Handfasting is a beautiful, symbolic ceremony, widely accepted as being of ancient Celtic origin, where couples’ wrists were bound together, to represent their commitment to one another. In ancient Ireland, couples who wanted to marry, each had a braided cord or ribbon tied around their hands, publicly acknowledging their intention to marry (signifying a year long engagement) after which time, the couple would decide to marry or not; in marrying they were officially deemed ‘tied’ and bonded, effectively ‘tying the knot’.
Traditional Handfasting ceremonies, take place in a circle, drawing in nature-related rituals where the elements of fire, water, earth, and air are symbolically recognised, reaffirming the couple’s connection to the earth, and the unbreakable infinite bond of their love, represented by the circle that surrounds them. The colours used in the ties themselves each have a symbolic meaning, strenghtening the connection of the union.
Handfasting (while commonly used in Wiccan and Pagan ceremonies) is gaining popularity and has seen more modern interpretations, as more couples embrace bespoke Celebrant led ceremonies, that afford them flexibility to include elements of tradition, spirituality or ancient ritual in whatever way they wish! Certainly, the film Braveheart and the Game of Thrones series, with scenes depicting handfasting ceremonies, may also have contributed to the increasing interest in what is a simple but beautiful romantic gesture, and ritual ceremony dating back thousands of years.
While ancient Handfasting is a ceremony in its own right, that traditionally acts as an engagement between couples, lifelong union or commitment to one another, the physical act of Handfasting itself, can be incorporated into a more traditional Wedding ceremony or Renewal of Vows also.
My fees for East Sussex based Handfasting ceremonies start from £450. I also work across Sussex, the UK, and overseas. For all my services, please feel free to call or email me for a personal (without obligation) quotation.
contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 07857 426640
Emma sewell-Hunter is an Award winning Eastbourne based independent Civil Celebrant, providing bespoke ceremonies of distinction, across Sussex, the Uk and overseas; including naming, wedding and handfastings, funeral, memorial, celebration of life and other ceremonies and services...because every life holds meaning. Emma is a proud member of the Fellowship of Independent Celebrants and winner of the South England Prestige Awards
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