Handfasting is an ancient and traditional ceremony in which the couple’s hands are tied with a variety of knots. It comes from the Celtic lands, particularly Scotland, and is used a lot during ceremonies at Gretna Green. Originally it was a ‘temporary’ marriage until it could be legalised by the Church or a notary. Because of that I think it very appropriate for our current extraordinary situation.
You have had to cancel your wedding, but that day can still be celebrated and honoured by you and your family / friends. This will help to make your memories of the day less painful and also make you unique in having had two weddings!
How it works
The couple sent a Zoom invitation to their bridal parties and family members to join them at the time that would have been their wedding. I asked them to make a promise to each other – not using their vows which they will save for the official day – but a binding promise. I then explained about the history of handfasting and spoke some ceremonial words. I had previously worked with the couple on the logistics of them tying their own knot. They then tied the knot, incorporating their rings into it, and I proclaimed them nearly weds. Everyone was able to offer a blessing or words or words of encouragement. The father of the bride made a toast and we all drank to the couple. They then cut a cake they had made the previous day – their favourite flavour – and we all witnessed them cutting the c. The bride wore the dress she was wearing at the evening do and the groom bought her some flowers. The whole thing was very informal and very happy and the comments on Facebook following were very complimentary. It was great to turn what could have been a very painful day into a joyous celebration. The knot they tied will be taken to their wedding and the knot will then be untied to release their rings.
For a review of this ceremony look at my Facebook page