While all of London was being drowned by torrential rain, we were lucky to escape to the Lake District where the sun shone the whole time we were there. The fact it wasn’t raining in the lakes was bonus enough (given the reputation) but knowing everyone else in London was having a miserable time did fill me with sadistic glee.
This particular weekend though it was vital that the sun shone, because we were going to witness the joining of two of our friends in a Pagan outdoor ceremony and had the weather been bad the event might have not been the same.
As it was, the weekend was full of sunshine, friends and a good partying spirit. The Wedding itself took on a festival type feel, with many of our friends choosing to camp in the field that had been rented out. (Not for me though.. pregnant and having to wake up all the time to use the bathroom? Lets be honest it was never going to work out for me!).
We arrived on the Saturday, the day before the ceremony took place and soaked up the sunshine and the atmosphere. This was the day I got to scope out the chosen field and indulge in a brilliant marshmallow/strawberry lace concoction by the camp fire.
I also witnessed my first game of Beer Pong.
As suspected everyone was merrily drunk by the time we decided to leave including my other half. But with a Wedding the day after sleep beckoned and I couldn’t force another soft drink down my throat. So I dragged my other half away to get some r&r.
We woke up to possibly the sunniest and warmest morning ever. And we made our way over to the field where the others were camping and where the wedding was going to take place.
I dressed in a cream lace ASOS number with a black bow belt to the waist and a greyish peacock patterned kimono over the top that I bought a few years ago from Topshop. In my hair to complete my look I wore a flower headpiece that I bought from Spitalfield’s Market, London for about £3.00.
Because the wedding was taking place in a field I toyed with the idea of wearing my black Hunter boot wellies, but because it was such a warm day I instead chose to wear some tan ankle boots I bought from New Look.
When everyone was ready and had arrived (there was no overly strict timetable) we walked to the chosen area for where the wedding would take place. The area had already been cleansed with sage to purify the location just before we made our way over.
Once we passed the ‘gate’…
…our entrance into the cleansed area (between two decorated poles), we were asked to stand in a circle. Known as the sacred circle. The circle is symbolic for the cycles in life and is also used to keep all negativity away from the couple so they are only surrounded by the love and happiness of those that surround them.
In the middle of the circle our two friends stood with the priestess who read to them and performed the handfasting. The handfasting was the joining of the two of our friends using pieces of ribbon to bind their promises to each other. This type of ceremony I don’t think is actually legally binding but the symbolism behind it is so beautiful and it really does feel like the joining of two souls. (Our friends chose to get legally married the weekend before in London).
Once the ceremony had been performed we were all asked to add to the binds our own ribbons that we were holding to send our wishes to the couple.
When the well wishes had been given and our friends had been married the way in which they felt represented them (they were of course already legally married but this was the ceremony they wanted to represent their Wedding day), we all walked back to the camp to celebrate with everyone for the rest of the evening.
The speeches were first which was followed by everyone drinking from a bucket which is an Orkney tradition. Known as the Bride’s Cog, it is filled up with alcohol (in this case cider) and everyone takes a sip of what’s inside the wooden bucket to share the day with the Bride and Groom and to give them luck. So I took a tiny little sip too. In fact I probably just wet my lips!
After that we were well fed with some gorgeous barbecued food which included roast pork and divine crackling, lamb, sausages.. in fact every kind of meat! and a table full of salads, cous cous, rolls, stuffing and sauces. All to be finished off with a homemade wedding cake.
Activities were laid on to play at our pleasure and these included rounders, the coconut shy, a big garden set of chess amongst other things while every got stuck in with the free alcohol (again bar me!) and sunbathed.
As the sun weakened, one of the wedding guests performed for us all by singing some brilliant songs and playing the ukulele while the Bride and Groom merrily danced in the background.
And finally the bouquet throwing. In my current condition I thought it wise not to get involved in the bouquet scrabble. So I remained seated on my deck chair and took pictures of the other girls trying to catch the flowers as they flew through the air…
only to realise they landed right next to me.
Oh well guess it’s my turn next!