Special Note: Recent research has revealed that the current use of the term "handfasting" is actually not canon. Thus, we are encouraging the return to the use of the terms marriage and wedding, which are found in the books.
Master Namire wrote a wonderful wedding guideline in the archives ( #2880, if you want to look at it); however, it is an Earth-style wedding and not specifically tailored to Pern. She does make several key points which have been incorporated into these tips. Most of the wedding ceremony tips can be found in chapter 10 of Ms. McCaffrey's "Nerilka's Story," although the ceremony is only described in a couple of paragraphs. It's not much to go on but it's enough for our purposes.
First, there are several things you need to do:
- If they are crafters, make sure they have the rank to marry or have the permission to marry. If not, they and you can get into a lot of trouble.
- Remember this is their wedding. All decisions are theirs. Bow to their wishes. And believe me, you will get some strange requests.
- Have them addcom wb=WeddingBells. It helps cut the paging.
- After you've got that done, explain the ceremony to them. Send them to the proper crafts for clothes, golden mark, rings, etc.
- Rings: Make sure about rings. Rings are an Earth-style tradition that seems to have fallen out of use by present-day Pern, but many players still wish to use them. Bow to their wishes.
The Day of the Ceremony
- Check to see who's going to log the event.
- Keep calm and try to keep the couple calm.
- Deal with the unnecessary spamming!!! A must! Kindly but firmly tell people no spam. They can cry, react with the ceremony. I always cry at weddings.
- When everyone's all set and its time — cue the bride to enter. Give people a chance to look at her.
The ceremony is very short, but waiting for the response can take awhile. Not to mention the typing. This is straight from Nerilka's Story. (You can use variations. I never say the questions the same way twice)
- Have them face you, the harper, for the opening questions.
- Always direct the first questions to the groom. Groom is always first. (Sorry, but Pern is a feudal society. The man is first, sorry ladies) — Ask the groom the traditional pledging of love, honor and protecting his new wife-to-be. After he answers, ask the bride if she will love, honor his claim and to bear only his children.
- The Golden Mark — Have the couple face you, tell the groom to hold out the mark, and ask the love of his life in his own words to take the mark and be his. (Here's a good place for the posing to be spammy, emotional, and fun. Make sure they know it.) — Tell the bride, after he had posed, that if his words are pleasing to her and it is her wish to be his wife, to say so in her own words.
- The rings — (optional) — Let them chose their words and exchange the rings (groom first naturally)
- Pronounce them married, let them kiss, and let the party begin!
Wedding ceremony tips are attributed to Harper Master Jueann.