Michell é brant Celebrant

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Creating a Handfasting Ceremony

ImageRituals are a part of our history as human beings.  The handfasting ceremony dates back to the ancient Celts; and we know how those Celts did (and do) love a celebration!


It was used as an act that symbolised a couples unity, love and commitment to each other.


BUT it wasn’t “until death do us part”.  No, this ritual acknowledged the beginning of a trial period for the happy couple of one year and one day during which time the couple were, quite literally, “bound” together by this handfasting.


If both parties hadn’t killed each other after that trial period, the temporary arrangement would be made permanent if they so wished.


Thesedays, the rules aren’t so tough and being strung together seems downright ludicrous.  Instead, it is used as a symbol of marriage and togetherness.


How does it work?


The bride and groom’s hands are placed together, usually holding hands so the wrists and pulses are touching.


Then a rope, ribbon or symbolic material is looped over their wrists and tied by the celebrant or a friend.  It is traditional for the material to be looped six times.

When the handfasting is done, or just prior (up to you), the celebrant will explain to the gathered friends and family that the meaning of the act is a symbol of their union.  The joining of two lives in now complete and they are bound to each other with the cord and the vows that they take on that day.


Modern times now have the couple stay “bound” for the duration of the ceremony, until after the vows are exchanged.  I recommend removing it for the signing of the register, unless by chance, one is left and the other right handed!


A rehearsal for this type of ceremony is ideal as it will mean that all parties know how it will work, what the celebrant will say, who will hold onto the ribbon and so on.

Handfasting does not have to be accompanied by a true “marriage” ceremony, it can be a commitment ceremony instead and the rules are completely up to you.


If you are thinking of incorporating a handfasting ceremony into your special day, call me for a chat and we can make it happen!



Michell é Brant


0400 207 913


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