Hand fasting traditionally is a promise made between a couple for a year and a day. At the end of that period the couple can decide whether they wish to renew those promises or not. Why not incorporate this ceremony into your engagement party??
Nowadays Hand Fastings are becoming incorporated more and more into wedding ceremonies as a blessing. I usually ask a parent or parents to do this part of the ceremony and I add a special little twist at the end to surprise the happy couple.
Another way of using a Hand Fasting is to incorporate this ceremony into your engagement party as historically it was used as a betrothal promise as at the end of the year and a day the couple could choose to marry for life.
The ceremony involves the tying of hands together with a cord, ceremonial cloth or colourful ribbons to symbolise the coming together and remaining together. The cord can be made by you or I can make one for you using colours of your choosing.
I like to encourage couples to make their own cords, however, etsy and other places do have wonderful craftspeople who can create them for you.
Typical reading used in a Hand Fasting
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Or I have used this reading in a Hand Fasting
The One by Cheryl J Barclay https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-one-223/
When the one whose hand you're holding
Is the one who holds your heart
When the one whose eyes you gaze into
Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last
Is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together
Make the whole world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in
puts their faith and trust in you,
You've found the one and only love
You'll share your whole life through
Image Credit - Kismet Photography, Salisbury. http://www.kismetphotography.co.uk/
The Blending of the "sand ceremony" is popular and contemporary. The sand is used to symbolise the merging of two lives, the bride and groom and or their combined families with children. The pouring of two or more different coloured sands into a larger vessel creates a beautiful work of art and memento to be treasured forever.
The Meaning of the Wedding Sand Ceremony
The flowing sand and blending of the colors in the Sand Ceremony symbolize the bringing together of two lives into one. The two sands symbolize everything that the bride and groom have been or will become in the future.
The blending of the wedding sand represents the union not only of them but their friends and families as well. The separate coloured sands once poured into the unity vase can never be put back into their separate vases. They are forever entwined just as the lives and love of the bride and groom.
Unity Candle Ceremony
A Unity Candle Ceremony can easily be added to any marriage service, it is conducted near the end of the ceremony, following the exchange of rings. The mother's usually lights the two outer candles as they are escorted forward at the beginning of the ceremony.
A Unity Candle set consists of two slender candles (called tapers) and a large center candle. They are usually white candles.
The Unity Candle Ceremony is a popular choice for both religious and non-religious ceremonies because it is non-denominational and has no religious significance.
The two outer candles represent your individual lives before today. They represent all that you are from your vast experiences, and they represent your individual families. As you each take a single candle and light the centre candle, you will extinguish your individual candles.
Often the Bride will blow out the Groom's taper candle and the Groom will blow out the Brides taper candle. This represents the closing of the chapters in your individual Books of Life and the beginning of new chapters as you begin to write a new book of Life as husband and wife. Another way to do this is to allow the two taper candles to continue to burn, by allowing the flame of the two taper candles to remain lit, it represents that the Bride and Groom accept the individuality of each other as a means to fulfilling their commitment to one another.
Some couples choose to have soft music playing during the Unity Candle Ceremony.
If you are creating a new family you may want to include the children in the lighting of
the Unity Candle. Often this is done by having the bride and groom light the candle for the children and then everyone lighting the centre candle together. This is an excellent way to involve
children from a previous marriage.
The Rose Ceremony
The Rose Ceremony is a simple yet moving ceremony. The bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life. The Rose Ceremony also conveys how to use the rose and its symbolism in difficult times in order to forgive each other.
For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing – it meant the words “I love you.” So it is appropriate that for your first gift – as husband and wife – that gift would be a single rose.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words. It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It might be difficult some time to words to say “I am sorry” or “I forgive you”; “I need you” or “I am hurting”. If this should happen, if you simply cannot find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected – for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words. That rose says the words: “I still love you.” The other should accept this rose for the words which cannot be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
Jumping the Broom
"Jumping the Broom" is a symbol of sweeping away the old and welcoming the new, or a symbol of new beginnings.
The broom ceremony represents the joining of two families, it's showing respect and pays homage to those who came before us and paved the way.
The ceremony can be performed at the wedding,
after the minister pronounces the couple man and wife or at the reception, just after the bridal party enters the reception area.