Bridal Blessing Alternative to the Traditional Bachelorette
When we started planning our wedding earlier this year, I instinctively knew that I didn't want a traditional bachelorette celebration. Instead, I opted for a Bridal Blessing, a gathering of the women closest to me where we sat for an ancient ritual of intimate sharing, connecting, bonding and channeling of female energy. While I did this in lieu of other celebrations this idea could also work as an add on to your traditional bridal shower, or bachelorette.
Here is some background: Last year my friend Paulina invited me to a women's circle. During this circle, a group of women called upon the energy of the moon and spoke about their hearts deepest desires, and connected with one another in a way I had never experienced. The energy in the room was palpable and it made quite an impression of me. These circles have a long history and their resurgence was even covered by the LA Times last year.
The circle was facilitated by Rebecca Bernard and as we got to know each other she shared with me the idea of a "Bridal Blessing." She explained that it was an intimate gathering where the most important women in a bride's life showered her with love and blessings and gave her love and support for the new phase in her life.
Here is the description that was included in the invitation that also describes a bit about the celebration:
"A Blessing Circle for a bride-to-be is a celebration of the enduring value of sisterhood and friendship on the unfolding journey of life. It creates an intimate opportunity for sharing love and blessings, and supports the bride in preparing emotionally and spiritually to formally commit to her chosen partner in life. We have chosen the full moon for this celebration as this is a time when traditionally women gathered to reconnect as purveyors of creation. This is a special time to offer wisdom, blessings, and good wishes to the bride. "
Most of the guests had never experienced a women's circle before so I got a few raised eyebrows. All the guests were asked to bring 2 things:
1) A bead to contribute to a piece of jewelry that I could wear at a later time.
2) A small gift that is symbolic of the invitee's relationship with me.
Once everyone was gathered at my besties beachside cottage, Rebecca who was facilitating our circle started by cleansing everyone with sage. This is a ritual that is meant to release any energy or stress they are carrying from their lives.
This was followed by an unexpected event.
She asked me to soak my feet in rose petal water and everyone did a "cleansing" of my feet. Once we were ready to begin Rebecca started reading a wedding blessing and asked everyone to share about their friendship with me and how long we had known each other.
I have to say that it was helpful that everyone who came was close to me as it made it easier to share intimate things. It was such a moving experience to hear the women who have carried me and supported me to speak about their relationship.
This is the great thing about the circle it gave us time to pause and reflect about the women who mean the world to us and tell them how we feel about them. Which is an opportunity that we rarely get. It was also great exercise in how so often others see greatness in us that we don't see in ourselves. People also spoke about my relationship the qualities they see in my partner.
I also went around the circle and shared what ever woman in the circle meant to me and why I had invited them to join me. One of my friends noted, that ultimately the people we choose to surround ourselves with are a mirror to who we are and so the qualities I see in my friends are qualities I possess too.
Everyone presented their bead and why they had selected it. Rebecca took the beads and is going to have something made from it. I am hoping I can incorporate that into my wedding day. My initial idea is to wrap it around my bouquet.
Then the attendees presented their gift. This was one of my favorite part not only because I received things but I loved hearing the explanations that everyone gave for why they had selected their gift.
My friend who I had known the longest gave me a bag from the Gap because it where we became friends. My little sister wrote me a beautiful letter along with a photo of her and I from when she was a baby. Another friend bought me a book since we often connect by sharing about things we read. I received heartfelt and thoughtful things that I will treasure forever.
I believe we need different friends in our lives. Different friends speak to the various parts of our personalities. There have been many significant women in my life and while they weren’t all there and I have lost touch with some of them, what is significant is how they have propelled me across various stages of my life.
At the end everyone pulled a card from the Goddess Cards. Each card gives you a specific message about how you can improve your life, health, relationships, finances, career, and spiritual path.
This type of bridal celebration might not be for everyone but I am so happy that I went with my instincts here and that all my friends were up for a new experience. I want to thank my host Arlene, my officiant Laura, and Rebecca for facilitating the circle.
If you’re interested in learning more here are some links to help you read more about women’s circles: