Adding Irish Traditions To Your Wedding

If you are planning a spring or summer wedding, you may be interested in adding a little Irish feeling to your ceremony or reception. A traditional Irish wedding can be a great way to honor your ancestry on your special day. There are many charming rituals that have endured for centuries, and they provide you with a wide variety of choices for your own ceremony.

You can pick and choose in order to find the elements that are exactly right for you and your wedding. Whether it is Irish verse, song and dance, or lucky horseshoes for the bride, there is truly something for everyone.

It’s best to keep Irish influence as a subtle reminder of your heritage, rather than going too far with it. Some features of a traditional ceremony will be more low-key than others. Here are some great ideas for injecting a little Irish spirit into the day, without going overboard.

  • Irish Invitations – This is a great way to set the tone for your wedding, from the very start. Consider adding a line of Irish script to your invitations, and perhaps a touch of emerald green, on borders and motifs, as well. An ornate shamrock or wild rose motif will work well for your invitations, without being too obvious. Make sure that any Shamrock you use in a wedding design is very different from the typical Saint Paddy’s day decorations! Keep it elegant, and use calligraphy or a very old-fashioned font for your invitations.
  • Claddagh Rings – The Irish Claddagh ring is a wonderful way to celebrate commitment and honor Irish ancestry. Many couples opt for matching Claddagh wedding rings in lieu of plain gold bands, and they can add a touch of romance and whimsy to wedding photos. The original Claddagh story is an important part of the Irish storytelling tradition. According to legend, a fisherman, Robert Joyce, was kidnapped, far from his home, and forced to work for a goldsmith. In honor of the woman he left behind, he crafted a special ring, featuring two tiny hands clasping a crowned heart. This ring has become a symbol of faith, loyalty, and romantic love.
  • Horseshoes for Luck – Many brides in Ireland walk down the aisle with a small horseshoe tucked into their gowns, in order to bring them good luck. This charming superstition has endured through the centuries, and today’s bride can choose from specially crafted ceramic or silver horseshoes. The horseshoe should be pointed upwards to maximize good luck.
  • Hankies – This touching tradition involves having the bride-to-be carry a special handkerchief during her ceremony. After the wedding, the hanky is kept, and used as a bonnet for the couple’s first baby. Many brides turn their wedding hankies into baby bonnets, and this is another way of bringing good luck and fertility to the newlywed couple.
  • Wreath Headpieces – In time past, Irish brides wore circlets of wildflowers in their hair on their wedding day. Consider a romantic departure from the expected veil, and choose a small laurel of blooms to wear instead. This touch of medieval beauty will make your wedding outfit truly unforgettable.