5 Irish Traditions to Include in Your Wedding Day
You know the usual wedding traditions, but there are some you probably don't know about. Every country has it's own customs and traditions, and the same is true for Ireland. While some haven't stood the test of time, there are some that are still incorporated into weddings today. Check out these Irish traditions and customs that are simple to include in your wedding day.
In ancient Ireland, the handfasting ceremony was how the formal contract of marriage was made. It's an ancient Celtic tradition where the couple come together and hold right hand to right hand then left hand to left hand with their wrists crossed over. A ribbon is then wound around their wrists and over their hands to signify their eternal bond. While not as common as it once was, there are couples that do include handfasting in their wedding ceremony.
There's a long tradition of luck being associated with horseshoes in Ireland – from bringing luck to a home to warding off the evil eye. Once upon a time, a bride would carry a horseshoe with her bouquet to bring her good luck on her wedding day - but it was important that it was hung upright so the luck couldn't pour out. Some brides still carry horseshoes (but not made of metal) for luck on their wedding day.
While floral crowns are popular today, one old Irish tradition was for brides to wear wildflowers in their hair instead of a veil. Some would include a sprig of shamrock into their hair to bring good luck. Brides often wore braids in their hair as a symbol of power and luck and would often weave ribbon through the braid.
Blue Wedding Dress
Non-white gowns are big in the wedding world right now, but before white gowns became popular, brides wore blue dresses at Irish weddings. The colour blue was connected to purity, piety, faithfulness, and the Virgin Mary. This all changed after Queen Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert when she wore a white gown to incorporate some lace she prized.
The Claddagh Ring is a traditional ring that represents love, loyalty, and friendship. The hands on the ring represent friendship, while the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty. The ring can be traced back to the 1700s and was one Irish wedding tradition that actually crossed over to America. Men would give the ring as a gift, and some couples use it as their wedding ring. When the ring is on the left hand with the ring facing outward the woman is engaged, and once the woman is married the ring is turned inward.