It actually feels a little sad when your wedding is all over and there’s no more of that nervous excitement that you’ve been feeling for so many months running up to the big day (although ultimately I feel so happy to be married!). But one good thing is that we have lots of mementos left, which bring back all the lovely memories.
One of the most important mementos for us is our collection of seven ribbons we used for our handfasting, each one blessed by a member of our family invoking a particular deity and wound around our hands to bind us. I was thinking about how I could display these key parts from our wedding, and in the end I decided to entwine them on the pentagram I use in rituals, which is made from woven twigs. They hang down at the bottom of the pentagram like a tail, which makes it look like a shooting star – appropriate considering how close our wedding was to Tanabata!
By the way, the item hanging next to the pentagram in the photo is a lovespoon. This is a traditional item given in Wales to someone you love (usually, but not necessarily, romantic love). Being half-Welsh myself, it’s perhaps not surprising that I now own three lovespoons – one from my Welsh grandparents from my Christening, one from my parents to celebrate when my husband and I first moved in together, and finally another from my grandmother to both my husband and I to celebrate our wedding. The one in the picture is the one from my parents (it would probably be more appropriate to hang the wedding one here next to our handfasting cords, but its in a really nice presentation box and I don’t want to open it…)
Additionally, we also took home the incredible flowers that our florist put together for the wedding (I really recommend her – her name is Marina, she’s really nice and amazingly talented, and you can find our more about her services here). Her most impressive work was probably the two enormous stone vases in Dode church, which she filled with some beautiful hedgerow flowers as well as flowers with particular significance to my husband and I – Baccara roses, ferns, yew (from my parents’ own yew tree) and ivy. They were so stunning that we decided to take the flowers home afterwards, and I’m so glad we did – we put them outside our house either side of the front door, and they looked amazing; a wonderful reminder of our incredible day.
Now, a week later, most of the flowers were looking rather tired, so it was with a heavy heart that I decided to throw most of them away. However, some of them, such as the ivy and the yew, were still pretty green, so instead I decided to offer them on my shrine to Inari Okamisama. Below is the result. It’s really quite a lot of greenery for a Shinto shrine, but for a Western pagan this emphasis on greenery, especially that with such a special meaning to us, seems an appropriate offering to a deity.