How to Tie a Knot during your Wedding Ceremony

How to Tie a Knot during your Wedding Ceremony

How to Tie a Knot during your Wedding Ceremony

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How to tie a fisherman's knot during your wedding ceremony

How to tie a Fisherman’s Knot

One of my favorite wedding ceremony traditions is the literal tying of the knot. It’s super fun and engaging for you and your guests, and (bonus) it works so well with nautical-themed or coastal Maine weddings! This ceremony element is rich in symbolism: as pressure is applied to the knot it strengthens, just like marriage. Also, the Fisherman’s Knot is known as the strongest of all knots. Some say the rope will break before the knot comes undone. That’s solid symbolism, if you ask me!

As pressure is applied to the knot it strengthens, just like marriage.

Once the knot is tied, it’s a lasting keepsake of your wedding day. You can display it proudly in your home, either as is or framed. Every time you look at it you’ll be reminded of your two lives (the ropes) coming together (the knot). How awesome is that?

Instructions for tying the knot

Follow these instructions carefully.

  1. Start by both of you holding the ends of both ropes. See figure 1. below.

  2. At the same time, when prompted by your officiant, you will both loop your rope as shown in figure 2.

  3. At this point you’ll have two loose knots on either end of the ropes.

  4. When your officiant tells you to, pull firmly on the rope in your right hand to form a tight knot.

  5. See the close-up of the final knot in figure 5.


Instructions on how to tie a fisherman’s knot during your wedding ceremony from a professional wedding officiant. Graphic by  Chatty Press

Instructions on how to tie a fisherman’s knot during your wedding ceremony from a professional wedding officiant. Graphic by Chatty Press

My Advice on How to Tie the Knot

As a professional wedding officiant, I’ve seen this knot tying done a few times. So, listen carefully to my advice. Here’s what you need to do to make this work effortlessly during your ceremony:

  1. Cut the lengths of rope long enough to make the knot, but short enough to manage during the ceremony. A decent length is about 4’.

  2. Practice, practice, practice. Tying the knot is tricky, so you really need to practice often leading up to your wedding. You want to be able to do it without thinking. You might have some nerves during your ceremony, so you want to be able to perform the knot tying without having to concentrate that hard.

  3. Bring the ropes to your wedding ceremony rehearsal. You’ll want to practice the logistics of the actual knot tying as well as practice how the officiant will hand you the ropes. You’ll also want to think about:

    1. Where will the ropes be hung or placed during the ceremony?

    2. After the knot is tied, where will the knot be placed?

    3. Will you have a small table?

    4. Or will they hang from the arbor?

  4. Add the knot tying ceremony right after the vows and ring exchange. It’s a great place to have a visual and tactile representation of the commitment you’ve just made.

  5. To make this portion of your ceremony engaging and interesting to your guests, have your officiant talk about the symbolism of the activity between each step of the process. If your officiant mentions the symbolism and then asks you to tie the knot and complete all four steps, there will be some awkward silence as you two perform the act of tying.

  6. Remember to tell your videographer and photographer that you’ll be tying the knot, so they can come in for a close up during that portion of the ceremony.

So there you have it! I hope you consider including this knot tying ritual in your wedding ceremony, whether it’s in Maine or not!

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