What is a Hand Fasting Wedding Ceremony?

Hand Fasting Ceremonies have made a bit of a comeback in recent years. Hand Fasting is the act of binding a couple’s hands together with cord or ribbon to symbolise their union. This usually takes place after vows and wedding rings are exchanged.

They’re thought to date back to pre-Reformation Celtic communities in the 16th century. Hand Fasting would take place a year before marriage where a couple would have a kind of trial marriage. If all went well during this year, then that meant the marriage would be a good fit.

Hand Fasting Nowadays

Hand Fasting is often performed during Pagan or Wiccan wedding ceremonies but anyone can include the ceremony in their wedding. It doesn’t matter whether you’re religious or secular yourself remember it is your day so have it your way.

The act of binding hands together (literally tying the knot) is a unique way to symbolise a couple’s connection and love for each other. It’s perfect for those looking for something a bit different for their wedding.

It’s also a great way to include family members or friends in the ceremony by asking them to tie the knots for you.

How does it work?

A traditional ceremony involves thirteen different coloured ribbons which each symbolise something different. However many couples will choose three or four colours that best represent themselves as a couple.

Each of the ribbons are usually around 4ft. long and are wrapped around the couple’s hands to form an infinity symbol. Some people take each colour they’re using and braid them together to be used like a single ribbon. Others will drape them over individually, it’s entirely up to you.

What each colour represents

Red – Love, strength, passion, fertility

Orange – Attraction, kindness and encouragement

Green – Fertility, prosperity, health, finances

Yellow – Joy, charm, confidence and balance

Blue – Tranquillity, patience, devotion, sincerity

Purple – Power, sanctity, piety and sentimentality

Pink – Romance, happiness, unity, honour and truth

Black – Strength, wisdom, vision, success

White – Peace, purity, concentration and meditation

Grey - Neutrality, balance

Brown – Earth, home, grounding, talent, telepathy

Silver – Values, creativity, treasure and inspiration

Gold – Wealth, energy, intelligence and longevity

How To Include Hand Fasting In Your Ceremony

Hand Fasting ceremonies themselves are not legally binding because the legal ceremony is separate to your wedding ceremony. You will need to register your marriage with your local register office at least 28 days before your wedding. Around the time of your wedding, you, your partner and two witnesses must sign the marriage register with a registrar present.

Besides the legal bit, you can make your wedding truly unique and reflective of you as a couple with the help of a Wedding Celebrant.

If you’re looking for a Wedding Celebrant to create a bespoke and personal ceremony or to incorporate hand fasting in your ceremony get in touch with Jeanette via 0778 986 6589.