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April 12, 2016 Delwyn0

The multiple coloured Handfasting Ceremony is one of the best wedding rituals to use if you

want to include family and friends in your wedding ceremony in a meaningful way. It

includes up to 14 coloured ribbons that all represent the significant qualities you are

bringing into your marriage relationship and your dedication to these important values.

The verb to handfast in the sense of “to formally promise, to make a contract” is recorded

for Late Old English, The term was presumably loaned into English from Old

Norse handfesta “to strike a bargain by joining hands”; there are also comparanda from

the North Sea Germanic sphere, Old Frisian hondfestinge and Middle Low


During this wedding ritual the bride and groom’s hands are tied with several ribbons, prior

to them saying their vows. The knot is fastened – the origins of ‘tying the knot’ – after which

the ribbon is removed from their hands and placed in a keepsake box. Like their love, the

knot will stay tied forever.  Nominated family members and friends can each take a ribbon

and tie a half-knot and finally all the ribbons are tied together in a full-knot.

I am a bilingual, German speaking marriage celebrant, and this ceremony is often included

in wedding ceremonies where many of the family members come from overseas. Many

times ribbons are sent from family and friends who cannot attend in person but their love

and best wishes are represented in their ribbon. The tied ribbons make a lovely keepsake

after the wedding ceremony.

A single sash, ribbon or rope can also be used and while the ribbon is being tied, usually by

the marriage celebrant, various questions are asked of the couple. This is a lovely simple,

but very meaningful, ceremony.

The Hand-Fasting Ceremony gained renewed popularity when Kate and William included it

in their wedding ceremony. It’s one of my favourites too.

April 4, 2016 Delwyn0

Have you seen a wedding ritual being performed at a friend’s wedding or heard about wedding rituals but don’t know exactly what they are or how to integrate one into your wedding ceremony? They can be a pretty powerful expression of your values and cultural background so it’s important that you choose one that suits you and reflects what is important to you.

Here are some of my favourites, briefly described, to help you in you in deciding what might be right for you.

The Unity Candle Lighting ceremony stems from ancient religious customs. It’s common that the bride and groom light individual small candles and together light a larger centre candle as a symbolic act of their union. Please Note: This ceremony is difficult to perform at outdoor venues.

For the Ring Warming Ceremony the wedding rings are placed in a little bag or tied together with a ribbon and passed around the guests. Each person makes a wish on the rings for the couple (ideal for small weddings) before they are placed on the couples fingers. Please Note: More than 50 guests and this ritual can be difficult to complete.
A Rose/Flower Ceremony can take many forms. The bride and groom can give each other a flower as their first gift as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’. It can be a promise that whenever they argue through their marriage they will always present each other with a flower to say sorry. Alternatively the bride and groom can present their mothers will a flower as a token of their thanks and love. In fact, a flower can be given to anyone at the ceremony!

The Sand Ceremony originated with the bride and groom each taking a handful of sand and flinging it in the air where it became one and inseparable. Nowadays the bride and groom, sometimes with family members, pour sand from individual glasses into a larger centre glass as a symbolic act of the blending of their lives and families. As the grains of sand will never be able to be separated, the couple are bonded for life.

Hand-Fasting Ceremony or Lover’s Knot This is one of my personal favourites and I have developed a couple of lovely options. During this ceremony the bride and groom’s hands are tied with one sash or several ribbons, usually when they say their vows. The knot is fastened – the origins of ‘tying the knot’ – after which the ribbon is removed from their hands and placed in a keepsake box. Like their love, the knot will stay tied forever. When several coloured ribbons are used these colours represent certain values which are important to you in your relationship.
A Wine Sharing Ceremony has its origins in many religious and European traditions, but can really be done by any couple! The bride and groom drink wine from the same cup and agree to share all the sweetness and bitterness that their marriage brings. Sometimes they share some bread too!

The Time Capsule or Wine and Love Letter Box is another of my personal favourites that you can be very creative with. The couple can ask guests to bring something on the day to place in a locked box or time capsule. It can be opened on any anniversary (1st, 5th, 10th etc…) Many include a bottle of champagne or wine and love-letters to each other but other nice ideas are photos, wish notes from guests, letters and newspaper clippings from that day.

March 10, 2016 Delwyn

As a marriage celebrant in Perth it isn’t very often, in fact it’s way too seldom, that you get a request to do a naming ceremony. Yesterday evening I was again offered that privilege. A beautiful young couple wanting to mark the welcoming of a very precious little person into their lives and their circle of family and friends. They want to celebrate the fulfilling of a wonderful lifetime wish and to show their thanks and appreciation for all the support and love they have received, especially from their family and friends. They and the godparents will publicly accept their responsibilities for, and declare their promises to, this precious child. We will have some fun too preparing a surprise for him for his 5th birthday. I love being a wedding celebrant but performing a Naming Ceremony to celebrate a miracle in the shape of a precious baby is truly a fabulous privilege.