(Closed) Hanfasting / Irish wedding

posted 7 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Etsy! Just search for handfasting cords. My family is Irish so we almost did that, but I was worried about being nervous and the cords slipping or being dropped and it turning into a big mess. So we’re reading an Irish blessing instead. It’s such a beautiful thing to do though, it’s always such a beautiful part of the ceremony.

Post # 4
7779 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

We did our handfasting with a wreath of flowers made with wire. When it came time for her to bind our hands, she twisted it into an infinity symbol and we each slipped a hand through one half of it.

Post # 5
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2006

Just wanted to say that I attended a handfasting a few months ago, it was a pagan ceremony and really lovely.  No advice to where they got anything but they had a rainbow theme and used a rainbow of colured ribbon to tie their hands.  They also danced around a rainbow maypole, it was the lovliest ceremony I have ever been at. 

Post # 6
1820 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I just posted this on the other handfasting thread, so will repost here –

We used a cord made from the hem of my dress for our handfasting, but I love the idea of using your family tartan!

Here is the reading we used for our handfasting (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 # 7
26 posts
  • Wedding: December 2011

we are doing handfasting! we’re using 5 different cords, 1 will be draped over our hands for each part of our vows, and at the end they will all be tied together.
we got cords at a fabric store and then I put a large glass bead on each end. It was about $15 for everything



Post # 9
4485 posts
Honey bee

You can use whatever you want for the cords (actual cords that can be found on Etsy or made yourself, a piece of fabric, etc).

You can get ideas for the ceremony at http://handfasting.info and put your own together with whatever speaks to you.

Post # 10
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I made our handfasting cords. Mr. LK chose 4 colors for his cord (black, silver, red, and white), which his Grandmother used to bind us together, and I chose 3 colors for my cords (pink, brown, and gold), which my Dad used to bind us together.

Red: Will, passion, strength, fertility, health, vigor, commit- ment, lust, danger

Orange: Encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness

Yellow: Attraction, charm, confidence, balance, joy, harmony, knowledge, learning, concentration, persuasion, jealousy, comfort.

Green: Finances, fertility, luck, success, energy, charity, growth, rejuvenation, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, ambition, counteract greed and jealousy, plants kingdom, including herbal healing.

Blue: Tranquility, understanding, patience, health, devotion, truth, sincerity, honour, loyalty, peace, wisdom, astral projection, protection during sleep.

Light Blue: Tranquility, understanding, patience, health.

Dark Blue: A safe journey, longevity, strength.

Violet / Purple: Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality, tension, sadness, amplification of other energies, wisdom, high ideals, spiritual protection and healing, psychic ability, strength, protective energy.

Black: Strength, empowerment, wisdom, vision, success, pure love, negation without reflecting, unlocking when stuck, banishing evil or negativity

White: Purity, consecration, meditation, divination, exorcism, the full moon, healing, peace, spiritual strength, truth, serenity and devotion.

Pink: Unity, honour, truth, romance, happiness, friendship, healing, familial or emotional love, affections, unselfish emotions.

Brown: The Earth, grounding, concentration, telepathy, skills, healing, talent, nurturing, home and hearth, purity.

Silver: Moon, treasure, the Goddess, values, female energy, unconsciousness, creativity, inspiration, vision, protection.

Gold: Power, masculine energy, the Sun, the God, endurance, strength, clarity, life, energy.


Post # 11
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

we’re Irish too, and doing hand fasting, but I’m not sure what to have the officiant say…he’s never done it before…any ideas?

Post # 13
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

@ORella2012: This was the text for the handfasting portion of our ceremony.


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)

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)

Post # 14
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

sounds like fun! I’m Irish, and I considered this idea, but I didn’t like the origins of it being “temporary” and only if the man still found the woman suitable after one year. so I scrapped the idea. Going to have Celtic/Maritime live fiddle music and saying of the Irish blessing.

good luck with yours!

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