We published Wren & Ash's Pagan polyamorous gender-nonconforming wedding a few days ago, and they've generously offered to share their full gender-neutral wedding ceremony script with us. It includes Pagan and Norse traditions, references to Doctor Who, Stranger In A Strange Land, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Tom Robbins, and more. Plus, a hilarious “we doo-doo” instead of “We do.” As with all ceremony scripts published on Offbeat Bride, it's offered up for you to take inspiration from, investigate the aspects that interest you, and borrow from if it feels relevant.
I’d like to welcome you all, family, friends, and loved ones, to witness the divine union of Ash and Wren. It is true that many of us are taught that love is a precious and finite resource, one to be dispensed sparingly and with caution. The ever-blossoming whirlwind of love that these two have fostered has taught me, and should exemplify, to many, that love is not only free but can be jarringly infinite.
The Whovians among us may remember a time when Amy Pond said:
Sometimes you meet somoene so beautiful, and then you actually talk actually them, and five minutes later their as dull as a brick. Then there are other people, and you meet them and think, “not bad, they’re ok.” And then you get to know them, and their face just sort of becomes them, like their personality is written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful.
In this statement, Amy was describing the beginning of one of the sweetest love stories in modern fandom. It’s a story that shares commonality with the story these two have created together.
Today we get the opportunity to celebrate this rare joining of energies that inspires and observes a unique kind of passion. The kind that comes with careful crafting and work. The kind that nobody would get to indulge in complacently. The kind of love that harkens to a finely crafted blade, forged in the flames and honed with extreme precision. But while many covet this blade, no two know its value moreso than its craftsmen. We gather today to celebrate this artisanal love of Ash and Wren, by way of formal and public declaration.
Ash and Wren, do you come into this rite of your own free will, and with full conscious intent?
Ash and Wren (Together): We do
Casting the Circle
Ceremony works by creating a special time and space set apart from the ordinary doings of daily life. I would like to begin by inviting everyone to take a nice deep breath, and as you exhale, gently allow yourself to become aware of the warmth of the evening, the air on your skin, and the solid feel of the ground under your feet. Take a look around at those who have gathered for this wedding. Let yourself appreciate all the love and good wishes that are assembled here. Today, we ask that the infinite light of the divine shine upon this union. In that spirit, Wren and Ash have selected loved ones to offer blessings to this ceremony. While we cast the circle, guests are welcome to remain seated or stand, as they prefer. We will ask the wedding party to stand at this time.
East represents the element of Air, and brings with it, intellect and imagination. Robynn will now offer blessings from the East. Robynn stands in the East, holding the incense up toward the sky.
Robynn: Blessed be this marriage with the gifts of the east, new beginnings that come each day with the rising sun, communication of the heart, mind, body, and soul. So Mote It Be.
Robynn places the incense on the altar and uses the altar candle to light one of the incense sticks, placing it in the incense burner.
Officiant: South represents the element of Fire, and brings with it, passion and inspiration. Aurora will now offer blessings from the South.
Aurora stands in the south, and holds the unity candle up toward the sky.
Aurora: Blessed be this marriage with the gifts of the south, the light of the heart, the heat of passion, and the warmth of a loving home. So Mote It Be.
Aurora places the unity candle on the altar, then uses the altar candle to light the chime candles.
Officiant: West represents the element of Water, and brings with it, cleansing and healing. Gregory will now offer blessings from the West. Greg stands in the west, and holds the chalice up to the sky
Greg: Blessed be this marriage with the gifts of the west, the rushing excitement of a raging river, the soft and pure cleansing of a rainstorm, and a commitment as deep as the ocean itself. So Mote It Be.
Greg places the chalice on the altar and fills it with ritual ale.
Officiant: North represents the element of Earth, and brings with it, stability and protection. Katrina will now offer blessings from the North. Katrina stands in the north, and holding the plant up to the sky.
Katrina: Blessed be this marriage with the gifts of the north, a solid foundation on which to build your lives, abundance and growth of your home, and the stability to be found by holding one another at the end of the day. So Mote It Be.
Katrina places the plant on the altar.
Officiant: Let us now establish ourselves in the consciousness of the Universal Divine.
Goddess Call (Maria): Hail, Frigg. Mother of Gods, High Wife of Asgard, Mistress of marriage, I ask that you join this rite. With love stretched across your loom, you have woven the wyrd of these two souls together. May they be held together by divine appointment and divine love. May you protect their union, as you protect your home and hearth. May you heal their future strife, as you heal the wounds of warriors. We thank you for bringing Wren and Ash together. May your love be expressed through them now, and always. So Mote it Be.
God Call (Paul): Hail, Odin. All Father, warrior and wandered, I ask that you join this rite. With the spirit of adventure, you have traveled the wyrd of these two souls. May you grant them the wisdom to accept the twists and turns of fate. May you lead them through the wilderness of life. May we celebrate that, through this mystical union, Ash and Wren will experience soul satisfaction and fulfillment. We thank you for protecting them on their journey. May your courage be expressed through them, now and always. So Mote It Be.
Everyone may now be seated.
Water Sharing Ritual
Officiant: In The Last Airbender, Guru Pathik teaches us that “The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation. Things you think are separate and different are actually one and the same”. In his 1961 novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein wrote “I am all that I grok.”
He later explained “Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes part of the observed- to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science and it means as little to us as color does to a blind man.” It’s an idea that speaks to the interconnectedness of all things, as is the concept of Water Brothers.
In the story, water is a precious commodity. When one shares water with another, it is an act of love and devotion. It is a way of expressing “you are as important to me, as I am to myself.” It is also a show of dedication and responsibility, as a person is not only connected to those with whom they share water, but to all who have shared water with their Water Brothers. By understanding this, it’s possible to understand Heinlein’s sentiment, “Thou art god. I am god. All that groks is god”.
Wren and Ash have asked Lily to facilitate their Water Sharing Ritual.
Lily comes to altar, and pours water into the glass, from the pitcher.
Lily (holding up the glass between Ash and Wren): I give you the water of life.
Lily hands the glass to Wren. Wren hands the glass to Ash.
Wren (to Ash): May you always drink deep. Thou art God.
Ash drinks, and hands the glass back to Wren.
Ash (to Wren): May you always drink deep. Thou art God.
Wren hands the glass back to Lily, who returns the glass to the altar, and returns to her seat.
Officiant: It has been my experience that nothing of the love between these two is what one may call typical. It is strange, strong, and individual. And in the words of Robert Fulghum,” We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” The nature of how two wonderful weirdos tame this wild thing called love is abstract in and of itself. I think Tom Robbins sums it up nicely in this excerpt from his novel, Still Life with a Woodpecker:
Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words ‘make' and ‘stay' become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.
Officiant: Wren and Ash, as you proceed into your future, happy and difficult times will come as surely as the sun rises and sets, as surely as the seasons cycle and change. As life partners, you promise to weather the changes and difficult times, take solace and support in one another, and share your burdens and your joys. In Steven Universe, the wisdom of Garnet reminds us that “there are millions of possibilities for the future, but it’s up to you to choose which one becomes reality.” At this time, you will make your declarations of love and commitment. To determine who will go first, you will partake in the ancient and sacred ritual of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
(Rock, Paper, Scissors ensues)
Officiant: Ash, and Wren have written statements for each other. As the Divine Gods of rock, paper, scissors have decreed Wren will now read their personal vows to Ash.
Each person reads their personal vows.
Officiant: The act of handfasting, joining of hands with knotted cords, is the origin of the colloquial phrase “tie the knot”. “Handfasting” is a historical pagan term, used for both betrothals and weddings. It dates back to the early modern history of Scotland, in the 16th and 17th centuries. These cords will now be tied around your hands as a physical representation of the decision you make to bind together your lives. As I make each knot, your loved ones will approach and attach the elemental symbols of your love to your cord. And so we begin.
Robynn approaches the altar and takes the Air charm from the altar.
Officiant (Paul): Like Air, take joy in your flights of fancy, and feed one another's interests, curiosities, and intellect.
Officiant (Mars) makes the first knot. Robynn places the charm on the knot. Aurora approaches the altar and takes the fire charm from the altar.
Officiant (Paul): Like Fire, let love and compassion for each other burn brightly, lighting your way forward and warming your spirits.
Officiant makes the second knot. Aurora places the charm on the knot. Gregory approaches the altar and takes the Water charm from the altar.
Officiant (Paul): Like Water, be gentle enough to follow the natural paths of the earth and strong enough to rise up and reshape the world together.
Officiant makes the third knot. Gregory places the charm on the knot. Katrina approaches the altar and takes the Earth charm from the altar.
Officiant (Paul): Like Earth, let your trust in one another be steadfast, a rich ground where love can grow stronger and flourish.
Officiant makes the forth knot. Katrina places the charm on the knot.
Officiant (Maria): These cords and the knots formed around your hands represent the commitments you make here today. They are strong enough to hold you together through times of struggle, yet flexible enough to allow for individuality and personal growth.
Officiant: Ash and Wren, do you promise to treat each other with compassion, to actively listen, and communicate without judgment? If so, please say, “We do.”
Ash and Wren: We do.
Officiant: Do you promise to honor and respect one another in your mutual humanity, accepting each other fully in your flaws and strengths? If so, please say, “We do.”
Ash and Wren: We do.
Officiant: Do you promise to support each other through good times and bad, and grow together in your love and life experiences? If so, please say, “We do.”
Ash and Wren: We do.
Officiant: Do you promise to care for one another, in sickness and in health, physically and emotionally? If so, please say, “We do.”
Ash and Wren: We do.
Officiant: Do you promise to laugh together, make terrible puns, crack plenty of inappropriate jokes, and otherwise commiserate in each other’s shenanigans? If so, please say, “We doo-doo.”
Ash and Wren: We doo-doo
Officiant: Above all, do you choose each other as life partners? If so, please say, “We do.”
Ash and Wren: We do.
Officiant: You may now release your hands and place the cord on the altar. Like your lives and your love, the cord remains knotted in a circle, a continuous, infinite loop.
Wren and Ash place the cord on the altar and return to position.
Officiant: As a reminder of that infinity, and to seal the promises you have each made to each other today, you will exchange rings and mark the transition from engagement to marriage. Wren and Ash have asked Finn to hold their rings. Finn will now bring them to that alter. The precious metal in these rings came from the ground as a rough ore and was heated and purified, shaped and polished. Something beautiful was made from raw elements. Love is like that. It comes from humble beginnings, made by imperfect beings.
Officiant hands a ring to the winner of rock, paper, scissors.
Officiant: Please repeat after me: With this ring, I seal my love and my promises to you.
Let this ring remind you that, today, I chose you, to forever be my partner.
(Repeat for other partner)
Cake and Ale
Officiant: The rite of cake and ale is also a common practice in pagan rituals. It reminds us to celebrate our sustenance and brings merriment to ritual.
Officiant holds up the cake and turns to Ash. Ash takes the athame from the altar.
Officiant: As the plow is to the field
Ash: So is soul to soul
Ash inserts the athame into the cake and sets the athame back on the altar.
Ash (to Wren): May you never hunger.
Ash feeds Wren the cake and hands the cake to her.
Wren (to Ash): May you never hunger.
Wren feeds Ash the cake, and then sets the cake back on the altar.
Officiant takes the chalice from the altar. Wren takes the athame from the altar.
Officiant: As the blade is to the chalice
Wren: So is God to Goddess
Wren inserts the athame into the chalice, and sets it back on the altar.
Wren (to Ash): May you never thirst.
Wren gives Ash a drink, and then hands the chalice to Ash.
Ash (to Wren): May you never thirst.
Ash gives Wren a drink and puts the chalice back on the altar.
Sword and Broom
Officiant: Last, comes an actual leap of faith. I’d like to ask Katie and Jon to bring forward, the sword and broomstick. The sword plays an important role in old Viking wedding traditions, where it represents both strength and valor, and connection to the ancestors. The broomstick represents the stability of the home and hearth.
Today our couple will jump over a sword and broom while holding hands. The sword is symbolic of cutting ties with that which no longer serves a purpose. The broom represents those old remnants being swept away. The leap that the couple takes over the broom and sword is symbolic of their commitment to trust each other in the face of the unknown. Wren and Ash, go ahead and take that leap.
Wren and Ash jump the sword and broom.
Officiant: Being that Ash and Wren are both basically children, it should come as no surprise that our parting words are taken from, well…children’s entertainment. We can surely relate to Uncle Iroh, as he famously said “Today, destiny is our friend. I know it.” And, let us, as Albus Dumbledore even more famously said, “step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
I now pronounce you spouses in life. You may kiss your spouse!
Ash and Wren kiss, then turn towards the audience, holding hands.
I present to you all, Wren and Ash. May you two live long and prosper.
Merry meet, Merry Part, and Merry meet again!!!