Every March 17th, it suddenly seems like everyone you know has Irish heritage somewhere in their family tree. But the rest of us can also appreciate the romantic, historical, and fun traditions that spring from this country’s rich history. Read on for some seriously steal-worthy wedding ideas!
The Claddagh Ring
This one is so romantic, it just had to make the top of our list. The Claddagh ring originated in a small fishing village just outside of Galway and is a symbol of love, loyalty, and friendship. It may be used as a promise ring, wedding band, or anniversary ring and should ideally be given as a gift.
Wear it on your right hand with the point of the heart towards you if you’re in a relationship; with the point facing out if you’re looking for love. Wear it on your left hand with the point towards you if you’re already married; with the point facing out if you’re engaged.
This Celtic tradition is super sweet and gives you something to do besides just reciting your vows. Handfasting literally ties the couple’s hands together, “tying the knot” to symbolize a steadfast commitment to each other. It can be used in a marriage ceremony or for an engagement. Historically, this agreement joined a couple in a probationary relationship; if, after a year and a day, the couple still wanted to be married forever and ever, they could call a priest to make it official.
Especially if you’re hosting a St. Patty’s Day wedding, you can give your reception an Irish twist by incorporating traditionally “Irish” drinks such as whiskey, mead, or Guinness. There’s no definite reason why drinking became so popular on St. Patrick’s Day, but the holiday originated from a Catholic feast day honoring the patron saint of Ireland.
Want more info? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Day
In many religious traditions, people rang bells at the wedding ceremony to drive away evil spirits. The practice of ringing a small bell arose in Ireland under the Penal Laws, which prohibited Irish Roman Catholics and Protestants from performing services except in private. Newlyweds would keep a bell in the home after the wedding, too, to help mediate arguments and remind them of their wedding vows.
You can hand out cute little bells to your guests for the send-off, which is especially convenient if confetti is not allowed at your venue.
The shamrock is a well-known Irish symbol of luck, initially popularized by St. Patrick to help explain the Trinity. You can use it on your invitations or feature the symbol in your general décor.
The horseshoe is another token traditionally carried by the bride on her walk down the aisle. Brides in ages past held an iron horseshoe that was later mounted on the wall of her home for good fortune; modern brides often choose porcelain horseshoes or wear silver charms.