The Celtic handfasting ceremony is one such tradition. In Celtic times, the ceremony was a public declaration of a couple’s intention to marry, much like a modern day engagement.
During the Celtic handfasting ceremony, the couple would clasp their hands together and a rope, cord, or ribbon, was wrapped around their hands, tying them together. The Celtic Druid would proclaim the two people as engaged. The engagement would last for one year and the couple lived together.
After the year was over, the couple returned to the Druid and their marriage would follow shortly afterwards. If they were not a match, the couple were allowed to dissolve their ‘handfast’ and were free to choose another.
In modern weddings, this handfasting technique is often used in secular wedding ceremonies and it is where the phrase ‘tying the knot’ comes from. For an illustrated look at more Celtic wedding traditions, see the below infographic created by Celtic Cross Online.