On day four of Offbeat Mama-Bride week we're featuring Dani and Scott and their semi-pagan, 1920s-style handfasting. Dani & Scott had been together for fifteen years, had two children together, but had never officially “tied the knot.”


The offbeat bride: Dani, Family Planning Nurse

Her offbeat partner: Scott, City Maintenance Worker

Location & date of wedding: Priest Point Park Rose Garden and South Bay Grange Hall Olympia, Washington — August 29, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: To start with, my partner and I have been together for fifteen years, we have two children together, but had never officially “tied the knot.”

4003858724 e90380cc82 m alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Hee hee — “finally married.”

Since we are both semi-practicing pagans (him more than me) we decided to have a handfasting style ceremony. We didn't have a wedding party — only witnesses and our eight year old daughter held the rings. We walked each other down the aisle to a Baroque style version of Led Zeppelin's “Thank You.”

In the beginning we weren't really going for a theme, but somehow it worked its way into our plans. I found my dress online and it had kind of a 20s feel to it. When it came to what Scott would wear we decided to look for a zoot suit.

He likes to dress up just as much, if not more, than I do. We found a perfect pin striped suit online that had a zoot suit feel to it but didn't feel too costumey.

Of course he had to get a fedora that matched. After reading a blog on OBB about styles for short hair

I decided I wanted finger waves in my hair, which also went with a 20s theme. Even our band was an old timey jazz band which was so much fun! It's weird, it's not an era that I am particularly intrigued with, it just kind of happened that way.

Our biggest challenge: Budget of course is always a challenge. We knew from the beginning that we wanted it to be very laid-back. It didn't hinder us too much thanks to amazing friends and family.

Another challenge, or disappointment really, was having close friends and some of Scott's family who live on the East Coast not be able to make it out. There were a lot of people who we would have loved to share this day with that weren't able to come.

This is a pretty insignificant challenge but we weren't able to have drinks on the dance floor. We didn't know about this until a week prior, which made a lot of people not come out on the dance floor.
We had two separate rooms: one with tables for eating and one for the band and dancing. In the beginning I thought it would be nice for people who were not into the music, but if it was all in the same room it would have forced people to enjoy everything together. Scott and I were dancing and having a blast all night and I think in the end that's all that matters.

My favorite moment: It's really hard to pick just one. The entire day was so beautiful and amazing. But there was one moment during the ceremony that stands out…

We had a close friend cast the circle for us as and when he was done he said, “Now we are in sacred space and what happens in sacred space can change the world.”

Scott and I had been together so long that we weren't really making a big deal about getting married — we just wanted to have a party. I don't know why, but that statement made me really feel that what we were doing was significant and special to our relationship.

My offbeat advice: I can't think of anything different than the advice that is normally given… Try not to stress out to much. Don't worry about the little things and just have fun. This day is about you and your partner and nothing else.

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Comments on Dani & Scott’s laid-back 1920’s(ish) handfasting

  1. Oh man, this wedding is so Olympia. 😀 You’re making me homesick!

    I love Priest Point Park! So many great memories~ The Rose Garden is a perfect venue.

  2. Thank you all for your comments! It was a beautiful day! The cap that I wore was made by someone on ETSY I have to go back through my stuff to find her name.

  3. What a beautiful wedding! I have a close friend that also lives in Olympia who is looking for a person to perform a nice, pagan handfasting ceremony. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Our officiants name was Debbie Shane. I am actually not really sure how to get in touch with her anymore. She had actually never officiated a handfasting but knew a little about it. My partner and I put the whole ceremony together ourselves by using bits and pieces of other ceremonies we found online.

  4. you look absolutely beautiful! i can’t get over how relaxed and real and happy your family is. i also can’t get over the fact that you married when it was right for you. had your children together when it was right for you. how beautiful.
    that’s powerful. congratulations!

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