Wednesday, 9 March 2016


It’s thought that the phrase ‘Tying the Knot’ is rooted in the Celtic marriage ritual of handfasting. This involves tying the Bride and Groom’s wrists together during the marriage ceremony and symbolises the joining of two people. 

Photograph by Rachel Birch

This tradition is making a comeback, with more and more couples choosing to have a handfasting as part of their Humanist wedding ceremony.

Photograph by Gillian Shaw

When choosing ribbons for the handfasting, you might like to have colours to complement the theme of your wedding. Alternatively, ribbons could be made from the Bride and Groom's family tartans - once tied, these will symbolise the joining of two families. 

Photograph by GWS Photography

In the following photo, the ribbons were very special as one was made from material from the Bride's Gran's wedding dress and the other was knitted by the Groom's Nan. You can be as creative as you like and make it meaningful to you!

Photograph by Catching the Moments Photography

Knots have a place in the folklore of many cultures and usually symbolise unbreakable pledges. However, it’s not clear whether the expression ‘Tying the Knot’ derives from an actual knot used in marriage ceremonies or whether the knot is merely symbolic of a lasting unity. 

In the 1995 film Braveheart, William Wallace and his true love Murron had a handfasting ceremony.

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