This ancient practice is the historic source of the phrase we use today, ‘tying the knot’.
Hand-fasting is a beautiful practice which can be done as a stand-alone ceremony, or as part of a larger wedding ceremony. It is done by binding the hands of the couple together, using coloured cords or ribbons, with different colours involving different symbolism. You can choose the colours that resonate with your own plans for your lives together. Sometimes it may represent a temporary commitment, for instance for a year and a day, and then it can be renewed in the future if the couple so desire, but it can also be a symbol of permanent commitment.
The cords or ribbons are tied in such a way that they can be kept (still knotted) on an altar or other sacred space in your home after your ceremony, as a visible representation of your lives being intertwined.
Sometimes couples like family members to lay the ribbons across their wrists before the celebrant ties the knot. For instance this can signify a blessing of the couple's commitment by parents, or it can be a way of involving children in the ceremony.
Many times, after a period of marriage or perhaps after a period of temporary hand-fasting, a couple want to renew their commitment to each other in front of Great Spirit. This may be after a difficult time in the relationship and then reconciliation, or it may be to celebrate a significant anniversary, or to renew their vows after the birth of a child.
If you would like to renew your vows, we can together craft a ceremony, large or small, to reaffirm your desire to live together in partnership, as a couple. If you have children it is a wonderful opportunity to include them in your commitment to live as a loving family.
In folk lore brooms were used to sweep the doorstep and hearth of a house and sweeping represents cleansing, sweeping away the old, creating space for a new beginning. When the broom is laid on the ground and the couple jump over it together, it symbolises leaping joyfully into the relationship and a home together, jumping into a clean space. It is particularly used for vow renewals after a period of difficulty in a relationship but any of the elements mentioned for a wedding can be included in a vow renewal.