The traditional Irish Wedding Season

“Have you set the date yet?” “So, you two lovebirds, when is the special day going to be?” If you’ve recently gotten engaged, no doubt you’ve had these questions thrown at you more times than a clown at the state fair’s had pies thrown in his face.

Picking the date for your wedding can be a little bit stressful: you want enough time to plan the wedding of your dreams, you want to ensure that the people you love are going to be able to be there, and you want to make sure that fabulous venue you had in mind isn’t booked through the year 2020.

Spring is here, and with it comes one of the most popular times of the year to get married. If you haven’t begun thinking about setting the date, here are some things you may want to consider.

For some couples, setting the date can involve other factors as well: adhering to tradition. For Irish Americans, or perhaps just those with a strong interest in the Celtic culture, choosing your wedding date can be done reaching way back through the pages of time.

Long ago, it was common for couples to marry during one of the fire festivals, specifically in or around Beltaine, a time to celebrate the return of life and fertility at the beginning of summer. Lughnasadh is celebrated in the beginning of August and is considered the start of the Celtic autumn and harvest.

If you want to take the Church’s guidance and observances into consideration, it was considered bad form to get married during Lent.

Some Irish consider New Year’s Eve to be a very lucky day indeed, so you may want to consider exchanging rings then too. On the contrary, Childermas Day or Holy Innocent are considered to be highly inauspicious.

An old superstition holds that May is an unlucky wedding month, because of its association with the Virgin Mary, yet it is one of the most popular months for weddings, both in America and Ireland. A few old sayings that go hand in hand with the latter is: “Marry in May and Rue The Day” and “Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man.”

And while you’re thinking about what day to say your “I do’s,” throw a party for friends and serve up some Colcannon with a Celtic wedding ring hidden inside. Legend has it that the person whose serving holds the ring will be the next to marry. Just like the bouquet toss, with a pretty jewelry twist.