Irish Wedding Traditions
No time better to talk about Irish Wedding Traditions then right before St. Patrick's Day makes an appearance! We love to include traditions of your family and heritage into your special day. These are not only special for you and your new husband, but for your families to experience something they may have done on their wedding day, resulting in precious memories! Here's a few wedding traditions that have made their way into Irish-American wedding celebrations.
Claddagh Ring This is one of the most well-known Irish wedding traditions. Typically passed down from the mother or grandmother, the ring represents love, friendship, and loyalty. 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, symbolizing 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 fingertips. The ring is flipped around at the wedding.
Handfasting In this ancient Celtic tradition, the hands of the bride and groom are literally tied together to symbolize the joining of husband and wife. It's the origin of the phrase "tying the knot."
Food & Drink
During your cocktail hour, some Irish-American weddings will add a corned beef carving station or start off dinner with a potato soup. Be sure to stock the bar with plenty of Guinness, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Jameson, and display an appropriate Irish proverb. Sláinte! These local caterers we frequently work with are sure to be able to give your menu an Irish flair: Fresh Cut Catering, 4 Top Catering, Mangia Bene Catering, and Pretty Presentations. A specialty drink to make your bar have an Irish flair could be proudly served up by these local vendors who often customize a bar menu for our guests: CharBar, Iron Horse Grill, Georgia Blue, and The Manship.
Entertainment Having a harpist play traditional Irish music before your ceremony is a great tradition to add to your list— the harp was the national emblem of Ireland from the early times to the end of the 19th century. Or, you can make a bold statement by having bagpipes as you exit the ceremony or during the cocktail hour. If you are from our area and want to include a bagpiper, we recommend local bagpiper, Kris Carmichael. If you are looking for an amazing harpist, look no further than Mandy Mangrum!
Bells Bells are a traditional wedding gift for Irish couples, the chime of the bell is said to keep evil spirits away. The couple will ring a bell together after reciting their vows. As you venture into married life, they keep the wedding bells in a safe place at home; if they argue, they'll ring the bell and it's supposed to remind them of their wedding vows. If you want to gift someone an Irish Wedding Bell we recommend these!
You can incorporate these Irish wedding traditions into your wedding with just a few simple modifications to truly make it yours!