What is a Hand Fasting
Tying the knot
Handfasting is an ancient marriage ritual that is becoming increasingly popular with modern couples. The ceremony involves a couple’s hands being placed together and bound with ribbon or cord. This symbolises their joining through marriage, and the ritual is often performed at celebrant led services.
The cords are chosen by the couple and each colour has a meaning:
- Red: passion, strength, lust, fertility
- Orange: encouragement, attraction, kindness, plenty
- Yellow: charm, confidence, joy, balance
- Green: finances, fertility, charity, prosperity, health
- Blue: tranquility, patience, devotion, sincerity
- Purple: Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality
- Black: strength, wisdom, vision, success
- White: purity, concentration, meditation, peace
- Gray: neutrality, cancelling, balance
- Pink: unity, honour, truth, romance, happiness
- Brown: earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
- Silver: treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
- Gold: energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity
Just imagine if you past down your own handfasting cords to your children and they stay in the family for generations to come? That's a knot with staying power
I created this hand fasting cord with coloured ribbon and cord and added charms and flowers that had special meaning to us.
Handfasting is so old that its origins can’t be certain. It’s been a tradition for many thousands of years and has been traced back to Celtic and Druid ceremonies. It may even be where the phrases ‘tying the knot’ and ‘bound for life’ originate. In Scotland, a piece of tartan was traditionally used for the handfasting, although it was often used to signify betrothal rather than marriage itself. Handfasting has become popular with couples looking for a more intimate and personalised celebration.
Anyone can perform a handfasting ritual as it is not a legal ceremony. This means a friend or loved one could conduct the service on the day. Often a celebrant will be asked to perform the handfasting alongside a wider service. A celebrant is likely to have done similar rituals countless times before and will be able to discuss with you the best way to tailor the handfasting to you as a couple. Handfasting has no specific religious connections and is performed by couples with varied religious and atheist beliefs
Above Faye and Dan on the summer solstice at Stonehenge campsite - ceremony preformed by High Priestess Sarah Robinson