4. Hestia in Creating Sacred Space - Weddings

4. Hestia in Creating Sacred Space - Weddings

Is a wedding all about SPACE? Finding a ‘home’ or vessel for the celebration?

Notre Dame Basilica Montreal - Celine Dion’s Wedding venue.

A ‘terroir’ that moves the guests along with the couple as they transition from informal singles, to institutionalised pair - often with pomp and splendour or a bang! (No pun intended.)

The backdrop - the venue - comes to the fore?

It reflects the hopes, wishes and dreams and holds the voices of the bride (queen for a day) and groom (ring-side spectator at best). It gives a sense of their journey together up to that point, as well as those of their parents – reflecting their pride in this milestone or showing off their material means to outdo the Jones’ with the reception?

Wedding planners unwittingly call in varied influences (embodied in the derived lifestyles of mythological characters), in creating this space.


Bacchus, party animal, purveyor of pleasure and wine, is a firm favourite to lead the field in hedonistic excess.

Aphrodite twirls with lashings of lashes needing trowels to scrape off make-up, tress - and dress excess rule and bling blinds as the confetti fly!

My sister from another blister, Anni, is the High Priestess in staging this space. Like the goddess Hestia, mistress of home and hearth she attends to the comfort and spiritual nurturing of others. Even though Hestia had no temple dedicated to her, she was invoked in all the temples of the other gods, to preserve sacred space.

Anni does same to any home she enters. Her warm tone and keen eye for energy and flow, is expressed in interior placement. Creating a modern-day hearth, with strategically placed objects and candles, she invokes ambiance to atmospherically hold and beguile guests.  

In contrast with Celine Dion’s reported $500k wedding (no shade), Anni’s spiritual take on nuptials, (channelling Hestia in staging a classic, unpretentious space), reflects client couple - and guests’ natures of a different sort.

Infused with minimalistic flair, using textured natural fabrics, in the path of Atlantic sea sprays, with wind tickled hair, beech underbrush and taupe/sandy shades, the stage is set for marrying outside areas with in.

She tasks herself with holding the different energies of the guests. Her focus is quantum physical:

Matter matters less … and ‘less … (space)… is more’.

For this specific wedding, an Air BnB home with white-washed exposed wooden trusses forms the ‘cathedral crib’ that shelters guest, when the soul siren-ing seascape churns Poseidon storms or vast sky crackles with Zeus’ thunderbolt whips.

Outside facing the sea, an eyelash moon-circle winks, embroidered with fauna and flora in sync with the environment.

It conjures up celestial bodies, setting a snapshot frame for moments in time. The backdrop the ageless sighs of the ocean and vastness of mother nature.

At times peaceful, at others teasing up skirts and hairdos, nature bears unbiased witness to the earthlings’ expressions of devotion and intent.  As the paradoxes of “for richer/poorer and sickness/health’’ are committed into vows, the earthly dome becomes a cathedral, man’s only actual home?

Spread over two days, the guests share togetherness as everyone connects around a picnic with games on the first day, warming up, relaxing and being their casual selves. The décor is toned down, the colours awash with white light.


Airy and bright, marine-perfumed sea breezes float unabated over thresholds. Guests relax, breathe and exhale in the pre-amble, before the feast to come.

And so the wedding venue doubles as essentual and elemental retreat, echoeing deep eternal natural values: reconnect, reset, refresh.  The container (house) doesn’t draw attention to itself. Anni insists muted colours, tasteful and minimalist décor turn down the noise.

External clutter would take away from holding the core values:

Be true to your REAL … nature.

In the words of Kahlil Gibran:

"Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

But make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between

the shores of your souls.

And stand together, yet not too near


For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress, grow

not in each other’s shadow.’’

As Anni would do.


- Annalize "Anni" Assenheim, as seen through the eyes of Karien "Kay" Rothmann.

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