Thursday, March 17, 2011

Adding Irish Culture to Your Wedding

Ireland is an ancient culture with wedding traditions going back thousands of years. Steeped in magical folklore and old-fashioned superstition, these traditions can be easily incorporated into today's weddings as a way to pay homage to your Irish heritage. Here are some simple ways to add a little Emerald Isle to your ceremony and reception.

Harvest Knots
As the history goes, Irish men would declare their intentions of marriage by giving their fiancee harvest knots of straw decorated with flowers. They might also give their intended bells to wear in her hair or around her neck. Add a bell to your bouquet or even wear a small harvest knot symbolize your Irish heritage.
The Lucky Horseshoe 
The bride may want to include a horseshoe inside her bouquet, as tradition. Just make sure to remove it before the flower toss. Some women also sew a small horseshoe into the hem of their wedding dress in Irish weddings.



Ireland is known for its intricate and high quality lace. Add this delicate traditional Irish decoration to your wedding gown, wear it as a veil, or simply carry a handkerchief to dab your eyes during the ceremony. 

The traditional Irish Wedding Bell 

A hand held Irish Wedding bell is sounded by the new husband immediately after the ceremony. This bell will accompany the new couple to their home as a reminder of their vows. Tradition goes that it is supposed to be rung during an argument as a reminder of the love they shared on their wedding day. For a modern Irish wedding. small bells could be distributed to your guests to ring after the ceremony, much like the throwing of rice.

Playin' o' the PipesDespite having Celtic roots, bagpipes are traditionally Scottish. So for a truly Emerald Isle affair, locate an Irish uillean piper to lead the processional or recessional.


Irish Wedding Feast
It is customary in Ireland for the bride's family to host potluck wedding feast. Each guest brings a traditional Irish dishe such as soda bread, coddle, and stew. Even if you're having a more formal reception, you can still celebrate this Irish tradition by having a "feast" for your bridal shower or rehearsal dinner.

Giving the Claddagh
The Claddagh is probably the most recognized Irish symbol - two hands holding a heart underneath a crown is symbol for "Let Love and Friendship Reign". It is seen most often in Ireland inspired weddings from wedding rings and Celtic-inspired bridals gifts to candles engraved with the "faith ring" to wedding day jewelry worn around your neck as a reminder of your heritage. Incorporate the Claddagh into the brand of your wedding and include it in your invitations, decoration, place and favor cards.

And for further inspiration, here is a lovely inspiration board for an outdoor Irish wedding we found over at Things Festive. A sweet, modern twist on a tradition as old as time, marriage. Enjoy!

Have a deLicious Day! Go with the good stuff! Happy St. Patrick's Day.

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