- A Meaningful Wedding Ceremony Addition
Handfasting is a sweet and meaningful wedding ritual
that is widely believed to be of Celtic origin but
actually has its roots in later Norse tradition. Binding
your hands together with a cloth, ribbon or cord, is one
of my favourite inclusions in a wedding because it is
not only a visual feast, it is also a ritual of
commitment and of complete equality between you. A
handfasting can be a beautiful addition to the ceremony
and a graceful way to acknowledge family ties.
There is no "authorised" way of doing a handfasting,
however, three things remain constant
- You join your hands (one hand or both)
- Something is wrapped round your joined hands
- Knots are tied
And those knots are never untied
I love creating and incorporating handfasting rituals.
So much so that, for couples wanting a very simple
legals only ceremony, I offer a Married in a
with a simple Handfasting as an optional secular
ritual add-on at no extra cost.
Handfasting, as carried out in the Scottish/Irish
tradition - the way I do it - is a non-religion-specific
symbolic ritual. A perfect addition to your vows, it
expresses the reality of marriage.
Using your choice of binding, which can be anything you
choose, your hands are bound together while I speak
appropriate words. It can happen either before the vows
or after the exchange of rings.
Whether the handfasting is the focus of the ceremony or
a ritual within your marriage ceremony, I work with you
to custom-create the ceremony to reflect your wishes,
your needs, your situation, and your beliefs. The ritual
can be secular or spiritual. Many different religious
traditions include wrapping or binding of the hands as
part of their marriage ceremony. Binding your hands
together as a visual expression of your commitment
references this tradition and, as there is no "set way"
of doing the binding, we can adapt it any way you wish.
an authorised way handfasting must be done?
In a word, no. while handfasting is mentioned in some
earlier novels and accounts of customs in Scotland,
particularly, no detail is given.
You are free, therefore
- to use whatever you wish for the binding. Ribbons
and cords are the most usual, but you can use
anything that has symbolic meaning for you. A scarf
or tie that belonged to a deceased loved one. A
vine. Single or multiple cords or ribbons. A cord
you have made by plaiting a number of ribbons or
cords together. Anything you can imagine.
- to include anyone you like in the ritual - it does
not have to be the celebrant who binds your hands
- to personalise the symbolic meaning of binding
I will work with you to create a handfasting ritual
that reflects your hopes and your wishes.