The Irish know that music, dance and food and drink are the keystones of an unforgettable wedding reception. The Irish spirit of hospitality and warmth can come through in your own celebration when you follow a few simple guidelines. If you’re interested in adding a touch of the Emerald Isle to your nuptials, we can help. We’ve researched some fantastic ways to bring the Celtic spirit to life on this very special occasion.
Some Irish wedding traditions can be traced back to past centuries, when brides and grooms honored God and nature in their own ceremonies. By referencing the old traditions, you can create atmosphere and a sense of connection with your ancestry. Here are some great ideas to consider for your own reception:
A Traditional Irish Wedding Cake – The most classic choice for an Irish wedding cake should be a traditional, rich fruitcake. The perfect cake will be rich and moist, and filled with all manner of fruit, nuts, and a touch of Irish spirits. If fruitcake is not your favorite, then get creative. Modern versions of Irish wedding cakes can feature white fondant with delicate knot work borders made of sweet butter cream frosting.
Marzipan shamrocks or wild roses will give your cake a custom feel. A color scheme of emerald, mint green, white and gold will feel Irish, and it can be as subtle or bold as you like. Using sugar flowers and shamrocks will add a charming, whimsical touch to your cake, and they will be delicious as well. As for the cake itself, simply choose what tastes best to you.
A Touching Irish Toast – For hundreds of years, Irish brides and grooms have shared a cup or goblet for their first toast as a married couple. Find a gorgeous silver chalice to share, and keep it as a symbol of your love. Consider adding an Irish blessing to toast your friends and family on this memorable day. Here is a popular Gaelic blessing that is warm-hearted and touching:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
If you are considering a gift for your wife or husband to be, a silver goblet engraved with your wedding toast would be a lovely, elegant way to honor your new life together.
Music And Dance – The best receptions feature lively music and dancing that everyone can enjoy. Luckily, the Irish have raised music and dance to an art form that is unparalleled. Take advantage of the beauty of Irish music by hiring a local musician who has experience playing in Irish festivals and in Irish pubs. The music you choose should run the gamut, from traditional ballads such as “Black Velvet Band”, to modern day cover versions of U2 or Enya. Make sure there is enough variety and modern selections to keep people interested – and keep them dancing.
Be sure to provide some excellent Irish whiskeys and beers in order to keep spirits high. For the best Irish liquor, consider Guinness stout in pint glasses, Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur (great for the ladies), and any quality Irish single malt whiskey (Jameson is excellent). Offer a variety of fun cocktails and Irish coffees as people enjoy their evening. Be sure to have a few “virgin” cocktails for designated drivers and teetotalers.
Gifts – Giving special gifts to the wedding party can add a touch of thoughtfulness to the celebration. Reward your loyal friends and loving family with special, Irish-themed gifts. For example, a best man might enjoy receiving a traditional Irish Claddagh Ring. This would also be a lovely gift for the maid of honor. Gift bridesmaids with silver birthstone Claddagh rings, customized for their own birth month. Affordable, silver Irish jewelry can be a great choice for budget-conscious wedding planners.