You may be in the planning stages of your wedding ceremony. You may opt for a more traditional service or perhaps you wish to add something a little special to your day. If this is the case, you might want to consider a handfasting.
Handfasting can add a special layer of unity to your ceremony and the tradition has its roots in ancient Celtic traditions. What is handfasting and how does it incorporate it into your ceremony?
It's A Unity Ceremony
Handfasting dates back to the ancient Celts and is still used today in many Wiccan or pagan wedding ceremonies. It has become more mainstream, however, because it's not just a religious union but one of the unity of the couple.
The handfasting ceremony symbolizes the binding together of the couple for life by binding their hands together. This ceremony is where the term 'tying the knot' came from.
How the Ceremony Works
You can opt to have a traditional wedding ceremony, with your own vows and blessings and then add the handfasting tradition just before you exchange rings. You could also opt for a more pagan wedding ceremony.
The officiant will explain to your guests what the handfasting is. They will then explain what the ceremony means to you and how it binds you together. The tying of hands symbolizes the joining of two lives into one and combining your destinies together.
You will then join hands. This is to symbolize that you are entering into this marriage of your own free will. It also means that this is the person you wish to spend the rest of your life with. That you will be a strong, united front standing together against all trials you might face. You could opt to cross hands as well.
The officiant will then take either a soft cord or ribbon and bind your hands together gently. The cord or ribbon should entwine your hands and if you desire, you can bind your wrists as well. During the binding, the officiant will read vows that you repeat to your spouse. If you like, you can create your own vows, or even use the handfasting to say your wedding vows.
Some couples opt for two cords or ribbons, one for each person or vow. The cords are simply entwined together as the vows are spoken. This symbolizes your commitment of the vows to your spouse. If you haven't exchanged rings yet, this would be the perfect time to do so.