Bandora & Michael's Foxtailed Pagan Handfasting

Updated Oct 12 2015

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The Offbeat Bride: Bandora Fox, White Collar Hippie

Her Offbeat Partner: Michael Fox, Licensed Massage Therapist

Location & date of wedding: Palm Island, Savannas Recreation Area, Ft Pierce, Florida — August 29th, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: We had a Pagan handfasting during our own weekend camping festival. The groom wore a kilt, we both had foxtails and the groomsmen (aka. torchbearers) wore sarongs and carried symbols of a nature element. The only one that wore a tux was the dog that carried our rings inside a mini Chinese food takeout box hanging from its collar. And I carried a bouquet made out of swarovsky crystals.

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The color blue was the main focus and stars materialized as a secondary theme. We had a cool logo and the rest of the details evolved from there. The logo was everywhere, on the invites, the website, the program and even the bride's underwear!

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We personalized most traditional elements, so we had a tier cake with blue frosting, our cake toppers were foxes wearing outfits like ours. We had a "bubble girl" with a bubble gun for nonstop bubbles. Champagne was too traditional so instead we toasted with blue kamikaze shots in test tubes. Our reception was a very laid back picnic with lots of finger foods, blue punch and enjoyment.

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Since most relatives were unfamiliar with the handfasting tradition we couldn't avoid having a program, so we made it fun by adding a custom crossword puzzle and word search that shared some trivia about us. Guests enjoyed jumping the broom after us. Instead of a regular guestbook, guests were given sheets of paper where they got to write their memories of us and wishes along with drawing pictures of themselves and us!

Our biggest challenge: Reconciling the fact that Michael wanted a huge WIC wedding and I wanted a tiny non-traditional one! This was the cause of a lot of tension at first. Our compromise was to elope and then get weddinged in a small sized ceremony during a weekend camping festival we hold with friends every year. As a result of this the guest list was quite the challenge.

We were also dealing with a small budget as the threat of layoffs loomed over our heads at work. I have a tendency to overdo cute details that nobody would miss if they weren't there, so we had to skip some things that were not as important and get creative on others. My repressed creativity was able to express itself when I gave in and decided to make our jumping broom instead of buying one. I adopted a rule that no large sums of money would be spent on something that could not be reused and that, combined with the dollar store and the internet, helped us pull everything off for $2,000 including cute little details thrown in.

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A lot of help that was offered or promised didn't come through as planned, so we had to do a lot of last minute things on our own. But once the guests saw us in the kitchen cranking out food immediately after the ceremony, help materialized from all angles and we were able to then finally relax and enjoy.

My favorite moment: Looking into my husband's eyes right before the kiss and melting into the kiss. Then taking a deep breath to take it all in and realizing that it finally happened and all that stress was worth it.

My offbeat advice: Don't settle on the elements that are truly important but don't sweat the small stuff. This balance can only be achieved by figuring out what aspects absolutely have to be a certain way and which ones you don't care so much about. This line sometimes got blurry for me so it helps to revisit priorities regularly.

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Regardless of how much you stress and obsess before hand or how many things may go wrong, know that once you first hold hands and look into your beloved's eyes at the ceremony none of that will matter. The day will magically transform itself into the most awesome, blessed and happy experience ever and everything will have been worth it and more!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn:

  1. I also love the dress, but it isn't on that Group USA website anymore. Which is a shame, since it's fantastic.

  2. the pooch in the tux totally stole the show for me 🙂 I like the kitsune theme throughout, several yokai would approve

  3. All your pictures are beautiful!!! I love the dress!!! It's not on the website anymore. Do you have more details on it?

    • The designer for the dress is Dave and Johnny and it's from their 2009 Prom Collection. A handful of other boutiques, some online, carried it back when I bought it in the spring, perhaps you can locate it doing a designer search.

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