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Irish Handfasting Ceremonies

From Celtic Rings to Handfasting Ceremonies

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Some wedding traditions have become universally accepted but the fact of the matter is every nation across the globe has its own set of unique customs and wedding traditions. Whether it is down to Ireland’s long history and rich heritage or just down to the jovial nature of the Irish people, one statement is true – Irish take their wedding traditions seriously. View all Irish Wedding Products

And who would not when there is so much inspiration to draw upon?

Some traditions might sound positively archaic, while others might sound positively batty but if you are looking to add that little touch of Ireland to your wedding ceremony, you might consider one of these:

For brides you might want to consider wreaths made out of wildflowers rather than a wedding veil.

If you are not the wedding wreath kind of a girl, bare in mind that it is bad luck to put your own veil on. It should be done by a woman that is already happily married.

While wildflowers are not an option for a wedding wreath, bouquets can be made from wildflowers. Lavender is a popular choice – many believe its calming odor should calm the bride but also it was very popular during the plague in Europe because of its antiseptic properties (not that it is a concern now but it nice to know where did the custom originate from).

If you would like just a small touch of the Irish tradition at your wedding day, you might consider Celtic wedding bands or Claddagh rings as that Irish token. Just keep in mind it is considered good luck that the precious stone of your Celtic wedding band is your birthstone.

Brides would do well to have a small horseshoe on their persona, be it somewhere in the wedding bouquet or a small one on the wrist. The horseshoe should be turned upwards so your luck does not run out.

One beautiful custom is to have a magic hanky made – the bride carries it on her wedding day and then it can be turned into a christening bonnet for the first child.

A more archaic custom that is considered good luck is to have a man congratulate the bride first.

After the ceremony if the mother-in-law breaks a piece of the wedding cake on the bride’s head they should be friends for life.

Wedding party traditions

In general the wedding party would usually take place at the home of the bride.

It was considered a sign of bride’s new life when the wedding party took a different route to get home than the route they took to get to the church. The wedding party should also take the longest route to get home from the church. And if there were any funerals planned the same day as the wedding, the wedding party would always have to take a different route.

Bride and groom traditions

The custom of presenting a bride with a coin is called lucky money and it dates back to the time when the groom would present the bride’s family with money to bring them blessings and good luck. Nowadays the bride and groom can exchange coins and it serves as a symbol of worldly goods. And if the coins click when exchanged between bride and groom the couple would be blessed with children.

Another custom would see the bride and groom eating a mouthful of salt and oatmeal at the beginning of the wedding reception, as it was believed to serve as a protection against evil forces.

When it comes to the first dance of the couple, the bride will want to keep her feet firmly on the ground because otherwise the fairies might take her away.

Another custom was to have the top tier of the wedding cake made with Irish Whiskey- a piece of the cake would then be saved for the first year anniversary while one part would be saved for the christening of the first child.

Leigh Maher is a content writer who writes and researches about gorgeous and extraordinary Celtic jewelry, as well as Irish culture and history.
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