Handfasting wedding ceremonies

Handfasting wedding ceremonies

Handfasting Wedding Rituals

A handfasting wedding ceremony is just one way to say I do.

Handfasting rituals

Since ancient times couples have stood together in the ceremony of marriage. There are many rituals that have lasted centuries, that symbolise a couple’s love and commitment. The handfasting ceremony dates back to the time of the ancient Celts. It was often used to acknowledge the beginning of a trial period of a year and a day during which time a couple were literally bound together – hand fasted. It was, however, a temporary agreement, which could be made permanent after the trial period if both parties agreed.  It is from this wedding tradition that we know of the expression to “tie the knot”, or to “get hitched”.

Handfasting or tie the knot

Nowadays, the handfasting ceremony is used symbolically, as part of the declaration and wedding vows. It is a way of asking your intentions.

Would you like to Tie the Knot?

Today a couple can embrace an age-old marriage tradition, making it your own in a modern day ceremony. In a handfasting wedding ritual, a cord is tied about your hands as you take your vows.

In this handfasting ritual, the couple answer a series of questions. For each question a binding, for each binding a promise.

Once you are all tied up, as your marriage celebrant I can release the cords.  For in fact, it is your promises that bind you not the cords!  But you get to keep the cord … for fun!

Thanks to the wonderful  Luke Going for the beautiful images of this touching moment. His work is unique.

Cate and Dave were married by the lake.  They wanted a relaxed wedding, something a little different, not churchy, but laid back like themselves.  They embraced a Handfasting to express their vows.

How does it work?

Here are some ways to approach a handfasting ceremony.  Of course I am here with many examples at my fingertips, a whole list of vows for you to choose from, and a wealth of creative spirit to write for you.  Let’s mix it up, modernise the sentiments and reference the traditions that you want to hold onto.

Traditional Handfasting vows

handfasting with coloured cords
handfasting ribbons and cords
ribbons for handfasting

The traditional handfasting promises are a series of questions.  They acknowledge that life is not always easy, that relationships sometimes have unintentional outcomes.  But a good intent underlies the love.The classic questions begin like so:

Celebrant to groom: Will you cause her pain?
Groom: I may

Celebrant to groom: Is that your intention?
Groom: No

Celebrant to bride: Will you cause him pain?
Bride: I may

Celebrant to bride: Is that your intention?
Bride: No

Celebrant to both: Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Both: Yes

Celebrant to both: Please join your hands.

The first cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands.

Celebrant to bride: Will you share his laughter?
Bride: Yes

Celebrant to groom: Will you share her laughter?
Groom: Yes

Celebrant to both: Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?
Both: Yes

Celebrant: And so the binding is made

Modern handfasting questions

But you can devise modern handfasting promises instead.  Something along the lines of:

Do you vow in your married life together to continually break through your pre-conceived views of each other and see clearly.
Couple: We do

Do you vow to act wisely and compassionately with one another and with all beings.
Couple: We do

In my role as a writer, I can chat with you and then devise a series of questions that suit your very own values and ideals for approaching your relationship.

Romantic Handfastings

Or perhaps you’d prefer something rather romantic.

Will you promise your deepest love, your fullest devotion, your tenderest care, and your faithfulness through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge

Do you promise to be an equal loving partner, in a loving, honest relationship, standing by each other’s side, making a shelter of your heart, a home of your arms, encouraging your partner’s daily endeavours?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge

As you face the future together will you pledge to grow in your love for each other, to nurture the love that already is, honour and cherish each other, being there always?

Bruce & Emma: We pledge 

Handfasting ribbons 

You can get quite creative with the handfasting wedding vow format.  Imagine having a different coloured ribbon for each promise. And each wedding promise sculpted around the meanings of those colours.

Red for passion and love

For example the handfasting could become a statement instead of a question:

I promise to love passionately and unwaveringly with my heart, my body and my soul.

A pink ribbon could symbolise unity, honour, truth, romance, and happiness, with the statement:

I promise you my undying love, honesty and commitment in creating and nourishing our loving equal partnership.

A yellow ribbon would mean charm, confidence, joy, balance

Black could equal strength, wisdom, vision and or success

Green stands for prosperity, health, abundance and fertility

Blue often represents tranquillity, patience, understanding and a safe journey

Of course purple is for power, healing, sanctity and sentimentality.

Wedding Handfasting vows
coloured ribbons for handfasting

Contact me now to chat about your handfasting ceremony.

A winning wedding in Maleny

A winning wedding in Maleny

Maleny Wedding

Congratulations to Karla and Matt. Theirs was a winning Maleny wedding.
This wedding was nominated as one of only five weddings shortlisted for “Wedding of the Year” by Junebug Weddings.

A story

Most importantly, their day appeared as if out of a storybook. It was a fairytale come true at Maleny Retreat, which is one of Australia’s most breath taking wedding locations. Maleny Retreat offers you freedom. That is to say, you get to design your own wedding.  You are free to create your own style on a blank canvas. For a wedding in Maleny area, it is delightful choice.

Maleny Retreat is a sumptuous canvas to which you can add your detailing and style.

Looking out over the Glass House Mountains, Karla and Matt’s wedding ceremony looked picture perfect. The vista takes in the serene Tibrogargan, and his family of mountain peeks. Guests arrived to drop their gear in luxury tent style accommodation. The party began before the wedding even started!

A sultry sky provided an awesome and dreamy backdrop for the photos taken by the awesome Bec of Ash and Stone Photography.

Take a peek at the storyboard of their ceremony:

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Wedding Rings Ritual

Wedding Rings Ritual

wedding ring ritual with a Scottish kilt and bowl

Wedding Rings – a ritual

This is a story of a unique blessing of wedding rings at a Pomodoras wedding.  

For as long as we can remember, lovers have exchanged rings as a token of their wedding vows. 

Wedding bands are of some value in themselves.  Yet they are made so much more precious by our wearing of them, by knowing who placed them on our fingers, on our wedding day.

Kerrie and Andrew’s rings are super special.  It began with their engagement… in Florence!

A ring in Florence

The evocative and artisan city of Florence had always held special memories for them.  While on holidays wandering down a Florentine street they found a ring created by an artist. It was perfect; a unique design akin to two diamond encrusted bridges crossing over… signifying the crossing over of two lives.  

The wedding rings, however, were made locally, by a Maleny artisan Jim Goulton of Maleny Jewellers.  Beautifully crafted to their own design.

On their wedding day, we honoured the significance of their wedding rings with a blessing before they were placed on their hands.

There were several elements that contributed to this unique ritual, each one chosen carefully for the meaning.

into the quaiche we drop some essential oils

Ritual Element One : Water

The plan was to use water, the elixir of life, to pour into the bowl.  

On the wedding day, as bride, Kerrie was preparing herself up in the cottage room before the wedding ceremony.  She looked down over the Obi Obi Creek and had an idea.

Voila! There was the water for their wedding ring ritual, made extra special because it was collected from right behind the ceremony platform.

a traditional Scottish quaich - a silver inlaid vowlRitual Element Two : Vessel

They needed a vessel, a bowl to place rose petals….. Andrew had decided to go the full Scottish, and be married in his family tartan.  At the kilt shop, he spied a silver bowl, a celtic quaich (pronounced Kwek). A quaich is a Scottish welcome bowl, crafted by artisans and intricately decorated with celtic curls and swirls.  Imagine arriving to a household in Scotland, coming in out of the freezing cold and being offered a silver bowl with a dram of warm Whiskey to warm body and soul. On the wedding day the sliver bowl welcomed the warmth of a wedding promise.

the scottish quaiche bowl for the wedding ring ritual

Ritual Element Three : Rose Petals

To celebrate their union, Kerrie and Andrew had planted a Montville Rose in their garden. It was the first thing they had planted together, and held great meaning for them.  Recalling that occasion of humble celebration of their union, on their wedding day in honour of that rose and the French tradition of roses in weddings, they added handfuls of petals to the Quaich.    

Ritual Element Four : Essential oils

Essential oils have long been used for sacred ceremony. Once more Kerrie and Andrew found their own meaning, as the ring ritual evolved a step further.  A special friend is a massage therapist.  Her basket of essential oils contained much more than traditional Frankincense and Myrrh; oils for joy and valour, for humility and compassion, for spice and passion….

Ritual Element Five : Friends

Into the bowl went much love and the best wishes of all the guests there.  Each guest had previously taken a moment to hold and bless the rings.  They arrived at the ring ceremony well warmed with love.

Using this water we blessed the rings, washing them and making them fragrant for ceremony.
It was a truly joyous and fun ceremony.

bottles of essential oils for a wedding ring ritual

Thank you Kerrie and Andrew for giving us such inspiration to personalise a wedding ceremony.  This is what Kerrie said afterwards:

“A HUGE thank you for your amazing wondrous delightful joyful gentle and experienced handling of our wedding celebration.” Kerrie

Thanks especially to the gorgeous Marion Jonkers Photography for the wedding photos.

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