Crafting the Ceremony: the Handfasting

The final portion of our ceremony will be a handfasting–something the Hive is no stranger to, thankfully, but something that in our neck of the woods isn’t too common. Because of this, we thought it’d be helpful for Friend-ficiant L to say just a few words about it’s history so our guests wouldn’t be completely lost. Something along the lines of…

The Road Trips have chosen to conclude the ceremony with a handfasting. In centuries past, when towns were spread out and priests would travel from place to place,  there wasn’t always an official  handy when a couple wanted to be wed. Necessity being the mother of invention, couples would bind their hands together in a simple ceremony to declare their intentions, with the community as witness to the new union. This is where we get the phrase “tying the knot.”

While we don’t have that problem today, of course, I just really liked the visual symbolism of tying the knot, it gives the ceremony a nice closing element, I think. And while most scripts I’ve found for handfasting seem to take place before the rings, I thought it would make more sense to do all the other stuff then end with the tying of the knot.

Our handfasting cord | personal photo
Our handfasting cord | personal photo

It’s fairly well established by now that I’m of the crafty persuasion, so it probably comes as no surprise that I crafted our handfasting cord, too, right? There’s no real pattern or tutorial for this, I just strung a bunch of 6/0 or e-sized beads onto Number 10 Crochet Cotton and made a 5-stitch round cable out of a mix of double and triple crochet, adding and subtracting stitches at random to give it a more organic feel and slipping in beads whenever it seemed like a good idea. I did the original cord 36 inches long then doubled back, attaching the second pass to the first at intervals and doing the same with the third pass for 3 intertwined vines. Then beaded the ends in little grape-like cascades.

Mr. Road Trip will be making the box that will hold the cord both before and after the ceremony, but his work schedule’s been a little hectic so hasn’t managed more than picking up the materials. Once he gets started on it, it shouldn’t take very long. He’s pretty crafty, too, especially when there are power tools involved.

After looking through a lot of ceremony wording, we managed to cobble together this short but sweet version that we think will work for us, though some revisions are inevitable.

In a collaborative effort not unlike the marriage we are here to witness, both Miss and Mr Road Trip have created something for this ritual. Miss Road Trip has created the cord in the style of three intertwining vines, one each for the past, the present, and the future. Once tied these cords will reside in a wooden box Mr Road Trip made specifically for this purpose and will have a place of honor in their home together.

Road Trips, please join hands, right to right and left to left, forming the symbol of infinity.

Like a stone may your love be firm; like a star may your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and the desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Enjoy closeness, but retain your individuality. Support one another with patience and understanding. Freely give of your affection and warmth.

May this cord draw your hands together in love, may the vows you have spoken today remain sweet in your mouths.

As your hands are joined, so are your lives.

Now, to close the ceremony, it’s usually “you may now kiss the bride ” or the slightly more equal ” you may now kiss each other.” We weren’t really looking for an option, but while catching up on many DVR’d Four Weddings, we  heard the officiant say “you may now start your marriage with a kiss.” How much better is that, I ask you?!

And as we kiss, what song will play?

(Direct link for the feed readers: Little Wonders by Rob Thomas)

Meet the Robinsons is, hands-down, my favorite Disney movie ever and no matter how many times I watch it (even back-to-back, to listen to the commentary) when the opening bars of Little Wonders play I get choked up. And since I’m very picky about lyrics, when I listened to the words and not just the emotion of the song I was even more impressed and it was an easy decision to ask Mr. Road Trip if he’d mind this as our Kiss/Recessional song. As he loves the movie almost as much as I do it wasn’t a hard sell.

It’s just got such a great message about embracing the moments and feelings, and letting everything else drop away. *frissons of excitement* Every. Time.

So while Rob Thomas croons we’ll kiss, slip out of the still-tied handfasting cord and place it in its box, sign the wedding certificate, probably kiss again (it could happen), then recess down the aisle.

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