Wedding Ceremony Script Library

Handfasting Ceremony Scripts.

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Variation on a Pagan Handfasting, Incorporating Multiple Generations


Significant preparation is needed for this ritual, but it is beautiful and simple to do.

  1. To prepare, an altar should be set up at the chosen venue. Ideally, this will be set up around a fireplace or ceremonial fire. A few candles should be placed along the walls (if indoors), perhaps marking the four directions, or in jars (to block the wind) around the altar (if outside). Offerings, such as a chalice of wine and a small glass of honey, or other symbolic items of value, can be placed near the fire ahead of the ceremony.
  2. To start, a procession of friends and family will walk together from one partner's home, the full distance to the other partner's home—this can be varied to include walking from the couple's home to a parents or elders' home, or from any family home to any other meaningful venue (including a traditional wedding hall or unconventional outdoor site).
  3. One or both partners (and their elders) can walk in the procession. Traditionally, one partner will walk with their parents or elders, and all of the couple's invited friends and family, while the second partner waits at the venue with their parents or elders. (This can easily be varied to support the needs of older or disabled friends and family.)

The procession should include multiple generations. This includes:

  1. young children (including any children of their own, godchild, and the children of siblings and friends) sprinkling grain or petals,
  2. older children (including any children of their own, and children from their communities) carrying offerings for the fire,
  3. and members of the wedding party, carrying baked goods (including small cakes and cookies for after the ceremony). Cakes and cookies can be traditional desserts, holding cultural meaning for the couple. Members of the wedding party may choose to wear matching attire or jewelry that is symbolic of armor, shows of strength, or of loyalty and unity.
  4. While waiting at the wedding location, one partner's parents or elders (or chosen friends) can anoint the doorway with fragrant oils, or arrange fragrant flowers and herbs at the entrance to the ceremony site to greet the procession.
  5. The officiant can walk with the procession, for example if they are a close friend of the couple, or they can wait at the site for the procession to arrive.
  6. Upon arriving, the parent or elder who has anointed the door with oils (or arranged the flowers and herbs) will greet the procession while holding two candles, one in each hand.

The Handfasting Script

Note: To avoid "giving" one partner away, this language can be changed to say something like, "We've come with (says name of second partner), a great joy and light in our lives, to support them as they join in union with (says name of second partner)."

Parent or elder: We ask you to bless this union with prosperity, and resourcefulness in times of scarcity.

Parent or elder: We ask you to bless this union with happiness, laughter, lightness, and a good sense of humor towards each other, and also towards themselves.

Parent or elder: We ask you to bless this union with courage and optimism, that when one finds themselves in short supply, the other will help provide.

Parent or elder: We ask you to bless this union with flexibility and honesty, that their love will continue to grow stronger each day, steady and pure in its foundation.

Partner One, making any offerings they've chosen: (Naming the spirits or gods/goddesses they seek blessing from), bless our union and the home we will build within this bond, the home we now carry with us, that my beloved will always know my love.

Partner Two, making any offerings they've chosen: (Naming the spirits or gods/goddesses they seek blessing from), bless our union and the home we will build within this bond, the home we now carry with us, that my beloved will always know my love.

Officiant: "(Says the names of each partner), do you wish to be handfasted?

Partners, in unison: "We do."

Officiant: "And do you agree to do no harm to one another?"

Partners, in unison: "We agree to do no harm."

Officiant: "(Says the names of each partner), and do you agree to be bound together in love, to commit to one another, to support each other as you both continue growing, meeting both challenges and joys, together?

Partners, in unison: "We do."

For example, simply, "You may now exchange the rings you have brought for each other." Or, "You may now share the words you've written with each other. (Says name of first partner), please go first."

Officiant, as they wrap the cord or ribbon: "In the warmth of this fire and the warmth of this group, with the blessings of spirits and gods, and of all those you call family and friends, I wrap this cord. Let it be a tangible symbol of your choice, and of your binding love and devotion. May your union be blessed again and again, with each new day."

"You are now handfasted, united for as long as love and life shall last! Kiss!"

"Before we part, we thank the spirits and gods (names can be said here) for joining us here, for filling this space with joy, for blessing this union. We thank you! And we bid you farewell. Friends and family, thank you for your love and support. This ceremony is complete! Let's celebrate!"

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