Tying the Knot!

Congratulations, you have decided to celebrate your love by exchanging vows and pledging your intent in the special ceremony of marriage. In so doing, you have become engaged.

Becoming engaged means you are planning to unite your love for each other in front of your invited guests on your wedding day, in more light hearted words, you are going to “tie the knot”!

A light hearted expression, but where did the words “tie the knot” originate?

Various suggestions for this include the fact that knots have been a common symbol in marriage ceremonies in many cultures for many centuries and usually symbolize unbreakable pledges.

Knots are sometimes used in the actual marriage ceremony with the tradition of tying the wrists of the bride and groom as a symbol of lasting unity. History and folklore tells us that in the past this has been done with simple twine or cord.   Today, however, more often than not, a ribbon or sash is used by gently placing over the bride and grooms wrists tying their hands together during the ceremony while the couple exchange their vows.

This symbolic ritual dates back to medieval times when it was known as ‘handfasting’ a possible origin for the common expression “asking for her hand in marriage”.

To 'tie the knot', has been associated with marriage since at least the 13th century. The Legend of St. Katherine, circa 1225 used the Middle English 'cnotte', i.e. 'knot', to mean 'the tie or bond of wedlock; the marriage or wedding knot'.
In the Hindu marriage ceremony, the bride and groom tie a ribbon or necklace of flowers around each other’s neck.
In ancient Rome, the bride wore a girdle or belt that was tied in a knot. The groom would then unfasten it on their first night together as husband and wife.

There is a suggestion that the expression “to tie the knot” derives from the nets of knotted string which became the main support for a bed  (prior to the introduction of more modern beds!) with the theory being, in order to make a marriage bed, you needed to 'tie the knot'.

It has been said that illiterate sailors and soldiers in yesteryear would send a piece of rope to their sweethearts when they wanted to get married. If the rope came back with a knot in it, that meant she said "yes".

So, to tie all the above lighthearted information together…you are planning to “Tie the Knot.”

But in reality you are two individuals coming together in love and by entering into marriage together, which symbolizes the ultimate intimacy between two people, you become united and yet remain individual living two lives on the same path.

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Sallie Albertina
Palm Springs Wedding Minister

Sallie Albertina

PO Box 5481
Palm Springs, CA 92263-5481

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