Many cultures, around the world, include the hands in the symbolic rituals that play a part in their wedding preparations and celebrations.
Hen parties have their roots firmly grounded in North African, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. In this part of the world, the word used for the custom of the bride and her female friends and family getting together, prior to the wedding, is 'henna'. Henna gatherings often incorporate rituals that include intricate decorating of the hands (and feet) to wish good luck, happiness and to ward off evil spirits.
As for the wedding itself, of course there is Celtic Handfasting which many argue is the origin of the term 'tying the knot'.
Handfasting, or ribbon tying, has gained popularity in Celebrant led weddings in recent years.
There are many different ways of incorporating, or adapting, this tradition into modern weddings. Simply ask your Celebrant if you would like this element included in your ceremony.
The exchange of wedding rings is often an important part of a wedding ceremony and many couples choose to write personal vows for this part of the ceremony. Other couples really don't know where to start and if this sounds like you, your Celebrant can help to get you going with some suggestions that they feel will reflect your personalities and your relationship.
The following reading, called 'The Blessing of the Hands' can fit in very well with a handfasting or just prior to the exchange of wedding rings.
It can be read by your Celebrant, or one (or more) of your guests and can be modified to suit your circumstances...
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
Hi, I am Lorraine Hull, an award-winning Independent Celebrant, based in Liverpool.
I am most usually asked to conduct ceremonies in North-West England and North Wales but I am happy to travel anywhere within the U.K. or abroad.
At the risk of shouting (and sounding extremely cheesy) "I LOVE MY JOB".
I love to create and conduct personal and personalised Wedding, Partnership, Commitment, Naming, and Celebration of Life ceremonies; anyone, and everyone, is welcome to ask me to work with, and for, them.
I believe that all people (and animals) should all be treated kindly, fairly and with respect.
We are all unique and we all matter.
I advocate kindness, fairness, respect and equality for all through everything that I say and do: Love is Love, Family is Family, Life is Life.
You may also like to know that I hold Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance, I adhere to a strict code of conduct and I am committed to developing and sharing best practice with my Celebrant colleagues, so that we can all be the best Celebrants that we can possibly be.
To contact me please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 0744 932 3988