Additions to a Ceremony: Handfasting

As a Celebrant I have learned about a number of wonderful ceremonies that can be added to the Wedding celebration..
In this, my third piece, I will be describing the colourful ceremony of Handfasting
Originally this is the historical term for a wedding or betrothal and is believed to have Celtic origins.
In this beautiful ceremony, the couple hold hands and their wrists  are tied together with ribbons, or a specially plaited handfasting cord.  This is then knotted three times and their hands are slipped out,leaving a permanent reminder of their vows to each other. In other words-they have ‘tied the knot’.

I will write the ceremony and make your unique handfasting cords. Handfasting can be a stand alone ceremony, or it can be part of a Betrothal, Wedding or Renewal of Vows.
Some couples choose to have a Handfasting ceremony in place of a legal marriage; perhaps they have been married before and do not wish to re marry.
Having a Handfasting ceremony means they can make their loving vows to each other and celebrate their commitment and happiness with friends and family.
The Handfasting can be performed anywhere and is particularly suited to outside celebrations.

Members of the family may take part, each adding a specially chosen ribbon. This is a wonderful way of illustrating that two families are joining together.

If you have a fairly small gathering, the whole congregation can be involved! One long ribbon is passed around and held by everyone present as the couple make their vows to each other.

When choosing the colours of the cords and ribbons, some people like to follow the meanings of colours, for instance red for passions, blue for patience, green for fertility, others prefer to match the colour scheme of their wedding.
If you have a favourite piece of material that holds a special memory- perhaps lace from your Mother’s bridal veil- I can incorporate it into your Handfasting cord.

I like to add special charms that are specially suited to the couple.
In the photograph below, I’ve added a champagne bottle, a car and antique cut glass crystals.

If a beloved family member has died, then a locket containing their portrait can be added as well, so they are still part of the ceremony.

The ribbons and cord, with the meaningful charms make a lovely keepsake. This is a cheerful, colourful ceremony and one that is easily adapted to suit any Wedding day.

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