Post # 1
Hey Hive!!! My fiance and I are both anglo-saxon Christians and we’re trying to incorporate some different traditions into our ceremony – we’re both kind of sick of the unity candle/sand tradition and want to try something new. We were just recently at a Christian wedding where the couple did handfasting, but I know this is normally done in wiccan ceremonies. Does anyone know about the cultural significance of handfasting? What other traditions are you incorporating in your wedding?
Post # 3
Um, I’d have to look this up, but my understanding is that handfasting is a ceremony in which the couple is joined for a year. At the end of the year, they decide if they want to be married or not. A friend of mine handfasted and at the end of the year her guy didn’t want to get married :-(. Essentially, it’s a year long trial period.
Post # 4
I’ve also heard that handfasting is an engagement ritual, like cheerful mentioned.
I have been to one ecumenical wedding where they did handfasting and explained it as the origin of "tying the knot." I doubt many people knew otherwise.
Just look into the tradition and see if it’s something you want to use.
Post # 5
Wow, how does someone stay together for a year tied like that? All I can think of is, "wow, my FI would have to sit with me while I pee". Maybe it’s not that dramatic
In Ukranian and some European weddings they wrap a big scarf over their hands. But they aren’t *fasted* together. The bride has her hand laying on top of the groom’s and it’s just tied around for symbolic purposes. You could explain it in your program
Post # 6
Hand fasting is an Anglo-Saxon tradition. The myth is that it is a trial marriage and that it’s only a pagan tradition.
Traditional pre-Christian elements are often adopted into modern Christian and secular wedding ceremonies is many parts of Europe, and a handfasting-style ceremony is also practised outside of the neopagan subculture.
Post # 7
Not handfasting, but…
In Anglican/Episcopal weddings (and I think many others), just before the blessing, the priest ties his/her stole around the hands of the couple and says something to the effect of "what God has joined together let no one put asunder."
Hope that helps!
Post # 8
On http://2000dollarwedding.com, the couple did something with a quilt. I think she sent out the fabric to the guests and they wrote on it, and then she sewed it into a quilt and their officiant wrapped it around the couple during the ceremony. That or a variation of it would be really sweet and unique. Also, they planted a tree during their ceremony, which I thought was really cool.
Post # 9
Handfasting can be for any period of time – a month, a year or forever. . .
The way we did it – we used 13 different colored ribbons, each with a symbolic meaning. We explained the significance of each in our program.
If you want any details or the wording we used, PM me
Post # 10
I know that my friends did it in their wedding as their ceremony. You can used it to be any way that you want. IT doesnt have to be the “trail period” We are using it in our ceremony. Irish/celtic relgious backgroud. I have family from county Cork Ireland. I am trying to find my family tartan or we will use cords… still looking out for it…
Post # 11
My husband and I did not have a religious ceremony, but we wanted to acknowledge my husband’s Scottish ancestery, so we had a handfasting. It was incredibly beautiful (if I do say so myself).
Here is the reading we used for the fasting (if you want to see this part of our ceremony script to see the intro, etc., PM me and I will send it to you):
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love. These are the hands that you hold on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other from this day forward, and these will be the hands that you hold tomorrow, and the next day, and into the next decade. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build your life together, the hands that will touch you with love and tenderness through the years, and the hands that will comfort you like no others’ can. These are the hands that will hold you through grief, fear, and hardship. These are the hands that will wipe tears of joy and sorrow from your eyes, and the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will hold your family together, and that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands, that when wrinkled and spotted with age, will still be reaching for yours.
Post # 12
I think I heard that handfasting is a pagan tradition, but seriously who cares? Painting easter eggs and having a Christmas tree are likely based on pagan traditions too. I think it’s nice to incorporate other traditions into your wedding (Also I am really sick of sand and unity candle ceremonies).
We’re having a very religious Christian ceremony and we’re having a Ring Warming.
Post # 13
It comes from the olden age =) celtic/scottish and adpoted into the pagan relgion but hey sand ceremony isnt christian either! =) Thank you for you sharing that It is BEAUTIFUL septcabride
Post # 14
@septcabride: Your wording is absolutely beautiful! I’ve been trying to find hand fasting wording that would work well in our ceremony. We’re both Christians but not super traditional. Is this wording your own or did you find it somewhere? Would you mind if maybe we adapted it for us??
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2012 - Sunset Harbour
We’ll be doing a handfasting ceremony, with a big tie in of ‘tying the knot’ into our overall wedding theme. We were raised in different faiths, but neither of us are particularly religious, so we wanted something that was more spiritual.
We are also using the 13 different color ribbbons – we may have our families/bridal party each tie one of the ribons around our wrists.
Alot of people don’t really understand the meaning behind it though – so do your research and I would explain the ceremony in your program.
Post # 16
I am anglican and we are having a wedding in the anglican church. My favorite part of the ceremony is where the priest ties the stole around your joined hands at the “what god has joined together, let no man but assunder.”