Chiff.com

The web, reviewed by humans since 1999.






Wedding Ideas
wedding topics navigation menu
Bachelor party ideas
Bachelorette parties
Beach wedding themes
Bridal registries
Bridal shower ideas
Engagement parties
Fall wedding themes
Find a wedding hall
Honeymoon ideas
Popping the question
Limo hire how to's
Tuxedo rental tips
Wedding cake ideas
Wedding favor ideas
Wedding flower ideas
Wedding music ideas
Wedding photographers
Winter wedding themes

MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to EntertainingEntertaining Arrow to WeddingWedding

Tips For Planning a Traditional Irish Wedding

Irish Wedding Traditions What better time to celebrate your Irish heritage than on your wedding day?

You don't have to plan a trip to Ireland to bring the luck of the Irish to your wedding celebration. You can have a totally Irish marriage celebration from beginning to end — even to the pre-wedding parties — by just doing a bit of research on the traditions that have been part of Irish weddings for centuries...

One custom, called aitin' the gander, involves the groom being invited to the bride's house right before the wedding... and a goose is cooked in his honor. It has to be where we get the expression 'his goose is cooked!' There are so many other charming marriage traditions, customs and an incredible amount of folklore to draw upon. There are Irish wedding traditions that state, "Marry in May and Rue The Day" and "Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man". When I told my daughter about these Irish superstitions, she changed her wedding date and was married in April - why take any chances. It seems to have worked!

Here are just a few ideas culled from the book The Traditional Irish Wedding. The book covers attire, decor, menus, recipes, music, toasts, vows, and a resource listing for everything from Irish wedding gowns and tiaras to sheet music for a Celtic Mass.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsBunratty mead is a honey wine that's served at the Bunratty Castle medieval banquet. The Bunratty mead recipe is based on the oldest drink in Ireland and if you've never tasted it, it's well worth trying. In the old days, it was consumed at weddings because it was thought that it promoted virility. (If a baby was born nine months after the wedding, it was attributed to the mead!) Couples also drank it from special goblets for a full month following the wedding, which is supposedly where we get the word honeymoon. This was to protect the couple from the fairies coming to spirit the bride away.

gold bellThe chime of bells is thought to keep evil spirits away, restore harmony, and also remind a couple of their wedding vows...

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsLucky horseshoe. Irish brides used to carry a real horseshoe for good luck. (Turned up so the luck won't run out). You can get porcelain horseshoes which most Irish brides carry these days, or one made of fabric which is worn on the wrist.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsMagic Hanky. This charming custom involves having the bride carry a special hanky that with a few stitches can be turned into a christening bonnet for the first baby. With a couple of snips it can be turned back into a hanky that your child can carry on his/her wedding day.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsMake-up bells. The chime of bells is thought to keep evil spirits away, restore harmony if a couple is fighting, and also remind a couple of their wedding vows. Giving a bell as a gift has become an Irish tradition. You could also have your greeters hand out tiny bells to your guests to ring as you process. (You might want to let them know when they're supposed to be rung - perhaps mention it in your program along with an explanation of the custom). Guests could also ring their little bells at the reception in lieu of clinking glasses.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsIrish Dancers. Consider hiring a group of Irish dancers to hand out your programs before the ceremony. Dressed in their full regalia, it would add a wonderful touch of of pageantry and color. They could also dance at the reception later. We did this at my daughter's reception and it was a major hit.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsIrish Music. There's so much wonderful Irish music available, you'll have no problems in finding appropriate selections for both the ceremony and the reception. The difficulty will be in deciding which pieces to play!

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsReadings: My daughter had the following Irish wedding vow on the front of her program:

By the power that Christ brought from heaven, mayst thou love me.
As the sun follows its course, mayst thou follow me.
As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart,
may thy presence be with me, oh one that I love,
'til death comes to part us asunder.

On the back of the program, she had this old Irish proverb:
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and just be my friend.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsThe Irish Wedding Song. Very popular at contemporary Irish weddings. We had two friends sing this at my daughter's reception while the newlyweds cut the cake. (Afterwards I thought we should have had the lyrics typed up and placed on the tables so that everyone could join in).

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsFlowers. In the old days, many Irish brides wore a wreath of wildflowers in their hair; they also carried them in bouquets. For my daughter's wedding, our florist designed gorgeous bouquets that included a flower called Bells of Ireland. In Wales, brides carried live myrtle and gave a sprig to each bridesmaid which they planted. If it grew, the bridesmaid would marry within the year. If you're planning a more general Celtic celebration, this might be worth considering.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsAncient customs: In the old days, couples ate salt and oatmeal at the beginning of their reception: Each of them took three mouthfuls as a protection against the power of the evil eye. Also, when a couple is dancing, the bride can't take both feet off the floor because the fairies will get the upper hand. Fairies love beautiful things and one of their favorites is a bride. There's many an Irish legend about brides being spirited away by the little people! For the same reason, it's bad luck for a bride to wear green. It's also bad luck for a bride or the groom to sing at their own wedding.

Shamrock Irish Wedding TipsPortents and omens: Irish wedding superstitions

* A fine day meant good luck, especially if the sun shone on the bride. If you're a Roman Catholic, one way to make certain that it won't rain is to put a statue of the Infant of Prague outside the church before your ceremony.

* It was unlucky to marry on a Saturday.

* Those who married in harvest would spend all their lives gathering

* A man should always be the first to wish joy to the bride,never a woman

*It was lucky to hear a cuckoo on the wedding morning, or to see three magpies

* To meet a funeral on the road meant bad luck and if there was a funeral procession planned for that day, the wedding party always took a different road

* The wedding party should always take the longest road home from the church

* It was bad luck if a glass or cup were broken on the wedding day

*A bride and groom should never wash their hands in the same sink at the same time—it's courting disaster if they do

* It was said to be lucky if you married during a 'growing moon and a flowing tide'

* When leaving the church, someone must throw an old shoe over the bride's head so she will have good luck

* If the bride's mother-in-law breaks a piece of wedding cake on the bride's head as she enters the house after the ceremony, they will be friends for life.

Other customs? The top tier of your wedding cake should be an Irish whiskey cake which is saved for the christening of your first baby and a bottle of champagne is saved from the reception so that it can be used to 'wet the baby's head' at the Christening.

My hope is that when he says to you 'would you like to be buried with my people', or you say to him 'would you like to hang your washing next to mine', you'll say yes, and then use the suggestions to help you plan an Irish celebration reflective of your roots and as romantic as your heritage. And for all engaged couples and their families in the midst of pre-wedding chaos, I raise a parting glass: May all your joys be pure joy and all your pain champagne. Sláinte!


About the Author... Bridget Haggerty is the author of The Traditional Irish Wedding.
Source...
The Information About Ireland Site - http://www.ireland-information.com

 

Sponsored Links

Sponsored Links

 
 

chiff.com

Privacy  |  Mission Statement  |  Contact us |  Sitemap

All contents copyright © Chiff.com 1999 - 2017