“If you wed in bleak November, only joy will come, remember. When December’s rain fall fast, marry and true love will last.”
These lines are from an old Irish wedding song and are part of a rich history of Irish wedding traditions and lore.
If you or your partner have Irish heritage you may be looking for a way to honor your culture on your wedding day. And while some of the older traditions are long gone, some Celtic wedding traditions have been featured in modern weddings all over the world.
Here are 5 Irish wedding traditions to consider for your upcoming wedding.
1. Irish Wedding Bands
Traditional Irish wedding bands often feature the Claddagh symbol, Celtic knotwork, or the Celtic trinity. These symbols have a meaningful history in Ireland and Irish jewelry.
The Claddagh ring symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship. Celtic knotwork represents eternal love and friendship. The Celtic trinity is thought to represent earth, air, and water or life, death, and rebirth.
2. Irish Wedding Dress
Many modern Irish brides decide to wear traditional wedding dresses. But the last stitch of the dress is completed or added on the day of the wedding for good luck. And some brides choose to have a horseshoe pattern sewn into the dress for good luck too.
3. Irish Wedding Vows
In ancient Celtic weddings, couples would recite vows over a stone representing the strength and permanence of their devotion.
Modern Irish weddings use a stone or rock blessed by the wedding officiant. Couples keep the stone as a symbol and reminder of their wedding vows.
4. Irish Wedding Blessings
Irish wedding blessings and prayers are a nice way to incorporate your heritage into the wedding ceremony. Many of the blessings come from the Celtic tradition.
The blessings can be a single line, such as “May the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most” or longer form, “May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!”
Consider adding a Celtic prayer or wedding blessing to your ceremony or reception toasts.
5. The Ring Warming Ceremony
A ring warming ceremony involves passing your wedding rings around to your wedding guests to have them give their “Irish” blessings, prayers, and warm thoughts of good luck for your marriage.
The origins of the ceremony can be traced back to Ireland, where the bride and the groom have guests pass their wedding rings around to give a blessing, prayer, or wish to the couple with it before they exchange their vows.
Irish Wedding Traditions
A wedding is a celebration of two people vowing to love and care for each other for life. It’s a time to celebrate friendship, family, and tradition. And if you or your partner want to honor your Irish heritage, consider the Irish wedding traditions above.
If you are looking for wedding rings or other Irish jewelry for your special day, take a look at our collection of authentic Irish jewelry.