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Pagan Wedding Basics

According to Wikipedia, Pagan is a term that is very broadly used to describe anyone who is essentially not Christian, or Jewish. So, with such a broad classification, how does one determine exactly what a Pagan wedding consists of?

Well, it consists of whatever you want it to consist of. A pagan wedding ceremony is as unique as the people it joins together. But, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Pagan weddings are indeed legally binding... that is, if you want them to be. Of course, I'm not a lawyer - but, as long as you fulfill your states requirements for a legally binding marriage, it doesn't really matter what your wedding ceremony consists of. Of course, some people choose to have a handfasting ritual, where they are essentially engaged for a year and a day before deciding whether or not to marry. Or, you could choose to hold the ritual to celebrate your love for one another without a legally binding marriage. Its all up to you.

You could also choose to be married only for a certain amount of time. Vows are not always "till death do us part". They are simply an affirmation of your relationship. Your unique relationship. Maybe it doesn't feel right for you to pledge your unending love when you never know how you are going to feel down the road, or how you are going to change as individuals. Maybe you feel that you are soulmates, forever spiritually bound- who have rediscovered each other in this lifetime and wish to celebrate that unbreakable bond. To each his own.

A pagan wedding can be designed to join a man and a woman, or a gay couple, or a group of people together. It has all been done before. Pagan communities are generally very accepting of alternative lifestyles.

A pagan wedding is very much a personal and unique experience. As such, you will want to prepare your guests for the type of ceremony they will be encountering. You may want to consider compiling information about the symbolic meaning behind the different elements of your wedding. If you have ever attended a ceremony which you were unfamiliar with you know how uncomfortable it can be.

You can design your ceremony to be as religious, or as secular as you wish. If you have many guests who are uncomfortable with the idea of a pagan ceremony, then you can easily incorporate some symbolism without frolicking about skyclad.

The planning required for a pagan wedding is the same as that for a traditional wedding, as far as logistics go. Using planning workbooks, or software designed for a traditional wedding can be just as helpful for designing a pagan wedding. You may even be able to find a wedding planner who can help you through the process.

The most important thing to remember in planning your pagan wedding, is to make decisions based on what is important to you. It is your day after all, and it is all about celebrating your love for each other with your loved ones - no matter what form that love takes.

Sara Stephenson Donley maintains a blog about Pagan Weddings as a resource for all those planning, or planning on attending a pagan wedding.

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