“May your hands be clasped forever in friendship.
And your hearts joined forever in love
The sacred knot is now tied, may it never be undone”
Rather than follow the more traditional wedding format, many couples prefer to have a Handfasting as the central part of the ceremony. It is the most important moment of their ceremony.
A Sacred Ceremony
A Handfasting can also be part of a Pagan ceremony. I am not a Priestess or Druid but I am very drawn to ceremonies that connect with Nature and have a sense of Spirit. On these occasions, I can make a sacred circle from flowers, leaves and herbs. If my couple wishes, I will make the ceremony a more formal one by Calling the Quarters. I make sure that we will have the time to talk and get to know each other and then decide exactly what form the ceremony should take.
What is Handfasting?
Based on an ancient ceremony which originally marked a betrothal, at a Handfasting Ceremony the Bride and Groom hold each other’s left hand and then I bind or ‘fasten’ them together with ribbons or a cord. Whilst they are tied together, each makes their vows then slip their hands free and reveal to everyone the knot in the binding; they have ‘tied the knot’.
The Handfasting Cord or Ribbons
I create the cord by plaiting multiple satin ribbons together. The choice of colours are down to the couple, they may match the wedding colour scheme, or have some particular significance to them. Sometimes a bride or groom may wish to make their own cord and this may include a mixture of materials- antique lace is a particularly beautiful example.
I always add charms to the end of the Handfasting cords. These are specifically chosen to suit the couple and they may also wish to add something that is sacred or special to their relationship.
Instead of or as well as a cord, a multitude of different coloured ribbons can be used. It is a perfect way to involve family members in the ceremony and it can be particularly fun when children are allowed to tie their parents together. The children get to choose their favourite colour and sometimes adults wish to say some loving words or give a blessing to the Bride and Groom.
It is very moving to hear a couple speaking their own vows to each other. These can be serious or humorous, formal or quirky but they are always loving and individual and mean everything to those taking part in the ceremony. They may be spoken out loud for all their guests to hear or as private words only shared with each other.
It can be daunting to put your deepest emotions into words and so I am always ready to help if needed. Many people have said it was their favourite part of the ceremony and they were so glad that they plucked up courage and told their loved one how they truly felt.
A handfasting ceremony can take place anywhere; it can be shared with a large gathering of friends and family, or as an intimate event or an elopement.
One of my lovely couples had a Handfasting Ceremony at Avebury stone circle, another in the grounds of an ancient castle. Handfasting Ceremonies lend themselves to the natural world, whether it is in the middle of a wood, on a beach or in a much loved garden.
A unique and beautiful Ceremony
With its roots in ancient history, the Handfasting Ceremony is particularly suited to couples who wish to have a very personal and meaningful way of celebrating their love and commitment for each other on their special day.
Planning, Practice, Perform – from £500
- Initial Interview (1-2 Hours)
- Draft Ceremony (4-5 Hours)
- Venue Liaison / Visit (1-2 Hours)
- Draft Order of Ceremony (1-2 Hours)
- Second Interview - Agree Order of Ceremony & Modify Draft (1-2 Hours)
- Final Draft (2-3 Hours)
- Final Interview & Practice (2-3 Hours)
- Officiate Ceremony (2-3 Hours)
- Presentation Folder
- Available for Photographs as required.
Travel expenses and extra ceremony elements will be charged in addition to the basic price.
I am very happy to meet up and have a discussion with you about your hopes and plans before you make your decision, it is important that you feel comfortable with me as your celebrant and that you can trust me with this most important ceremony.
( With thanks to photographers: Albert Palmer, Peter Hugo)