(Closed) Handfasting ideas/tips

posted 6 years ago in Pagan
Post # 3
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I have no tips, but it sounds nice!  🙂  I, too, am having a hand fasting ceremony.  Not sure when, my SO needs a visa first!  Lol.  Best of luck and congrats!

Post # 4
8453 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I am planning on having a handfasting and braiding my own cord.  Afterwards I am going to make a shadowbox for it, so we can have it on display in our room.  There are also a few handfastings on youtube.com that might give you some inspiration.  Congrats on your engagement!

Post # 5
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • 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.

III. Handfasting

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


Post # 6
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

our officant read this “Blessing of Hands” during our handfasting:

“These are the hands of your best friend, strong and full of love for you.

They are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.

(begin to bind hands)

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will help you hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years,

And with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will, countless times, wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly; these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours,

Still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.” 

(my wife made the cords herself, following a tutorial that we found on offbeat bride)

Post # 7
530 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012 - Hacienda los Agaves

@mtnhoney:  I love that reading, it’s simply lovely.

Post # 8
10 posts
  • Wedding: April 2014

@lovekiss:  Beautiful symbolism in having a member of each family do a cord. May steal that for my handfasting ceremony….

Post # 9
2 posts
  • Wedding: March 2013

Okay, so when/how do you “unfast” the hands (for the kiss, recessional, ect)? I really want to use handfasting instead of unity sand, candle, etc, but the logistics are a bit confusing. Any suggestions?

Post # 10
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

As far as untying the hands… we grabbed the dangling bits and pulled through- creating a knot in the middle. So we tied the knot 🙂 Our priestess braided the cords after leaving the center knot. We put the knotted cord around the unity candle before we lit it.


Post # 11
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@JaneDomani:  That is so sweet and Smart! I am having the same logistical concern but that it beautiful. It gives the ceremony closure without finding yourself in an awkward tangled mess! Genius!

Post # 12
34 posts

That reading is beautiful! And all your cords look lovely. I want to do a handfasting ceremony with several cords made by my groom and myself, of different symbolic colors for the different blessings. I’ve seen ceremonies with as many as 13 but I’m not sure I want that part of the ceremony to drag on that long. I’d like to have the knots tied by various members of our families and bridal party/groomsmen, so they each bestow a “signature blessing,” so to speak.

However, I really like the idea of just having two cords and one member from each family. It makes it more about the joining of two families into one, and I think that’s pretty cool.


As far as figuring knots out, I’ve been a bit confused too as to the various ways it can be done. The way I think looks best is like this: http://revdebi.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/mail.jpg
but I don’t like that the knot completely goes away when you take your hands out (unless you put something else in). I’d like to tie a knot during the ceremony that could STAY tied that way, like knot magick. For some reason it doesn’t sit right with my magickal side to let the knot come out as soon as the ceremony is over, and I wouldn’t want to worry about having to keep something in it.

So, I’d probably try a half square knot around the hands, so that as we take our hands out we can pull it taut and be done with it. I like that symbolism better, and I think it gives that part of the ceremony a nice, clean finish. 

It looks like your wedding has already happened, though, so I’d love to hear how you did it!

The topic ‘Handfasting ideas/tips’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors