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What do the colors mean for handfasting cords?

Handfasting, an ancient custom that originated from the Celts, has been used as a way of joining two people in matrimony. This elaborate tradition involves tying cords or ribbons around the bride and groom’s hands, symbolizing the binding of their commitment to each other. The cords used for the ceremony come in different colors, each with its own symbolic meaning. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the significance of colors and what they represent in handfasting cords.

White Cords

White cords are often used in handfasting ceremonies to represent purity, clarity, and truth. The pristine white color is a clear indication of the couple’s intention to keep the union pure and untainted. This particular color is perfect for couples who value honesty and transparency in their relationship and want to start their marriage on a clean slate.

Blue Cords

Blue cords are tied during handfasting ceremonies to represent fidelity, steadfastness, and loyalty. Blue symbolizes the love, trust, and commitment that the two lovers have for each other. It’s a perfect color for couples who have been through a lot together and want to affirm their mutual love and trust.

Red Cords

Red cords are used to signify passion, desire, and love and are often part of a three-cord braid with white and blue cords. For couples who are drawn to the power of passion, red cords offer a powerful symbol of their intense attraction and desire for each other. Red cords are perfect for couples who enjoy a fiery relationship that’s fueled by equal parts love and lust.

Green Cords

Green cords represent growth, fertility, abundance, and prosperity. They are used to invoke a strong foundation for the newlywed couple, highlighting the importance of growth both as a couple and personally. Green cords are perfect for couples who want to start their relationship on a strong foundation and hope to build a future that’s full of growth and abundance.

Purple Cords

Purple cords are used to represent spiritual strength, intuition, and inner wisdom. This color symbolizes the journey of self-discovery that each individual goes through to achieve inner growth and wisdom. Purple cords can be an excellent choice for couples who value spiritual growth and want to embark on a journey of self-discovery together.

Gold Cords

Gold cords symbolize wisdom, illumination, and enlightenment. They represent the pursuit of knowledge and the quest for higher learning in every aspect of life, including marriage. Gold cords are perfect for couples who value knowledge and education and want to embark on a lifelong journey of learning and growth.


In conclusion, the colors of handfasting cords have deep symbolic meaning and can play a significant role in the ceremony itself. Whether you choose white for purity, blue for fidelity, red for passion, green for growth, purple for spiritual strength, or gold for wisdom, each color represents an important aspect of any relationship. The beauty of handfasting cords is that you can customize them to your specific needs and preferences, allowing you to create a ceremony that’s both meaningful and unique to your bond.


How many handfasting cords do you need?

When it comes to handfasting, the number of cords required depends on the couple’s preference. However, a minimum of two cords are required (or an even number of cords) to perform the ceremony. Handfasting is a ritualistic act of binding two individuals together in a symbolic way, which is often used as a substitute for or in addition to a traditional wedding ceremony.

During the ceremony, the couple faces each other, with one pair of wrists resting on the other’s forearms. One cord is laid over the wrists of one partner, and the second cord is laid over the wrists of the other partner. Then, the cords are tied together to symbolize the union. The color of the cords used can be significant, with some individuals selecting specific colors based on the meanings associated with those colors.

The cords used can be made from a range of materials, such as fabric or natural fibers. Some couples prefer to have multiple cords, each with a different color, to represent different aspects of their relationship. They may choose cords based on their favorite colors, or they may choose specific colors to represent different emotions or qualities.

While the number of cords used in a handfasting ceremony can vary based on personal preference, a minimum of two cords are required. Handfasting has become a popular ceremony choice for many couples, as it offers the opportunity to create a unique and personalized experience that reflects their values, beliefs, and personalities.

Which hand do you handfast with?

Handfasting is a Celtic tradition that symbolizes the union of two people, whether in marriage or a commitment ceremony. This ritual involves physically binding the couple’s hands together with cords or ribbons as they face each other. But which hand is used for handfasting?

Traditionally, there is no specific hand that is designated to be used for handfasting. Some sources suggest that both right hands are clasped together while others suggest using the right hand of one individual and the left hand of the other. In some cases, the couple may choose to use a different combination of hands or to use different colors of ribbons or cords to symbolize different aspects of their lives or relationship.

However, it’s important to note that there’s no right or wrong way to handfast. the choice of which hand or hands to use should be based on a couple’s personal beliefs and preferences. Some people may choose to use their dominant hand or the hand that feels most comfortable to them, while others may base their decision on cultural or spiritual traditions.

It’s also worth noting that handfasting is a pagan tradition with ancient roots, and therefore there is no one set way to perform the ceremony. It is ultimately up to the couple to decide what works best for them. Some couples may choose to incorporate other elements of their spirituality or culture into the ceremony, making it unique and personal to them.

There is no one set answer to the question of which hand to use for handfasting. It is up to the couple to decide which hand or hands they wish to use and what colors or other elements they want to include in the ceremony. Handfasting is a meaningful and deeply symbolic tradition that celebrates the bond between two people and should be performed in a way that feels authentic and significant to them.

Do you handfast before or after vows?

Handfasting is a traditional ritual that dates back to the ancient Celtic and pagan cultures. It involves the binding of the hands of the two people about to be married with a ribbon or cord. This binding of hands represents a commitment to each other and the union they are about to enter. The question of when handfasting takes place during a wedding ceremony is a common one. Does it occur before or after the exchange of vows?

In contemporary society, handfasting is deemed a symbolic act that takes place during a wedding ceremony and is no longer recognized as a legally binding agreement. Until 1745, it was a legal form of marriage in England. Today, it is often used in non-traditional ceremonies and pagan celebrations.

The exchange of vows is a common element of most wedding ceremonies. They represent the promises that the couple makes to each other and serve as a public declaration of their love and commitment. Generally, vows are exchanged before or after the handfasting ceremony, but in some cases, they are spoken during the handfasting ritual.

The decision of when to perform handfasting may vary depending on the couple’s preferences and the wedding ceremony’s style. Traditionally handfasting was done before exchanging the vows. It was considered a binding agreement, and once the hands were fastened, they would exchange their vows. The binding of their hands would signal that they were committed to living up to their vows.

In modern times, with the use of symbolic handfasting ceremonies, it has become more common to perform this ritual after the exchange of vows. This is because the vows serve as the formal declaration of commitment. Then, the handfasting ceremony can be seen as a physical and symbolic representation of this commitment.

Handfasting rituals are not legally binding in modern times, and their position in a wedding ceremony is up to the couple’s preference. In traditional weddings, handfasting occurred before exchanging vows, but in modern ceremonies, it is often done after exchanging vows.