Handfasting

A Beautiful Ritual!

What Is a Handfasting?

Handfasting ceremonies are an ancient wedding ritual.

In modern times, Handfasting ceremonies are a beautiful way to symbolize your relationship, and the ritual can take place during the ceremony or serve as the ceremony.

I absolutely love this ritual!

Handfasting Examples

Below are examples of how Handfastings could flow, with endless ways to personalize them just for you.

It is important that each couple take care to pick out their cords. They should symbolize whatever is close to your heart. A favorite color or texture for example. 

After the ceremony, the couple takes the cords with them for wonderful energy in their home. Some couples put them in a frame or in a jar so they can be seen as a sweet reminder of their special day. 

Your personal pronouns would be used of course.

As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound. Woven into this cord, imbued into its very fibers, are all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together.

With the fashioning of this knot do I tie all the desires, dreams, love, and happiness wished here in this place to your lives for as long as 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 bound to your vows.

May this knot remain tied for as long as 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.

As any child discovers when they are learning to tie their own shoes, the first move is to cross the ends.

As your hands are bound by this cord, so is your partnership held by the symbol of this knot.

May it be granted that what is done before the gods be not undone by man.

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.

Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other.

As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage.

​Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Couple says “We do.”

Blessing of the Hands

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief racks your mind.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will give you support and encourage you to chase your dreams. Together, everything you wish for can be realized.

Prepare the cords

Back in earlier years, the hands would be bound with whatever was available – vines, colorful cords, or scarf. Today we will use these cords to symbolize the binding, or promises.

The first promise

Spouse 1, “Will you be Spouse 2 ’s faithful partner for life?”

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Spouse 2 , will you be Spouse 1’s faithful partner for life?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Will you be each other’s constant friends and one true love?

Couple says, “We will.”

First cord is draped across couple’s hands

And so the first binding is made.

The second promise

Spouse 2, do you promise to love Spouse 1 without reservation?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Spouse 1, do you promise to love Spouse 2 without reservation?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Will both of you stand by one another in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want?

Couple says “We will.”

Second cord is draped across couple’s hands

And so the second binding is made.

The third promise

Spouse 2 , will you stand together with Spouse 1 your times of joy and sorrow?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Spouse 1, will you stand together with Spouse 2 your times of joy and sorrow?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

Couple says, “We will.”

Third cord is draped across couple’s hands

And so the third binding is made.

The forth promise

Spouse 1 will you always to be open and honest with Spouse 2, for as long as you both shall live?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Spouse 2 will you always to be open and honest with Spouse 1, for as long as you both shall live?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes for this marriage?

Couple says, “We will.”

Fourth cord is draped across Couple’s hands

And so the forth binding is made.

The fifth promise

Spouse 2, Will you honor this person?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Spouse 1, Will you honor this person?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Will you both seek to cherish and strengthen that honor?

Couple says, “We will.”

Sixth cord is draped across Couple’s hands

And so the fifth binding is made.

Binding of all promises

The knots of this binding are not formed by these chords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the chords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.

The cords are removed and placed on altar.

Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other.

As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage.

​Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Couple says “We do.”

• Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silence
• Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart’s passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.
• Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all-encompassing passion of the sea.
• Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North. Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.
Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.
I bid you to look into each other's eyes.
you wish for can be realized.

Prepare the cords

Back in earlier years, the hands would be bound with whatever was available – vines, colorful cords, or scarf. Today we will use these cords to symbolize the binding, or promises.

The first promise

Spouse 1, “Will you be Spouse 2 ’s faithful partner for life?”

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Spouse 2 , will you be Spouse 1’s faithful partner for life?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Will you be each other’s constant friends and one true love?

Couple says, “We will.”

First cord is draped across couple’s hands

And so the first binding is made.

The second promise

Spouse 2, do you promise to love Spouse 1 without reservation?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Spouse 1, do you promise to love Spouse 2 without reservation?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Will both of you stand by one another in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want?

Couple says “We will.”

Second cord is draped across couple’s hands

And so the second binding is made.

The third promise

Spouse 2 , will you stand together with Spouse 1 your times of joy and sorrow?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Spouse 1, will you stand together with Spouse 2 your times of joy and sorrow?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

Couple says, “We will.”

Third cord is draped across couple’s hands

And so the third binding is made.

The forth promise

Spouse 1 will you always to be open and honest with Spouse 2, for as long as you both shall live?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Spouse 2 will you always to be open and honest with Spouse 1, for as long as you both shall live?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes for this marriage?

Couple says, “We will.”

Fourth cord is draped across Couple’s hands

And so the forth binding is made.

The fifth promise

Spouse 2, Will you honor this person?

Spouse 2 says, “I will.”

Spouse 1, Will you honor this person?

Spouse 1 says, “I will.”

Will you both seek to cherish and strengthen that honor?

Couple says, “We will.”

Sixth cord is draped across Couple’s hands

And so the fifth binding is made.

Binding of all promises

The knots of this binding are not formed by these chords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the chords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.

The cords are removed and placed on altar.