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Celebrating Your St. Patrick’s Day and Irish Wedding Ceremony

Congratulations to you if you’re celebrating you wedding on March 17th as you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  As wedding officiants we’re so often privileged to serve couples and share in their national heritage.  Non more charming than an Irish Wedding Celebration.

To enhance your wedding day the Irish way, here’s a quick look at a few Irish traditions you’ll want to share with each other and of course you’re guests (even if they’re only honouree Irish for the day):

Your St. Patrick’s Day Wedding

  • The Good Luck Irish Horseshoe – Brides in days gone by would actually carry a real horseshoe, hoping their luck would never run out!  Unless you’re able to get the real thing (any carry it around all day), you’ll be happy to know the symbol lives on in plastic or porcelain or even fabric in which you can wear on your wrist.
  • The Irish Magic Hanky – Another Irish wedding tradition has the bride to carry a special hanky that with a few stitches can be turned into a christening bonnet for the first baby. And with a couple of snips it can be turned back into a hanky that your child can carry on their wedding day.
  • Irish Bells – The sound of the bell has been a symbol to keep evil spirits away. A reminder beyond the wedding day, it also draws couples to a harmonious marriage, just in case a disagreement may arise.  You want to use this symbol as a wedding favour and with a bow wrapped around it (and your names printed upon it) give to each of your guest when they share in your wedding reception.

For those of you who are history buffs, you’ll enjoy the folklore and customs from ancient days:

  • The Irish and World famous Three Leaf Clover – Find one, Carry One, and you’ll be forever lucky (not saying a word more on this)
  • An Irish wedding superstition – “Marry in May and Rue The Day” and “Marry in April if you can, joy for maiden and for man”.
  • Irish Cuisine – Not known as a great appetizer, Irish couples would eat salt and oatmeal as their wedding reception began, up to three mouth full’s!  It was believed that the two would serve as protection against the power of the evil eye.

A few other hints and tidbits that will help in planning your truly Irish Wedding:

  • It’s bad luck for a bride to wear green
  • It’s bad luck for a bride or the groom to sing at their own wedding.
  • A fine day meant good luck especially if the sun shone on the bride.
  • It was unlucky to marry on a Saturday.
  • Those who married in harvest would spend all their lives gathering.
  • A man should always be the first to wish joy to the bride. Never a woman.
  • It was lucky to hear a cuckoo on the wedding morning, or to see three magpies.
  • To meet a funeral on the road meant bad luck. If there was a funeral procession planned for that day the wedding party always took a different road.
  • The wedding party should always take the longest road home from the church.
  • It was bad luck if a glass or cup were broken on the wedding day.
  • A bride and groom should never wash their hands in the same sink at the same time. It’s courting disaster if they do.
  • It was said to be lucky if you married during a ‘growing moon and a flowing tide’.
  • When leaving the church someone must throw an old shoe over the bride’s head so she will have good luck.
  • If the bride’s mother-in-law breaks a piece of wedding cake on the bride’s head as she enters the house after the ceremony they will be friends for life.
  • Cheers as you celebrate your Irish Wedding!
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