A Handfasting Ceremony in the Woods


The intimate handfasting ceremony in the forest makes my heart sing!

In April of last year, Corrine and Gareth gathered with their closest and dearest in Ecclestone Woods. Camping chairs were lit, picnic blankets spread, and umbrellas opened in preparation for the British drizzle. Jay Mountford Photography captured all of the joy and beauty on their special day.

Corrine’s baby-blue cardigan and delicate flower crown were perfect accessories for her chic maternity bridal gown by Tiffany Rose. Gareth, meanwhile, looked dapper in a vintage suit.

The handfasting took place in front of a rustic arch decorated with feathers, ferns, and Corrine’s father. The picnic lunch included homemade sandwiches in brown paper bags tied with string, rosy red apple baskets, and delicious fairy cakes.

Gareth carved 30 wooden spoons to give as favors. Amazing, right?!

What is handfasting?

The binding of hands is an ancient tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. It signifies marriage between two individuals. The colorful ribbons that you will see around Corrine’s and Gareth’s hands are a result of this ancient ritual.

(By the way, Blessing of the Hand is a beautiful and nonreligious reading that is perfect for a ceremony. It can be used for any wedding ceremony.

Into The Woods

We chose a wooded wedding because we both love the woods. We met at a Forest School course (which is all about working with kids in the forest to build confidence and self-esteem), so it felt right. We chose the woods because it is close to where we first met and where we now live. We also walk there with our children regularly.

The Ceremony

We chose handfasting as we are hippies and wanted to do something more symbolic than vows. The idea of an ancient and traditional ceremony seemed perfect for the ancient woodland. My stepfather performed the ceremony; it was his first time, but we wanted it to be personal.

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