This past Sunday, BUST's own Callie Watts and her husband Camilo Salas renewed their vows on Fort Tilden's shores with a Wiccan handfasting ceremony. Callie, one of BUST's longtime staff, and Camilo, a freelance writer for the Latin American press, brought their friends and family together to the Rockaways for a one-year anniversary with an eccentric flair that perked up the heads of their fellow sunbathers.
Handfasting is a neopagan ceremony celebrated by Wiccans that affirms a couple's commitment to each. When all the guests arrived, the officiator and former BUST staffer Christian Detres gathered everyone with the help of a small amp and microphone. Callie walked down an aisle of sand in her wedding dress, while Camilo waited in a white tuxedo jacket, complemented by black swim trunks. Callie's mother Kedren was there taking photos with her 35mm camera, and Camilo's uncle stood in place of his father who could not make it. The children in attendance had a front row seat on the sand, and the adults behind them stood at attention whilst clad in their swimwear.
After the couples' new vows were exchanged, their wrists were tied, and the two of them jumped over a broomstick to conclude the ceremony. Turning to their audience, Callie stripped off her dress to reveal a mermaid costume, and Camilo carried her down to the water. Their barefoot friends followed them and splashed in the surf with joy.
Upon guests returning to their blankets, corks flew off the rosé wine, while meats and cheeses were pulled from a cooler. Guests included BUST's co-publisher Laurie Henzel, who shared a blanket with other BUST staff; Black Label Bicycle Club's Stinky, who along with his wife cradled their newborn child; and some of Camilo's friends and family from Chile.
Rich in romance, tradition, and the company of loved ones, this handfasting ceremony led Camilo to tell Callie, "We need to do this every year," to which she replied, "Oh yeah, we will!"
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