Hand Fasting: A unique alternative to declare your devotion!
Looking for something different to show your commitment to each other than a unity candle or sand ceremony? Hand Fasting is an Irish (and Scottish) tradition where the bride and groom’s hands are tied together during the ceremony. Hence the phrase….”tying the knot”. Hand Fasting is a historical term meaning betrothal or wedding. It was derived from Old Norse: Hand Festa meaning “to strike a bargain by joining hands”. The handshake we use today to make a commitment comes from Hand Fasting….”Let’s shake on it”.
Hand Fasting can be a truly meaningful way to express your devotion to your marriage, love for each other and bind you together. Here are some tips and ways to incorporate this tradition into your ceremony; whether you’re Irish (or Scottish) or not!
• Choose a ribbon, rope or a piece meaningful material to use for the binding. 48” should be long enough. Traditionally, your bindings should be braided. The Celetics believed evil spirits would get lost in the weaving. Colors can symbolically represent the elements you wish to bring to your marriage.
• Talk to your officiate regarding wording a placement in your ceremony. You will be standing facing each other, right hands extended. Your officiate, maid of honor or best man will wrap your wrists as your officiate speaks. When they are finished you will be unwrapped and proceed with your ceremony. Be sure to keep your bindings in a box for pre and post ceremony storage so it doesn’t get tangled.
• Have a “ribbon” bearer present your bindings. They can enter with the rest of the bridal party or present it just before you begin.
• Save your bindings as a keepsake. Traditionally, after the wedding they are hung over the bed to bring protection.
There is so much information on this fascinating tradition. For an example ceremony and to find out more, go to http://www.vowsoftheheart.com/…/handfasting-wedding-ceremo…/
Need more help with your handfasting ceremony? Contact me!
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