Hello there, friends and fans!
So the big day finally came – and after all the months of excitement and planning – and the final weeks of “plan B’s” and overcoming obstacles, and the stress, nerves and worries about things that could go wrong, we did it! 🙂
Funny how it was all over so quickly!
On Saturday 10 March 2018, Wendy K. Gloss and I stood under a tree, surrounded by a few of our closest friends, and exchanged rings and wedding vows. Our hands were bound together with the traditional handfasting cord as a symbol of our union.
The Story Of Us:
“Six years ago, I met someone on the forum of a Pagan website called Way of the Rede. I was looking for information and asked a few questions, and she – under her Pagan names of Magenta, DarkLady and Kay Valkir, answered them. At that time, neither of us was to know that we would get to know each other better in future! She lived in Hazyview in Mpumalanga, and I lived here – neither of us thought we would ever meet face to face!
Over the years, while interacting with each other, we became good friends. We spoke often, and she supported me through some of the hardest times of my life – when I was ill in hospital and during the time of my mother’s death.
Over time, she trusted me with the terrible truth – that her first name was in fact, Wendy, and not Kay!
Then, one day in February 2016, Wendy confided in me that she was going through some difficulties in the small tourist town she lived in – and there didn’t seem to be much scope for improvement. As is typical of Wendy, she didn’t ask for help. She would just tough it out and find a solution for herself.
“No problem.” I said confidently, and offered Wendy a place to stay temporarily, until she could get on her feet down here. At least, we thought, she would have a better chance of finding a job and a cheaper place to stay in a big city like Port Elizabeth. And we were friends, after all – and I’ve always done all I can to help my friends.
At that point in my life I’d already had my fill of heartbreak and empty pursuits, and had given up on any romantic relationships and had settled down to the seemingly firm reality that I would remain single the rest of my days. In fact, I had convinced myself I was happy being single, and for the most part, I was.
She arrived one day on 17 February 2016 and I picked her up at the airport. Gradually we got to know each other as the real-life people behind the online faces we both knew so well. It was only after she’d been here a couple of weeks, that the unexpected happened.
We discovered that there was far more to the connection between us than either of us had thought.
We realized that we’d each found someone special who loved the other without any reservations, conditions or exceptions.
We realized that home can mean a person, and not just a place.
We were faced with the reality that Life had presented both of us with a risk worth taking.
And the rest, as the saying goes, is history!”
When we planned our handfasting, we said it was going to be very small, intimate, casual and informal, with the only ceremony or ritual being our handfasting under the tree outside the venue. The venue itself, well all I can really tell you about that is that it was a hall at my workplace, which had been recently nicely refurbished – plus there was a cash-bar, so what more should I say about that? The theme of our handfasting was Viking or Norse culture, and since we wanted our friends to indulge their creativity, that’s what we told them – and left it at that.
We did our best to decorate the venue in keeping with the theme. The tables were simple and tastefully decorated in keeping with the theme, laid out to suggest a Viking banquet. Strips of suitable material were cut and laid out as runners, with slices of tree branches, candles, pine cones and flowers as decorations.
Five shields were hung at the head of the hall, one decorated with my personal symbol, the ankh, and another with Kay’s symbol. Two others with simple red and black designs flanked them. And in the center, a plain wood shield with Ygrdrasil on it. Platters of food were laid out in a buffet on a separate table, and guests were welcomed with a stiff shot of peach schnapps.
In the six months leading up to the handfasting itself, I busied myself making a couple of Viking shields as decor items for the event – but which would also be nice display pieces in our entertainment area at home. I made five of them over all.
Our ceremony was held beneath the trees nearby to the hall.
Our union was facilitated by our dear friend, the Reverend Gitta Seyfert, who is a Pagan priestess and also a registered Marriage Officer. In many Pagan handfastings, the happy couple “jump the broom” after the ceremony to symbolize the start of a new life together, in which they physically jump or step over a traditional witch’s broom.
In keeping with the Norse theme, we decided, we would step over a shield instead – and this is the shield we will step over, and hopefully in future, Gitta will be able to put this shield to the same use at some of the future weddings she officiates at!
The painting on it is a negative-rendering of Ygdrasil, or the “life tree” in Norse mythology, popular also as pendents, dream catchers and posters etc. My beloved Kay painted it – isn’t she talented?
After the ceremony, we all returned to the hall, where some of us were still a little nervous!
Then we had the paperwork to do, and we signed, our witnesses signed, and we had to add our fingerprints as well!
I had also made a Viking short sword as a prop for the wedding – forged from two pieces of steel (since I didn’t have one piece long enough by itself), shaped and sharpened in the garage work shop, it took me around two weeks straight. I’m very proud of how it turned out!
The scabbard is made of two halves of wood with metal fittings I made from scraps of thin plate. The engravings on it were made with a power tool, and once again, painted by Kay! The purpose of the sword? Well, I wore it at the ceremony – it was a good excuse to swagger around with a sword on my belt after all haha – and I used it to cut the cake with. Now, as an aside, when I made the sword, I sharpened it and tested it on a piece of old pallet wood – the blade cut clean through the wood – and on closer inspection, I noticed that it had also cut through three nails as well! That cake didn’t stand a chance!
Cutting the cake – which seemed such a shame because it was such a pretty cake which was a gift from our friend Andrew Webber – didn’t come without hazards of its own, because, well – tasting it is so tempting…even if it was to just scrape a little off the blade!
Thank you to each and every one, on behalf of both of us, who helped make our handfasting the wonderful and special day it was! 🙂
To those who traveled long distances, and to those who drove around the corner! 😉 To those who listened when we said your presence was gift enough…and to those naughty buggers who didn’t :p …thank you!
To the bar ladies, my work colleagues, Chequita Turner and Janine Nina Felix who sacrificed their Saturday morning to make it possible, thank you!
To Gitta Seyfert, our long time friend, thank you for officiating and for making our ceremony as quick and painless as possible – and also as special as only you could 🙂
To Andrew Webber who made our hair into works of art, and organized the lovely beautiful Viking shield cake and risked his life driving my decrepit old golf, thank you! 😉
To Morne Condon, a.k.a. the Lord of the Rings, thanks for being my oldest friend, for being my best man… and for not really actually losing our rings :p
To Stephanie Allison Bothma for taking photos and helping out behind the scenes, and for so many things, including braving a long bus trip to be here with us, thank you!
To Enya and Andrea Fehler, thank you for traveling so far and for gracing us with your presence, for the lovely photos and for the beautiful gift which we will have to keep safely out of our cats reach!
To Matthew and Samantha, Jacqui Pirzenthal, and Paul, thank you for your gift – and wise words that brought tears of joy to our eyes!
To Cheryl and Francois Van Graan, thank you for your presence and your gift! 🙂
Last but most certainly not least, to Tom and Dina Gloss, who braved their first flight to be here (and whose arms weren’t tired at all) – thank you for everything. It’s been wonderful to meet you at last and to get to know you. I look forward to many more years of doing the same! Thank you for your words of wisdom and our gift – and for welcoming me into the family!
Some people couldn’t make it on Saturday, but we understand that life can throw us curve balls sometimes, and we don’t hold it against them 😉
Thank you all for your love and friendship, and it was an honor to host you at our handfasting! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did (once the nerves settled) and wish you all the best! 🙂
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