Hand Fasting



What is Hand Fasting


The traditional hand-fasting is implicit in the title of the ceremony having been betrothed for a year and a day the couple could decide whether they wished to stay together or whether to part without recrimination.

If the decision is taken to make a life commitment then the couple will put together a ceremony with the help of friends or a Priestess or celebrant. Hand Fasting is a beautiful ritual which although was not legally binding has steep spiritual significance for the participants.

Hand Fasting is typically associated with paganism although it is increasingly common to have hand feastings between Pagans and Partners from other religious traditions

The Ceremony In Outline


Please bear in mind that there are many forms of hand-fasting ceremonies. Below I have some of the main features that you might expect to find although, because they arc so personalized the format and detail may differ from hand-fasting to hand-fasting. 

The Celebrant or a Priestess, will cast a circle in which the four elements of Air, Fire, and Earth will be called upon to outline and create a sealed space in which the ceremony can take place 

An altar would traditionally be placed at the North onto which (amongst other symbols would be placed two candles representing the couple, along with a larger candle to represent the union of the two.


Guests would be invited to form a circle within the sacred space. The two candles representing the  couple would then be lit and the couple would themselves light the final candle representing their union together.


To symbolise the joining of the couple the Priestess will 'bind' the couples right hands, often with ribbon whilst the Goddess is called upon to bless the couple and prayers and readings from friends are said. 

Having exchanged their vows the Priestess will place the rings on the couples fingers and they will share a sip from a chalice of wine together, before the ribbon is untied or burnt, signifying that are now willing and committed to staying together of their own free will

A floral wreath will be presented to the couple again to symbolize their union. This wreath may contain flowers that have been contributed by the guests each having it's own separate meaning for the union


At the end of the ceremony the sacred circle is 'opened' and the guests form an archway under which the couple process, they are showered with flower petals and rice as they go. The couple might also conclude the ceremony by jumping over a besom (broomstick) to symbolize fortune fertility and luck.


If you would 1ike to discuss hand fasting as an option then please visit


Blue Bird Wedding Services

or contact me at



leaving your contact details and I will get back to you. I am a registered authorized celebrant.


 If you would like to conduct the hand fasting yourselves but would like help in compiling the ceremony I will be happy to be of assistance.


















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Copyright 2012 The College Of Maat
Last modified: October 01, 2012