Wedding Bride and Groom

5 Wonderful Irish Wedding Traditions

Are you looking for simple ways to incorporate your Irish roots in your wedding? You can embrace them all and build your whole ceremony and reception around an Irish theme, or you can add a few special touches to any type of wedding theme to give a nod to Ireland. And of course, you can add some Irish gifts such as Galway Crystal or Belleek to your wedding registry. Here are five ways to include Irish traditions in a modern wedding.

Marry in Blue

Wearing ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ for a wedding is a popular tradition. If a white wedding gown doesn’t appeal, you can embrace a retro Irish look and make your wedding dress your something blue. Until the 19th century, Irish brides typically wore blue on their wedding day. Different shades of blue went in and out of fashion, and of course the bride’s taste and budget influenced which shade of blue she chose. 

Claddagh Wedding Bands
Shop Claddagh Wedding Rings

Exchange Claddagh wedding bands. No ring has a more romantic backstory than this iconic emblem designed by an indentured servant from Galway who worked for a goldsmith. Upon eventually gaining his freedom, he returned home to wed the woman who waited for him, giving her a ring he had designed himself. The hands represent friendship, the heart is for love and the crown above it symbolizes loyalty. The beloved motif appears on all sorts of Irish gifts now, but it was first a wedding ring.

Wedding Bells

In Ireland, wedding bells didn’t just ring on the big day. Bells were a popular present for newlyweds, and they served a real purpose. All couples will eventually disagree. No marriage can avoid quarrels indefinitely. So Irish couples would typically receive a small bell as a wedding gift, and if they argued, one of them was to ring the bell to remind them of their wedding day and their vows to love and honor each other. 

Child of Prague
Child of Prague Figurine

The Infant or Child of Prague has long been an important element of Irish weddings held in spring or summer. Folk wisdom is that displaying this religious statue wards off bad weather, and in Ireland’s climate rain can strike any day of the year. Grandmothers are generally the keeper of these beloved figures, and while younger generations might scoff a bit, everyone loves to see their granny doing what she can to help ensure their wedding day goes off without a hitch.

Plan Their Route
Planning the route to & from the church

Irish brides would traditionally plan their route to the wedding venue carefully. It was vital that they avoid encountering a funeral procession. They would also pay careful attention to the birds they saw and heard along the way. Hearing a cuckoo was considered a very strong good omen for their future married life. In Ireland, these birds are most vocal from late April through June. Magpies are another omen. Seeing just one was very bad, but seeing two was good. As the old rhyme says, ‘one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy’.

Shop Weddings & Anniversaries

Whatever types of wedding you are planning, you can find easy and creative ways to weave some traditions from Ireland into your big day. And of course, you can also let your guests know that you love Irish gifts and hope to decorate your home with Belleek, Galway Crystal and cozy Celtic throws.