The ties that bind hearts together are both sturdy and fragile. These contradictory images offer a wealth of metaphors as you create your handfasting ceremony as a centerpiece for your wedding ceremony. Heavy bindings miss the point. Instead, consider using gossamer or lace, some very fragile substance, yet strong when accumulated, to wrap your hands. Find a friend to braid and bead the gossamer, use a family heirloom piece of lace if you have that (or go ahead, buy new!). When the ceremony is over you can hang the fabric, or beaded rope in your home as a reminder of the promises you made and the ties that bind your hearts.
It's important to remember that you aren't becoming one, you are two individuals with a great love between you. If you're using an heirloom piece of lace have your celebrant wrap your arms (draping lightly!) with the cobweb of history and beauty. There is so much strength in that fragile piece of cloth because each string is knotted to the next. Love is like that. It twines and twines and binds unlikely pieces of humanity and history together into a piece of beauty. If you use lace, consider using this tablecloth on your table when you entertain at special occasions. Make it the special occasion cloth (because they do require care - but then so do marriages!).
If you're going to use gossamer, ask a friend of yours who crochets and beads (people often do both!) to create a very thin, very long rope with beautiful baubles. If you want the rope to be really meaningful, have a party (long) before the wedding and invite people to crochet stitches and adorn this ribbon of threads, so that everyone you love can take a stitch. As they crochet, and yes, men can crochet, ask them to make a prayer or offer a good wish to bless and sustain the couple. It is small enough that it could be sent around to the out-of-towners. It's best if someone else mentors this project so that you're not running around last minute trying to get it done. But you and your partner ought to put some stitches in! During the wedding ceremony have your celebrant talk about how the things that bring you together are enriched and enhanced and protected by your community's place in your life. Make your wedding vows with your hands entwined. Hang the "rope" over your headboard or on a wall as you enter your house. Or make it a community rope and offer it to be used by each couple getting married. (although my suspicion is, everyone will want their own rope made by their community.)
The magic of lace and gossamer is that you could break the ties but that you choose not to. Using work that your community has done makes the ceremony richer and the metaphor stronger. The heirloom table cloth will do the same (and remember antique tablecloths are always SOMEBODY's heirloom!). From then on, whenever you see or use the "rope" you will be reminded of the promises you made. It's a wonderful thing to household articles that are "sacred" to the family and used when there are important (and unimportant) celebrations. Building those memories will build your marriage. Twine the tendrils of your love around one another's hearts and lives.