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    Weddings Around the World: Ireland

    With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, we thought our readers might be interested in some extra lucky wedding traditions! Check out some new, old, and rather unique customs Irish brides and grooms engage in.

    Photo by Lucas Miguel on Unsplash

    Ireland is a country steeped in history, culture, and tradition. Irish weddings, in particular, are famous for their unique customs and traditions that have been passed down through generations. From the Claddagh ring to the traditional Irish wedding toast, Irish weddings are full of symbolism and meaning. Many revered saints in Ireland associated with love, romance, and weddings have become a staple of Irish couples’ love stories through their influence and folklore. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most unique and fascinating wedding traditions that are specific to Ireland and some of the many saints who may be responsible for getting Irish couples to the altar.

    The Saints

    St. Patrick

    St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is celebrated on March 17th. Although he is not usually associated with love and romance, his legend does include a story about how he brought a couple together. According to the story, St. Patrick was preaching in a village when he saw a young couple who were deeply in love but were not able to be together because the girl’s father disapproved of the match. St. Patrick prayed for the couple and, miraculously, the girl’s father had a change of heart and allowed them to marry.

    St. Valentine

    St. Valentine is perhaps the most famous saint associated with love and romance. He is celebrated on February 14th each year, and his story is deeply embedded in Irish mythology. According to legend, St. Valentine was a Roman priest who secretly married couples during a time when marriages were forbidden. He was eventually caught and imprisoned, but he continued to perform marriages from his cell. St. Valentine is considered the patron saint of lovers and is associated with the modern-day holiday of Valentine’s Day.

    St. Brigid

    St. Brigid, also known as the patron saint of Ireland, is celebrated on February 1st each year. She is associated with many aspects of Irish culture, including love and marriage. According to Irish folklore, St. Brigid was once asked by a group of young women to bless their marriages. In response, she wove a cross from rushes and blessed it, and it became a symbol of love and marriage in Ireland. To this day, couples often exchange Brigid’s crosses as a symbol of their love and commitment to each other.

    Photo by Kelly McAllister

    Irish Wedding Traditions

    The Claddagh Ring

    The Claddagh ring is one of the most famous Irish wedding traditions. It is a traditional Irish ring that has been worn for hundreds of years. The ring is made up of two hands holding a heart, which is topped with a crown. The hands represent friendship, the heart represents love, and the crown represents loyalty. The ring is usually passed down through generations and is often used as an engagement ring or wedding ring.


    Handfasting is an ancient Irish wedding tradition where the bride and groom’s hands are tied together with a ribbon or a cord during the wedding ceremony. The binding of the hands is a symbol of their commitment and unity to each other. Handfasting was once a legal form of marriage in Ireland and was recognized by the Catholic Church until the 12th century.

    Photo by Sebastian from Art Wedding Photography

    Irish Wedding Toast

    The Irish are known for their love of good food and drink. A traditional Irish wedding toast is made with whiskey, which is poured into a glass along with honey, lemon, and hot water. The bride and groom sip from the same cup, symbolizing their union and shared life ahead. The toast is usually made by the best man or the father of the bride.

    Blue Wedding Dress

    In Ireland, it is traditional for the bride to wear a blue wedding dress instead of the traditional white. Blue is the color of the Virgin Mary, and it is believed to represent purity and protection. The tradition of wearing a blue wedding dress has been around for centuries and is still followed by many Irish brides today.

    Photo by: Breda Daly

    Irish Lace

    Irish lace is a delicate and intricate type of lace that is handmade in Ireland. It has been used for centuries to create beautiful wedding veils and dresses. The lace is a symbol of the bride’s purity and also represents the skill and craftsmanship of Irish artisans.

    Celtic Knot

    The Celtic knot is a symbol of eternity and continuity, and it is often used in Irish weddings. The knot is made up of intertwined lines that have no beginning or end, representing the never-ending nature of love and marriage. The Celtic knot can be incorporated into the wedding invitations, decorations, and even the wedding rings.

    Irish Wedding Bell

    The Irish wedding bell is a symbol of love and unity, and it is often used in Irish weddings. The bell is usually given to the bride and groom as a gift, and it is rung during the wedding ceremony. The ringing of the bell is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the couple.

    Tying the knot on this thought…

    Ireland has a rich cultural history, and its wedding traditions are a reflection of this. From the Claddagh ring to the blue wedding dress, each tradition has its unique meaning and symbolism. These customs have been passed down through generations and continue to be practiced today, adding a special touch to modern-day weddings. If you are planning an Irish wedding, incorporating some of these traditions can make your special day even more meaningful.

    For more information on Irish wedding traditions, check out this https://www.ireland.com/en-us/articles/irelands-wedding-traditions/

    Be sure to check out our other articles for some more wedding tips, tricks, inspo, and advice. Oh, want another pro tip? Make sure you check out our wedding packages. We’d love to make your wedding dreams come true today!

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