I was so excited when I found out that I was going to get to photograph this handfasting ceremony! Not only had I never seen this done in a wedding, but Christa is practically family (her sister married one of my best friends a few years ago (dig a few years back in the blog and look for “Gypsy Jayne and Torrie Laine Get Hitched”), so it makes her part of my tribe and I love getting to document all of my tribes moments for them! What’s the point in having a gift if I can’t gift it to someone else! <3
So… back to the handfasting ceremony, since I had never seen one, I had to pull out the old “google machine” and figure out exactly what it was that I was photographing. From my research I figured out that this tradition dates back to Pre-Christian Northern Europe and was the way that couples either got married or engaged back then. Once Christianity spread they still continued to use this tradition as their normally wasn't a priest in every village. The couples would have the handfasting ceremony and then once a priest passed through their village, they would have the priest bless their marriage. Also when I say engaged in this context, I don’t mean it in the traditional get down on one knee with a ring style that we do now. The handfasting ceremony used in this context was the couple making a year commitment to each other, living as what we would now call husband and wife and then making the decision a year later if they were going to commit to forever or not.
The couple also added in a “Jumping the Broom” ceremony after the exchanging of the rings. The "Jumping the Broom" is a ceremony in which the bride and groom, either at the ceremony or at the reception, signify their entrance into a new life and their creation of a new family by symbolically "sweeping away" their former single lives, former problems and concerns, and jumping over the broom to enter upon a new adventure as wife and husband.
Soooo all of this to say, not only was this wedding super special (because they all are), but I got to learn a ton, and capture some special memories for some of my favorite people!
Ohhhh… and if this wedding wasn’t cool enough already… the Pyrosapians surprised the bride and groom and ended the evening with fire spinning!