I really liked the sentiment behind this and thought about including it in my wedding. I would love to be able to include this is a wedding I officiate one day. I think Kate and Wills even incorporated this into their day:
This is what I found online…
In late medieval and early modern Scotland and northern England, “handfasting” was the normal term used for “betrothal” – that is, for the ceremony of exchanging consent of future marriage and agreeing to marriage contracts. The actual practice was neither Pagan nor Christian but was a common practice in general.
Well after formal betrothals/handfastings had ceased to be practiced in Scotland, a legend or myth arose that “handfasting” referred to a trial marriage of a year and a day, after which the partners could either marry permanently or part ways freely, providing there were no children involved. This myth was further purported to have been an ancient Celtic/Pagan practice as opposed to one generally observed by everyone.
Over the centuries, the story took more twists and turns and new elements were introduced, many from other cultures, such as the tying of the couple’s wrists with a ribbon or cord, sharing of bread and wine, and jumping the broom. Even the meaning of the word Handfasting changed. The original definition meant a pledge by the giving of the hand, otherwise known as a handshake. By the late 20th century, the term had been adopted and used by various Earth-based religions (believing it to be an old Celtic/Pagan practice) to refer to their own modern religious wedding practices, ranging from temporary unions to legal marriages and in almost all cases, involved the tying of the couples wrists with ribbon or cords.
In recent years, however, we are seeing more contemporary Christian, Interfaith or Spiritual couples using the term and some of the specific elements (such as the tying of the wrists) in their wedding ceremonies as well.
Sourced from http://www.altweddingservices.com