Hi Everyone. I hope I find you all well. So with the arrival of June and the wedding season upon us, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the old Irish wedding traditions. Of course as ever with the Irish, it’s always about wishing that happy couple the best of luck as they begin their new life together!
Old Irish Wedding Traditions
1. The Lucky Horseshoe
The horseshoe is used as a symbol of luck the world over. Usually, the page boy or flower girl presents the horseshoe to the bride with the horseshoe facing upwards in its U shape to contain the luck. The use of horseshoes goes all the way back to the time of the Greeks. Their association of the horseshoe with the crescent moon was thought to symbolize fertility.
2. Tying the Knot
The ancient Celtic tradition of hand-fasting involves tying the wrists of the bride and groom together with a piece of rope, twine or cord to represent their everlasting union and how they will remain at each other’s sides for the rest of their lives. Now you know where the phrase “tying the knot” comes from!
3. Blue Wedding Dress
Before white became the most popular choice for wedding dresses, blue was the most customary and traditional color to wear in Ireland. The color blue was the original color to represent purity way before the recent day popularity of virginal white.
4. The Irish Hanky
The Irish hanky was used by the bride on the day of the wedding and was also used as a symbol for good luck. This hanky was then turned in to a bonnet for the firstborn child to wear on the day of their christening. This tradition would continue through the generations.
5. Marrying in May (Never!)
“Marry in the month of May; you will surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses blow, over land and sea you’ll go”
As the poem states “marry in May and rue the day”. The Irish believed that getting married in May was a form of bad luck and it was therefore avoided. Hence the popularity of the June wedding!
6. The Make-Up Bell
We now come to the last of our Irish wedding traditions. It was recommended that every newlywed couple should receive a “Makeup Bell”. The bell could then be used by either spouse to call a truce and end an argument. Bells were also thought to ward off evil spirits. Our stunning Claddagh make up bell (pictured above) is by the inimitable Belleek Pottery and makes a memorable Irish wedding gift.
So if you are planning a wedding in the near future why not try to give it some Celtic flavour and incorporate some of these Irish wedding traditions? If you’re looking for the perfect wedding gift then shop our full collection of Irish wedding rings and Irish wedding gifts and use BLOG10 at the checkout to receive a 10% discount!
Until next week,
Slán go fóill!