A TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH HANDFASTING CEREMONY
Handfasting was traditionally recognised in Scotland as a binding contract of marriage before weddings became a legal function of the government or a papal responsibility of the church.
After the wedding vows and ring exchange, the couple’s hands were bound together with a cord that was tied in a 'love knot,' signifying the joining of their lives in a sacred union.
Today, handfasting is a symbolic ceremony to honour a couple’s desire for commitment to each other and to acknowledge that their lives and their destinies are now bound together.
During the Handfasting ceremony, the couple’s hands are tied together with one or several coloured cords or ribbons, symbolizing the desire of the couple to be united.
All the local Crear celebrants including the Registrar, Humanist and Ministers from the Church, would be delighted to incorporate a Handfasting into your marriage ceremony.
SPECIAL SYMBOLIC MEANINGS
Each of the cord colours has its own special symbolic meaning.
The cords can either be several colours twisted into one cord and used for a single cord ceremony, or each colour can be draped individually up to six cords.
Each cord should be at least 1.5 metres or 4 feet long, so the ends can all be tied together.
For more than two or three colours, ribbon usually works better than cord or rope.
Some Crear Couples have used the leads belonging to their dogs!
THE SYMBOLS OF COLOUR
- Red: Will, love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigour, passion.
- Orange: Encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness.
- Yellow: Attraction, charm, confidence, balance, harmony.
- Green: Fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, love.
- Blue: Safe journey, longevity, strength.
- Purple: Healing, health, strength, power, progress.
- Black: Strength, empowerment, wisdom/vision, success, pure love.
- White: Spiritual purity, truth, peace, serenity and devotion.
- Grey: Balance, neutrality, used in erasing, cancelling, neutralizing, and return to the universe without repercussion.
- Pink: Love, unity, honour, truth, romance, happiness.
- Brown: Healing, skills and talent, nurturing, home and hearth, the earth.
- Silver: Creativity, inspiration and vision, and protection.
- Gold: Unity, longevity, prosperity, strength.
OTHER SCOTTISH WEDDING TRADITIONS - DRINKING FROM THE QUAICH
Another popular tradition in Scotland is drinking from a ‘Quaich’ or two-handled silver or pewter cup. Usually filled with whisky (though you could break with tradition here and have your own tipple of choice!) the couple then take turns to drink from it.