Befriend an alpaca farmer with land on the north side of Dartmoor that includes within it not only space for camping but also an ancient, double-tiered stone circle. Then find a pagan/wiccan priestess who can hold a handfasting in said stone circle.
Envision a day in early spring where the sun is going to shine magnificently, even though the days on either side are filled with rain, then create and print your own invitations and mail them to all your friends, preferably including those with hippy and eco know-how, as well those who automatically bring along with them skills in guitar playing, drumming, and storytelling.
Along with finding the standard pre-requisites such as hay bales, a marquee, a turkish tent decked out with comfy cushions, a maypole, and a teepee, recruit a friend to spit-roast an organic pig, then choose a best man with circus skills and bridesmaids who can weave flowers into crowns. Decorate the field with willow boughs in a big heart shape, along with ribbons and paper lanterns.
Green Gate’s PLA lined cups*, wooden knives and forks, and paper plates made from waste sugar cane pulp. Within the celebration field, set up a loudly labelled recycling/waste disposal area to ensure that as little end waste as possible is produced.
Encourage all local guests to bring a plate of food with them to share for lunch, and organise carob brownies, locally baked bread, local cheeses, and a butterbean stew for the evening meal. All organic, of course. Oh, and then pick some nettles from the field next door to add to the stew.
Don’t stand on ceremony and don’t be shy for the handfasting itself. If it’s a little boggy from the rain leading up to your special day, just take off your shoes and get the mud between your toes. Be emotional, and share those emotions and your love with everyone around you. And, if it really is your special day, chances are that a hawk will circle in the blue skies above whilst you’re saying your vows.
Ask your circus-skilled friend and his theatre partner to put on a skit after lunch, to keep the guests entertained, and then get him to do a fire show once it gets dark. Make sure you’ve prepared a big central fire for the evening too, and then scatter cross-cut fire logs and tea-lights in glass jars around the field to create a really spectacular atmosphere.
Party into the night, camp out in the field next door, and be woken in the morning by the singing birds**. As guests part for their journeys onward and outward, hand out little packets of wild seeds and happy blessings for them to sow.
Thanks Rich and Dawn for including me in your special day, for being so loving, and for living true to your beliefs and ideals. You’re an example to us all.
* This is a biodegradable plastic made out of corn starch or other other plant sources and are thus compostable. I'm always a tad sceptical about so-called compostable plastics because - as with most things in life - there are certain strings attached, such as certain temperatures needing to be reached before composting is complete. I've never seen the process in action for myself, and the pictures of this material breaking down always show a collect of small particles left at the end, so I am always left wondering: what happens to those particles? Are they organic? Can organisms eat them? Or are they teeny little plastic particles that will be left in the environment. Natureworks LLC are the main company manufacturing PLA: perhaps they'd like to invite me to their premises to demonstrate for the effectiveness of their technology?
** Ok, I'll admit it, I didn't camp. It was freezing! Plus camping on my own didn't really appeal. But I went back for brunch the next morning and was reliably told that the birds did sing and that it was lovely.