(Serving the Amicalola Falls area in the North Georgia Mountains)
I always love weddings that are different, and the handfasting vows that this couple added to their wedding made it truly unique. According to Wikipedia, the term originated from the old Norse word hand-festa, which meant "to strike a bargain by joining hands."
It is similar to our tradition today of shaking hands with each other. It is a Pagan ritual that predates Christianity by several centuries.
If you are of Celtic heritage, this may be something that you wish to add to your ceremony in order to honor that. It involves tying a cord or ribbon of some sort around the hands of the bride and groom. In the case of this couple they had originally tied several ribbons of different colors together in a lariat style, with long ends hanging loose.
This is what I tied around their hands during the ceremony. They had practiced on themselves several times before the wedding to make sure that it worked well.
The idea is that the knot tied during the ceremony will never be untied during their marriage. It therefore represents the eternity of their love. They will keep that knot throughout their lives.
Here are the handfasting vows that Carter and Gary chose to use in their ceremony.
you have symbols of your love and these vows to give to each other? (Give pre-made cords to officiant.)
These cords are a symbol of the truth of the vows you have spoken. They
represent the eternal love that you share. Let these cords say to all that your
commitment is deep and everlasting. As you wear them, may infinite love be
nurtured through all your years to come.
Officiant then ties the cords around the couple’s hands in a knot.
Of course, there are many sites on the web with information and suggestions for this tradition. I encourage you to do some research and come up with what resonates with the two of you if you decide to go this route. It is limited only by your imagination.
You may go to my Facebook page to see examples of some weddings I've done at other outdoor wedding venues.
Alternative weddings by Rev. Roberts is available in Dawsonville, Ellijay, Jasper, Dahlonega, Cumming, Gainesville and any of the other surrounding north Georgia areas within a 30 mile radius of Amicalola Falls, GA.