Traditional Celtic Handfasting
'To formally promise, to make a contract.'
Although I offer a much shortened, simplified handfasting as a ritual addition to a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, the full nature centred handfasting is as beautiful and unique as the couple who undertake this way of declaring their love for each other!
This beautiful, ancient Celtic tradition is a symbolic act of linking a couples' hands together to represent their union and commitment using ribbons, cord or cloth sometimes of sentimental value and even sometimes adding charms to these bindings.
The ceremony of 'tying the knot' commences with the celebrant inviting the couple to join hands, symbolising their free will to enter the union and can include as many bindings as required, although typically three are used. These can be added by the celebrant or by nominated friends or family. Each binding can represent a vow, promise or wish for the future or it can simply be a visual acknowledgement of your commitment as a couple.
What does a Full Handfasting Involve?
The ceremony commences with the Celebrant inviting the couple to step into the natural circle, this beautifully designed bespoke circle is created with the couple in mind. As standard this is designed out of stunning natural foliage by our partner Floral Artist from Evans & Moose, however should you want flowers included, or maybe herbs and mosses or even stones, our partner artist will create a circle to reflect whatever the couple desires! The natural circle is a stunning symbol of eternity and everlasting love.
A Rose Ceremony take place, a simple exchange of a rose demonstrating the giving and receiving of your love for each other. This allows the couple to exchange any other tokens they may wish to exchange and, should rings be used, a ring warming and blessing will be included.
The couple then embark on the handfasting, tying the knot, with the Celebrant using bindings to represent vows and promises which are made verbally by the couple (don't worry if you need help writing these... I'm only ever an email away). At this point, family and friends can be invited to take part in the ceremony by adding a binding and making a promise or wish to the couple!
Bindings of different colours represent different promises but the couple can also use symbolic materials, such as fabric from a family gown, strands from a horses mane, or even bailing twine for the farmers amongst us!
You then keep the bindings as a wonderful visual acknowledgement of your commitment!
The couple are then invited to 'jump the broom', another wonderful and fun tradition as they jump together into their joint future! The natural besom will also be the couples to keep after the ceremony!
Readings, poetry and music all add atmosphere and joy to the ceremony which can take place anywhere, although it is beautifully suited to natural environments; by a wood, next to a stream or on a beach, but if you want a handfasting in a theatre, a circus tent, at a festival or even in a barn or your garden... We can do that too!
As a symbolic custom within a wedding (simplified handfasting) - £50
Full traditional Celtic hand-fasting ceremony - Prices from £500
Feel free to contact me for a no strings attached chat about how we can work together to create the most wonderful ceremony to celebrate your love!
Bespoke Cordage/Bindings - From £30
Floral Extras from our Partner Floral Artist:
Bespoke Floral Circle - From £250
Floral Besom Additions - From £15
Moon Arch - From £200
Tree Decorations - From £70
Bench/Seating Decorations - From £3.50
Hair Circlets - From £20
Bouquets - From £55
Boutonnieres - From £4
Aisle Decoration - From £15
Prices are dependant on couples requirements and the above is only a selection of what's available, we can chat and work together to discuss the sorts of things you envisage for your ceremony!
Handfasting Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Would a Full Handfasting Ceremony Take?
This is a bespoke and beautiful ceremony which would last between 30 - 45 minutes, but is often followed by feasting and celebrations!
Where Can a Handfasting Take Place?
In a wood, by a stream, next to a fire, under a waterfall or maybe you'd prefer in a stable, a circus tent or theatre, even a village hall, town hall or your garden... the choice is yours! But do check if using a public space that it is permissible to hold the ceremony there!
Will We Be Legally Married After a Handfasting?
In order to be legally married you will need to undertake a short civil ceremony at a Registry Office or approved premises, you can then use the handfasting ceremony to celebrate your union either by yourselves or by getting friends and family involved... they can even take part in the ceremony!
How Much Will It Cost?
All ceremonies are bespoke and start at £500. Price completely depends on you and your partner would like! We work with a fabulous floral artist at Evans & Moose who can create stunning Moon Arches and tree decorations and as your celebrant I can create bespoke hand wraps, these are just a few ways you can personalise your ceremony.