Handfasting is a Celtic ritual that involves tying together the hands of the couple, and then their hands are removed and the knot is fastened. The tied knot symbolises their eternal tie.
The couple’s hands are joined together, usually holding hands so the wrists and pulses are touching, with a ribbon or symbolic material looped over the bride and groom’s wrists and tied by the celebrant or a friend/family member.
There are so many variations on the handfasting ceremony.
This is one version using coloured ribbons to represent the qualities the couple are bringing into their marriage relationship and their dedication to these important values. (These are based on colour symbology of the chakras). As each one is named either the Celebrant or a friend/family member will place the ribbon over their joined hands.
- Red – for strength and courage, good health, prosperity, and longevity
- Orange – for open hearts, sensitivity and understanding
- Yellow – for enthusiasm, spontaneity and equality
- Green – for compassion, affection and caring
- Light Blue – for sincerity, easy self expression and honest communication
- Purple – for clear vision and wisdom, for peace and harmony in all ways
- Gold – for unity – divine blessing and presence in your lives
In Celtic tradition these ribbons were sometimes kept in place on the couples hands for several days after the ceremony. Imagine the challenge this presented the couple – literally tied to one another 24/7! It was used to test and encourage them to fully cooperate and work together as a team. Today, we spare the couple this part of the tradition (the ribbons are lifted off gently) while honouring the intention that they will continue to work together as a team and uphold one another through all that life brings them.
These ribbons will be placed in a special box with the knot in place as a delightful reminder of the vows they have made.