Hand fasting is thought to be a pagan festival akin to a betrothal or engagement. There are also stories that suggest the hand fasting represented a trial marriage of one year, and others that suggest hand fasting was used till the marriage was consummated, or until a child was conceived.
Hand Fasting as a symbolic ceremony has come through the centuries developing and morphing into a number of symbolic ceremonies.
In recent times the Hand Fasting Ceremony has become a unity ceremony within the larger wedding or commitment ceremony.
The ties which bind the hands of the couple, can be traditional rope, or ribbon which complements the wedding colour scheme. Many couples also have custom hand fasting cords created to suit their hobbies or lifestyle, some of these ties could be natural grasses with flowers, leather, or vegan materials.
The idea of hand fasting, is that the two become one, tied together in unity. The 'cords' which are then knotted is symbolic of the relationship that that is entwined and one that like the knot is secure.
The ceremony is most often used for couples who are joined together, but this is a fun idea for a blended family too. Whilst the ties are being tied, either by celebrant or a friend / family member, meaningful words are spoken to confirm the joining.
Of course, a hand fasting can also be the central focus of your ceremony instead of a wedding ceremony. Hand fasting ceremonies often encompass some Pagan / Wicca / Fae symbolism and readings,
Ask for details if you would like to know more.