Hand Fasting Ceremonies
Full Hand Fasting Ceremony
What better way to celebrate your union than to step back into the past and embrace the ways of our ancestors.
What is a Handfasting Ceremony?
The origins of handfasting goes back thousands of years into the ancient Celtic past. Originally a way to symbolise the act of betrothal (the precursor to our modern day engagement) the couple would make promises to one another and shake hands. This handshake was was then bound to seal the deal.
For those movie buffs among you a simple handfasting can be seen in Braveheart where Wallace and Murron declare their marriage to each other.
Watch here Braveheart
More recently the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton incorporated a ritual that resembled a handfasting. The Archbishop draped his stole over the clasped hands of the couple.
The handfasting is only a small part of a full handfasting ceremony.
A beautiful circle of ivy and flowers/leaves/fruits is set out on the ground and the four compass points are marked within the circle. The compass points represent the four elements that are essential to many non-religious beliefs. These beliefs are based around the Wheel of the Year.
Air (North) represents -The Beginning
Fire (East) represents - The Flame of Love
Water (South) represents - The Ring Blessing and Exchanging of Promises
Earth (West) represents - The Handfasting
The handfasting itself can take several forms
Simple cords - these are draped over the couples hands to form a knot.
Willow Hoop - the couple hold the hoop and guests are invited to tie ribbons onto it with their wishes for the couple.
Hoop and Wand - This ritual takes more time to prepare as the man is required to collect a suitable stick of at least 14inches long, which he then tasked with preparing ready for the ceremony. No prizes for guessing what the wand represents! The couple hold the hoop and wand and are bound together within the structure.
All of the above make fantastic keepsakes of the ceremony.