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Would you Like a Handfasting As Part of Your Wedding Ceremony?

  • Posted on November 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Handfasting is an old Pagan custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts.

Reportedly, the act of Handfasting was the precursor to today’s engagement. A Handfasting was originally an engagement period, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves for a year and a day. In essence, the original Handfasting was a trial marriage.

Handfasting beame a popular custom in the British Isles in rural areas. It could be weeks or even months before a clergyman happened to stop by a village, so couples learned to make allowances.

A Handfasting became the equivalent of today’s common-law marriage; a man and woman simply clasped hands and declared themselves married. Generally this was done in the presence of a witness or witnesses. The local custom also often involved binding the couple’s hands together, which is where the phrase ‘typing the knot’ comes from.

Today’s modern day Handfasting ceremony is a revival of sorts, of the Handfastings of yesteryear. After a bride and groom offer their vows to one another, their hands are clasped and fastened together with a cord or cords. The Handfasting is a symbolic representation of oneness between the couple.

Today, couple’s often design and create their own Handfasting cords. A range of items can be used: double-sided satin ribbons, tartan ribbon (representing each clan), drapery cords or silk cording.

In the Pagan tradition, a hand-fasting cord is 9 feet long. It is made up of three ribbons or cords, 3 times 3 feet long. If you will braid your cord, allow for 50% shrinkage. That means that, for a braided 9 foot cord, each strand should be 18 feet. Unbraided cords are tied with knots every 3 feet.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

A Dawn Celtic Wedding Ceremony

  • Posted on June 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Picture a pre-dawn procession of people walking with torches on Vancouver’s sleepy streets, to a Celtic wedding ceremony on the beach! This happy celebration was chosen to begin at dawn – symbolizing a new beginning. The date was specially selected close to the Summer solstice – a period that the Celts regarded as a time of fertility and the Druids referred to as ‘the wedding of Heaven and Earth’. The guests encircled the couple, and the bride’s ring was circulated and blessed with the well wishes of their loved ones. With ancient ceremonial traditions – including the sharing of mead from a Celtic wedding goblet, the couple pledge their love.