Welcome lovers and others who are seeking information about the rite of handfasting – a modern (usually) Pagan wedding ritual. There are many thoughts and resources regarding the history of the term “handfasting,” if you are interested, I will attempt to include many of them in the Historical Traditions section of the site.
What is Handfasting?
For the purposes of this site, handfasting refers to one of two types of ceremonies, either a “wedding” or a betrothal of a year and a day, which the participants can then decide to renew or not at the end of that period. Handfasting is quite popular today among many people who find that their own lifestyles call for an alternative joining ceremony to that provided by more typical weddings. Handfasting can be used by couples of the same sex or by group marriages who wish to have more than two people in their families.
They can be used by people who are members of Pagan (polytheistic nature religions) or by people who don’t necessarily share the same beliefs. There are also Christian and other folks who choose to use handfasting as their wedding rituals for various reasons, so don’t feel excluded from these resources.
To sum it up, take the ideas here and run with them. Make them your own, shape them to fit your own needs and desires to declare your love in a ritual. Inside you will find rituals, traditions, symbolism guides, poetry, and anything else we can dig up to make your handfasting special.
A note about Medieval and Rennaisance weddings, there is a lot of material about those here too. They are not synonymous with handfasting, but as it happens, it seems to be a theme that many people gravitate towards when planning handfastings. Maybe because of the historical connection. It is also a good way for Pagans to make their ceremony more “palatable” to their non-Pagan families and friends. That’s why it’s here.