- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Our handfasting was one of my favorite parts of the ceremony. Since we were not bound to a particular religious custom, we took some liberties with the ceremony to really make it our own. Rather than having each guest tie us together with a cord (one traditional version of the ceremony) or having one braided cord (the other traditional version), we had 2 braided cords, and one member from each side of the family to tie us together. Mr. LK and I each chose the colors for our respective cords based on their meaning (Mr. LK chose black, silver, white, and red. I chose pink, brown, and gold). I then purchased the materials and braided our own cords. Mr. LK’s Gramma used his cord to bind us, and my Dad used my cord to bind us. During the ceremony, as Gramma was tying us together, she said, “If you like this, wait till you see the wedding present I bought you! ;)” Well Mr. LK and I lost all composure and started cracking up laughing. Gotta love dirty old ladies!!!!
Anyway, our cords are kept in a wedding keepsake box with all of the cards we received, the love letters we exchanged on our wedding day, and a few other sentimental items. Each year on our anniversary Mr. LK and I will write each other new love letters, read them to each other, and then place them in the keepsake box. If we ever hit a rocky spot in our relationship, we will open the keepsake box and re-visit those memories to give us the strength we need to get through the bad times and get back to the good times.
Here is the text we used for our ceremony and a photo of our cords still on our hands after the ceremony ended.
Officiant: (directed to all) Groom and Bride have chosen to conclude their wedding ceremony with the ancient Celtic tradition of handfasting. The word “handfasting” was used by the ancient Celts to describe their traditional trial-marriage ceremony, during which couples were literally bound together with a loose knot to symbolize their temporary agreement. The handfasting expired after a year and a day. However, the couple could choose to enter into a permanent agreement after a year and a day with a new handfasting ceremony. This ceremony bound the couple together with a tight knot.
Today, exactly one year and one day after deciding to be married, Bride and Groom have chosen to be bound together with a tight knot, one that cannot be undone.
Now Bride’s Father, F, and Groom’s Grandmother, B, will tightly knot their hands together as a symbol of the life-long commitment that Groom and Bride are making today.
(Begin “Handfasting” playlist: Ben Harper: Forever, Jack Johnson: Better together)
F comes to to the altar area. Groom and Bride turn to face the guests, standing side-by-side, holding hands. F wraps cord/ribbon/strip of cloth over and around their hands multiple times, then creates a tight knot. F returns to his seat. B comes to the altar area. B wraps cord/ribbon/strip of cloth over and around their hands multiple times, then creates a tight knot. B returns to her seat. Bride and Groom turn to face one another again, hands still bound together.
(End “Handfasting” playlist)
Officiant: (directed to Groom and Bride) Bride and Groom, please take a good look at your partner’s hands, so you may see the gift that they are to you.
(Pause. Groom and Bride raise their up in between them.)
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise your complete love for a lifetime of happiness. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams. These are the hands that, when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours. May they always be held by one another. In the joining of hands and the fashioning of a knot, so too are your lives now bound. Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad, and watch as your strength grows. Remember that it is not this physical cord, but what it represents, that keeps you together.
(Pause. Groom and Bride lower their hands)
Full ceremony text here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/our-ceremony-full-text