Handfasting Ceremony 101

Handfasting is a beautiful and unique wedding tradition that dates back to Celts in the pre-Reformation era and typically are seen in Wiccian, Pagan, religious, or secular ceremonies.

The tradition began with the Celts as a pre-marriage. The custom lasted over the course of a year and if the couple couldn’t make it through, they weren’t wed. Handfasting is a more literal custom today, the couple actually binds their hands together during the wedding ceremony as a sign of their commitment.

Photo Credit: MJ Photography

Couples often opt to cross hands, taking their partner's right hand in their right hand and their partner’s left hand in their left hand. As cords or braids are wrapped around the couple's hands, the officiant typically reads vows. Once the couple's hands are bound, either additional vows are exchanged or the handfasting is used as the vows and the traditional ring exchange occurs.

Recently a group of local vendors, including With These Rings, participated in an enchanting vow renewal and handfasting ceremony in the woods outside of Port Townsend. The couple, Loren and Jennifer, sat on moss covered “thrones” sipping on wine, eating cake, and in their own words “feeling like forest royalty.” The local vendors were involved in helping create Loren and Jennifer’s magical day include:

Photo Credit: MJ Photography

Written by: Kaitlin Chester