The romantic custom of Handfasting, increasingly popular in modern weddings, has given us phrases such as "Tying the knot' and "The bonds of matrimony".
The basis of the ceremony involves wrapping or tying together the couple's hands to symbolise the union of bride and groom, but you can tailor it as you wish with your own words, actions and timing, and the ties you choose.
Handfasting ties or wraps come in many designs - one beautifully simple option is a fringed strip of your chosen tartan long enough to be wrapped or loosely knotted around the couple's hands, providing both a nod to your Scottish heritage and a lasting memento of your wedding.
History of Handfasting
Originally an ancient Celtic custom, Handfasting was still prominent in the Middle Ages with Celtic lands such as Scotland and Ireland considering it as binding as a ceremony in church – as shown in the portrayal of the secret marriage in Braveheart. It continued as part of weddings in both the Catholic and Anglican ceremonies, with the priest using the end of his stole to wrap the couple’s hands as he pronounced “Those whom God hath joined together let no one put asunder” - a tradition seen in the marriage of Prince William and Katherine (below).
A search of the Internet will give you a huge range of options for designing your own Handfasting Ceremony.