Handfastings are commonly used in Wiccan and Pagan ceremonies. Today the handfasting is more literal: a couple will bind their hands together during the wedding ceremony (before, during, or after reciting their vows), often to symbolize their connection and devotion to one another
A handfasting is an old Pagan custom that dates back to the time of the ancient Celtics. It was a Celtic marriage ritual where two people declare a binding union to each other for exactly a year and a day. It is similar to the engagement period that we know now. The purpose of the original handfasting was to serve as a trial marriage to see if they could survive marriage to each other. After exactly a year and a day, the couple can decide to either split as if they had never been handfasted or decide to be permanently married. The handfasting ritual is a beautiful and magickal rite of passage that even many non-Wiccan couples can adapt.
Hand-fasting is an ancient Celtic/Medieval custom, especially common in Ireland and Scotland, in which two people came together at the start of their marriage relationship to declare of their own free will that they intended to marry.
While facing each other, the couple will join hands while a cloth is tied around their hands in a knot. This is where the term "tie the knot" came from. Couples often choose to use a cloth made of a particular clan tartan or a specific colour of cloth symbolising something important to them.