A handfasting ceremony has its roots in ancient Celtic tradition, symbolizing the binding together of two people. This is where the phrase “tying the knot!” comes from.
Today, it has become more mainstream often appears alongside both religious and secular vows and readings.
During a ceremony, the celebrant begins by explaining the ritual and what it means to the couple. This statement often includes the notion of the couple binding their lives together and the union of their hopes and desires. The celebrant then invites the couple to join hands, which symbolizes their free will to enter into the marriage.
There are different coloured ribbons each with a different 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, canceling, balance
- Pink: unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
- Brown: earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
- Silver: treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
- Gold: energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity
Generally speaking the celebrant will tie the ribbons but it can be so more personal if a family member or close friend does the binding
A Sand Ceremony is a very different way to symbolize the unity of two lives as one. Usually in ceremonies, there is a joining of two or more coloured sands. The couple’s individual lives are represented by separate coloured sands in separate containers which are poured in layers into a larger centre container. As the sands intermix the grains become indistinguishable and can never again be separated.
Some couples choose colours to represent personal meanings in their lives. The large container is sealed at the end and is kept as a treasured memento of the marriage ceremony.
This can be very special when children are involved. They can be given their own container with their own unique colour to represent their part in the family as a whole.
Wine Box Ceremony
Generally the couple will have chosen a really nice bottle of wine and they will write each other a love letter telling eachother what it is they love about the other and how they came to marry.
The letters are then placed in the box and if they ever find themselves going through difficulty in the marriage, they open the box/capsule, pour a glass of wine and read the letters to eachother
It will remind them of how they fell in love and why they married.
Unity Candle Lighting
Probably one of the most traditional and popular ceremony enhancements. The two outer candles signify the bride and groom’s separate lives, families and friends.
Some couples choose to light the outer candles (single candles) themselves at the beginning of the ceremony whilst others ask their mother’s to light them.
It can be a lovely way to involve family members
When they light the centre candle (Unity Candle) they light together which symbolises that they are uniting their two lives into one.
The Unity Candle lighting ceremony is a popular choice for religious and secular ceremonies as it is non denominational and has no religious significance.