Welcome to the page for our handfasting!
The term "handfasting" is an ancient one, and originally referred to striking a bargain by the joining of hands (Old Norse). It evolved to mean general contract-making between parties, and from the 12th-17th centuries in the British Isles, referred to a marriage ceremony that would take place before, or sometimes in place of, a church wedding.
Today, it is a common term for a marriage ceremony among pagan couples, focusing on the act of tying a cord around the hand or hands of one's partner (and vice-versa) in a symbol of commitment to that person. We see the influence of this act in the terms "tying the knot," or "with strings attached."
Often the couple to be handfasted will prepare the cord themselves, with intention, ahead of the ceremony, focusing on their commitment to one another and what they promise to bring to the marriage.
Echoes of this custom still appear in other modern religious ceremonies where a priest, deacon, or other minister may cover or wrap the hands of the couple with a stole (a liturgical garment resembling a scarf).