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How to Tie a Handfasting Cord -- The Infinity Knot

Published Saturday, Feb. 13th, 2021

Este articulo en español

Illustrated cord tied into an infinity knot to represent a unique handfasting ritual
How to tie a handfasting cord into a symbolic infinity knot for a wedding ritual you'll never forget! (Illustrated steps by Jessica Levey)

How to tie a simple infinity knot for your handfasting 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. 


En español: Cómo Amarrar el Cordón en un Handfasting -- El Nudo Infinito


Close up of a wedding officiant tying a handfasting cord

Photo: C.Mae Design / iStock

The knot you choose for your handfasting ceremony can have a powerful meaning! For example, the infinity knot represents everlasting love and commitment in Pagan and Wiccan handfasting ceremonies; in a Christian handfasting the infinity knot can also symbolize the strengh of the marriage covenant from this life into the next - an eternal bond; and in a nonreligous or Humanist handfasting, it can represent enduring trust, love, and companionship. Express this meaning in your handfasting vows! 



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. During the ceremony an officiant or spiritual elder wraps a cord or ribbon around a couples’ hands during a wedding ceremony to symbolize commitment and spiritual union. The wording used in the ritual might be different depending on the type of wedding, for example the officiants in a Celtic handfasting ceremony, Wiccan handfasting, and Humanist handfasting will likely use different wording while wrapping and tying the cord.


For more inspiration on what to say and how to add handfasting to a nondemoninational wedding, secular or humanist wedding, Pagan wedding, or handfasting engagement ceremony, check out the articles and sample handfasting ceremony scripts linked below!


To learn more about handfasting history and origins, check out our illustrated handfasting guide: Handfasting, From Ancient Rituals to Modern Ceremonies



Close up of a wedding officiant tying  the cord into a knot in the handfasting ceremony

Photo: Albina Kosenko / iStock

Handfasting cords can be any color or colors you choose! Many colors have symbolic meaning which can add to the meaning of the ritual. The pink cords above, for example, can symbolize a soft and gentle love when included in a Wicca handfasting ceremony. 



Handfasting Ideas and Inspiration:








Handfasting Ceremony Scripts: 








Become an Officiant with American Marriage Ministries and Officiate a Handfasting Ceremony! 


Would you like to become a handfasting officiant and perform wedding ceremonies for friends and relatives? Get ordained online with AMM and learn how to officiate a handfasting ceremony today! 


Friends and relatives can get ordained online for free, and it only takes a few seconds. Click the links below to get started: 






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




AMM's custom Handfasting Kit

for couples and wedding officiants

A product image of the AMM Handfasting wedding ceremony package

Say yes to magic and romance with one of the most exciting ceremony trends – the handfasting ceremony! 


This comprehensive handfasting kit is easy to use and comes with everything you'll need, including a copy of the illustrated planning guide Handfasting, From Ancient Rituals to Modern Ceremonies, a copy of Navigating Your Wedding Ceremony, a hand-woven handfasting cord, a guide to tying an infinity knot, and more!  






Updated December 2023



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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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