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Handfasting cords are part of an ancient Celtic tradition, involving a ceremony between two people whereby they physically bind their hands together as a declaration of their love and commitment to each other. In an age where the commercial wedding band-wagon is rumbling along in full force, handfasting cords are a beautiful way of incorporating something traditional yet completely unique and personal into your ceremony, which will also result in something tangible to take away from the experience.

As the origin of the phrase 'tying the knot', the custom is seeing a revival after centuries of obscurity, thanks in part to the romantic moonlit ceremony in Braveheart where the lovers steal away to a secluded forest location, to be joined together in a clandestine ceremony, exchanging lengths of clan tartan and hand stitched ribbon as a tokens of their commitment to each other.

The handfasting cords themselves can be split into two main categories. Firstly, one cord can be used during the ceremony, which is used to bind the couples together as a symbol of their unity. The second category is where two separate cords are created to reflect the individuality of each person in the ceremony, and these two cords are then tied together to symbolise two people joining together to form a new whole. In the first instance, the cord often has to be untied at some point, either at the end of the ceremony or for some couples, at the end of their celebration day. In the second, the



What exactly is a Handfasting Cord?


cords remain tied from the first moment they are brought together, and stay tied for as long as the couple remain together.

As for the construction of the handfasting cords, they can be something as simple as a single length of rope, or a more elaborate combination of ribbon and jewellery, or anything in between. The beauty of handfasting cords is that there are no set rules which should be followed, no strict customs to adhere to. The cords can be created to reflect elements of your personality, using charms and pendants which have special meaning to you, using your favourite colours or materials, or designed to co-ordinate with the colour schemes for the day, the combinations are limitless!