Monthly Archives: May 2012

Handfasting Ceremonies

By WeddingMonograms

You’ve probably heard someone refer to marriage as “tying the knot” or “giving one’s hand.” But have you ever wondered why we say these phrases?


What is Handfasting?

Handfasting is an ancient roman and Celtic wedding tradition which involves tying the bride and Groom’s hands together to symbolize coming together and remaining together. During the Roman Empire, the couple’s hands were tied together with grape vines and rope which explains the origination of the phrase “tying the knot.”

Handfasting was also later used as a form of marriage in the British Isles during the early Christian era. The couple’s hands were tied together with a cord in front of friends and family and were then considered legally married. They would have a formal wedding ceremony later when a priest was available to officiate.

Handfasting has seen a modern day resurgence especially in Ireland and Scotland owing in part to the royal wedding in London. Prince William and Kate Middleton had a handfasting incorporated into their marriage:

How to incorporate handfasting into your wedding

Handfasting can be added to any wedding ceremony regardless of religion, as “tying the knot” is a universal wedding theme. The handfasting ceremony is highly customizable and can be the perfect way to incorporate special themes into your wedding day.


Many couples choose to incorporate colors in their handfasting ceremony to symbolize words of commitment to each other.

Red – will, love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigor, passion

Orange – encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness.

Yellow – attraction, charm, confidence, balance, harmony

Green – fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, love

Dark Blue -for a safe journey, longevity & strength

Light Blue – tranquility, understanding, patience, health

Purple – healing, health, strength, power, progress

Black – strength, empowerment, wisdom/vision, success, pure love

White – spiritual purity, truth, peace, serenity and devotion

Gray – balance, neutrality

Pink – love, unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness

Brown – for healing , skills & talent, nurturing, home & hearth, the earth.

Silver – for creativity, inspiration & vision, and protection.

Gold – for unity, longevity, prosperity, strength.

Involving your Guests

Some hand fasting ceremonies involve the couple’s friends and families writing well wishes or bits of advice onto ribbons. These ribbons are then used to bind the couple’s hands together.

Every one of the ribbons used in the ceremony has a well wish or bit of advice from friends and family written on it.


Handfasting Materials

A wide variety of materials can be used in the handfasting ceremony, making it even more customizable. Here are some commonly used items for handfasting:

Grape Vines



Rope (yacht lines for nautical weddings or a lasso for cowboys/cowgirls)

Monogrammed or embroidered cloths

Scottish Tartans
Cherokee wedding beads:

Handfasting charms, memorial tiles (like those created by our lovely team member Kari of can be added to the fringes of the handfasting ribbons or cloth.

A Simple Handfasting Ceremony:

Officient Stands in front of the couple while they clasp each other’s hands.

Rebekah and Thomas have chosen to use a hand fasting in their wedding ceremony to emphasize their eternal bond and reinforce the feeling that they never wish to be parted from one another.

Hand fasting is an ancient tradition symbolizing the binding together of two people in love.  Tying the Knot.  This cord was created with the ribbons, on which are written the thoughts, hopes, well wishes, and blessings of friends and family for Thomas and Rebekah as they begin their union as husband and wife.  It will bind Thomas and Rebekah together with the strong bonds of love.

With the entwining of this knot, I tie all the desires, dreams, love, prayers and happiness wished here in this place to your lives.

“THESE ARE THE HANDS” –author unknown

These are the hands of your best friend, young, strong, and full of love for you.
These are the hands that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief wracks your mind.
These are hands that will countless times wipe tears from your eyes, tears of joy and tears of sorrow.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children and grandchildren.
These are the hands that will help hold your family together as one.
These are hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that even when wrinkled with age will still be reaching for yours, still giving the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Remember then, as your hands are fasted, these are symbols of the relationship you share.

Bride and Groom’s hands are bound and the officient follows with a prayer.

The Caucus-Race from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

By Never a Plain Jane Designs

If you recall, the last time we chatted, Alice was falling, falling, falling down the rabbit hole.  It wasn’t long after she hit bottom that she found herself swimming in her own tears along with “a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curious creatures.” Once clear of the water the Dodo recommended they dry off by means of a “Caucus-race.” What followed was nothing short of a running circus sideshow containing any number of bird species.

Caption: “See artwork credits below”

Cut to today – your wedding day! You know you’ll be racing hither and thither so why not own it with your version of a Caucus-race? Start with a whimsically romantic, spiraling race course – er- aisle.

 Caption: “via Bridal Guide. Click for details.”

For the reception, I love the idea of decorating with birds.  I’m not talking Hitchcock-ian, Poe-ish, or even Portlandia birds. I’m talking flights of fantasy, Wonderland birds. Imagine spending your first evening as a married couple under a sky of swirling birds.

Caption: “Tutorial via Free Pretty Things for You. Click for details

Caption: “via Land of Nod. Click for details.”

Caption: “via bloesom living. Click for details.”

You can also find a good tutorial on the Etsy blog. Even better, WedEclectic team member, Stacy Blair of Little Red Button, is happy to put her paper-folding skills to use on a custom bird order just for you! (Bird mobile bonus: no droppings)

For a more subtle take, consider Terryn + John’s bohemian look featured on Green Wedding Shoes.

I adore these moss-filled ravens, available in several colors, from our own Teresa Kessler! Imagine them nestled amongst greenery throughout your reception site!

Caption: “Metal Bird by Teresa Kessler. Click for details.”

Caucus Race Artwork from left to right: Arthur Rackham, John Tenniel, Cory Godbey, and Rodney Matthews

A little bit of Citrus for your wedding.

Karen over at FeltNatural  has created our latest treasury “What a horrible thing yellow is¨- Edgar Degas.  I think we showed him!  This treasury is about as creamy as a lemon meringue pie!


Tropical Wedding Inspiration

By MsFormaldehyde

Ideas for Tropical Wedding that is Tiki inspired!

Here is what I found on Etsy, girls…check this out:

Martini Cake topper

Tiki Wine torches


Wedding Favors

Wedding table numbers


Hawaiian Print Red dress

Wed In Red

By MoonshineBaby

Although the ethereal grace of white weddings in the West has always been a favorite adopted by many,  it does not quite equal the passion & romance of marrying in red!

In ancient Rome, the first bridal veils were worn, and were usually an intense red flame-like color which shrouded their entire bodies, called a Flammeum. This early veil would also vary in fiery shades of yellow & orange among the ancient Greeks, but all were intended to protect the bride and the union from evil spirits. Here is an early Roman bride wearing her Flammeum veil:

Perhaps the most opulent of Red Weddings has to be those in both China & in India, who prize the color and believe it attracts happiness, luck & good fortune. In fact, the Indian bride traditionally wears a red dress & veil, but will also have red henna designs with hidden romantic messages or auspicious symbols for her husband to read during their wedding night painted all over her body.  Instead of being carried over the threshold, the bride will partake in a ritual in which she dips her feet in red colored water and then walks barefoot through her new home – a custom symbolizing her new role as a married woman.

The Chinese bride will change three times into one red dress for the Tea Ceremony,  another red dress for the actual Wedding Ceremony, and finally a third red dress for the Wedding

Reception.  Some even have changes of gowns during the reception just for fun.

Inspired by these traditions here are some Red Hot creations by the Wed Eclectic team to set your wedding day ablaze!

“Adored” Veiled Headpiece by MataHari’sDaughter

Masquerade Masks for Two by Artisan Maskers


Personalized Monograms for Wedding invitations by WeddingMonograms


 Red Feather Headdress with Roses & Silver Pheasant Feathers by LaCocoRouge


Paper Flower Bridal Bouquets by TheLittleRedButton


Red Sunflower Fascinator by MySmittenBoutique

Hand-painted Wine Glasses by PureBeautyArt

By MoonshineBaby of WedEclectic

A bit of inspiration from a fun, alternative bridal photoshoot : )

By ClayBouquetShop

I have planned to include alternative brides in my advertising for awhile, and finally had the opportunity to include models willing to have fun with this idea earlier this year. Here are some photos to enjoy…and possibly use as inspiration. : )

We had multiple outfits available for models, some more traditional than others, so many models appear more than once. The models had loads of fun in the wardrobe room changing from one outfit into another, accessorizing their attire, and wandering around Turkey Hill Inn for photos by the different photographers. : )

Bouquet, haircomb and jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Veil by Chaos Couture 

Haircomb and jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Jacket by Blooms In The Night

Bouquet, haircomb and jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Gloves and lace neck wrap (eye mask) by KVO Design

Bouttonniere by ClayBouquetShop

Bouquet and jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Hair Flower by Chaos Couture

Jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Corset and skirt by Mayfaire Moon

Bouquet and Accessories by ClayBouquetShop

Jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Fascinator by Chaos Couture

Corset and skirt by Mayfaire Moon

Jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Corset and skirt by Mayfaire Moon

Accessories by ClayBouquetShop

Fingerless gloves and Lace neck corset by KVO Design

Accessories by ClayBouquetShop

Corset and skirt by Mayfaire Moon

Bouquet and accessories by ClayBouquetShop

Bouquet and Accessories by ClayBouquetShop

Layered skirt by Blooms In The Night

Accessories by ClayBouquetShop

Corset and skirt by Mayfaire Moon

Bouquet and jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Bouquet and accessories by ClayBouquetShop

Bouquet, haircomb and jewelry by ClayBouquetShop

Lace eye mask and cuffs by KVO Design

Bouquet charm by DelaneyPhotoJewelry

Skirt handcrafted by the model (Elderberry)!

(Yes, I told her that she should open up an Etsy shop, too!)

Thank you to all of our participants!

(listed alphabetically)


Hair Stylists

Allison Tegano

Make Up Artists

KimmV  MM# 2357138

SK Faceworks Makeup MM# 2213330












Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – #5 Be Creative!

By ArtisanMaskers

This tip is exactly what the Wed Eclectic Team is all about, so if you are reading our blog, you probably already have creativity in the bag!  This step is all about the question: who wants a wedding just like the next?  This is a chance to share your joy and excitement with those who care about you most, so it should reflect who you are, even in the details.  Often, with a little creativity, you can not only express yourself better, but save some money, as well!

My wedding colors were based on citrus tones, so my center-pieces consisted very simply of artfully piled limes, lemons, and tangerines among greenery and “filler” flowers (which can be purchased inexpensively at a floral supply place).  It was a cheap, but pretty, alternative to candles, glassware, or floral arrangements.

Another way I was able to save some money with a little creativity was by having our engagement announced with photos taken in one of those old black and white photo booths.  We found one, took two tries and used them on the back of the announcements.  It was definitely quirky (like me!) but you can’t beat spending $2 for your engagement photos!

Julianna wanted her bridesmaids to look cohesive, but not hate their dresses.  She purchased fabric in the colors she liked and then allowed each bridesmaid to have a dress of their choosing made for them in that fabric.  They were guaranteed to like the style (as their dress was made for them), and she liked the unified look.

Looking for more ways to give your wedding a splash of creativity?  I loved the creative use of color in this post (especially on simple things like fingernails and chair ribbons), the many alternatives to the “traditional” toasting flutes in this post, and some alternative lighting ideas offered in this post!  If you are having a hard time defining how to imbue your wedding with your own personality, I highly recommend starting with MyHaleyGirl‘s post about skipping the “cookie cutter” wedding, too.

Wedding Headdress of the world

By  Isla Wong
(aka Kitty Kanzashi)

We often think veils as being the wedding headdress worn by the brides but it made me wonder, what do other countries and cultures (past and present) wear for their weddings?

Hindu Wedding – Mang Tikka

The mang tikka is the piece of jewellery that hangs on the forehead of a hindu bride.  I can imagine some of these mang tikka can get very heavy but what a way to wear something as pretty as a mang tikka.

Vietnam – Khan Dong

Khan Dong is a coil of very stiff brocade fabric that is worn by the bride.  It is worn just like a crown with your hairstyle poking through the middle so perfect for brides who are planning to wear a fancy hairbun.  If you feel the men are left out, don’t worry, there is a version for them as well but it is not as big and fancy as the brides.

Japan – Wataboshi 

The wataboshi can be a hood or a strip of white cloth which is supposed to hide the “horns of jealousy” until the couple is married.  What these horns can be, I do not know but like the veil, it is very simple and chic.

Korean – Jokduri/Hwagwan (more elaborate jokduri) below is an example

Korean brides if they are wearing a traditional hanbok wedding dress will wear a Jokduri or Hwagwan.  This is a crown that sits at the front of the head, I think the crown is held on by strings that are tied at the base of the head.

From what I have read the jokduri and hwagwan are very similar in shape except the hwagwan is decorated more heavily like the picture below.

Russian – Kokoshnik 

This is something from the past and I wish it came back in wedding fashion.  This headdress was once worn part of everywear for Russian women and of course weddings as well.

Tradition states that if you were a girl or unmarried lady you would wear one showing off your hair but once you were married, you would then wear a veil with it.

Chinese – Crown

I remember my mother telling me that when my great grandmother got married she wore a bridal crown but of course we don’t have any pictures of this and it was a long time ago.

Nowadays, most Chinese brides will only wear these at wedding photoshoots rather then at their actual weddings.  However there has been a hanfu movement and some couples are wearing them for their wedding.

African – Gele

This one I would love to try my hands on because I am fascinated by how the fabric seems to defy gravity!  And it is not just the bride who wears ones, this headdress is worn by all females and I think the rule is the bigger the better.

Every lady has their own way of styling their gele and if you hop onto YouTube, there are a lot of videos on how to tie a gele.

Do you have any other wedding headdress you would like to share with us?

Etsy store :

My gallery :

May Giveaway!

This month’s WedEclectic giveaway is hosted by:


She creates fabulous hairpieces and hair accessories! They would be perfect accessories for your unique wedding, for events, or for wearing everyday.

Take a look at some of her wondrous hairpiece designs…wish I would have one of these to wear on my wedding day! : )

And her hair accessories…!

She is offering a $30 gift certificate to her shop…!

This giveaway will run until midnight, May 31st, but don’t wait!

Your initial entries will be accepted for:

A comment including your favorite item from PuppyCatMeow’s shop

Extra entries for additional comments indicating that you: (Please include your email, handle, etc for verification & contacting you when you win!)

Heart PuppyCatMeow’s shop

Friend/Like PuppyCatMeow on Facebook

Follow @WedEclectic  on Twitter

Friend WedEclectic on Facebook

Tweeted this giveaway (please copy your tweet here)

Posted this giveaway on your Facebook page (please copy your post here)

Posted this giveaway on your blog (please include the link here)

Posted this giveaway on a wedding/social network (please include the link here)

The giveaway is open worldwide, however, any additional charges for international shipping would be the responsibility of the winner. Shipping in the US is included in the giveaway.

The winner will be chosen randomly, verified, and contacted on May 1st via email with the good news!


May Calendar

Thank you to Adaleta, from Polkadile, for our May calendar. : )

Such beautiful photos!