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This lovely  Celtic tradition originates from the 1700’s.  In those times gold rings were for the rich and so the handfasting tradition of using cord or ribbon to ‘tie the knot’ came to be. A couple could have a handfasting ceremony if they were unable to get married by an officiate as they were in short demand, and the tying of the cord would tide them over for a year and a day before they could have their official ceremony.

Unlike flowers and cake that have a limited life span, the handfasting cords and ribbon entwined together will last for years and years to come and could even be passed down to the children the couple may have for lifelong memories. 

The different colours of the cords or ribbons all have different symbolic meanings that everyone will interpret in their own way and will mean different things to different people.

White is for purity

Blue (air) is for fidelity

Green (earth) is for fertility and new beginnings

Red (fire) is for passion so choosing this colour is a symbol of your union being passionate

Purple is for spiritual strength

Pink is symbolic of love

Gold is for wisdom

Grey is symbolic of clouds

Orange is a symbol that your conversations be lively and playful

Brown is symbolic of tradition and nature

The Sand Ceremony

This is another lovely ritual where a couple (children can be included too) pour sand from separate vessels into a unified central one.  This represents two people (or two families blending) coming together in marriage.  The sand each person pours into the central one starts to merge together as one over time.  This is also a beautiful visual reminder of your special day. 

The Unity Candle

This ritual became  popular in the 2nd half of the 20th century in America during Christian weddings and the lighting of the unity candle symbolises two people joining in marriage. A beautiful and simple ritual, it has become popular again in the last 30 years or so.

The two separate candles on each side of the unity candle represent the love between both parties.  Each couple takes a lighted candle to light the larger pillar candle in the centre which when lit symbolises the couples love joining as one.

It can be used within a religious element of a ceremony if desired or without.  It is a beautiful visual element that adds another layer to the ceremony for you and your guests. 

Jumping the Broom

A simple but fun element to a ceremony originally believed to have African origins but was also a common practice in pre-Christian Welsh, Scottish and Roma cultures.    Jumping the broom symbolizes a new beginning whilst sweeping away the past and can also signify the joining of two families or offer a respectful nod to family ancestors. Originally, a broom was placed across the doorway to the home whereby the groom jumped over it followed by the bride. If neither fell over then the marriage was meant to be but heaven help if one of you tripped – the wedding could be cancelled altogether!  A great way to finish off your wedding ceremony. 

Ring Warming

This ceremony originates from Ireland.  A very beautiful but simple ceremony that needs no props, invites family and guests to hold or warm the rings for a moment while imparting their love, good wishes and blessings onto the rings.  Worn by the couple, the rings hold forever the loving thoughts of everyone who shared their special day.