Handfasting – Celtic traditions

Since a good friend of mine became a registrar a couple of years ago, I have been very envious of the job she does of uniting two people in love, forming that bond for them. I can’t think of anything more wonderful . So, imagine my delight yesterday when another dear friend asked me if I could do a handfasting ceremony for them here at Rossclare Lodge.

“And what is handfasting” I hear you cry! Go on, admit it, you did! Well, alright I’ll tell you. It’s an old Celtic tradition for declaring your undying love and binding yourself to another person. Often used in pagan wedding ceremonies, more and more people are choosing to add this to their traditional wedding day.

A braided ribbon or cord of another kind is wrapped around the hands of the couple. Originally this was done in the presence of a priest and by doing this the couple announced their engagement. If, after a year had passed, they still wished to marry they went back to the priest to perform the marriage ceremony. These days a handfasting can be done as part of your whole marriage ceremony or as a stand alone ceremony, with the happy couple exchanging vows and the celebrant binding their hands with ribbons.

And the good news is, after a bit of research to check the legalities of it all, it turns out we can do it here! We’re ideally suited for a small gathering, inside or out, and can offer flowers as part of the package, because, as luck would have it, I’m a florist too! So if you’re planning a civil ceremony and want something small and traditionally Celtic to follow it up, you know where to come. Or if you fancy a handfasting instead of a traditional ceremony or perhaps to celebrate an anniversary, that can work too.

I can’t wait for the phone to start ringing on this one. Just imagine, standing under a floral arch in the garden, with a beautiful bouquet or maybe a crown of flowers, and exchanging your own, handwritten vows with your hands bound with plaited ribbons, surrounded by the smiling faces of your chosen few. Heaven! Go on, give me a call.

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