With more and more interest in Celtic wedding rings, we thought we would put together some design ideas and the tradition behind a handfasting ceremony.
What happens at a handfasting ceremony?
Firstly, we are going to look into how this traditional ceremony plans out on the special day. Many couples now look into planning a wedding with hints of traditional and unique aspects with a modern-day twist.
The paramount significance is the handfasting itself. It is widely accepted as being of ancient Celtic origin and a nature-related ritual with a spiritual tradition. The hands of the couple are tied together either by crossing them or side by side. The celebrant present will then conduct either a religious or cultural ceremony, depending very much on the beliefs and preferences of the couple.
The History and Meaning
Secondly, where did this tradition start from? – The handfasting used now is believed to derive from Celtic tradition predating Christianity. Wedding rings wouldn’t be the done thing, and instead, the handfasting ceremony would symbolise what wedding rings do today – an eternal binding to one another.
Traditionally couples would use old rags to bind their hands together to symbolise their union and love. The hands would remain tied until midnight – Which the couple would then be escorted to the bedchamber to consummate their union. In the Scottish Celtic tradition, the binding would be for a year and a day, and if after that they still wanted to stay together, the handfasting would formally recognise as their wedding ceremony.
How popular is it now?
Thirdly, just how popular is handfasting now? Couples with a Celtic heritage or not do still use this tradition. A lot of couples see this ceremony as very romantic and intense. With the addition of celebrating nature and the outdoors, this ceremony is seen a lot for couples that opt for an outdoorsy wedding. Such as in the woods or a marquee in a field.
The handfasting Ribbon – Three cords are traditionally used to tie around the hands. The colour of the cords can very much depend on a few factors of the wedding day and the couple. Some people prefer to go for the same colour scheme as their wedding day. And another detail is to have colours representing the couples personalities or family members such as the parents.
Celtic wedding rings
As this is a Celtic tradition, what best to go for than Celtic inspired wedding rings. We can do this in various options. Our most popular range for this is the Titanium range As shown below, just one option available is to have a Celtic inspired pattern engraved onto the rings. We can also create this onto a precious metal wedding ring if preferred.
Additional traditions for a handfasting ceremony
Following the binding and tying of the hands, the couple may choose to partake in ‘Cake and Ale’ with a ceremony to toast their health and happiness. Ale is usually drunk but can be any beverage of choice.
A Handfasting ceremony may also have a traditional ‘Jumping a besom broom’ ceremony to signify the creation of a hearth and home together.