The Handfasting Ceremony is an ancient Celtic tradition, and is extremely common in Pagan traditions, symbolising the joining of two people in marriage. There are many versions of this gesture illustrating the union of a couple and is the origin of the phrase “tying the knot”.
Whether you’re Pagan or not, you may want to include Handfasting in your ceremony as a meaningful ritual – either as a full Handfasting Ceremony in its own right, or as a symbolic ritual in a wedding or commitment ceremony. Handfasting can be added to any wedding ceremony regardless of religion, as “tying the knot” is a universal wedding theme. The Handfasting Ceremony is highly customisable and can be the perfect way to incorporate special themes into your wedding day.
In the Celtic tradition, the Handfasting Ceremony includes 13 ribbons, each with its own meaning (these will be discussed at the first meeting) and involves tying the couples’ hands together to symbolise coming together and remaining together.
Handfasting was also later used as a form of marriage in the British Isles during the early Christian era. The couple’s hands were tied together with a cord in front of friends and family and were then considered legally married. They would have a formal wedding ceremony later when a priest was available to officiate.
Handfasting has seen a modern day resurgence especially in Ireland and Scotland following in part to the royal wedding in London with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding ceremony.
By using an Independent Celebrant, you really can have a Handfasting and wherever you like, in a beautiful ceremony that is a true reflection of you both as a couple.
By creating a unique ceremony incorporating elements from your relationship that are special to you both, For Life’s Journey and Tuirenn Hurstfield will help ensure your Handfasting Ceremony is a truly joyous occasion in which you share your special day with friends and family.
As this ceremony is purely symbolic there are no legalities or paperwork involved: you can hold it wherever you like and include whatever readings, poems, hymns, music or rituals that you find meaningful.
First you need to check the details of the Handfasting Ceremony before decide if you’d like to book us for before you get in touch. There are more details on these opposite.
When you first meet Tuirenn, you’ll just spend some time getting to know each other so he can find out more about you, your relationship, and your wishes for your ceremony. Some couples have lots of ideas, and some aren’t quite sure what they want yet, that’s totally fine – we’ve got plenty of time to create something amazing.
Once you’ve confirmed the booking, Tuirenn will get started on writing your ceremony straight away. With his experience he can make suggestions, and together you’ll create something that feels right for you. This will possibly include discussing reading options with family and friends you have chosen to take part.
As soon as possible before your date we’ll send you a script for the ceremony. You will have lots of input and your feedback is welcome. We’ll work together as much as you like until you’re 100% happy with the result.
If possible we will meet before the event, ideally at the venue, and conduct a rehearsal. Tuirenn will make sure you’re happy with the choreography of your ceremony; entrances, exits, who stands where, and how to get the most from your photographer if you’re using one. It’s a chance for everyone to feel prepared for your special day!
On the day Tuirenn will conduct your ceremony as planned, delivering a beautiful and memorable service for you and your family and friends. Afterwards you’ll get a gorgeous certificate and a beautifully bound copy of the ceremony script to commemorate your day.
* Please note: certain symbolic elements may incur additional costs of up to £75 if you wish to use props you would like to keep. This is especially so for the sapling unity ritual and the sand unity ritual. Should the symbolic ritual gesture(s) you choose possibly incur these costs, we will discuss at the point of your decision.
An Irish Name
But willing to travel worldwide.
Most of our ceremonies designed & delivered in Cheshire East, South Manchester & North Staffs