BEAMING newlyweds wearing traditional pagan dress and clutching lavish crystal adorned staffs could be seen celebrating in Poole town centre this weekend.
Passers-by may have had to do a double-take as Dennis Andrew and new wife Rita, both 55, ‘jumped the broom’ after having a formal legal ceremony at The Guildhall on Saturday.
Both members of the Dorset Grove Order of Druids, Dennis and Rita had already been through a ‘handfasting’ ceremony last year but were keen to make their vows legal.
With most of the guests sporting Druid-style clothes, Rita walked down the aisle to ’60s hit I’ll Never Find Another You by The Seekers before the pair emotionally exchanged vows and rings.
“It was awesome,” said Dennis.
“Rita means everything to me and she is the centre of my life.”
After leaving the register office the couple jumped in unison over a broomstick – a Druid custom symbolising them sweeping away their former single lives and stepping into their new married one together.
Dennis and Rita, who have been in a relationship for three and a half years, agreed it had been a special day and heaped praise on their friends from Dorset Grove for helping them celebrate in such style.
As is Druid tradition, Dennis said he hopes the couple will renew their vows on an annual basis, but lamented that Druid handfasting ceremonies do not yet share the same legal status enjoyed by marital ceremonies of other faiths and traditions.
“It is unfortunate we cannot have a real Druid wedding that is recognised by law,” he added.
“We ought to move on. Lots of Druids are getting married so there is a definite need for it.”
However, Dennis said it felt good to finally be officially married to his new wife and being surrounded by their Druid friends had made it even more joyful.
“We are a family,” he added.