Festival style BoHo, Pagan Wedding in Lincolnshire
Michele and Colin’s supper fun and relaxed festival style boho, pagan wedding photography story at Cabourne Parva, Lincolnshire by photographer Wes Simpson.
After photographing more than 450+ weddings in over ten countries, I’m delighted that wedding celebrations continue to surprise me. I’m honoured to still be experiencing new cultures, traditions, and beliefs. Something I don’t take for granted.
Michele and Colin’s pagan wedding ceremony was unlike any other I’d attended. Rather than the traditional church or registry office ceremony, the couple exchanged pagan wedding vows in the woods at Cabourne Parva in Lincolnshire.
When it comes to celebrating traditions, few are as rich and important as the pagan hand-fasting ceremony. First practised by the ancient Celtic peoples, the hand-fasting is a sacred bond that is sealed in the holy presence of the Goddess.
The ceremony takes place in a sacred space, usually outdoors, and is often accompanied by a ceremony of casting out the old and welcoming the new.
A man, who I later found out was an ordained minister and priest, conducted the ceremony. He spoke about the couple’s commitment to each other, and the sacrifice and devotion required to be in a relationship.
Finding a photographer for their festival wedding
Michele and Colin were on holiday when they met Jenna and Michael, whose wedding I had photographed at the 30 James Street Hotel in Liverpool.
While the couple was on their honeymoon, Michele and Colin were planning their wedding, and the conversation quickly turned to wedding photography.
The couple explained that they were planning a festival-style boho wedding in Lincolnshire and were having difficulty finding a photographer who would complement the relaxed style and vision for their pagan-style wedding.
Jenna explained that I photographed their wedding in a natural and relaxed manner and that I also travel for weddings. So, while they were relaxing by the pool, Michele and Colin looked at my website on their iPad.
They were impressed with what they saw, so we set up a quick FaceTime call. They booked me while they were still on vacation!
Here’s their festival-style boho, pagan wedding photography story at Cabourne Parva in Lincolnshire.
Pagan Wedding Photography Story
Michele and Colin are from Lincoln, and this is their festival-style boho, pagan hand-fasting wedding at Cabourne Parva in Lincolnshire.
The couple met on Match.com and had been together for 3 years by the time they got married. Colin proposed at the pub where they first met.
The day began with bridal preparations in a rustic-styled farmhouse barn. Michelle and the girls getting ready on-site at Cabourne Parva added to the laid-back vibe and set the tone for the day.
The eclectic styling and rustic vibe of the barn got everyone in the mood for a festival-style, boho wedding at the Lincolnshire wedding venue. Everyone was chilled and thrilled for the day ahead with no travel to worry about.
The guys were all equally relaxed when they arrived at Cabourne Parva in jeans and converse (a must for the bride and groom), as well as a tweed jacket and waistcoats.
Cabourne Parva Open-air Pagan-style Wedding Ceremony
The ceremony was outside, an open-air ceremony held in the woods at Cabourne Parva. It was a lovely, laid-back Pagan-style hand-fasting ceremony with a focus on love and each other.
Colin stated that seeing Michele walk through the woods while surrounded by all of their family and friends was the best part of the day and a memory he will never forget.
The woodland ceremony location was ideal for their 120 guests, the majority of whom, like myself, had never attended a Pagan wedding ceremony.
Machelle wore a lovely wedding dress from Ivory and Co. Her bridal bouquet was rustic in theme with sunflowers as the focal point. Michele’s outfit was complete with bridal shoes and colourful Joules wellington boots.
Pagan Wedding Celebrations
A buffet-style marquee wedding reception with many home-cooked favourites followed. Colin’s son’s band provided entertainment, which added to the festival-style boho wedding theme.
Later in the evening, Colin loved having his son and the band perform their first dance song, Ed Sheeran’s Tenerife Sea… “It was a very special moment,” the couple said.
What is a Pagan Wedding?
Pagan weddings are a unique blend of tradition and modernity, where traditions such as the groom wearing a suit and the bride in a dress are honoured but where other traditions are also honoured.
For example, some couples will have a traditional Catholic wedding Mass, while others will have the ceremony and the reception take place at a sacred site or a place of great spiritual significance to the couple.
One thing that remains the same between a Pagan wedding and a traditional wedding is the commitment, love, and shared values of the couple.
Pagan Wedding History
The Pagan wedding was a special religious service that indicated the union between two spiritual beings. It was often a celebration of life and love, but also an opportunity to ritualise the union, initiate the new partners, and formally establish a set of expectations between the partners.
It was also a time of reaffirming responsibility to others and to the community—responsibility to one’s spouse, children, parents, friends, and community. It was also a time of reaffirming the commitment to practice and preserve the traditions of ritual, etiquette, and ceremony.
Handfasting is a Celtic ritual in which the hands are tied together to represent the joining of two lives. While it is most commonly used in Wiccan or Pagan ceremonies, it has become more mainstream and can be found in religious and secular vows and readings.
Why is it called Hand-fasting?
Until the mid-1700s, marriages in Scotland were marked by a simple handfasting ceremony in which the two partners joined hands. The couple would join their hands to form an infinite circle before binding their hands or wrists together, symbolising the joining of their two lives into one.
Festival Style Boho Pagan Wedding Photography
The wedding photography style at Cabourne Parva for Michele and Colin’s pagan wedding was very candid and documentary, which was exactly what the couple desired.
One of the couple’s favourite photos is of them in the woods and simply walking towards the camera while holding hands, with Michele showing her wellies.
The most important wedding tip the couple shared was to plan the day you want. Have a distinct vision and pursue it. Invest in a wedding photographer whose style and approach compliment your special day.
The couple remarked: Wedding planning is exciting, but also stressful. There are so many decisions to be made and so much to coordinate.
You may have already asked your family and friends for help, but are you sure you have covered all your bases? Maybe you need to reach out to a few new people. Just like we did.
In Pagan weddings, the decision-making usually involves multiple people, so this is a good place to start to make sure you have asked for what you need and to take into account everyone else’s needs and wants.
About Lincolnshire’s Cabourne Parva
Cabourne Parva is a hidden gem located in the rolling hills of the Lincolnshire countryside, tucked in a lovely woodland. It retains a lot of energy that I immediately sensed when I first arrived and started exploring it.
Cabourne Parva is more frequently used to organise local festivals. I could easily “feel” why Michele and Colin chose this venue for their wedding.
Pagan Wedding Photographer
There are many specialist pagan wedding photographers and you might find some located in your area that only specialises in pagan wedding photography traditions.
I am by no means a pagan wedding photography specialist. As with any wedding photography, the wedding photographer is responsible for capturing the moments of the wedding in the most authentic way possible.
Documentary Wedding Photographer
I hope you enjoyed reading Michele and Colin’s festival-style, boho pagan wedding photography story at Cabourne Parva in Lincolnshire as much as I enjoyed photographing their day.
I’m based in the North West of England, but I travel all over for weddings. Michele and Colin hired me for my natural documentary wedding photography style. I specialise in capturing your most meaningful moments at your most meaningful event.
If you book me to photograph your wedding, I will capture intimate portraits, beautiful landscapes, and all of the little moments that make your day unique and special. I can’t wait to share your story and celebrate your day with you.
If you’re planning a festival-style boho, pagan wedding or any type of wedding and would like me to be your wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you. Check out my portfolio for examples of work and the blog for the latest weddings.