A Pets Welcome Urban Baroque Pagan Wedding
I can hear you all the way over here. Pet friendly how? What is “Urban Baroque”? And isn’t a Pagan wedding known as a Handfasting? Well then allow me to share with you some memorable moments of my bipeds recent wedding!
Note: All photos by Eva Hadhazy.
Pet Friendly – My Dog Guest List
I had my own guest list! There were my two friends you may recall from the epic wedding we attended in Prague. Oliver and Chloe came from far away with their humans Michaela and Jeremy. All of them were in wedding party. Our other bridesmaid Christine (of Kanine Kerchiefs) well … she brought Gretchen to hang out with the ladies during the morning prep and later her partner Dan brought their other dog Gibson along. And let us not forget our lovely senior grand lady: Peanut. Peanut belongs to our dear friend Florence. They both joined later and Peanut opted for some amazing colours dyed into her fur (safe non toxic!) rather than a fancy outfit. Loved it!
Us dogs had it so good! First off we got to be with our bipeds all day and evening. I know I enjoyed it very much. To be there as a witness to it ALL! In my case, even the beautiful Civil Ceremony that was the prelude of the day.
AND … we had our own DOG BAR! Yep … complete with pet sitter from Dayna’s Pet Sitting Inc. to entertain us fully during the ceremony so no pup would run across the sacred circle and break it (it’s considered a bad omen)… and treats and our own water bowls and pillows!
Oh AND we all got our very own party favours too! Gorgeous damask bandanas made by Kanine Kerchiefs. I mean how cool is that?
I DO need to take a moment to share with you the one big BLACK MARK of the day. Now I will TRY not to be offended by the fact that Mom literally FORGOT ME (I can barely type the words) as she went to join Dad in the park for their first look, and subsequent photos. I mean … she had a lot on her mind and they realized quickly what had happened and called the wedding party to bring me along when they joined them for the wedding party photos but still… I will admit … I’m a little shocked that this happened. I mean … excuse my language but that was a total WTF moment. I am working on this “forgive and forget thing”.
Urban Baroque – A Style
The bipeds have always really enjoyed odd juxtapositions when it comes to style. Things that you would think should never go well together but then somehow do. The first time they both came across this “old world meets modern” was in interior décor. Think of those stark concrete modern spaces with an antique Louis the XIV chaise. That’s’ the sort of thing that they just really love. The thinking behind this style is that both elements are enhanced by that juxtaposition.
In our home you’ll see antique mirrors and frames and white painted crown moulding; but the dining room table will be a modern glass piece with stainless steel legs. You get the idea right? Well that was the inspiration and theme for the day. So think: What would the baroque influence look like if applied to today’s spaces and fabrics? What would you do as a guest? Would you wear baroque earrings with a modern dress that has a damask print? Would you go for tulle skirt but pair it with a white crisp shirt like the bridal party had? Men… would you wear an ascot?
How did that juxtaposition play out for the décor and ensembles on the day? Thanks to designer Justina McCaffrey, the design on mom’s bodice was a traditional damask pattern made out of Swarovski crystals; but was made modern by being on a completely sheer fabric “like stockings” with no corset. And we had urns for the floral arrangements but with modern orchids inside thanks to Pollen Nation!
Same thing for dad’s and my tux! Modern cut but with baroque influenced details. Did you notice all the embroidery work on Dad’s tux? (see above B&W picture). And may I take a moment to point out that the trim of MY jacket by Foo Foo Fido was the SAME fabric as mom’s dress? Mom sent it ahead – using remnants Justina no longer needed – to incorporate. It turned out wonderfully. I certainly felt like a count! I mean I even had a brooch on my black lace ascot! And can you SEE the gold embroidery with black crystals on my jacket? Oh yeah baby!
The same idea was applied to the wedding party; the bridesmaid’s hair was up with a crystal brooch and bow; Mom even wore a crown! But you’ll note that the crown is a modern design of teal, emerald and cobalt crystals. And the hair… well one bridesmaid had pink and mom had her signature teal!
And let’s not forget the dog’s outfits! Oh yes… because I wasn’t the only pup at this wedding to sport an amazing outfit…Oh no no no! I do admit I was particularly impressed with Gibson and Gretchen’s outfit’s made by their mom. I mean …woa….
Pagan Wedding – A Handfasting
A Pagan wedding is often referred to as a Handfasting. It’s very different in its approach. I’ll briefly go over the things that stand out as “other” the most.
For starters – it’s not a prescribed script. The couple write the entire ceremony, not just their vows. Also, the guests participate. In fact, a quarter of the ceremony occurs just amongst the guests without the bride and groom even present. Let me see if I remember this right.
First all the guests hold hands and make a BIG circle around a flower wreath hanging from above. In our case hanging from the ceiling in our living room! Then the high priestess (a dear friend) invites the guests to bless the rings. The rings go in opposite direction, cross mid-way and return to her fully blessed with well wishes from every single person in attendance. Next, two peeps from the wedding party enter and help the guests create a circle on the ground made up of flowers and herbs. This is the sacred space.
Finally, the next four from the wedding party enter with male and female alternating. Each representing both a cardinal point and an element (ex: South = Fire). Finally the groom enters the space and then the bride walking alone. At this point the circle is closed behind them. The cardinal point representatives provide a blessing symbolic of their element… and then you have vows and a ring exchange …etc.
Finally the hands are literally bound together. In a final blessing made not by the Priestess alone but by ALL the guests. It’s very much an audience participation scenario rather than theatre. When it’s all done the guests “break” the sacred circle and toss the petals up in the air in celebration. That’s sort of how that whole confetti and rice thing came to be in more traditional weddings.
After that well there was a glass ceremony (like a sand ceremony but using glass beads then sent to a glass blower to create a piece of art) and the cake cutting of course!
There was a first dance … the bipeds opted for a tango… this is where mom’s choice to opt for separates for her dress came in handy! Skirt switch! you can actually read the sweet story (and see more photos!) about this tango on Off Beat Bride.
And fireworks were enjoyed by all thanks to the bipeds planning the wedding on the evening of the Ottawa firework competition grand finale. We have a view of this and it provided free entertainment!
And throughout all of this not only was I able to smooch loads of snuggles off everyone; so were my canine guests! So yes… when I go to doggy daycare and my peeps ask me if it was a day to remember I have to admit. It was. I was so honoured to be included and not just me but my best buds too! Not just for a photo op … not just for one part of the festivities but pretty much the entire day I was around. Ah it is good to be so loved. Plus… admit it…. I make a petty darn good “bridal bouquet” don’t you think?