If you or your partner have some Irish heritage then including some Irish wedding traditions could be the perfect way to honour your family history. From blue wedding dresses to wearing flowers in your hair, we look at some fun and easy ways to include Irish wedding traditions into your big day.
Wear a Claddagh Ring
The Claddagh Ring was first produced in the 17th century and the design is named after the fishing village of Claddagh near Galway. The ring is a symbol of friendship, love and marriage so what could be more fitting for your wedding day.
Traditionally the Claddagh ring is passed down through the female generations of the family and if you are single then you should wear the ring on the right hand with the point of the heart facing the fingertips. If you are in a relationship then the ring should be worn with the heart pointing towards the wrist. Once engaged the ring should be worn on the left hand with the heart point towards the fingertips and once married it will be worn on the left hand with the heart point towards the wrist.
Lock the Church Door
Irish grooms were traditionally known to get cold feet on their wedding day so when the bride arrived at the church the wedding guests would look the happy couple in the church so the groom had no chance to escape (eek!).
Wear a Blue Wedding Dress
The colour blue is traditionally associated with purity so Irish brides would choose this meaningful hue for their wedding day. If you love the idea of a blue wedding dress then Ellis Bridals and Alfred Angelo have some gorgeous options.
Have Your Hair in Braids
Take a leaf out of Millie Mackintosh’s book and wear your wedding hair in braids. Braided hair is traditionally a symbol of power and luck so many Irish brides chose to wear this hairstyle on their wedding day.
Have a Magic Handerkerchief
The Magic Hanky is a sentimental Irish wedding tradition. The bride will carry an embroidered hanky on her wedding day and when the couple’s first child is born, that same hanky will be sewn into the baby’s bonnet or will become part of the Christening gown.
Handfasting is where the phrase ‘tying the knot’ originally stems from. It’s an ancient Celtic tradition that involves the couple join together at the beginning of the marriage and hold left hand to left hand and then right hand to right hand with their wrists crossing over. A ribbon will then be wound around their wrists and over their hands as a symbol of binding the couple together.
Wear Wild Flowers in Your Hair
Traditionally Irish brides would wear a wreath of wild flowers in their hair in place of a more formal wedding veil. If you want to add some Irish charm to your wedding day then this is a pretty and stylish way to embrace it.
Wear Make-up Bells
The sound of ringing bells is traditionally said to keep evil spirits away, restore harmony and to give couples a reminder of their wedding vows. Why not wear a bracelet of tiny bells that you can then wear again and again after your wedding.
Have a Lucky Horseshoe
The horseshoe is a symbol of good luck and will also be a lovely reminder of your wedding day that you can display in your home – just remember to display it pointing upwards as that is said to stop the luck from running out.
Visit our wedding traditions page for even more ways include some traditional ideas for your wedding.