Bringing Celtic Sentiment to Your Wedding Vows

How do you tell your special someone that you love them and that you can’t wait to spend the rest of your life with them? You could do it in the traditional manner, with a traditional “I love you” and “I do.” These sentiments are sweet, of course, but why not jazz up your vows with some Irish declarations of your undying devotion?

The internet offers a wealth of resources for penning those wedding vows. If you visit the Irish dictionary online, you can search for a word (for example: love) and the dictionary will not only return the direct Irish translation of the word, but also offers phrases in which the word might be used. Grooms, wanting to tell your radiant bride that you love her? Peek under that veil and say “tá mé go maith di.” Technically, this means “I love her,” so maybe this is something you’d want to say to her family after the wedding is over. Bride-to-be, tell your new husband that you want to spend all of “síoraíocht “ with him, and you’ll be letting him know that you are his for all of eternity.

Other ways of saying those three special little words as you exchange rings:

Gráím thú (I love you)
Tugaim cion duit (I give you affection)
Tá cion agam ort (I have affection for you)
Tá mé ceanúil ort (I have affection for you)
Tá grá agam duit (I have love for you)
Táim i ngrá leat (I’m in love with you)
Tá mo chroí istigh ionat (My heart is within you)
Ádhraím thú (I adore you)

You may even want to make incorporating Irish phrases and tradition a little more permanent by engraving your Irish weddings bands. A simple “a ghrá mo chroí,” or “love of my heart” says more than a romance novel ever could. Morgan Llywelyn, an American-born Irish author who won the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International has also written this lovely paragraph that would serve well bringing a Celtic sentiment to your ceremony:

“You cannon possess me for I belong to myself But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give You cannon command me, for I am a free person But I shall serve you in those ways you require and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand

I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night and the eyes into which I smile in the morning I pledge to you the first bite of my meat and the first drink from my cup I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine I shall not slander you, nor you me I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel we shall do so in private and tell no strangers our grievances

This is my wedding vow to you. This is the marriage of equals.”

Whether you’re using Irish phrases in your vows or borrowing from the beautiful words of writers who appreciate and adhere to Celtic traditions, your ceremony will be all the more unique and powerful for it. Sláinte! Cheers!