Published: Saturday, Feb. 13th, 2021

How to Tie a Handfasting Cord -- The Infinity Knot

Illustrated steps by Jessica Levey

A beautiful, simple handfasting knot for your wedding ceremony. 


If you’ve been asked to perform a handfasting ritual as part of a wedding ceremony -- congratulations! Handfastings are one of the oldest -- and most customizable -- unity rituals around. This versatility, rooted in tradition, is how handfasting outlasts fleeting trends and changing cultures, and continues to appeal to couples of any era.


(For Sample Handfasting Ceremony Scripts, scroll to the bottom of this article)


While there are many ways to tie a handfasting cord (and no wrong way!), one of the most popular choices is with an infinity knot. This simple knot is easy for an officiant or family member to create, and the result is decorative enough to display in the home as a wedding day keepsake. 


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To make this simple infinity knot during your handfasting ritual, follow these 10 illustrated steps: 




1. Find a cord or cords. 
You can use one decorative cord, or multiple cords of varying colors. 


step one in how to tie a handfasting cord is to get a ribbon or cord!

Handfasting cords come in many colors and materials.



2. Have the couple face each other, with their hands resting one on top of the other. 
They can use one hand each, or both hands. 


two hands for handfasting ritual

Some couples choose to cross their right hands, as if shaking hands.



3. Drape the cord or cords over the couple’s hands. 
If there are multiple cords, do this one at a time. Arrange them so that the ends fall equal distance on either side of the hands. 


illustration of handfasting cord resting across the tops of the couples hands, with the ends hanging down loosely

Keep the ends about even in length! 



4. With your right hand, take hold of the front cord/s, and hold on to it firmly. 
You won't let go for the duration of the knot, and this cord will remain stationary for the next few steps.



5. With your left hand, take hold of the back cord/s, and bring it forward, under the hands.



6. Pass the back cord over the top of the front cord, from left to right. 
This crosses the cords for the first time.


handfasting knot, step 4 shows the back section of the cord being brought forward, crossing in front of the front section



7. Bring the back cord back under the front cord, from right to left. 
This loops the back cord around the front. 


how to tie handfasting knot, loop back portion back around front portion

The first loop! 



8. Lift the back cord up, to the top of the hands, and tuck it under the length of cord that runs across the top of the hands. You will be tucking it under from the left, and pulling it up on the right. 


how to perform handfasting ritual with simple infinity knot, this illustration is step 8

Bring the cord up to the top of the hands...


handfasting ritual step 8 continued! illustration of tucking the cord to finish knot

...and then tuck it under, from left to right. 



9. Lay the back cord over the back of the hands.



10. Let go of the back cord, then let go of the front cord. The knot is ready! 

When it’s time, the couple can slide their hands out while the ends of the cord are pulled tight from both sides. This will create the unity knot, after the hands are free.


how to handfasting ritual diagram, the hands are slowly pulled free of the knot

Have the couple slowly slide their hands free when it's time to remove the cord,

and pull the ends tight to secure the knot.


handfasting cord infinity knot, what the finished knot looks like

A beautiful infinity knot! 




What is handfasting? 


Handfasting is a unique wedding custom with origins in traditional Celtic and Pagan rituals. An officiant or spiritual elder wraps a cord or ribbon around a couples’ hands during a wedding ceremony to symbolize commitment and spiritual union.


For more inspiration on incorporating handfasting into a nondemoninational ceremony, secular or humanist ceremony, Pagan ceremony, or engagement ceremony, visit these previous articles from our blog and sample handfasting scripts from our library! 


Order a Handfasting Certificate 


A decorative handfasting certificate. This certificate is on white paper with yellow and green floral patterns along the top and bottom, with an official seal from AMM






Handfasting Ceremony Scripts: 




Updated August 13, 2021


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