Real Couples // A Shamanic Wedding in Austria: Sarah + Miriam

Sarah and Miriam’s wedding combined a number of things, which break with wedding traditions in Austria. For one, domestic partnerships have only been legal since 2010 here. As feminist wedding photographers concerned with equal rights, we were thrilled but have only seen emerging numbers of same-sex ceremonies in the past two years. Same-sex weddings are still a bit of a novelty in Austria.

Sarah and Miri are both actors and dancers. Obviously, they wanted not only a spiritual but also a performative quality to their wedding. A friend introduced them to shamanism, and they were thrilled by the thought. After meeting with the ceremony master, their mind was set. Lucky for them, Miri’s parents have a gorgeous big backyard, which accommodated not only the wedding itself, but also a tent for the reception, as well as separate area with a fire pit, which is so essential for a shamanic wedding. Towards the end of the ceremony, the entire wedding party — which was asked to dress formally with a “crazy element” — walked around the fire pit in a circle together with the newlyweds, who were wrapped in white cloth and bundles of artemisia. The ceremony was truly magical, calling on all helping spirits, offering gratitude to Mother Earth. 

Within their cultural context of a primarily Catholic country that is slow in adapting to liberal standards, Sarah and Miriam have celebrated quite the wedding outside the traditional wedding narratives!

Words and Photography by Belle & Sass

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Belle & Sass are two wedding photographers based in Vienna, Austria who specialise in authentic and individual wedding photography. We shoot weddings all over Austria and love Destination Weddings.