The bride will be the one standing in the circle alongside the groom (or another bride, if this is a lesbian handfasting). Other than that, it can sometimes be hard to determine her from the other ladies present.
In Wicca, no book, no High Priest and Priestess, no vision from the Goddess Herself will demand that the bride wears a certain color. While guests at Christian weddings avoid white, and those at Sikh weddings avoid red, it takes some discreet questions to dodge clashing with a Wiccan bride.
I told in Fifteen Years of Wiccan Weddings about an impromptu handfasting. The bride was wearing what she'd had on all day. The only addition was a garland on her head, created from whatever was quickly found in the riverside hedgerow. She was no less handfast for that.
In all that time, I've seen every color of the rainbow. Each bride picks her favorite hue, or that of the most gorgeous gown or robe in the shop. I've seen plenty arrive in green, as that's the color of the natural world at the height of spring. Beltane or Summer Solstice are such common dates for handfastings!
Or they've arrived naked. That's an option too. It's precisely what happened in the Witch Wedding described in Stewart Farrar's What Witches Do. This ceremony was performed indoors, out of view from passers by. The Alexandrian coven adorned a couple of cloaks in the richest possible way, but they were worn over the naked forms of both the bride and groom.
It's way too cold to do that outdoors, at least in Britain. Traditional Wiccan bridal wear moves then to the next level. We ask ourselves what precisely is going on here for the bride.
Oooh! Congratulations! Don't be nervous. I'm sure it'll work out fabulous on the day.
And that sounds like the perfect setting for a handfasting. You are very lucky. Here in Britain, we never know what the weather will be, but we assume dire. :)
Oh my... I'm so nervous... I'm engaged and I'm really happy my fiancee accepts me for me. I live in Hawaii and I'm planning to have my handfasting outdoors. And since the weather is JUST RIGHT every time, I won't have to worry about freezing my cheeks off in Samhain :)
I'm very glad to hear it. Blessed be, especially as you're becoming handfast.
Thank you for all the information. I have no relatives that are wiccan and I have few friends who are. My fiance and I are both Wiccan and were unsure really of what to do and or wear. This has been a major help, thank you so much.
Thank you very much. Did you find any that you particularly liked?
A very interesting article and pictures of really lovely dresses.
I should have mentioned that flowers in the hair is de rigeur! Purple dresses are beautiful for a handfasting. Great days.
its bringing back memories of what i wore at mine ... purple dress and flowers in my hair ... arhh those were the days eh?
You chose the colors of the goddess! I bet you looked stunning. But your poor mother!
Thank you for reading. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.
Mine was not a Pagan Wedding but my dress (to my mother's horror...lol) was red, white and black. The look on her face when I returned from "wedding gown" shopping was one I will never forget! The dresses you have included in your article are beautiful! The article was informative and interesting. Thanks Jo! I enjoyed reading it.