Cornwall Celebrants

Handfasting Ceremonies


Tying the knot

Handfasting is an ancient ritual that is quickly becoming the must have component of a perfect ceremony be it a wedding, a commitment ceremony or vow renewal. Each of these ceremonies are about binding yourself to your loved one, making a commitment and this is the origin of the phrase, tying the knot. Handfastings are full of fun, symbolism and colour, so what's not to like!

The Ribbon

handfasting ribbon

The ribbon you choose to use for your handfasting needs to be at least 6 feet in length. You can choose individual ribbons to be added one at a time with different colours symbolising different aspects of the commitment. For example, a red ribbon might symbolise love whilst a white ribbon might symbolise purity and ingerity. Your celebrant would explain their meaning as part of the ceremony.

Alternatively ribbons can be plaited and the colours chosen to fit in with your ceremony theme or they can be chosen because of their personal significance or symbolism. Plaiting your handfasting ribbons together can be a very special thing to do - in the act of plaiting you can literally weave your love into the handfasting ribbon. When we made a our handfasting ribbon for our own vow renewal ceremony we not only wove the ribbons together but added other tokens that had meaning and symbolism for us. It is now framed and has a special place on our wall.

handfasting ribbons

There are many different ways to plait ribbons and we can provide advice, guidance, or happily make one for you to your specification if that works better for you.

The Ceremony

In a wedding ceremony the handfasting ritual works particularly well when it follows the exchange of rings. The couple making a promise to each other while bound by the ribbon has extra potency - and makes for great theatre and photographic opportunities as well! In commitment and vow renewal ceremonies, if rings are not exchanged, the handfasting can symbolise the undertaking and vows the couple make.

Handfastings are also great ways to involve your guests. Whilst the couple are bound together by their ribbons, guests can be invited to tie a small, cut ribbon to the handfasting ribbon and whilst doing so tell the couple of their wishes for their future togther.

Sometimes a handfasting can be used as the focal point of the entire ceremony. Couples who perhaps married abroad or have already gone through a significant ceremony in front of many of their guests may want something different that is simple yet special. Likewise, commitment and vow renewal ceremonies require a meaningful ritual to symbolise the commitment that is being made but do not need to include all the elements of a full wedding ceremony.

The Just Perfect Ceremony

If you want us to include a handfasting in your ceremony we will be very happy to work with you to make it special for you. We will explore the options with you and offer help and advice to make sure that your ceremony is Just Perfect! Our mantra is 'Your Ceremony - Your Choice!'

Please use our contact page in the first instance and we will get back in touch to explore your ideas and provide a no obligation quotation.

Let us weave some magic together!

Vow Renewal Ceremony
Vow Renewal Ceremony
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