We all know the Irish are incredibly patriotic, and live in tradition- and rightly so after centuries of having their cultural identities erased and disputed. If you or your partner are Irish, or of Irish descent and proud, you might want to showcase some of these amazingly beautiful, historic, and downright lucky traditions on your wedding day.
Unbeknownst to many people, the ‘mi na meala’ – translated as the Month of Honey is the origin of the term we all know as the Honeymoon. On the wedding day, guests would gift the happy couple with mead and special, and usually engraved, goblets. The different meads would then be combined, so that the couple could enjoy their unique brew for a month after their wedding. This was thought to encourage powers of fertility and virility. Bow-chicka-wow-wow.
The couple will recite the traditional:
“Friends and relatives, so fond and dear,
’tis our greatest pleasure to have you here.
When many years this day has passed,
fondest memories will always last.
So we drink a cup of Irish mead
and ask God’s blessing in your hour of need.”
To which, guests would reply:
“On this special day, our wish to you,
the goodness of the old, the best of the new.
God bless you both who drink this mead,
may it always fill your every need.”
Irish Lace is a very intricate and detailed style of crotchet, rooted in historical stories of class struggles between the Aristocracy and the working class who made such garments. During the potato famine of the 1840s, the women in the lace making industry were heavily relied on to use this skill to support their families. Go ladies!
While often thought to be a Scottish tradition, kilts and bagpipes are entrenched in Irish history, especially for those who have family who served in the British Army under Irish military. Also during British rule, the Irish were forbidden to wear their kilts, as it conveyed notions of national pride.
Irish kilts tend to be block in colour – usually mustard. Also unlike Scottish Kilts, they don’t usually have family crests pinned on them, but some people choose to pin shamrocks on them for good luck!
Those cheeky Irish fellas were thought to get cold feet easily, so after the bride had entered the ceremony venue, an usher would make a show of locking the door behind her so he couldn’t escape!
Possibly my favourite Irish wedding tradition I read about while researching for this post was the Claddagh Ring.
The Claddagh Ring, symbolising friendship (hands), love (heart), and loyalty (crown)- originated in the fishing village of the same name, and is an irish equivalent of an engagement ring that dates back to the 1700s. It is deemed improper for someone to buy this ring for themselves, and they are often gifted by your partner or an older lady in your family.