Mini Ceremonies - Handfasting.

As a wedding celebrant one of the things I really love doing is helping the couple decide on what elements they would like to include in their ceremony that are truly personal to them.


Every love story is different and I believe every wedding ceremony should be too.


One mini ceremony that has become really popular is Handfasting. It's thought that the origins of Handfasting date back to Celtic and Druid ceremonies and it's possible it's where the phrase "tying the knot" comes from.




These days Handfasting has become popular with couples who want to include a more intimate and personalised celebration in their wedding ceremony.


If you've seen the film "Braveheart", then Mel Gibson's character was joined in union to Catherine McCormack's character of Murron in a Handfasting ceremony and in "Emmerdale", the characters of Bob and Brenda were joined by Handfasting.


Handfasting is also mentioned in Jim Morrison's biography "No One Gets Out Alive", as he and Patricia Kennealy took part in a ceremony.


Many see the knot as a symbolic addition to the ring and a reinforcement of the vows.


There are many different ways a hand fasting can be done, some couples like to include members of their friends and family in it, others want me to do it.


A Handfasting works like this, the couple will join hands and a cord is loosely wrapped or toed around them, sometimes I'll say a few words, sometimes the couple will make a vow to each other.



One of the really lovely thing about it is that pretty much anything can be used as a cord, some couples like to use cord or scarves or ribbons. Sometimes they choose to have them in the colours of their favourite football teams, or family tartan.


Some couples get the special people in their lives to choose the colours, for example their children or family members.


Others pick colours based on their meanings;

  • Yellow - optimism, happiness, positivity.

  • Red - passion, energy, strength.

  • White - innocence, purity, perfection.

  • Orange - emotion, optimism, enthusiasm.

  • Blue - trust, loyalty, security.

  • Pink - compassion, love, playfulness.

  • Black - elegance, protection, power.


Once the knot has been tied and removed, some couples like to keep the knot and frame it as a reminder of their special day.


Handfasting is completely legal to carry out, although it's not recognised as a legal wedding in the UK.


If you'd like to know more or speak to me about your wedding ceremony, then feel free to e-mail me katiethecelebrant@gmail.com or use the contact form on my website.

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