A Handfasting is the name given to a Pagan or Wiccan wedding ceremony and is usually performed by a High Priest or High Priestess (such as myself).
During this beautiful ceremony, the gods are called, as are the energies of the four elements of nature; earth, air, fire and water, to witness what is about to happen.
The readings you choose and the vows you have both written are spoken. Then, the actual moment of marriage comes when your hands are bound together. This is the handfasting.
The handfasting cord is made from plaited ribbons, with the chosen colours being significant to you both. The cord can also have charms attached that hold special meanings.
At the end of the ceremony, as a newly handfasted couple you can follow the tradition of ‘jumping the broom,’ closely followed by guests!
The handfasting cord and the besom (broomstick) are yours to keep as a memory of your special day and also as a reminder of the commitment you have made to each other.
Over recent years the handfasting part of the ceremony has often become part of non Pagan weddings, to represent the couple binding their lives together and the union of their hopes and dreams.
Although this is usually performed by the celebrant, it can also include a member of the family, such as parents or children.