Handfasting - The Sexy
Must-Have Wedding Ritual
Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Wedding Ceremony
| Wedding Rituals |
I'll make no bones about it.
Handfasting is my absolutely favourite ritual to
include in a wedding ceremony. For so many
Photographers love it
What your photographer loves shouldn't be the main
driver of your decisions about what to include in your
ceremony. So why do I make the fact the photographers
love a handfasting number one on the list of great
reasons to include a handfasting in your wedding? For
the simple reason that it delivers so many
opportunities for great photos that you are sure to
have some to-die-for images - to keep and to share and
to help you relive the moment in the years to come.
Your handfasting cord/ribbon(s) makes a great addition
to the details photos taken before the ceremony and to
the signing table when placed (still tied) next to the
bouquet while you are signing. Have someone carry them
down the aisle in the processional. And one of you
carry them back up the aisle as you walk out.
It is Sexy as
Yes. Sexy. What could be more romantic and more sexy
than a couple physically giving themselves over to be
tied together, in the presence of others, as a visible
expression of their commitment?
But there are also many other reasons why I am such a
fan. And why you absolutely should put it on the top
of your list of possible inclusions for your wedding
You can use anything you
like for the binding
There are no rules about what you can use. Tartan
bands, cords, and ribbons, either single or in
multiples, plaited/woven/joined together (ask me about
how to plait with four or more strands) or used
separately, are what most people choose. But good old
rope, a vine (real or artificial), a piece of cloth,
or even a two-handed (holding hands) mitten (with
drawstring), are all possibilities. As are ties and
scarves (a lovely way to acknowledge a deceased loved
You can echo your overall
theme and colour scheme
Whether your scheme is sophisticated black and white,
rainbow bright, subtle pastel, or nude shades, there
are ribbons, cords, and jacquard braids to match.
- Boho bride? Choose an eclectic mix. Throw some
lace in there. Or a pom-pom garland
- Thrifty? Use leftover fabric from your dress.
- Going tartan? There is always a long narrow
offcut when a kilt is made. But you can also get
both silk and polyester ribbons in the most
- Rustic? Hessian might be a bit scratchy, but it
- Luxe wedding? Gold and silver ribbons are
- Country/Cowboy? Add gingham ribbon to the mix -
goes beautifully with flannels. Or go all the way
with leather. You can buy lengths of narrow
leather laces or bands. Or hop down to the op shop
and grab some jeans and make your handfasting
bands by cutting on either side of the stitched
You can add layers of
Just the act of tying your hands together is highly
symbolic. But it doesn't have to stop there.
- You can choose colours for their symbolic
- You can add charms.
- You can do as one of my lovely couples did, use
a plain white band on which a dear friend hand
painstakingly hand-embroidered one one end a
thistle to represent the groom's Scots heritage,
and on the other, a flower that represented both
the bride's heritage and a reference to her name.
- You can ask other people to create the band for
you as a way of honouring them - a nana or two, or
more who knits, crochets, embroiders, or sews,
will love being asked to do that.
It adds an extra dimension
to your vows
your vows while your hands are tied together makes
the moment so much more than talking heads with a
chance of tears!
You can involve others
There is no rule that say your celebrant has to do the
binding and tying and say the words when you
incorporate handfasting as a ritual within your civil
So you can have as many people as you wish drape,
wrap, and tie the bands around your joined hands. I
love involving both mothers, or other close family
members. Older children are a great choice too.
If you use ribbons, they can double as your guest
book. Have guests sign the ribbons as they arrive at
the ceremony so, when you are tied together you are
bound with their love and good wishes as well as with
your own love and commitment. Make sure you provide
qood quality fabric pens (available from Patchwork
& Quilting stores) so the signatures won't bleed
and choose light to medium ribbon colours so they will
It's fun, and it's
always a bit of interaction going on between the two
of you and the people you involve in the ritual. And
often some laughter. Best of
all, though, is that even if your guests have been
to a wedding where handfasting was included, it is
highly likely that it was a pretty vanilla version.
Following my advice will make sure that yours will
be fresh and different.
You get to keep the tied
couples frame it, so it is a constant reminder of
More about handfasting
Thanks for reading!