This isn’t a wedding announcement. Don’t get your hopes up.
I just saw a blog post from an event planner and wedding officiant, about a “Gallifreyan Wedding” based on the Series 6 Doctor Who finale. I have a lot of feelings about this, and while I don’t necessarily think that a Wedding of River Song-style ceremony is necessarily a bad thing, I don’t think it can fully be called Gallifreyan either.
Welcome to the Doctor Who fandom, where we see a battlefield wedding performed and immediately accept it as the cultural standard.
The popular idea of a Gallifreyan wedding is really just a secularized Wiccan Handfasting. If I were to plan my own, I’d personally go all out for the “Gallifreyan” aspects of this ceremony, rather than basing it completely on the episode. As I am a Gallifreyan Cultural Reconstructionist, I have a few ideas on how to do this. (All hypothetical, of course– I’m not planning a wedding any time soon.)
Jennifer and Edward WinterRose once did something similar, which they recorded here (picture taken from the same source), and which originally got my mind running with regards to Gallifreyan Tradition Society marriage rites.
- Both my partner and I would be dressed in ceremonial robes, in the colors of our respective chapters. The officiant of the ceremony would, of course, be dressed in the Gold Usher’s attire.
- The ones consenting to the union would not be my or my partner’s parents, but representatives of her House within the Gallifreyan Tradition Society (or mine, if that’s what we’ve arranged prior to the ceremony.)
- The decorations would not be DW-themed in the way most people are thinking (police boxes are not a traditional Gallifreyan motif, neither is galaxy print, neither is blue and silver unless you happen to be a Cerulean), and would in fact be quite austere– probably just a white and gold banner behind us, bearing the Seal of Rassilon, flanked by two banners in the colors of our Chapters, bearing our names in Gallifreyan. Lighting would be mostly firelight, if possible.
- Music would be provided by a choir. From my own recovered memories, I remember that choral music was a big part of many ceremonies on Gallifrey.
- The handfasting part of the ceremony would be done with three cords– one each in our Chapters’ colors, and one in (obviously) white and gold. In the symbolism of Gallifreyan Reconstruction, white and gold are the colors of authority and sovereignty, worn by those of high rank (the Lord President and Gold Usher, mostly. It’s worth noting that my Acolyte robes, which I wear on spirit walks to Gallifrey, are also in white and gold, with red accents.) The colors of white and gold also signify that something transcends House and Chapter, and is independent of all affiliations. It is similar to the Celestial Intervention Agency’s black and white, in that respect.
- The three cords would symbolize myself, my partner, and our union, which transcends the boundaries of House and Chapter and which is held as sacred and inviolable in the eyes of the Council.
It may seem odd, planning a wedding when I can’t find the courage to start dating again, but honestly, this is healing to me. My ex-fiancee denied her Gallifreyan nature, and mine, until it was convenient to acknowledge it, and this is part of my way of reclaiming it. I’m holding out hope that one day I’ll find someone like me. Someone who is part of my world, or at least wants to be. It’s impossible, but I can say I have faith.