A handfasting ceremony is what makes an engagement for Pagans and Wiccans. The handfasting goes back to the time of the Celtics when two people declare a binding union to each other for exactly a year and a day. It was considered a trial marriage where two people test out if they can actually survive an actual marriage to each other, but nowadays, a handfasting has become a part of the wedding ceremony of modern pagans.
It is a very magickal time and although it is hard to get it wrong, there ways to make it extra special and extra romantic. Here are some tips to take your handfasting ceremony to the next level:
Plan way ahead
Just like any event that means a lot to you, it is best to plan ahead. Many people will be unfamiliar with this so it does pay to plan in advance so everyone involved in the ceremony would know what to do, especially the one officiating the ceremony. There is no bigger mess than an ill-prepared handfasting.
This the time when you bind yourself to someone forever so there are vows to be written, people to be briefed, places to be reserved, attendants and celebrants to be assigned, and rehearsals to be done, and so much more!
Hold it outdoors
A handfasting done outdoors is the more popular choice among Wiccans. Why? Because you are in Nature, and you can start a bonfire or have a drum circle and dance and spin and perform your rituals better that way.
Make sure there is enough room for a big circle.
This is also another reason why handfasting ceremonies are best done outdoors. Forming a circle indoors feels kind of stifling and forming a circle means needing a bigger and much freer space. Everyone you invite to your handfasting should be a part of the circle.
Write your own vows
Writing your own vows adds a more personal touch to the ceremony. Here’s a sample vow:
“I, _____, take you, ___, in marriage,
To be my life partner,
To walk, run, and dance this new path together,
To love, care and share,
To let the winds dance between us,
Let the fires burn within us,
And the waters flow through us,
On our sacred journey together.
On this day may a new consciousness begin,
On this day I thee wed,
With my hearts' faithful affections,
And my love to you forever.”
Decide on what cords to use
Cords are a better than ribbons because they are easier to handle. And the more cords there are, the better, for each cord stands for something:
- Red: strength and courage, good health, prosperity, and longevity.
- Orange : open hearts, sensitivity and understanding.
- Yellow : enthusiasm, spontaneity and equality.
- Green : compassion, affection and caring.
- Light Blue : sincerity, easy self expression and honest communication.
- Purple : clear vision and wisdom, peace and harmony in all ways.
- Gold : unity, divine blessing and presence.
Rehearse the ceremony
It is important to rehearse the entire handfasting, beginning from when the celebrant calls the attendants by name. Go through the process from when the attendant picks up the cord, returns to the altar, ties the couples’ hands and returns to his or her place in the bridal party.
Lastly, whatever you do, do not use your handfasting ceremony as a way to come out to your family and friends. On the day of the ceremony, there should be no element of shock or negative emotions swirling around that can affect your union moving forward.
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