I performed my first Handfasting in December of 2017, on the spur of the moment, quite unexpectedly, and without any advance preparation! You see, as I was talking with two dear friends—two beautiful young women who were in the early stages of planning their wedding—I said, “If you would ever like a Handfasting, as well, I would be honored to perform it for you.”
Well, one of them said, “How about now?” I laughed, and then realized that my friend was serious! So, I asked my other friend how she felt about having a Handfasting that evening. I then watched with pleasure as the two women exchanged one of the most joyful, loving, and excited looks that I have ever witnessed. “Tonight it is,” I said, and sprang into action.
Fortunately, my home was beautifully decorated for Yule/Christmas: I had some lovely silk flowers for their hair; plenty of candles for the altar; a long, soft, cotton cord for “tying the knot”; a besom (broom) to jump; appropriate music; a copy of a pagan Handfasting ritual; and years of experience performing pagan holiday rituals and ceremonies. So, with the help of my husband, I was ready within the hour!
And, it was the strength of the love; the wonder of formalizing an already solid, stable, and secure bond between two people who adore one another; and the joy of officiating that created in me the desire to be a Celebrant full time. I realized that nothing could be as rewarding and fulfilling as being a part of the magic that transforms two into one; or that transforms a tiny person into an individual, named, and fully-acknowledged member of a family; or that transforms an elderly couple who are renewing their wedding vows on their 50th anniversary, so that—for just an instant—both the hopes and dreams of the young bride and groom that they once were, and the unbreakable bond of the long and lasting love that they now share, intermingle in their eyes and dance across their faces.
So, if you are hoping for a magical and memorable, one-of-a-kind ceremony that has been created just for you, please call, text, or email me today!
Hello! My name is Susan K. Rowan-Nelson, and I am a Certified Independent Celebrant. I perform Weddings, Handfastings, Renewals of Vows, Namings, Welcomings, Dedications, Baptisms, Initiations, House Blessings, House Cleansings, and more. I am also an Ordained Minister with the Universal Life Church, and so I am able to legally perform and solemnize marriages in the State of Washington, as well as in most other U.S. states.
As a Celebrant, my primary goal and deepest desire is to create for you, and to deliver in the venue of your choice, a ceremony that is uniquely your own—one that is a personal and powerful, magical and memorable, one-of-a-kind celebration of your love for one another, for your child, or for a new member of your family, group, or community, or for your home
To create a day and a ceremony that is uniquely your own, I will spend time getting to know you personally, and I will learn from you about your unique story (including your historical and cultural story—as an individual, a couple, and part of an extended family and community). I will listen closely as you describe the kind of ceremony that you envision, and of which you dream. I will talk with you about the people, places, spiritual ideals, and family/cultural/religious/ancestral practices and traditions that matter to you, with a focus on those that you wish to include, or to honor, in your ceremony.
In these ways, and in others, I will work closely with you to create a ceremony in which the power of the transformation that is taking place (for example, from a single individual to half of a unified whole) manifests in a moving and meaningful way. Above all, I will create a ceremony that is truly magical, so that your special and significant moment in time will transform into a treasured memory that you, and everyone present, will forever cherish.
As both a person and a Celebrant, I am caring, friendly, funny, and professional, and I will work to take the pressure off of you—always with warmth and with humor. I will joyfully perform your ceremony where you want it—whether inside or out, and in the location of your choice—be it a garden, a home, a beach, a church, a woodland meadow, or a pub. I am equally at home performing large and small ceremonies, casual and formal ones. Whatever your venue, and whatever your ceremony size and style, my goal is to make the creation of your ceremony a joyful and relaxed process for you, rather than an overwhelming and stressful one. As both an author and a former university professor of Writing and Literature, I can help you to create uniquely-personal vows, and assist you in choosing such things as readings and poetry. Or you can write your own vows (with or without my help), and choose your own readings. Either way, I will work with you to make your celebration as perfect in life as it is in your imagination and in your dreams.
I am also a Reiki healer who can help you to relax before your special day or ceremony, or at any time at all. So, please talk with me about scheduling a Reiki session, whether or not you are interested in a ceremony or ritual. While I can perform Reiki on all of the members of a wedding party, for example, or only on the bride or groom, I also schedule sessions for my Reiki clients, who see me for Reiki only. The stresses of daily life, and the aches and pains that are part of our human existence, are reason enough for treating yourself to the relaxation of Reiki.
Finally, as a former university professor (PhD in Philosophy; BA in Philosophy and Classics) who taught ritual theory to numerous students of Mythology; as a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD), in the Bardic Grade; and as a pagan priestess and “walker between the worlds,” I understand ritual: its power, its meaning, and its magic. Indeed, it is this combination of education and personal experience that make me uniquely qualified to create your special, fully-personalized, one-of-a-kind ceremony. Whether you are about to unite with your soulmate or best friend in a Wedding or Handfasting; or to introduce by name, and formally welcome, a child into your family in a Naming Ceremony; or to marry once again the person with whom you share an abiding love in a Renewal of Vows, I will work to make your ceremony both magical and memorable. I welcome same-sex, pagan, religious and non-religious, couples and families, and, because I am licensed as a Minister of the Universal Life Church to legally marry couples, I am happy to perform and solemnize a legal marriage ceremony (Wedding), or a joining of hearts and lives, without a marriage license (Handfasting), or both, either together or separately.
Meet Susan & Eric
Susan has one approach to doing business, and it can be summed up in only a few words:
Caring for People First, Profit Second
When you hire Susan, you can rest assured that your needs, wishes, dreams, and desires will take center stage, and that they will be at the core of all that Susan does on your behalf.
Susan Kim Rowan-Nelson, PhD
PhD In Philosophy
Certified Independent Celebrant
Ordained Minister (Universal Life Church)
Member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, & Druids (OBOD)
Mentor & Teacher
Awen Inisfail RowanWood
(Susan's Craft Name)
Psychic & Empath
Eric D. Nelson, PhD
PhD in Classics
Assistant at Rituals
Ordained Minister (Universal Life Church)
Member of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD)
For more information, or to begin a conversation with Susan, or to ask a question, or to request that Susan schedule a ceremony, Reiki session, or Individual Reading for you, please see our Contact Us section.