Today at Celebrate Love we explore the symbolism and tradition of Celtic Hand-Fasting – my personal favourite enhancement to a wedding ceremony!

This particular ceremony is hugely popular among my clients and I constantly get asked the background of the tradition, so I have decided to start documenting my findings, I hope you enjoy! please feel free to share your own tid-bits with me.


There is a huge growing trend in incorporating old Irish traditions into wedding ceremonies and couples are choosing Handfasting as their go to wedding enhancement in Ireland. Handfasting dates back to Celtic times and in Brehon law a marriage was made legal by the binding of hands. The term ‘Tying the knot’ comes directly from this formality.

Brehon Law for those who are unversed were the laws set forth by the Brehons, the direct successors to the Druids in Ireland. The system was incredibly progressive and recognised equal rights between genders.

The ceremony can be amended to suit individual tastes. You can use one cord  (in a material of your choosing)and have the hands wrapped by your celebrant or you can choose a variety of colours and have a selection of your guests lay them over the hands. Each colour represents a gift or blessing bestowed upon the marriage. This is a lovely way to include family and friends in the ceremony.

It usually happens after the ring exchange and the photographer can get some nice shots of the hands wrapped in bright coloured ribbons with the wedding rings on. The ties represent the bind of the vows made and the knot represents the union of the two coming together as one.


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