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#1 Guide To Irish Wedding Traditions 

July 26, 2022
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Marriage is one of the most important phases of your life. It's a time when the course of your journey takes a massive turn. There are different practices followed in different parts of the world. Here we are going to discuss famous Irish wedding traditions.

Irish Wedding Traditions 

Last year I thought of surprising my Irish friends with a tour of Ireland. I got my visa done and flew there.

I was lucky enough that my trip coincided with a wedding so I went to a mall, got a cute outfit, and went to the church. 

This was a great experience for me as I have never attended an Irish wedding. The handfasting, wildflowers, and ringing of bells grabbed my attention and made me want to have my own wedding right there in Ireland.

Famous Irish Wedding Festivals

Irish Wedding Traditions

Aitin The Gandar

This famous Irish tradition is a fabulous dinner party that is hosted by the bride's family for the groom and his family. It is planned right after the engagement of the couple is confirmed. This event represents the binding of two families. A traditional meal that is eaten is cooked goose.

Saying Your I Do's During Shrovetide

There are some attributes of the weekdays that are most common among the Irish people which they consider during the wedding ceremony.

  • Monday is known for wealth
  • Tuesday is famous for health
  • Wednesday is considered the favorite and best day of the whole week
  • Thursday is not considered lucky at all and it is called the day of losses
  • Friday for crosses
  • And Saturday is the unlucky day of the week.

Exchanging Claddagh Rings

This is one of the most important traditions of traditional Irish weddings. This is an exchange of rings between an Irish bride and groom that symbolizes love and sincerity.

This tradition of the wedding ceremony has a beautiful history. The Claddagh is from the mother or grandmother of the bride and it defines the relationship status of the girl. Certain myths are attached to the ring and symbolize many things. These Claddagh rings have a heart sign right in the middle.

If the girl is wearing the Claddagh ring on her left hand, with the position of the heart towards the fingertips, it represents that the girl is single. If the ring is on the same hand but the position of the heart is inward or against the fingertips, it says that the girl is in a relationship.

After the engagement, the wearer would switch it to the other hand with the position of the heart towards the fingertips. Now the Claddagh ring would be called an engagement ring. After marriage, the heart would be pointed inward I.e. against the fingertips which shows that there is no chance for the single man to approach that lady for a relationship.

Wearing Wildflowers

Irish Wedding Traditions

Wildflowers are an essential part of Irish wedding tradition. Irish brides carry the flowers either in the wedding dress or in the form of a flower bouquet.

They also adjust the beautiful shape of wildflowers and carry them right at the top of the head. It seems just like wearing a crown.

There are some other cool ways to carry wildflowers

  • You can carry them like a necklace or in the form of bracelets.
  • Flowers add more grace to your wedding ceremony if you create a log cascade coming down your silky smooth long hair in the form of flower petals
  • Some Irish brides make a long shawl of flowers that they carry on their wedding dresses to create a more elegant and fancy look.

Carrying A Horseshoe

A horseshoe is considered a sign of good luck in the Irish wedding ceremony. There are many ways to carry the horseshoe. Some incorporate it in their bouquet, some adjust it with their gowns, and they are also sometimes sewed into gowns.

Handfasting

Handfasting is the tradition of tying the knot. It is an Irish tradition in which the hands of the bride and groom are tied with a ribbon. It is a kind of marriage agreement or contract I.e. The bride and the groom decide to spend their lives with each other.

This ceremony has its roots back in ancient Ireland.  It is also considered a sort of engagement ceremony in which the couple officially declare their relationship.

Ringing Of Bells

Irish Wedding Traditions

The ringing of bells is one of the most important traditions. It is given as a gift to the wedding guests. It is considered a shield to deter evil spirits.

We can also take it as a replacement for confetti. Instead of papering the confetti and creating a mess, these tiny bells are decorated with beautiful and fancy ribbons, mostly of pink, purple and blue color. They are rung by the wedding guests right after the Irish bride and groom tie the knot officially.

Raising A Glass of Mead

Mead is a specific kind of drink made of honey. It is also called honey wine. It is a drink of celebration raised after the couple gets married. A tradition of ancient times that is still practiced in Irish customs and wedding ceremonies. This honey wine is poured into the glasses right after the wedding meal.

Gifting A Wedding Coin

This is a wedding gift that is presented by the groom to his bride right on the wedding day. This precious gift represents the intention to support his Irish bride. It is presented by both the bride and also the groom, at the time of face revealing.

Vintage Veil

This vintage veil is an old wedding tradition that is practiced in many parts of the world, not only in Ireland. This veil protects the bride from evil eyes. It also protects her happiness on the big day.

It also represents a wrapped and untouched bride for a groom. You need to talk to your partner's family if you want the veil of your own choice.

Locket Portrait

Irish Wedding Traditions

This is an ancient Celtic tradition. This is also attractive because this locket has some photos of your close ones. Those people whom you love and wanted to be with the whole day but are not physically present.

For instance, if the grandparents of any bride and groom are missing, they would attach their pictures to that locket and hang it the whole day.

Inherited Diamonds

This is common in ancient as well as modern Irish weddings. These diamonds are usually inherited from your parents or your grandparents.

Actually what happens is that this old and traditional wedding gift is merged with new and modern jewelry to make it fancy.

Sewn Patch

This is common on the Irish brides' sides. The bride's mother attaches a small piece of napkin that belongs to her grandmother or some of the ancestors and that is sewed in the gown of the bride.

The Life Of An Irish Bride

Irish Wedding Traditions

Irish brides are the center of attention at wedding ceremonies. The culture and tradition they belong to are something authentic to cherish. All the celebrations depend on traditions, customs, and culture.

Irish brides are the luckiest and happiest people on the planet on their wedding day. They are tying the knot with their life partner and getting an official key to their own house.

Cake Tradition

This cake tradition is one of the funny and weird ones. At Least I find it strange. The Mother-in-law of the bride smashes a cake on the head of the bride and it symbolizes that this new Irish bride has to control the house from now on. She has all the responsibilities ahead. This practice used to be more common in ancient times and has fallen out of fashion recently.

Keeping The Groom Around Her Bride

In this Irish wedding tradition, the Irish bride tries to keep her man around her. This is also a strange one. In this tradition, the bride has a drink which she makes her husband also drink. And right after he has the drink she utters these words. All of this activity is carried out secretly.

This is a spell I made for love

The feminine charm of love and desire

You for me and I for you and no one else

Your face to mine and your hands tunnel away from all others

Coibche Pay

This Irish tradition is somewhere similar to that of Asiatic wedding customs. Coibche is the price that is paid by an Irish groom to the father of his bride. The bride’s father receives the amount and gives it to the head of their tribe. The bride has nothing to do with it till the second year of the wedding. After the second anniversary, she gets a share in that Coibche. The amount of money increases every year.

Tionnscar is also one of the ancient Irish traditions that used to be practiced at Irish weddings. It is similar to the Coibche pay. It is also paid to the bride's father but this is in the form of gold, silver, or bronze, etc. but there is a condition with this ritual that it is only paid when the groom and bride belong to different kingdoms.

Taking A Honeymoon

This tradition involves the supply of mead at the wedding. So basically the bride and the groom with their parents enjoy mead, which is the honey wine also discussed before. Parents of the couple make sure that they have the supply of mead till the next month i.e. the Irish couples get the drink of mead to the half or full cycle of the moon. And this symbolizes that the couple would be blessed with a baby boy within the year.

Irish Lace

Irish lace is a special Irish wedding tradition rooted in Irish heritage as an act of kindness that took place when many in Ireland were dying of potato blight in the 19th century. Today, including Irish lace in a traditional Irish wedding has somehow become a popular ritual on the wedding day all its own.

An Irish bride wears a lace choir on her wedding day. That choir is later used in their first child’s bonnet. It is a simple, and beautiful tradition.

Saturday Is Not A Wedding Day

Irish Wedding Traditions

Getting married on a Saturday in Irish traditions is unlucky and associated with evil spirits. Breaking the glass at a wedding is a bad sign. It is quite an unlucky event to attend a funeral procession on a wedding day, as it is also believed to be associated with evil spirits.

Ancient Celtic Tradition

The oldest Irish wedding ring was first worn by the Celtic tribes who lived on the island of Ireland before the Roman invasion in the 1st century AD. The Celts believed that wearing an engagement ring would protect them from evil spirits.

Irish Kilt

This is one of the coolest garments that is designed for the groom at his wedding. It has certain pleats at its back and is knee-length. It is derived from the Gaelic culture. 

If you are getting married, attending a wedding, or being invited to an event, be it formal, semi-formal, or informal, you always have the option of wearing an Irish kilt to your wedding ceremony.

Left Hand

In western culture, the tradition of the bride wearing her engagement and wedding ring on her left hand has been embedded in tradition for centuries now and is a part of the wedding planning. The tradition originated from the old roman times when those people believed that the code of the third finger approaches the heart directly.

March Wind Blows

In traditional Irish weddings, it is believed that both joy and sadness know each other when the March wind blows.

Church Bells

Irish Wedding Traditions

This is an ancient custom of wedding bells, derived from ancient Celtic and Irish traditions. Church bells are incorporated into weddings as a symbol of affluence and prosperity. Also, ringing the bell was often believed to drive away evil spirits.

Irish Wedding Prayer

An Irish traditional phrase, "May the mornings bring joy and the evenings bring peace. May the worries decrease as the blessings increase" "May God bless this marriage and your love for each other continue to grow." "Bless you, in your new adventure. And may your life become full of only joy".

Wrapping Up

Irish Wedding Traditions

So if you are into wedding planning and you are attracted to all these cool traditions, you can plan a fabulous destination wedding here in Ireland.

The wedding tradition is one of the most important phases of life, which should be enjoyed completely. This phase is a memory that remains with us throughout our lives. If it is celebrated beautifully, it becomes a good memory. If it is not taken seriously, then you have missed this great opportunity for celebration.

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Ling is a great App that provides knowledge about many languages(not just Irish). What are you waiting for? Download the Ling App now from Google Playstore or App Store. Start learning the Irish language now!!!

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