Handfasting
We're having a non-religious ceremony where we would like to include a simple handfasting ceremony. I've only found one wording example online, and I'm not crazy about it. I'd like something that more or less explains the symbolism of the rope, the meaning behind the handfasting, etc. without going into a lot (or any) detail about the elements, God, spirituality, etc.

Did anyone do this? Would you be willing to show me what wording you used so that I can build off of it? Any ideas?

Married: 05/29/2011
Reviews: 9
Posted On: May 11, 2011 at 2:28 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

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Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
May 11, 2011 at 2:32 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Bride and Groom, know now before you go further,
that since your lives have crossed in this life,
you have formed eternal and sacred bonds.
As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive
to make real the ideals that to you, give meaning this ceremony
and to the institution of marriage.

With full awareness, know that within this circle
you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family,
but you speak that intent also to your creative higher powers.
The promises made today and the ties that are bound here
greatly strengthen your union
and will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth.

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Yes.

(cont)

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
May 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Groom and Bride, I bid you look into each others eyes.

Will you honor and respect one another,
and seek to never break that honor?

We will [the first cord is draped over the couples' hands]
And so the first binding is made.

Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?
We will [Second cord is draped over the hands]
And so the binding is made


Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
We will [third cord is draped over the couples' hands]
And so the binding is made.

Will you share each other's laughter, and look for the brightness in life
and the positive in each other?
We will. [forth cord is draped over the couples' hands]
And so the binding is made.

[Tie cords together]

(cont)

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
May 11, 2011 at 2:33 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Bride and Groom, as your hands are bound together now,
so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust.
Above you are the stars and below you is the earth.
Like the stars you love should be a constant source of light,
and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

(from this point the ceremony can move on to traditional vows
and/or the traditional ring exchange)

Married: 05/29/2011
Reviews: 9
May 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Hayley, thank you for your response, but that was the ceremony we weren't too crazy about. We were looking for something that explained the meaning behind it, and that we could read our personalized vows to each other while our hands were tied. Thank you though!!

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
May 11, 2011 at 2:41 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
You can change the vows, and the number of vows (times the rope is tied)

Traditionally, a handfasting was performed by a priest or priestess, who would invoke the energies of the four elements to create a sacred circle in which the couple could be joined as embodiments of god and goddess. The cloth that bound their hands was usually the tartan plaid, representing the bride's clan or family group. Handfasting is that it is also a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will, as well as stating their vows.

I'll see what else I got...

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
May 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
other wording to describe ..... ?

Handfasting is an agreement of equality, no one person is superior or above the other, within a relationship. It is about trust, honour, and being each responsible for the others well being, and happiness.

By entering into a handfasting we both agree to respect, honour, be trustworthy and to do all within our power to bring happiness to each other, not to take each other for granted and to start from this day with a clean slate, not holding anything that has occurred before this point against the other. Not to do anything that would harm or hurt the other and to talk openly and honestly to the other about our feelings, concerns and any problems we may see.

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
May 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM • Flag As Inappropriate

Some history..

Handfasting at one time was the only way that couples could be engaged and/or get married because the church let the civil government of the period take care of these matters. In the British Isles, Handfasting was the old pagan ritual of marriage and it remained legal in Scotland all the way up to 1939, even after Lord Harwicke’s Act of 1753 declaring that marriages in England were legal only if performed by a clergyman. After Lord Harwicke’s Act, the Scottish border town, Gretna Green became a mecca for eloping couples from England who fled there to perform their own Handfastings. In those times, the couple themselves performed the Handfasting before witnesses. It was also used in Scotland for the engagement period of a year and a day before a wedding was proved.



Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
May 11, 2011 at 2:52 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
one more...
Hope you find something you like...

The Handfasting is a ceremonial statement of a feeling which binds two people together. It is not a Marriage which binds, but the Love, respect and enjoyment which two people share. the Betrothed invite all their family and friends to show their public statement that they are in love, and wish to commit to each other openly. And for all the guests to witness this statement that they have found the fun, pleasure and opportunities of their lives enhanced by being together. They wish to spend the rest of their lives growing together, helping each other develop their potential and gathering shared moments and memories by learning about life in general with each other. together they are sharing with their guests and witnesses their divine love for each other.



Married: 10/27/2012
Reviews: 6
May 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Here is what we are using....
As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound. Woven into this cord, into its very fibers, are all the hopes of your friends and family and of yourselves for your new life together. With the entwining of this knot do I tie all the desires, dreams, love and happiness wished here in this place to your lives for as long love shall last.

In the joining of hands and the fashion of a knot, so are your lives now bound, one to another. By this cord you are thus bound to your vow. May this knot remain tied as long love shall last. May this cord draw your hands together in love, never to be used in anger. May the vows you have spoken never grow bitter in your mouths.

Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which brings strength to this union. Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad, and watch as your strength grows. Remember that it is not this
Edited On: May 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Married: 10/27/2012
Reviews: 6
May 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
physical but what it represents, that keeps you together.

And then as we are exchanging vows we will keep our hands tied together in a cord that will consist of 13 different colors that I will be braiding together and adding our touches to.
Edited On: May 11, 2011 at 3:08 PM
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