Shamanic Wedding Ceremonies can also be known by many other names, such as Spiritual Weddings, Alternative Weddings, Non-Traditional Weddings, Pagan Weddings, Unconventional Weddings and even Offbeat Weddings!
A Shamanic wedding is simply a wedding carried out by a shaman – that’s me! I am a Master Shaman of the Andean Tradition (Peru) and I have been working worldwide as a shamanic healer for the last fifteen years.
Shamanic, or Non-Traditional Weddings have risen significantly in popularity over the last few years. Often, a couple want to honour and celebrate their love for each other in front of their family and friends, but do not wish to enter into the legal contract of a traditional marriage. Others do wish to be legally married but feel that it is not appropriate to marry in a religious house of worship as they do not worship regularly.
Similarly, others are not enamoured with the idea of a ‘dry’ registry office ceremony. Some consider traditional ceremonies boring, and others simply want a wedding that suits them, not everyone else. Some couples have strong interests or have thought of a brilliant theme and want to base their special day around their theme and the things they are passionate about. After all, your wedding day should be a celebration of you and your partner and what is important to you as a couple.
Why do people choose shamanic weddings or alternative wedding ceremonies?
More and more couples are choosing to have non-conventional wedding ceremonies, opting for something that is more personalised and meaningful to them. It’s becoming quite a fashionable trend!
Most often, a couple want a shamanic wedding because they crave something unique and beautiful for their wedding day, a ceremony that is created especially for them, reflecting their own individual personalities, culture and interests, bringing in elements that are important to them, such as music, poetry, readings, the natural world.
Some wish to have a greater involvement and engagement of their loved ones. Others may wish to involve their children or dearest friends in the ceremony in a significant way, or even have their pets present!
Basically, whatever you are passionate about, whatever makes you, you, can be reflected in your ceremony, you have freedom of choice. With a shamanic wedding, anything goes. You can invite 500 or more guests or it can be just the two of you. It can be inside or outside. It can be lavish affair with no-expense spared or it can be a simple ceremony for the two of you or anything in between. You can wear a traditional wedding dress, or your jeans, converse and a t-shirt – or again, anything in between. Its all down to you, there are no rules.
What sort of person chooses a shamanic wedding ceremony?
The answer to this question is – any type of person!
It is not necessary to have an interest in, or even know anything at all about shamanism to have a shamanic wedding. You don’t even need to be ‘spiritual’ (although to be fair we are all spiritual as we are spirits/souls inhabiting bodies!).
The people that I have married in the past have tended to be successful professionals, not overly attached to an organised religion but appreciative of nature and interested to some degree in the alternative side of life. This can be as simple as enjoying weekends in natural surroundings, to interests in alternative medicine, healing, and crystals etc.
Some couples have a faith, or two different faiths and backgrounds, or are on a spiritual path, and some are highly individual, creative and artistic and just want to express themselves. Other couples like to be unconventional and want this reflected in their special day and some couples don’t like all the etiquette and solemnity associated with a traditional wedding ceremony and want something more relaxed and intimate. Some couples have been married before and have already experienced a traditional wedding ceremony and this time around want to make their special day different and more personal.
But… I want a traditional non-traditional wedding!
That’s no problem at all. As I said, everything is up to you.
If you want to be walked down the aisle, have bridesmaids, flower girls, a traditional wedding dress, bouquets, buttonholes, best men, rings, photographers, a tiered wedding cake and a massive champagne reception afterwards for all your guests, its entirely up to you!
That is the beauty of these sorts of ceremonies. And we will design the actual ceremony and vows between us, so they can be as traditional or as non-traditional as you like.
I would like to be legally married but also have a non-traditional shamanic wedding!
Again that is no problem. It is important to remember that shamanic weddings are not legally recognised.
So to get around this, couples often have a very short ceremony at a registry office with a couple of witnesses and not much fuss at all, normally just before their non-traditional ‘proper’ wedding – this can be say the morning of their shamanic wedding, or a couple of days before. Alternatively some couples drop into the registry office after their return from honeymoon.
Can a same sex couple have a shamanic wedding?
Yes of course they can!
To me, a wedding ceremony is all about celebrating love – love really is all there is! As mentioned above, it’s up to you whether you also have a civil ceremony and make your marriage legal or not.
Can people that are already married have a shamanic wedding?
Yes, absolutely! (As long as it’s to each other!)
As mentioned above, shamanic weddings are not legally recognised, so there is nothing stopping you having a shamanic wedding ceremony.
Perhaps you want to celebrate a big wedding anniversary with a shamanic wedding, or maybe your wedding day passed you by in a blur (they often do!) and you would like to re-honour your commitment to each other. Or maybe you had a registry office ceremony and don’t feel that it was quite enough – a shamanic wedding is the perfect way to celebrate your love for each other and create beautiful memories which last forever.
I’d like to renew my vows but not have a ‘wedding ceremony’ as such, is this possible?
Yes indeed it is possible.
As, hopefully, I’ve made it clear by now, there is no set shamanic wedding ceremony – the ceremonies are individually designed to suit the needs, wants and requirements of each couple.
So a ‘re-commitment of vows’ ceremony can be created just for you. Perhaps you have come through illness, loss, or some ups and downs in your relationship – these things while challenging can actually serve to strengthen your relationship – a shamanic wedding is a great way to honour your journey together and celebrate the stronger bonds you now share.
Or perhaps you have been together for a long time and your relationship has blossomed and you have changed and grown and you wish to make a deeper commitment to each other as the couple you are now, again a beautiful ceremony can be designed just for you.
And again, there are no hard and fast rules. It could just be a beautiful, private event for the two of you, something small for you and your closest family and friends, or a huge celebration of your enduring love and respect for each other.
I would like a non-traditional wedding ceremony but I do have a strong religious faith and would like some religious elements included in the ceremony – is this possible?
Yes, this is possible. You can have as many religious elements in your ceremony as you wish. Shamanism is not a religion. It is an ancient system of belief that pre-dates all organised religion; therefore religious elements can be included in the ceremony to suit you without problem. All faiths are welcome.
We are atheist, but we would like to have a non-traditional shamanic wedding. Is this possible?
Yes, this is also possible. As the ceremonies are created just for you, they can be as religious or non-religious as you like. What is important is that you celebrate your love for each other in a beautiful and meaningful way that feels right for you.
We would like a shamanic wedding but also want to write our own vows?
No problem! In fact it is encouraged. While the ceremony itself will be designed just for you I think it is important (and really romantic) to make your own vows to each other. It makes the ceremony much more meaningful and really creates a great base for your marriage as you hold on to those promises made from your hearts.
We would like a shamanic wedding but we have no idea what we want!
That is no problem at all. Some months prior to the ceremony we will chat and I will get to know you. I can then put something together for you and we can tweak it here and there until you are happy. I can also send you suggestions of readings and elements to incorporate into the ceremony for your consideration until we come up with something you are happy with.
We would like to book a shamanic wedding ceremony. How exactly does it all work?
So, the first thing for you to do is to decide on a date for your special day and book a venue (you will need to decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor ceremony and how many people you wish to invite, if any).
Then get in touch with me via the contact form below, providing me with the names of you and your future spouse, your date, location of the ceremony and a rough idea of guest numbers and your contact details.
We will then arrange to speak (usually over Skype) and we can discuss your wishes for your ceremony and I will get to know you both and find out what is important to you and what needs to be included in the ceremony.
Over the following months I will design a beautiful ceremony for you (as in how the ceremony actually looks, the theme and who does what, for example, who gives a reading, who plays music, how the whole thing actually works) and I will also channel the wording for your ceremony.
You can write your vows to each other and send them to me so that I can incorporate them into the ceremony wording (I can them prompt you in case you forget them!). Please note that assistance can also be given with other aspects of the ceremony (see below).
You both agree on the final wording and style of the ceremony and make sure that the people involved understand their roles on the day. Then on the day, the beautiful ceremony is carried out and lasting memories are made.
If you prefer a rehearsal can be carried out just prior to the ceremony so that everyone involved knows what to do.
And after the ceremony? What happens then?
That is up to you. I can attend and carry out the ceremony and then leave so you can celebrate with your family and friends, or I can stay and enjoy the celebrations with you.
What else can you help with?
I am a very creative person with a keen eye for beauty and I love events!
I have studied events and also have experienced working in the events industry in New York. But I understand that not everyone has the same passions. Or the time!
Therefore, (for an additional fee) I can create a theme for the wedding and the reception, and create a Pinterest page for you providing details of a stunning personalised wedding just for you which includes colour theming, cakes, jewellery/rings, venue décor, flowers, bouquets, dresses and accessories, bridesmaids outfits, table gifts, place settings and table décor and everything else! This then provides you with ideas to give to your florist, caterers, and of course your venue.
Additionally, if you are truly pushed for time I can manage and oversee the whole event for you.
What is a shaman?
A shaman is someone who has been appointed and initiated by spirit and nature to look after the needs of his or her community.
Shaman are people who live ‘in between worlds,’ with one foot in the everyday world and another in the unseen, supernatural or spirit world, seeking to restore harmony to the world and humanity through teaching and healing. They effectively act as an intermediary between the two worlds, obtaining information and healing for people from the spirit world and bringing it into the physical world.
This is a very demanding role and many trials in life are often endured in life in order to become strong and humble enough to carry out this role. Carrying out ceremonies is an integral part of a shaman’s role and it provides a wonderful balance to the healing side of the role!
How did you become a shaman?
Looking back I can see that I was born a shaman and I know I have been a shaman in many past lives.
In this lifetime I was interested in all things spiritual – in seeking out the truth – as a teenager, but it wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I received the calling to follow the path of the shaman even though I had spent many, many years looking for it! I was called to the path when I received a vision at Machu Picchu in Peru instructing me to follow the shamanic path – so I quit my job in corporate finance and that’s exactly what I did!
I have been working worldwide as a shamanic healer for the last 15 years now, helping people to heal from the trauma of their past and return to wholeness.
It is my great honour to be able to assist people on their healing path and to create and carry out beautiful weddings for couples in love. If you are interested in my work there is more information on my website you can click HERE or you can read the full story in my book ‘A Healer of Souls’ available on Amazon – please click this link.
Thank you for reading this blog article on shamanic weddings!
If you would like me to create a shamanic wedding just for you (or if you have any questions), then please contact me through the contact form below.