Wiccan Wedding Ceremony in a Public Park

September 20, 1998

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On September 20, 1998, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Christina Francis and Rick Beckner had exchanged wedding vows on September 19th in Scout Lake Park in Greendale, WI. Describing the Pagan community of her youth in Milwaukee as "very hush-hush," Francis now sees the Pagan community as "more comfortable with visibility," such that she is now able to enjoy her wedding ceremony in a public park. Francis and Beckner were joined in a ceremony known to Wiccans as second-degree handfasting, which is a legal marriage for this lifetime. It is preceded by a first-degree handfasting, which lasts for one year and one day and is akin to a formal engagement. Third-degree handfasting, an eternal union, may only be undertaken after many years of marriage.