Hand Fasting and Other Ceremony Details

My husband and I agreed that we wanted a quick yet meaningful wedding ceremony. We also wanted our guests to recognize it to be unique to us. Our wedding ceremony took place in a courtyard on a warm summer day so I knew that a “ten to fifteen-minute soap opera style ceremony” suited us just fine!

outdoor southern california wedding ceremony
(Image courtesy of Jason Q Tran Photography)

My husband is a third year law student and his law professor and family friend officiated our ceremony. We didn’t want to inconvenience him so it was another reason we wanted to make it as brief as possible.


(Image courtesy of Natalie Williams Photography)

While surfing the Wedding Bee I ran across a “hand fasting ceremony” and was intrigued by the history and visual aspect of tying or binding our wrists together. This is an ancient Celtic ceremony that is the inspiration behind today’s modern day expression “Tying the Knot.” The night before the wedding I cut up whatever ribbon I had left over from the DIY projects and safety pinned them to make our “hand fasting ribbon.”

My sister tied the ribbons around our wrists.

hand fasting ceremony
(Image courtesy of Natalie Williams Photography)

Our officiant then read some vows pertaining to the fact that we were bound together through life.

“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding your hands on your wedding day, as you promise to love and care for each other today, tomorrow and forever.”

hand fasting ceremony
(Image courtesy of Jason Q Tran Photography)

“These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, that will hold and comfort you when fear or grief confront you. These are the hands that will wipe away tears from your eyes, both tears of sorrow and – much more common I am certain – tears of joy.”

While selecting our readings, my husband read the landmark appellate court case “Goodridge v. Department of Public Health” dealing with same-sex marriage.


(Image by Jason Q Tran Photography)

We thought the ruling aligned with our beliefs that marriage shouldn’t have to be defined between a man and woman. “Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of ideals mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.”

We then proceeded with our wedding vows and ring exchange.


(Images by Jason Q Tran Photography)

As for our music selections…we chose non-traditional music. We kissed and walked up the aisle as husband and wife to Elvis’ “It’s Now or Never” in honor of us meeting in a Las Vegas casino ten years ago! Our first dance was to Pearl Jam’s Live in Las Vegas rendition of Elvis’ classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”

It was a beautiful day indeed.