Irish Wedding Ceremonies

Celtic Wedding Goblets

Couples who are of Irish descent, and even those who aren't, sometimes want a true Irish wedding ceremony. There are many Irish customs and traditions that couples can use in their own wedding celebration. Keep reading for some great information, and as always, bookmark LoveToKnowWeddings to find the answers to all your matrimonial questions!

Fun Traditions

Many of the Irish wedding ceremonies traditions are very similar to those of the Celts. Some common Irish traditions include the following:

  • Lucky Horseshoe-is considered good luck for the bride to carry a horseshoe during the ceremony. This may be a little cumbersome, however, so some brides simply stitch a horseshoe to the inside of their dress.
  • Goose Dinner-A dinner can be given in which a goose is cooked for the groom. Of course, this is probably the origin of the saying, "His goose is cooked." The dinner is typically held a day or two before the wedding.
  • Honey Wine-Serving a honey wine, such as Bunratty Meade, at the reception is supposed to encourage virility. For those who want children right away, it's worth a try!
  • Hanky- Some women love to carry a hanky that can later be sewn into a bonnet for their baby. The child can carry on the tradition once she is born by reverting the bonnet back to a handkerchief and carrying it on her wedding day.
  • Bell Ringing- The ringing of bells is said to keep away evil spirits. The bride and groom can ring the bell during the ceremony, and guests can be given tiny bells to ring as the bride and groom leave their reception for the honeymoon.
  • Wedding Flowers-A bride might wear a wreath of wildflowers in her hair on her wedding day. If not, she can carry a bouquet filled with wildflowers.
  • Wedding Cake-A true Irish wedding cake is a fruit cake, but since many couples don't really want this type of cake at their reception, an alternative might be to only have the top layer as a fruit cake or make an extra fruit cake on the side and use a traditional wedding cake for the guests.
  • Colors and Luck- Even though green is associated with the Irish, brides and the bridal party should never wear green at the ceremony! It is considered bad luck!

Irish Wedding Music

There are so many beautiful choices of Irish music, and those who plan an Irish wedding ceremony might also want to hire Irish dancers if there are any available. Harpists and pipers are always popular choices as musicians.

Irish Wedding Vows

Many couples love to incorporate the lighting of the unity candle as they recite true Irish vows. One of the most popular vows, by Morgan Llywelyn is below.

"You cannon possess me for I belong to myself But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give You cannon command me, for I am a free person But I shall serve you in those ways you require and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand

I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night and the eyes into which I smile in the morning I pledge to you the first bite of my meat and the first drink from my cup I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine I shall not slander you, nor you me I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel we shall do so in private and tell no strangers our grievances

This is my wedding vow to you. This is the marriage of equals."

Irish Wedding Ceremony Blessings

Many couples want to incorporate Irish blessings and toasts into their ceremony and/or reception. Most of these blessings wish prosperity and luck on the couple.

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Irish Wedding Ceremonies