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Bride’s Survival Guide: Irish Wedding Traditions That You Might Emulate And Their Meaning

If you love Irish traditions as far as wedding traditions are concerned,  you don’t have to travel to Irish to enjoy them. Most of the great Irish wedding traditions have been incorporated into the popular culture and are adapted by brides from all backgrounds. You can decide to go to the Irish blue wedding dress, and it might just fit well with your wedding theme.

Whether you are having ancestral ties to the Irish traditions, want to embrace your Celtic roots, or want to take some parts of the cultural ideas for your wedding ceremony or reception, you might love the traditions.

  • Celtic hand fasting: Among the well-known marriage ceremony traditions is with the ancient Celts. They used the hand fasting ceremony as a waiting period that is mandatory before the couple officially gets married. Nowadays, Americans with or without the Celtic roots have embraced this particular symbolic union, which is one of the Celtic most popular wedding traditions.

While it might be hard for your officiant to want to organize the hand fasting in a particular manner, in general, one or more ropes are tied around the wrists of the couple as symbolic of two becoming one. It is a ritual that can be done at the wedding ceremony point, but it has to be before, during, or after the vows.

  • Lace or linen handkerchiefs for various wedding traditions by the Irish: Ever forward-thinking and fugal, there are some Irish parents of the bride who would opt to give their daughter decorative handkerchiefs on her wedding day for a particular dual purpose.

The bouquet of the bride would be wrapped in the handkerchief or have it handy in case of emotions go high, and there is a need to wipe some tears.

It is sometimes referred to as the magical handkerchief, and it is the same one that will be re-purposed for bonnet when Christianing for the first child of the couple. There are vendors who sell wedding handkerchiefs with specific instructions on the way to saw the fabric in the baby bonnet if you are all for the Irish traditions but don’t know how to go about it.

  • Celtic cross or Claddagh engagement rings: While the Irish Americans choose from a variety of engagement ring styles, some traditional couples decide to go all the way to the ring inspo from the old country. The Claddagh rings are over 400 years old in the traditions of the Irish people and have two hands holding a heart which has a crown on the top.

It is symbolic of loyalty, love, and friendship, and they are worn by engaged couples,  single, or married people of Irish descent. But when you wear it with the heart facing your body, it denotes that your heart is already taken.

Decorating your wedding ring or engagement ring with a Celtic cross is one of the many enduring traditions for Irish wedding that modern couples are embracing.

  • Blue wedding dress: Before the deep blue became a staple for bohemian weddings, the Ireland brides used to adorn themselves in blue wedding dresses. Though white depicts innocence as well as purity, that is something that was associated with the blue color by the Emerald Isle.

If you are out there looking for Irish wedding traditions to your wedding day but you are not ready to go full into the full Celtic traditions, having blue bridesmaids dresses might be what you should embrace.

  • Aitin’ the gander: Have you ever wondered what the phrase – their goose is cooked – came from? It is believed that the pre-wedding dinners for the Irish with the groom and their in-laws are where it originated.

It happened after the engagement had been made official or the night before the wedding day, couples were allowed to sit down with the family of the bride for a great meal of goose to seal the marriage deal.

Immediately when the goose was prepared; the groom was required to go ahead with his wedding. Because everyone tends to love to have an excuse for meeting together, this is one of the Irish tradition which you can easily integrate into your wedding.

  • Having luck on the horse: Almost all cultures tend to perceive a horse as a symbol of good luck, with the Irish being no exception. In Celtic wedding ceremonies, it featured a bride carrying with her, a real horseshoe during her wedding celebrations. But in modern times, the interpretation of this particular Irish wedding tradition is not very literal.  You can incorporate the same luck with you by ensuring you add a horseshoe as part of your charm to your boutonniere or wedding bouquet or including the design in your wedding décor.

So if you are the type who feels that you want to incorporate Irish traditions in your wedding, pick those you think will seamlessly fit into your wedding theme and style. You don’t have to include all of them. Depending on where you will hold your wedding and the style you have embraced, some Irish wedding traditions will blend into it very well.

Are you still unsure of how to include traditions from other cultures into your wedding? Then check out the ultimate bride’s survival guide and find out a variety of ways you can incorporate multi-cultural wedding traditions in your wedding. Create a wedding that is unique from those held in the recent past by your relatives and friends.

The ultimate bride’s survival guide has all the information you require: your engagement, to the various wedding parties to get involved in; how to shop for your wedding dress; how to ensure you hire the right vendors for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception; how to pick the right theme for your wedding; how to choose the right color palette to blend well with your wedding theme; qualities of a maid of honor; duties of a bridesmaid; the 101 of a flower girl.  Check it out and let your wedding run smoothly.


Photo by Jill Wellington

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