Before Shannon contacted us about her Summer Solstice wedding I knew a lil tiny bit about Summer Solstice but not really that much to be completely honest with you. So I did what any uneducated person would do... I consulted the trusty Google and read up a bit on what the Summer Solstice is, means, and some of the traditions related to the date.
So first, let's start with the definition -
the solstice that marks the onset of summer, at the time of the longest day, about June 21 in the northern hemisphere and December 22 in the southern hemisphere.
While the definition focuses on the scientific facts about the day, there is a lot of magic, rituals and history behind that date that are much more interesting than the fact it's the longest day of the year...
Historically there are rituals and spiritual significance behind the date. Throughout the world there are thousands of ancient sites created and built to honor the Summer Solstice and our humanly connection to the sun. It is seen as a time to rejuvenate the fire within us as we celebrate our source of light that we depend on every day. One symbolic and magical way of commemorating the Solstice is with the creation of sunwheels. (1) For Shannon & Britt's wedding we made 2 of these - one that hung in the entrance to Soho South and the other than hung over the garage door with lights overlooking the ceremony and reception.
Another popular way to celebrate the holiday is by making flower halos. With just greenery we made flower crowns that adorned not only the bride but also all the bridesmaids and the groom. How absolutely beautiful is Shannon? Does she not look like a magical queen of the forest!?
Fire is one of the most important elements to the Solstice festivals and was thought to drive out evil and bring fertility to men, crops and herds. (2) For Shannon & Britt's wedding we had candlelight everywhere. The tables had hundreds of tapered candles lining them and gave the room such a mystical and magical sensation. With loose greenery and candles everywhere we were able to transform Soho into a venue that was alive with nature and such a whimsical vibe.
According to The White Goddess (2), Summer Solstice, also known as "Litha," is the most powerful day of the year for the Sun God. The day has specific incense scents, decorations and colors that are associated with the day:
- Incense: Sage, mint, basil, Saint John's Wort, sunflower, Lavender
- Decorations: dried herbs, potpourri, seashells, summer flowers and fruits
- Colors: blue, green and yellow
Shannon & Britt had incense burning throughout as well as a dried herbs and potpourri toss that guests did at the end of the night to say farewell to the newlyweds. Oh, and it seriously smelled amazing not only throughout the venue but also when they left...!!!
Another common ritual of the Summer Solstice is honoring air, fire, water and earth. Online you can find many different variations of this ritual. (3) For Shannon & Britt's ceremony they started with an Altar Girl walking around the outside of the circle of chairs lighting a candle for each of the 4 elements. It was definitely the most unique start to a ceremony I have ever seen and made the room feel as though it came alive with magic.
And on that note, huge thank you to Shannon & Britt for letting us be a part of their big day! Shannon came to us with so many wonderful ideas and it was awesome getting to help her bring them to life through a whole lot of greenery!!! Also, if you are looking for the perfect photographer to capture your mystical dreamy and whimsical wedding you must definitely need to contact Mackensey Alexander. To contact us for information our "day-of/month-of" package and/or our flower design services click below!! We can't wait to hear from you!