A Handfasting is the Wiccan equivalent of wedding. It can be performed for heterosexual or homosexual couples. Some handfastings are also legal marriage ceremonies, but others are only recognized by the Wiccan community and not the state. Handfastings vary as greatly as non-Wiccan weddings do.
Not all handfastings are for life, and not all handfastings are legal marriages. Some handfastings are for a "year and a day", and the relationship is renewed annually.
Usually, at least a few of the following are involved that set handfastings apart from other wedding ceremonies:
- jumping the broom
- binding of the hands
- drinking from a chalice
- performance of the ceremony skyclad
- performance of the ceremony by a High Priest or High Priestess or both
- three-part kiss or five-part kiss
- the Great Rite
- creation of a marriage altar beforehand