Oak and Amber's
Handfasting Album

The Handfasting of Oakdancer and Amberflame
Saturday, March 27, 1999
10 o'clock in the morning
The Belvidere
Claremore, Oklahoma

Parents of the bride are Edward and Jo K.
Parents of the groom are Dorothy W., the late Max M., and the late Joe W.
Junior High Priestesses and daughters of the couple are Silverwing and Willow.
The ceremony was conducted by High Priestesses Laura, Bethany, and Amie, with the aid of the junior High Priestesses.

I wish I could say that it was a warm, sunny, springlike day, but it wasn't. The clouds blanketed the sky, and rain began dripping down throughout the afternoon. However, that grievous fact had no detrimental effect on the joyous celebration that was Oakdancer and Amberflame's Handfasting.

The handfasting was held in exclusive Claremore's fashionable Belvidere Mansion, a three-story late Victorian house built in the early 1900s which, thanks to civic-minded citizens, is being restored to its former glory. Inside the house, much of the original Victorian furniture, as well as tasteful reproductions, are to be found within the rooms. The beautiful mosaic tiles floors and almost all the original woodwork and frescoes are still intact, and the skylight which allows the sun's rays to plunge all the way through to the ground floor is a fascinating feature of this grand old house, whose third floor was the scene of this joyous occasion.

The main altar of the handfasting circle bore the traditional tools of the Craft: athame, wand, chalice, and pentacle, as well as God and Goddess candles, a floral centerpiece of daisies, apricot carnations, roses, baby's breath and greenery, and the broom for the "jumping of the broomstick", as well as a Goddess-shaped decanter of mead brewed by the groom. Quarter candles arranged around the room marked the four directions, and tables were set up for the guests to be seated during the rite. The room was painted white, with a blue cloud-filled mural on the ceiling, effectively negating the dreariness of the weather outside. An eclectic array of recorded music was played before and after the ceremony, including country, Celtic, and rock tunes. The gold Celtic-knot wedding rings exchanged by the couple were handmade by DeerHawke of DeerHawke Creations.

The bride wore a handmade amber velvet gown with a deep V-neck and back, and a small train which provided much lighthearted amusement to take the edge off her (understandable) nervousness. She was additionally costumed in a long amber lace veil which was (eventually) fastened to her head by the crown of an attending High Priestess, from which dangled a small moonstone. Her feet were clad in silvery ankle-to-toe foot jewels. The groom wore a loose-fitting white tunic belted at the waist and handmade green trousers with a very Godlike leafy green pattern. The three High Priestesses were variously attired in different colored velvet, and the junior High Priestesses wore handmade ritual robes and floral garlands on their heads.

Due to the number of non-Pagan guests, a program was written by Amberflame detailing the significance of the ritual, which was also written by the bride. The text of this beautiful ceremony may be viewed in full here. Many of the guests subsequently expressed their admiration for the elegantly worded and heartfelt rite, which lasted for just under an hour.

At the feet of the Gods, in the circle cast and consecrated by the High Priestesses, the couple expressed their love and devotion through the handfasting, in which their joined hands were lightly bound by a sacred cord blessed by all in attendance, through the exchange of rings, and through the exchange of written and unwritten vows, much of which brought tears to the eyes of participants and guests alike. Despite a few small details, such as an unscheduled serenade from a young, diapered guest, the handfasting was evocative and powerful, and all present felt the power of the Gods rise to bless the happy couple.

After the rite, catering was provided by The Pit barbeque. The wedding cake was composed of chocolate with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting and decorated by an heirloom wedding cake topper borrowed from the parents of the bride. There was conversation, music, and dancing, and the opening of the wedding gifts, which included a striking ceramic cat-shaped incense burner about three feet tall. Later, the couple departed for their four-day honeymoon at a local bed & breakfast in not-so-nearby Jenks, Oklahoma, in a rustic log cabin surrounded by trees on a private lake.

Altogether, Amberflame and Oakdancer's handfasting was a down-to-earth affirmation of love between two people, extended to include their families and friends. The couple, along with Silverwing and Willow, now reside in Tennessee. May the Gods bless their union!

[Thank you, Amie, for that beautiful review! - Oak]

Click here for the invitation, program and actual ritual text.

The pictures!

Hopefully we'll have some more shots available soon but right now this is what we have in .jpg format.
Just click the captions to see the pics and hit the "back" button on your browser to return to this page.

  See related essays at "Amberflame's Hearth"

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