots of kids to keep Zack and Pixie company and they spent most of the afternoon playing in the trees, making camps and bouncing the aerobee of people and trees.
All in all, it was a fantastic day. A day where everything went to plan, a very relaxed plan. Having a wedding outside beneath trees, encircled by your closest friends and family, with a blue sky and chocolate cake to look forward was just perfect. Oh, and the bride and groom looked fantastic too. I never knew my sister could don a beautiful wedding dress like that.
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