Irish Weddings Ideas
Make-up bells. The
chime of bells is thought to keep evil spirits away, restore harmony if a
couple is fighting. Also remind a couple of their wedding vows. Giving a
bell as a gift has become an Irish tradition. You could also have your
greeters hand out tiny bells to your guests to ring as you process. (You
might want to let them know when they’re supposed to be rung - perhaps
mention it in your program along with an explanation of the custom).
Guests could also ring their little bells at the reception in lieu of
Flowers. In the old
days, many Irish brides wore a wreath of wildflowers in their hair; they
also carried them in bouquets. For my daughter's wedding, our florist
designed gorgeous bouquets that included a flower called Bells of Ireland.
In Wales, brides carried live myrtle and gave a sprig to each bridesmaid
which they planted. If it grew, the bridesmaid would marry within the
year. If you're planning a more general Celtic celebration, this might be
A fine day meant good luck,
especially if the sun shone on the bride. If you’re a Roman Catholic, one
way to make certain that it won’t rain is to put a statue of the Infant of
Prague outside the church before your ceremony.
Reception and Beyond:
Bunratty Meade is a honey
wine that’s served at the Bunratty Castle medieval banquet. It’s from a
recipe based on the oldest drink in Ireland and if you’ve never tasted it,
it’s well worth trying. In the old days, it was consumed at weddings
because it was thought that it promoted virility. (If a baby was born nine
months after the wedding, it was attributed to the mead!) Couples also
drank it from special goblets for a full month following the wedding,
which is supposedly where we get the word honeymoon. This was to protect
the couple from the fairies coming to spirit the bride away.
Ancient custom: In the old
days, couples ate salt and oatmeal at the beginning of their reception:
Each of them took three mouthfuls as a protection against the power of the
evil eye. Also, when a couple is dancing, the bride can't take both feet
off the floor because the fairies will get the upper hand. Fairies love
beautiful things and one of their favorites is a bride. There's many an
Irish legend about brides being spirited away by the little people! For
the same reason, it's bad luck for a bride to wear green. I’ve also heard
that it’s bad luck for anyone to wear green at an Irish wedding - but I
think it really only applies to the bride. It's also bad luck for a bride
or the groom to sing at their own wedding.