A Handfasting CeremonyPart 4 of The Elements Series - A Wedding Celebrant's Perspective
Part 4 – A Handfasting Ceremony
In this ‘Elements’ series, I take a look at how my brides and grooms have incorporated additional elements into their ceremony, to really personalise their wedding and make it a truly unique and memorable day.
A Handfasting is one of the most popular elements chosen by couples who want to include a beautiful, colourful and symbolic unity ritual in their wedding ceremony,
Origins of Handfasting
Handfasting is an old Pagan custom that dates back to the ancient Celts. In this ceremony, the couple hold each other’s hands and their wrists are tied together, either with separate ribbons which are tied together with a unity cord or a specially plaited handfasting cord.
The tying of the ribbons and cords symbolise the binding together of the bride and groom’s separate lives and the commitment they are making together. For they literally ‘tie the knot’.
Reasons to have a Handfasting Ceremony
A Handfasting Ceremony creates an unexpected and lovely moment to delight your guests and makes the ceremony unique and personal for the couple.
The beauty of a handfasting is that it can be included in any wedding ceremony, in a way that is symbolic and meaningful to the couple.
Although a handfasting ceremony can be performed anywhere, they generally tend to be held outside and close to nature.
Inviting family or close friends to take part is a wonderful way of symbolically uniting some very special people that will form a closer bond as a result of your wedding.
Tying the knot is the exciting part of the handfasting, for after the words have been said, the couple pull an end each of the cord and magically form the knot together, creating a colourful keepsake of their wedding day.
Frances and Louis, you are declaring your intent to be handfasted before your family and friends.
You will make promises today that will greatly strengthen your bond and will cross the years and lives of your union.
These ribbons symbolise your life, your love, the values on which you base your marriage,
and the lifelong connection that the two of you have found with one another.
This sage ribbon represents the value of loyalty.
Frances and Louis, will you be loyal to one another ?
Will you continue to stand beside, depend upon, and cherish each other through the years, for a lifetime of happiness?
‘ We will ‘
How to choose the colours for your Handfasting Ribbons and Cords ?
Some couples choose to match the ribbons with the colour scheme of their wedding.
For Maisie and Simon, the seas and oceans played an important part in their relationship, and so, naturally, sea blue was a colour they wanted included in their handfasting cord.
Other couples, like Ben and Tasha, chose to follow the symbolic meanings of colours, and the values they represent. For example, red for passion, yellow for joy, blue for loyalty and brown for reliability and base their marriage on these values.
Xiao and Jiajing, on the other hand, had one single ivory ribbon to bind their hands together.
Personalising Your Wedding Ceremony
As you can see, a Handfasting is a cheerful, colourful ceremony that adds a deep, personal and meaningful touch to your wedding.
It is easily adapted to suit any wedding and will delight and surprise your guests and ensure your special day is a truly memorable occasion.
The ribbons and cord will create a wonderful keepsake to cherish and remind you of the vows and promises you made to one another on your special day.
”May these knots stay tied for as long as your love shall last “
I’d like to thank Maisie and Simon, Xiao and Jiajing and Tasha and Ben for letting me share with you a part of their incredibly special day.
I’d like to thank the talented and generous Simon&Maisie Photography for the pic of them tying the knot, Ian Jeffery for the amazing pic of Tasha and Ben’s woodland handfasting, Helen, from Helen Lisk Photography for the two close up shots and Dom Hu from RAW Vision for lovely pic of Xiao and Jiajing’s hand binding.
Look out for the fifth part of this series – A Unity Candle Ceremony !
For a look at Part Three of this Elements Series – A Unity Sand Ceremony – Click here !!
For a look at Part Two of this Elements Series – A Parchment Signing Ceremony – Click here !!
For a look at Part One of this Elements Series – A Beautiful Ring Warming Ceremony – Click here !!