Deck the Vows with Bells And Holly, tra-la-la-lala!

While 2020 has pretty much been cancelled when it comes to weddings (and if this has happened to you, I am truly sorry) 2021 is just around the corner. If you have had to re-book your ceremony, and were unable to hold it over the summer, then fear not! As Christmas can offer the most magical wedding, with a little sprinkle of imagination (and Yuletide glitter). Here are a few ideas for you…

A Marry Lwyd!

Here’s an idea that merges one of the best and oldest Welsh seasonal traditions with your ceremony (and possibly one of my favourites, since I am part of a Mari Lwyd troupe!) The Mari Lwyd is a Welsh custom to bring good luck upon a household – so why not twist this for a wedding. Traditionally, around this time, the Mari Lwyd, her ostler and an accompanying band of people, including musicians, knock on doors and enter into a singing battle to be invited in. The occupants have to sing a reply, stating why they will not let this creature into the place, and the creature sings again. This goes on until the household invite her in and there is dancing, singing and the Mari and crew are invited to enjoy some food and drink.

So why not incorporate this into your ceremony! There are a lot of troupes across Wales now reviving this tradition. Your ceremony could involve the couple entering into the ‘word battle’ with the Mari, before the Mari comes in to witness the exchange of vows, and then everyone joins in with the songs and enjoying the food!

A torch-lit wassail ceremony

Again, why not combine an old tradition with your ceremony and have a wassail blessing! In days gone by, a wassail was performed to bring good luck to the coming year – but you could have one to bring luck upon your union. And you could do this as an early evening ceremony, too! You can do this inside – think how cosy your ceremony would be with a roaring fire, candles, festive decorations and evergreens – or even outside, weather permitting, with your venue or garden space festooned in evergreens and swags of twinkling fair lights, everyone wrapped up warm (ask your guests to bring cosy blankets with them), with some flaming torches to light your way. After you exchange your vows, the wassail bowl (which for modern hygiene sake, can be a big saucepan of warming hot cider or mulled wine, which everyone ladles a cup full from) is passed around and everyone says a wassail to bless the wedding.

An Evergreen Ceremony!

This pic is part of the Mari Lwyd crew, but can just demonstrate how cool an evergreen, folkloric ceremony can be! You can even have a green man (in this case, the legend that is Bob) entertain you with his zither! Decorating your venue with evergreens such as holly, ivy, mistletoe, pines, plus swags of ragged ribbons in festive colours can really add a festive flavour. you can even incorporate some old customs such as jumping the broom and pouring of the wine into your ceremony

I’ve got plenty of festive ideas – which also work for renewal of vows and naming ceremonies, so if you need a bit of inspiration for your big day, get in touch!

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