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Celtic Wedding Tips

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  • Tips to  Plan an Irish Wedding.  Weddings in Ireland are an important time for renewal and continuity for the bride and groom. The couple often takes this time to connect with their roots in an effort to find a sense of tradition and identity to bring to their new family.


    • Select a date for the wedding. The last day of the year is considered an especially lucky time for an Irish marriage.
    • Choose Claddagh Rings for your wedding bands. These traditional Irish rings, when worn on the ring finger of the left hand with the heart facing in, tell the world your heart is taken forever.  You can also opt for a traditional Celtic Knotwork Wedding Ring.
    • Hire a piper to play at your ceremony.
    • Ask a child to present a satin horseshoe to the bride at the conclusion of the ceremony. This represents good luck. Insert the horseshoe open end up (so the luck won't run out) into the bridal bouquet.  Save the horseshoe from the wedding as a family heirloom to pass on to your children.
    • Honor the person who introduced you to each other with a special toast at the wedding. This tradition stems from the days when a matchmaker had that role.
    • Serve a traditional Irish wedding cake, which is a fruit cake filled with almonds, raisins, cherries and spice, and laced with brandy or bourbon. 
    • Sign up for ceilidh (dance) lessons for the bride and bridal party prior to the wedding to learn some Irish dances to perform at the ceremony.
    • Hire a band that can play popular Irish songs, such as "The Irish Wedding Song," "Oh Danny Boy," "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," and "An Old Irish Blessing."  
    • Include a song or dance that reflects your family's specific heritage.
    • Tie harvest knots out of straw and decorate them with small flowers or bells to give to guests as favors. Attach a scroll explaining the significance, which is that young Irish men traditionally gave these to their girls to show their devotion.


Just a little bit of Irish Tradition:
    In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Irish believed that if the sun shone on the bride, it would bring good luck to the couple. It was also lucky to hear a cuckoo on the wedding morning or to see three magpies. After the wedding ceremony, it was important that a man and not a woman be the first to wish joy to the new bride. Some other Irish superstitions and customs are:
    • It's good luck to have your birthstone in your engagement ring, even if that stone is otherwise thought to be an unlucky gem.
    • The earrings you wear on your wedding day will bring you luck & happiness ever after.
    • It's lucky to tear your wedding dress accidentally on your wedding day.
    • It's good luck if a happily married woman puts the veil on you, but bad luck to put it on yourself.
    • It's lucky to be awakened by birds singing on your wedding morning.
    • If you look at the sun when you leave for your wedding, your children will be beautiful.
    • Remember the Irish tradition that a sunny day is lucky, and a rainy one is not. Hope for sun on your wedding day!
    In Ireland the last day of the old year is thought specially lucky for weddings. Childermas Day or Holy Innocents is, on the contrary, a very unlucky one.....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 sunny day is lucky, and a rainy one, unlucky. Christmas & New Year's Eve are lucky times to get married.
    Banns of marriage were required in areas under British rule, including Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The banns consisted of an announcement in church for three Sundays prior to the wedding. This prevented people from marrying in haste and also gave any who might object time to learn of the match. Giving three months notice to the registrar is still a legal requirement in Ireland.
    The origin of throwing confetti over newly weds predated Christ since it originates from the ancient Pagan rite of showering the happy couple with grain to wish upon them a 'fruitful' union. Pagans believed that the fertility of the seeds would be transferred to the couple on whom they fell. The throwing of rice has the same symbolic meaning.
  • The Claddagh Ring: Named after the Claddagh fishing village in Galway, the Claddagh ring has been handed down from mother to daughter and is used as betrothal and wedding rings. It is worn with the crowns toward the knuckle on betrothal, and toward the nail to symbolize marriage.
  • The Honeymoon: The word for honey is meala in Irish. The word for honeymoon is mi na meala, the month of honey, and refers to how the bride and groom spend that period of time. Irish monks first produced the fermented honey brew called mead for medicinal purposes, then found it could make well people feel even better. Following the wedding, a sufficient amount of mead was given to the bride and groom, along with special goblets, so they could share the unique brew for one full moon after their wedding -- and thus the term honeymoon was coined. It was believed that this delicate yet potent drink was the best way to ensure a good beginning for a new marriage, and was also believed to endow powers of virility and fertility.
    • May the road rise to meet you.
      May the wind be always at your back.
      May the sun shine warm upon your face,
      The rains fall soft upon the fields.
      May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
      May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
      May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips,
      A twinkle from your eye.
      And when eternity beckons,
      at the end of a life heaped high with love,
      May the good Lord embrace you
      with the arms that have nurtured you
      the whole length of your joy-filled days.
      May the gracious God hold you both
      in the palm of His hands.

      And, today, may the Spirit of Love
      find a dwelling place in your hearts.



    The wedding party gathers around the bride and groom. All fill their glasses with mead and the newly wedded couple recites an Irish toast: "

    Friends and relatives, so fond and dear, 'tis our greatest pleasure to have you here. When many years this day has passed, fondest memories will always last. So we drink a cup of Irish mead and ask God's blessing in your hour of need."
    The guests respond:
    "On this special day, our wish to you, the goodness of the old, the best of the new. God bless you both who drink this mead, may it always fill your every need."

    Celebrate traditions with wedding favors that reflect your heritage. The internet has a huge selection of Wedding reception favors that your guests will love. Whether you choose personalized favors or themed favors you can order them to your home at discount prices.

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