Sabbat Themes for Handfasting

Sabbat Themes for Handfasting


Although there are many traditional themes to choose from when planning your wedding, as a Pagan you might find it more meaningful to plan your wedding during one of the following Sabbats. I have included some ideas on how to incorporate the theme into your special day.

Samhain or Halloween

Theme A Gothic wedding theme could be perfect for a Pagan-only couple. The clothing style could be primarily black, somewhat medieval or punk looking, but definitely Witchy. There are many styles of gothic clothing in dresses, long skirts, short skirts, pants, long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts and more—the list is endless. It would be in keeping with the gothic style for a Wiccan to wear a cloak or cape over this type of clothing. When you walk into the room to exchange your vows, consider walking in together, to an almost completely dark room, carrying a silver candelabrum with lit black taper candles. Draw Halloween into the theme as well, decorating with cobwebs that house plastic spiders, and setting out carved pumpkin centerpieces filled with black tulips or roses. The favors could consist of small cauldrons filled with candy corn or a black votive candle. You might want plenty of bats hanging from the ceiling and decorated sugar cookies shaped like bats, cats, and witches. Also, be sure that the DJ has plenty of Halloween music on hand, including “The Monster Mash.” If you went with a live band, you could ask them to join in the fun and dress according to your theme. The tables could be decorated with white or orange tablecloths and have smaller black ones on top. There should be plenty of black candles lit everywhere. You could really have a fun time with this one, and the decorations could be saved to decorate your home on Samhain as a yearly reminder of your special day together.


Mabon or Fall Equinox Theme

A fall theme can be one of the most beautiful that you could use. There is nothing like the smell of the clean crisp air in the fall and the beauty of the leaves changing color. If you spent a few days before the wedding collecting the colored leaves off the trees, these would make fabulous decorations. You would want your tables covered with white tablecloths, covered with smaller brown ones. The leaves that you collected could be scattered on the tables, and the centerpieces could be cornucopias filled with gourds. It would be really spectacular to have the bride’s headpiece made out of the leaves, too, with the veil hanging from that. The food could consist of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner complete with pumpkin pie for dessert. All of the ingredients of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner are Native American, so your theme could include gratitude for the land and its lessons, including the teachings of the people of its first nations. Favors of leaf and Thanksgiving theme candles would be perfect.


Yule or Midwinter Theme

A Yule theme could be quite beautiful and would make any Christian guests attending comfortable, too. Decorations of pinecones, poinsettias, mistletoe, and evergreen garlands with red bows for accents all over the room would look so inviting. If you can decorate the day before the wedding, you might be able to bring in a Yule tree, strategically place red bows on its branches, and add a red tree skirt. Invite your guests to leave any gifts they have for you under the tree. The meal could be whatever your family traditionally serves at Yule or Christmas, but be sure to have hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies. The tables would have white tablecloths with smaller red ones on top, and the centerpiece could be a Nutcracker Prince and a Sugar Plum Fairy standing on a round mirror with holly around their feet, sprinkled with glitter or white snowflakes. The favors could include a Yule ornament with the bride and groom’s names and wedding date engraved on it. If a lot of children are expected, you can even have a surprise visit from Santa. A friend of mine cautions, though, that Faeries love Yule and Christmas, with all the glitter, sparkle, gifts, and treats. Be sure to include dishes of sweetened milk at each table, or no one will be able to find their car keys when it’s time to go home.

Ostara or Spring Theme

You could incorporate an Ostara or springtime theme. This wedding could take place in a floral garden, home to an abundance of fresh flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies. Pick a flower that symbolize springtime and new beginnings and place one in a small vase at each place setting. This will be your favor, too. The tables will be covered with white tablecloths with smaller tablecloths of pastel yellow, green, or purple on the tops. The centerpiece can be Ostara baskets, filled with decorated eggs or the plastic eggs that open with small candies inside each one. The centerpiece can be given away at the end of the night to the person who finds a flower, somewhere in the hall, with a tiny bumblebee attached.

If you have a lot of children in attendance, you can have an Ostara egg hunt planned for them. The little ones may keep the treasures they find.


Litha or Summer Solstice Theme

You could plan this wedding on the beach or in a yard that overlooks the beach. You could decorate with stylish citronella candles around the perimeter of your event, to keep the mosquitoes away, while at the same time setting the ambiance from the day into the evening with candlelight. You could do all of your decorations with seashells that you collect from the beach yourself in the weeks before the wedding. Use the seashells to make matching place settings, napkin holders, and favors that with a little imagination can be truly impressive. Maybe for your favors you would want to give each guest a beach towel imprinted with your and your partner’s names and the wedding date.

Your meal could consist of a lobster bake or some type of shellfish dish with plenty of watermelon on the dessert table. New Englanders could plan a full-scale clambake with all the trimmings.

The summer solstice is traditionally a time for festivals and bonfires, and a time abounding with Faeries. It’s also a time for first harvesting magickal herbs, so your party favors could include purchased or harvested bundles of sweet-smelling, medicinal, or romantic herbs. Even if you are not yet adept in the details of herbal magick, you can’t go wrong with basil or other favorite aromatic herbs you can safely buy at the grocery store.

Be careful that you have the correct location, skills, and permits for any bonfire you might plan. You and your guests will want to remember the wedding and its magick, not visits from the police and fire departments.



Passages Handfasting: A Pagan Guide to Commitment Rituals

Kendra Vaughan Hovey