Happy St Patrick’s Day! Here are some of our favourite Irish wedding traditions to honour your heritage on your wedding day.
Where the phrase ‘tying the knot’ actually came from. A traditional ancient Celtic ritual where the couple come together and hold right hand to right hand and then left hand to left hand with their wrists crossed over, the handfasting ribbon is wound around their wrists and hands to symbolise their connection to each other.
The Claddagh Ring
One of the most well-known Irish wedding traditions. The ring is worn to represent friendship (the hands), love (the heart) and loyalty (the crown). Single ladies wear the ring on their right hand with the point of the heart facing the fingertip. When in a relationship, the ring is flipped around so that the point faces the wrist, symbolising that her heart has been captured. And when the woman becomes engaged, the ring is moved over to her left hand, with the point of the heart facing the fingertip. The ring is flipped around at the wedding.
Traditionally the hanky is there to symbolise fertility. The bride should keep it on her throughout the day either tucked away in her dress or wrapped in the wedding bouquet. After the wedding, the hanky is kept for the first born child and made into a Christening gown.
The sound of bells is said to warn away evil spirits, restore harmony and remind a couple of their wedding day. They were traditionally given as a wedding gift and nowadays brides have started to wear them as a bracelet.
Traditionally Irish brides would wear a wreath of wild flowers in their hair in place of a more formal wedding veil.
Blue Wedding Dress
Though green is the colour most associated with Ireland, the colour blue has been associated with purity so Irish brides would wear blue wedding dresses.