Be it tying the knot or the Celtic rituals, everything about an Irish wedding is romantic. Do you know? Kate and William followed Irish traditions at their British wedding, and so can you. If the Royal Britishers have adopted them, there might be a more significant meaning hidden in these traditions. Relax and read all about the ‘Meaningful Irish Wedding Traditions and Customs’.
An Irish wedding is nothing like any other wedding! It has the best traditions (undoubtedly), best drinking culture and the toasts can get funny. If you are ever invited to an Irish wedding, don’t dare miss it. It would be one of the most cherishing experiences of your life, even if it’s not your wedding. Trust me!
Tying the knot is an Irish wedding tradition known to all. But do you know? An Irish bride has to do a lot for the good luck charm. Like carrying a coin, that too in a shoe. As funny as it might seem, Irish wedding traditions will make you go Aww with their romantic and soulful meanings. So are you ready to know it all?
I won’t hold you anymore from knowing all of the ancient Irish wedding traditions and their hidden meanings. So let’s get started right away.
9 Ancient And Funny Irish Wedding Traditions in 2022
The vibe of weddings, the food, the cake. Ahh! Can I get married soon, please? If I get it, I’ll make sure to have at least one of these Irish wedding traditions.
Why not? Everything about Irish weddings is like a dream. From the lace to the blue decor, everything is precious once you know the meaning behind it.
1. Tying the Knot ‘Handfasting’
The most famous Irish wedding tradition is Handfasting. After knowing all about it, I am pretty sure you will do it at your wedding because it’s one of the most romantic wedding traditions ever.
Handfasting involves the bride and groom tying their hands together with a ribbon, lace, or rope. The knot represents their union and love for each other to be together in all the tough times. Romantic right?
Wait!! There’s more to this tradition.
In the past, Handfasting was a symbol of engagement between the couple, and it gave time to the couple to see if they were compatible. They had to keep their hands tied for a day or more than that. If the couple didn’t want to stay together after the Handfasting, they could merely separate.
Don’t tell me that isn’t super cool. Even our modern rituals don’t have such liberties. That’s one of the reasons why Irish wedding traditions are GOALS.
2. Sixpence Coin in Bride’s Shoe
Yeah! You read that right!
In many wedding traditions worldwide, we see many customs for bringing good luck, like the bells (More on that later). In the same way, Irish culture embodies good luck in literally every custom. How?? Read below.
In this Irish wedding tradition, the bride carries a sixpence coin in her right shoe. It is supposed to bring good luck charms for her happily ever after.
Traditionally, the groom gave the sixpence coin to his bride; then, she carried it in her right shoe. But since almost every tradition has evolved, this one had to evolve too.
Nowadays, brides glue the coin in the sole of their right shoe to say yes to all the good charms.
3. Bride Should Carry a Horseshoe on the Aisle
As weird as it sounds, it’s true. Just like the sixpence coin, the horseshoe has to bring good fortune to the bride’s wedding. Can you imagine a beautiful, breathtaking bride that has all the eyes on her, and then there’s a horseshoe in her hand. Duh!
I don’t know about any of you, but if I were Irish, I would have followed the modern replacement of this Irish wedding tradition. Because…Do I have to explain how opposite it is to the fashion quotient?
Never mind, modern brides put the Horseshoe within their dresses or carry it with the bouquet—still a better option than carrying that iron piece in their hands.
4. An Irish Wedding Traditional Cake
An Irish Wedding has to have a great cake, but there’s something special about it. Firstly, the traditional spicy wedding cake has whiskey in it. So you know you are going to get drunk no matter what. Secondly, in the modern days, a fruit cake is more connected with the Irish culture.
It’s an Irish wedding tradition to save a little piece from the cake to christen the couple’s firstborn.
If you want to include this Irish wedding tradition, you can have different layers in your cake, and one of those layers can be a fruit cake.
5. The Blue Dress
I am sure you know about this, but I doubt you know how it started. The blue bride dress is an old Irish Wedding tradition.
Before white became a symbol of virginity, Brides used to go for blue for their wedding dresses. Blue has represented so much in Irish history. From a psychological meaning to the color of the Irish flag, blue meant so much for its people.
Before the 19th century, Ireland’s flag was a gold Celtic harp on a blue background. It was the official flag of Ireland after King Henry VIII left the country, naming it a protestant kingdom.
This is also another reason why a blue wedding dress was always appreciated among Irish brides.
But today, even if the brides go for a white dress, there is something blue in everything around them. Be it decor, flowers, you will see a lot of blue at Irish weddings.
6. Wedding Bells
Bells are a part of a lot of wedding traditions all over the world. In an Irish wedding, ringing wedding bells represent warding off evil spirits. It is done with the same intention as the church bells after the wedding.
Many small bells are given to the guests to ring the bells as the couple runs down the aisle. I have to say it is a fun Irish wedding tradition that brings many smiles and laughter.
Just in case you are thinking, How is this different from other weddings? Let me tell you that Irish brides include Bells of Ireland Flowers in their bouquets. It is because they represent good luck.
7. The Claddagh Ring & The Celtic Knot
Among the wedding rings worldwide, I have to say that Irish wedding rings are the most beautiful ones. Irish wedding culture includes a traditional wedding ring that has two hands holding a heart. The ring is called ‘The Claddagh Ring’.
The heart represents the love of the two, and the hands holding the hearts give a message that both of them have to be together to keep that love growing.
How beautiful! To be true, I didn’t expect Irish wedding traditions to be this romantic.
Now comes the Celtic Knot. If you have been in any Irish household or know anyone who’s Irish, then there’s a good chance you have seen the Celtic knot. The knot is taken from the various designs in ancient manuscripts. So we know that it will always have a deeper meaning than anyone could ever explain.
That’s why a Celtic Knot is ever romanticized in a lot of Irish wedding traditions.
8. Bride Should Have a Lace Handkerchief
I know for a good reason Irish Culture revolves around the place. Lace fashion started in Ireland itself. But why so? What’s so special about laces?
On the D-Day bride carries a lace handkerchief, embroidered and designed, to the aisle. Later this lace handkerchief comes into use in the christening of the couple’s first child. It is simple and elegant. The handkerchief makes the bonnet of the baby.
How cute would it look!!
Of course, the handkerchief has a wedding date embroidered on it, and the two’s initials are written on it. It’s a personalized Irish wedding tradition that all of us can use in our weddings.
9. Traditional Irish Toasts
Traditional Irish parties have many drinks. There’s Meade, and there’s Irish mist liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, Irish whiskey, cider, beer, and the list is never-ending. I hope you got the message that Irish weddings are more fun than any party.
A typical Irish reception has many rounds of toasts that start from family rather than friends and soon cover everyone who is a guest. There are many toasts and blessings; after all, they have to drink that much alcohol, so why not toast it.
All of these Irish Wedding Traditions can make you believe in love all over again. They are that good. No one likes to believe in superstitions in these modern times, but once you know what the traditions represent, I am sure you won’t want to miss them on your wedding day.
Share this article with your love and comment below your favorite Irish tradition from this article.
Have a Great Day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Irish wedding traditions bells?
In an Irish wedding, the guests are given small bells to ring after the engagement or the wedding. The chime is to keep away all the fighting and evil spirits from the couple.
What are Old Irish wedding traditions?
1. Tie the Knot
2. Keep the Lace Handkerchief
3. Wedding rings
4. Traditional Irish Wedding cake
5. Honey wine.
6. Sixpence coin in the show
7. Horseshoe in the bride’s hand
Featured Image Credits: WeddingWire