* If you are looking for information about Handfastings, click here.
* If you would like to see posts about real weddings that included the Fisherman's Knot, click here and here.
My apologies, but I absolutely cannot resist an awful pun. You'll have to forgive me for this post's headline.
I was recently asked to include the tying of a Fisherman's Knot in a wedding ceremony. I confess I had not run across this before and I am really surprised by that considering I live between two rivers and near the sea. It's fantastic! This is a great unity ritual for outdoor weddings, but it does not fit neatly into the unity ritual category because its symbolism includes so much more.
I also love it because the tying of the knot is the responsibility of the bride and groom, leaving my hands free for my Kindle. No fumbling on my part! It does require some practice, so if you're going to include it in your wedding, make time to rehearse. You have to learn how to tie a fisherman's knot to make this a successful moment in your wedding ceremony.
I was not completely enamored of the various versions I found online, so I wrote one I believe captures the rich symbolic potential of the fisherman's knot wedding ritual.
(Bride and Groom) have just sealed their relationship with the giving and receiving of rings. Today their relationship is further symbolized by the tying of a fisherman’s knot; a true lovers knot, for it is the strongest there is; its bond will not break, becoming ever stronger under pressure.
(Bride and Groom), will you please tie this knot? ~ (couple begin tying the knot)
These two cords represent your past; each of you as individuals and the unique and special gifts you bring to your marriage. As you fasten your pieces together, these actions represent the present; this moment when you join your two lives into one common purpose. The completed knot represents your future, secure in the knowledge your relationship will continue to be strong despite the inevitable changes life brings. Although the fisherman's knot is one of the simplest to tie, it is also one of the sturdiest. As stress is applied, the knot becomes ever stronger.
It is the goal of marriage to achieve a blending of hearts and lives, but like the spaces between these cords formed by the knot, let there also be spaces in your new life together, so each may encourage and nurture the individual growth of the other.
I ask that you know pull on this rope to see it strengthen under pressure while still allowing us to see the individual cords ~ just as your support of one another as beautiful and blessed individuals strengthens your union. ~ (pull on the rope together)
As you hold one another in mutual concern and shared respect, may you continue holding each other tightly in your hearts and form a strong bond, now and forever. Let this knot indicate the strength of your love and be a symbol of your unity from this day forward.
Photo Attribute: Unknown provenance. If anyone recognizes the image, please contact me and I will be happy to add the appropriate credit.
Update: Provenance found! My sincere thanks to Courtney for identifying this photo that has gone absolutely viralhttp://rosealamode.com/what-do-you-wear-to-a-may-wedding/. Original Source (and details in comment below).