A nice day for a white witch wedding - The rise of hand-fasting services

A white ‘hedge’ witch, performing handfasting ceremonies, an alternative to weddings in Norfolk.

Elizabeth Webster, from Thursford, is a white ‘hedge’ witch, performing handfasting ceremonies, an alternative to weddings, across the region over the last four years. - Credit: Selene Star Photography

A handfasting ceremony performed by a white witch might sound like something from Middle Earth, but it's becoming the choice of more people in Norfolk.

Elizabeth Webster, from Thursford, is a white ‘hedge’ witch who has performed handfasting ceremonies - an alternative to weddings - across the region over the last four years. Mrs Webster said there has been a rise in the number of people interested in the service.

“The ceremony is not legally binding, so we are seeing people go to the registry office for a quiet wedding, and making the handfasting the big event,” Mrs Webster said.

“I feel honoured that people ask me to do it, I’m performing a ceremony later this year and the two people do not follow the Wiccan path, but they want the handfasting, which is a privilege.”

Mrs Webster, 51, has been a practising witch for the last 35 years. She said she has been "on the Wiccan path" since she was 14 after being introduced to it by a friend.

Elizabeth Webster, who has been a practising witch for the last 35-years.

Elizabeth Webster, who has been a practising witch for the last 35-years. - Credit: Elizabeth Webster

Four years ago Mrs Webster started studying to perform handfasting ceremonies after somebody said they wanted to have one, and she said she would lead it. 

The service involves Mrs Webster casting a circle and calling on the elements for protection, and inviting people in. From words and vows are exchanged and the couple declare their love for each other.


Four years ago, Mrs Webster decided to undertake the study to perform the ceremonies.

Four years ago, Mrs Webster decided to undertake the study to perform the ceremonies. - Credit: Carla Caridade

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Mrs Webster held one ceremony in her first year, and three are already booked up for this year, and other in 2023.

“I think people like freedom,” she said.

“I think people enjoy the freedom given to them, other ceremonies have their traditions, but a handfasting is totally different, you can bring anything you want, you can have it outside in a field, or barn, dress up how you like, the opportunities are endless.

“That is why it appeals to people, people are more interested this day in the Wiccan side of things.”

This number of ceremonies are growing all the time in Norfolk, Elizabeth Webster is in discussion to hold three in 2022.

This number of ceremonies are growing all the time, with her first year, Elizabeth Webster is in discussion to hold three in 2022. - Credit: Elizabeth Webster

Mrs Webster said she was excited about the future, after services had to be paused during the pandemic.

“I'm excited," she said.  I thought it was something done on occasion, but I’m doing it more and more.”

To find out more, visit the Bound by Love Facebook page.