About Irish weddings. You don’t have to be Irish to plan a wedding on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Tips for planning an Irish, green or Saint Patrick’s Day theme.
Once you have set the date and place for your ceremony the next step is the reception location. Then the wedding planning starts.
There are several Irish wedding traditions that you can include in your planning. Search the Internet for Irish wedding websites that sell products and services. This will give you ideas from the parties to your honeymoon.
One of the first things is to establish your color scheme. The obvious combination is white and green. There are several shades of both colors. Once you set the colors use them throughout your wedding planning.
Irish Weddings Saint Patricks Day Theme Tips for bridal gown.
Bride’s gown & flowers.
Wear a white gown. Irish legend has it that fairies love beautiful things. One of their favorites is brides. Many brides who wear green are spirited away by the little people. For this reason it is bad luck for a bride to wear green. Bridesmaids may wear green gowns or dresses. The fairies don’t look at them.
Traditionally Irish brides wore wildflower wreaths in their hair and in their bouquets. Florists today often include Bells of Ireland flowers. In Wales, brides carry live myrtle and give a sprig to each bridesmaid which they plant. Legend says that if it grew the bridesmaid would marry within the year.
For Irish weddings the Celtic Charm Garter, left, features the Celtic Trinity Knot, and an olive and green ribbon. The garter sports a delicate Irish lace bottom that has a single crystal at the top. USD$20.99 www.ebay.com.
Groom’s attire ideas for Irish Weddings.
The groom and groomsmen can add a touch of green to their tux or suit. By wearing a green vest and bow tie, and their boutonnières.
Choosing a Venue.
Irish wedding ceremony and reception venues may be the same place or two separate locations. For a wedding on St. Patrick’s Day, you may want to choose an older church. Or an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception. So that you may use a Maypole that you can decorate with white and green ribbons. It is fun for the children at your wedding who grab the ribbons and dance around the pole. The Maypole is good for pictures too.
Invitation Ideas for Irish Weddings.
Use white or cream colored paper invitations. Include a Celtic Knot Cross with Celtic Love Knots on each corner. Write or print in emerald green. Remember to keep the same color of green constant throughout the entire wedding. For the programs use the same style. The white paper. Celtic Knot Cross and green writing.
Celtic knots are a variety of knots. Stylized graphical knots are used for decoration. They are used extensively in the Celtic style of Insular art. Most are endless knots. Many are varieties of basket weave knots.
Rings for Irish Weddings.
Claddagh rings shown left can be used instead of traditional wedding rings. The Claddagh ring (Irish: fáinne Chladaigh) is a traditional ring at Irish weddings. It is given as a token of love. Or worn as a wedding ring. The design and customs associated with it originated in the Irish fishing village of Claddagh. It is located just outside the city of Galway. The ring was first produced in the 17th century during the reign of Queen Mary II. Elements of the design are much older.
The Claddagh’s distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart. It is usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart). Friendship (the hands). And loyalty (the crown). The sayings these symbols in the giving of the ring was With my two hands I give you my heart and crown it with my loyalty. The expression Let love and friendship reign forever can also be found as another meaning for the symbols. The ring is worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward. It shows the wearer is engaged. Turned inward indicates the wearer is married.
CEREMONY ideas for Irish Weddings.
Hire Celtic musicians for the ceremony or a bagpiper to announce you. Use songs from Lord of the Dance or Riverdance. Or other traditional Irish folk songs instead of Here Comes the Bride. Some use the Christian hymn Saint Patrick’s Breastplate for Irish weddings.
The Celtic Charm unity candle features a traditional Irish Wedding Blessing. May your hands be forever blessed in friendship. Your hearts joined forever in love framed with green, white and olive ribbon.
The Celtic Trinity Knot is displayed on the candle as well. The lighting candles complement the unity candle with white lace and green and olive ribbon. With a single crystal at the top. CDN$59.98 visit.
Vows for Irish weddings.
Irish wedding vows.
By the power that Christ brought from heaven, mayst thou love me.
As the sun follows its course, mayst thou follow me.
As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart,
may thy presence be with me, oh one that I love,
’til death comes to part us asunder.
An old Irish proverb:
Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and just be my friend.
Irish Weddings Saint Patrick’s Day Theme Tips.
RECEPTION Ideas for Irish Weddings.
Hire Celtic musicians for Irish weddings receptions. A Blarney Stone in the lobby for people to kiss. A bagpiper can announce your entrance. Use traditional or contemporary Irish folk songs instead of Here Comes the Bride.
Food suggestions for Irish Weddings.
Whether you are having a meal or just appetizers you will want some Irish foods. Such as traditional Corned Beef Brisket, Corned Beef, Cabbage or Mixed Vegetables. Use Pesto Sauce to add green to the menu.
Centerpieces & Decorations.
Name the tables after Irish places and things. Such as Ireland, Dublin, Shamrock or St. Patrick. For centerpieces create white or green terracotta pots. And fill them with shamrocks and wild flowers. You can buy green and white small shamrock-shaped confetti. And white rose petals to spread around the tops of the tables. There are also several Claddagh symbol ideas in the marketplace and online.
To decorate the reception area for Irish weddings use lots of greenery. Ferns and wildflowers can mix in with green trees strung with white lights. Light only the table candles to control safety on the tables. Irish weddings using themes of white and green can accent with different color ribbons. Such as yellow, purple, or gold that can be run throughout the greenery.
Guest Favor ideas for Irish Weddings.
Use green and white candy almonds. Four leaf clovers or fortune cookies that include a small message of good luck. Small plant pots with gold-foiled chocolate candies. Setting them at each guest seat as their own pot of gold. And airplane size bottles of Irish beverages with green bows. For more cookie ideas visit.
Music & Entertainment tips for Irish Weddings.
Most Irish Wedding Songs may be found at Celtic Music Websites. Consult with your musician for your event to ensure they are familiar with Irish music.
First Dance at Irish Weddings.
Select a Irish dance for your bridal waltz or go for Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance!
If you are having a band, hire Celtic musicians. Irish step dancers are fun especially when they offer to give guests dance lessons. A harpist is nice background music while dining. Play traditional songs like Danny Boy, Sweet Rosie O’Grady and When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. Have fun and do not forget to do the Irish Jig at the end of your reception.
Irish Toast in Gaelic.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig.
May the roof above us never fall in.
And may the friends gathered below it never fall out.
May the saddest day of your future be now worse than the happiest day of your past.
May you have warm words on a cold evening. A full moon on a dark night. And the road downhill all the way to your door.
May you live as long as you want. And never want as long as you live.
For more Gaelic sayings visit irish.spike-jamie.com.
Ideas for Irish Weddings reception bars.
Bunratty Meade is a honey wine from a recipe based on the oldest drink in Ireland. In those days it was at weddings because it was thought to promote virility. Couples 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. It can be one of your Signature drinks. Serve Irish beverages, such as Guinness beer, Baileys Irish Cream, Jameson’s Irish Whiskey and Barry’s Irish Tea to name a few.
Wedding Cake ideas for Irish Weddings.
Your white and green theme can carry through to your cake with toppers, embroidery or trim. In Ireland, a custom is to have fruit cake as your wedding cake. If this is not your liking the fruit cake can be for the Groom’s cake. Of course, that is, if he likes fruit cake!
Another Irish custom is the top tier of your wedding cake be an Irish whiskey cake. This is saved for the christening of your first baby. A bottle of champagne is saved from the reception as well. So that it can be used to ‘wet your baby’s head’ at the Christening.
The Irish Wedding Song by Ian Betteridge is very popular at contemporary Irish weddings. And often sung while the newlyweds cut their wedding cake. The lyrics can be in your program or on the tables. Sheet music is available at www.sheetmusicplus.com.
Transportation ideas for Irish Weddings.
Coachman in a carriage pictured above is perfect, especially if he is Irish. Or a white limousine that can have a removable green trim.
Source files from The Traditional Irish Wedding by Bridget Haggerty. Who is a Mother of an Irish Bride.