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Shadow Wedding Basics

Step 3: Design Your Shadow Wedding Ritual

Planning a Shadow Wedding is far less intensive than planning a light wedding, but there are several factors that can contribute to a potent experience. As part of the process, we'll help you navigate the choices and logistics involved. We're well-versed in creating ritual — think of us as Shadow Wedding planners!

As a taste, here are four main elements of the rituals we've co-designed with engaged couples:

  • Timing
    We suggest planning your Shadow Wedding close to your light wedding, somewhere between one and three weeks before your wedding day.
  • Setting and Time of Day
    If possible, hold the ritual at night. Indoors or outdoors are both OK, but consider a private and safe location where you can feel totally free to express yourself.
  • Guests/Witnesses
    Who in your circle of friends and/or family do you trust to understand and hold the shadow with you? How many guests would you like? Do you even want guests?
  • Attire
    What does your shadow look like? What does it want to wear?

Read our interview to learn how we incorporated these and other elements into our own Shadow Wedding.
Still wondering if the Shadow Wedding ritual is right for you? Take this survey and see.


From a Shadow Wedding witness:

"I had the privilege of attending Jim and Jessica's personal Shadow Wedding. What I witnessed that night made a believer out of me.

"The Shadow Wedding process is not for every couple. If you truly want to know yourself and your partner, if you appreciate depth and authenticity in relationship, and if you are not afraid to face the truth in order to create lasting connection, Jim and Jessica's Shadow Wedding ritual may be for you."

Jim Matto-Shepard, PhD
Psychologist in private practice and co-creator of After The Honeymoon