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What is a handfasting?

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Handfasting is an ancient Celtic ritual whereby the hands of the couple are tied together to symbolize the binding of both their lives in marriage.

Considered once an alternative sub-ceremony most often seen in pagan ceremonies, it's popular with many couples today. Handfasting is often associated with the phrase "tying the knot". Different coloured ribbons or cords can be used, each colour representing different qualities. For example, a white cord or ribbon often represents purity, blue for fidelity and red for passion.

Honouring their Celtic background, Sheridan and Tony (pictured) chose a very simple handfasting with one simple gold cord, which had the two ends tied with a simple knot. They both then spoke their personal vows to each other while the knot was tied, and later the cord was placed in a keepsake box as a reminder of their lives now forever bound together in love and commitment.


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