Earlier this year I reviewed A Romantic Guide to Handfasting by Anna Franklin. While I enjoyed the book and plan to even use a couple ideas from the book, I generally found it to be lacking the meat and depth that I was looking for when planning our wedding. The only other major book on pagan wedding rites and handfasting that I could find was Welcoming Hera’s Blessing – Handfasting and Wedding Rituals by Raven Kaldera & Tannin Schwartzstein.
This book wins my heart for a few reasons. First, there are so many wonderful rite examples! The authors really showcase the diversity of the weddings they preformed and their community. Everything from young couples, polyamorous couples, interfaith couples (there is a whole chapter devoted to these!), traditional Pagans, to eclectic Pagans are covered. Even if, somehow, you don’t see a rite devoted to the type of couple or handfasting you are having, you are bound to find ideas from the many different full rituals given here.
Second, the authors balance the needs of writing explanation of symbols, history, and the “whys” of the rituals with the meat of example rituals extraordinarily well. Never did I find myself wanting more explanation or getting board of the example rituals given. This balance made for a very cohesive read.
I’m planning on keeping this one on my bookshelf for a while, in hopes that I get to help someone else plan a really awesome wedding!