All You Need Is Love - Mark Doggett

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As a wedding professional, All You Need Is Love - Mark Doggett offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

Do Indian hand fastening ceremonies carry religious significance?

We are considering having a hand fastening done in India before our wedding, for relatives there. We are concerned the beliefs behind the Indian ceremony may clash with our own, but I haven't been able to find much information. I don't want to commit until I know that I'm comfortable with it. Does anyone know if this ceremony is based in religion, or is it simply cultural?

Hi Erin,

Great Question. Hand Binding or Fasting is largely derived from Celtic traditions and was not essentially a religious ritual. In fact it was often an alternative to a religious ceremony when a member of the Clergy could not be reached or found to perform the Ceremony. It is as you asked something that also derives from the Native American Indian culture (One of my personal favourites for rituals & wording). The Native American Indian beliefs are very much Spiritual in that they believe every single part of nature has a spirit and therefore deserves and commands respect. I certainly wouldn't call this religious just beautifully human and natural. I am not specifically sure what the exact symbolism for the Hand Binding is in their culture but I am sure it would have been as simple as two spirits being bound together and therefore deserving of care, nurture, protection and respect as the two are now one. I think it would a beautiful choice for a Wedding Ceremony :)

Here's a link to a description of a Ceremony where they actually made their own binding cord using Cherokee beads. How wonderful!

Good Luck & Enjoy.



How do I get around awkward clashes when seating guests?

I'm planning seating for my reception, but a few of my guests can't be seated together. We have 12 seats per (long) table - is it acceptable to seat these guests at the same table, far apart? I don't like catering for their disagreements, but I don't want a fight -even a small one - at my wedding.

Hi Erin,

Me again :) This is a really tough and common dilemma! I can't say I have a definitive solution but just thinking completely outside the box. What if at the time people arrive they had to draw a card from a bag/bowl/box.... which had a corresponding table and or seat number and that was their allocation. They could perhaps do this as couples? This would really mix things up and would entirely take the problem out of your hands as they would have no one to blame but fate if they don't like the person sitting next to them :)



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