Celebrate the big day and try handfasting, with Wedding Celebrant Nicola Kelleher
It’s finally wedding season and lots of people are using spiritual elements in their ceremonies now! I qualified as a wedding celebrant in 2021 and in February of this year I was nominated for an award by my couples. I have been performing weddings since the end of the pandemic and many of my couples have chosen to include spiritual rituals in their wedding days and baby naming ceremonies. As a qualified handfasting celebrant too, in the past three months there has been a huge increase in people asking for personalised handfasting ceremonies. I have been asked many times to make “witchy” vows to spiritually bind the couple and for spells for wishing the couple happiness. So here are some white magic-inspired symbolic actions you can include in your wedding to make the ceremony a little more spiritualised!
Handfasting is the symbolic act of a couple’s hands being tied together with cords or ribbons to represent their union
Seal the bond
Colours and themes are a thing of the past – hobbies and interests now feature heavily in a couple’s day and incorporating spiritualism helps to seal the union between couples and their families. Handfasting, crystals, chakra colour themes, herbology and numerology are all considerations for those wishing to make their ceremony a little more magical!
Tie the knot
Handfastings have been used for centuries and are becoming increasingly popular. They are simple to perform and are great for including family members who can help you “tie the knot”. Coloured ribbons are tied around your hands and gently clasped beneath your thumbs. Then you can ask your guests to shout one, two, three, and on three you pull your hands apart and the knot is tied!
Chakra colours of ribbon can be used to embody spirit and many couples even choose to include family tartan or strips of lace from family heirlooms. My most recent wedding incorporated the two family tartans with Pokémon colours, which was the couple’s theme. I even have several Harry Potter themed weddings this year, so often brides and grooms like to include those colours too.
Perform a handfasting ceremony
•Equal lengths of coloured ribbon, maximum length 2-3m
1 Stand facing one another and hold one another by the wrist (ideally using your right hand).
2 You need at least one ribbon, but five or six is a good number. Six is also the number of family and responsibility, so the number of ribbons can also have a meaning for your day. Your celebrant should conduct the ceremony but you can also have a family member help with the tying if you like.
3 Choose wording to be spoken during the handfasting ceremony, which ideally includes a mention of the person’s hands. Here is an example: “These are the hands that will comfort, support you, care for you and celebrate with you always. Now that your hands are bound together, so too are your lives. May you continue to hold one another by the hand and by the heart now and forever.”
4 The ribbon or chord must be placed under the thumb of the bride or groom and then looped down, up and then down and up again and placed under the thumb of the other person. (I always imagine your celebrant is making a large letter W.) This should be continued with all of the ribbons or chords.
5 When the ribbons are in place, the couple should pull their thumbs into their hands tightly to create a fist and when ready or on a count of three, pull the ribbons towards themselves to create a tied knot. The knot can be kept as a keepsake forever.
Fall in love with botanical blooms
Why not make your bouquet extra special by incorporating some magical herbs or flowers like rosemary for long-lasting love, ivy for faithfulness in love or yarrow for healing in love (if the path towards the wedding may have become a little strained). Commonly used in love spells, yarrow is said to boost communication and will have your partner whispering sweet nothings in your ear for many years after your wedding.
“Whisper a wish into the crystal and leave it in a vessel or box on the top table”
Create a magical circle
When you have worked out where you are going to be standing when you say your vows or exchange rings, why not create a magic circle on the floor for you both to stand in as you make your pledge to one another. It will look good in photos, give you a solid place marker so you don’t worry about where to stand and will smell good too if you incorporate scented herbs and flowers. You can use crystals, flowers, herbs and trinkets to make your day special and seal your union. As your eyes meet, the two of you will be encircled with spiritual wholeness.
Throw herbal confetti
Most venues will now only allow biodegradable confetti to be thrown, and some venues restrict confetti from being thrown outside. Why not create a magical sachet of meaningful herbs for your guests to throw over you instead of traditional confetti? It is natural, smells good and everyone wishing you well will be creating a magical seal for your union. Try lavender and rose petals for love, chamomile for peace and calm, sweet basil for good wishes and saffron to encourage passion.
Whisper crystal blessings
One of my favourite rituals I have created for my couples is a crystal programming blessing. On entry into your wedding leave a box of tumbled stones for your guests to choose from and hold with them during the ceremony. At the end of the service, ask your guests to whisper a wish into the stone and leave it in a vessel or box on the top table. The love and affection felt during your ceremony will be instilled into the crystal and the blessing offered will be programmed into the stone for your marriage.
Nicola Kelleher is a TV Presenter, an award-winning, international TV Psychic, a Spiritual Author and a fully qualified Wedding Celebrant. Visit nicolakelleherpsychic.com or nicolakellehercelebrant.co.uk and follow her on Instagram @nicolakelleherpsychic or @nicolakellehercelebrant