Saturday I was lucky to attend a "medieval themed" wedding; a handfasting ceremony at the Castle Restaurant in Leicester, MA. Lynne & Christian, the bride and groom, did not disappoint for most unique.
They chose to marry on August 1st, a date set for the full moon. It is also the festival of Lammas - the harvest of grain and the first of three harvest festivals (Sep. 21 for the fruit harvest and Autumn Equinox, and Oct. 31 for the meat harvest). The grain represents sustenance and sanctity.
The bride and groom's hands were bound according to handfasting tradition, which represents permanence of their vows, and love. They then exchanged rings, and shared a "drink from a common cup." After the ceremony, during their recession, they jumped over a broom- also symbolic. They say in ancient times, the broom was a symbol of fertility, and was one of the first things to be brought into a newly wed home, to symbolize the "sweeping away of obstacles." Jumping over the broom, in European and African tradition, is for good luck, fortune, and fertility of family, lands, and to show acceptance of domesticity.
I am so glad I chose to attend; witnessing the wedding of two people is always a meaningful experience, but this one, though short, was truly unique.
Congratulations to Lynne & Christian!