A handfasting is an old commitment custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts. It was originally more like an engagement period, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves ( certain traditions say this was for a year and a day). After a year went by the couple could either split or decide to enter permanently into marriage.
Today handfastings are used either as a ceremony on their own to signify commitment, or incorporated as part of a wedding or vow renewal ceremony. It is a physical symbolic gesture which can use colourful cords, ribbons, scarves, stoles etc to bind the couple together. Handfasting can be used in all kinds of ceremonies. In a Christian church wedding the priest will wrap his stole around the couple’s hands “Those whom God has joined together, let not man put asunder”. Prince William and his wife Catherine were handfasted at their wedding by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The cords/ribbons can be chosen to represent aspects of a couple’s relationship. They may be draped over the hands and then tied (handfasting is where the phrase “tying the knot comes from) or they may be bound or woven together in advance.
If you would like to know more about handfasting do get in touch for a free consultation.