Romantic Irish Wedding Traditions

True to its nature, Irish wedding traditions are very romantic. Let us look at some of the customs and the traditions followed in Ireland.

Ancient Irish wedding traditions


  • A Irish wedding ring is called Claddagh ring which the bride wears on her left hand finger.
  • According to the old Irish custom the couple had to walk down to the church together before the ceremony. The onlookers would bless the couple with rice shower and also throw large items like pans and pots to ward off evil spirits,
  • The traditional bride from Ireland used to wear blue wedding dress as it symbolizes purity instead of white. It was after 1499 that white wedding dresses began to stand for virginity.
  • English lavender was mixed with the wedding flowers to bring in long lasting union as the flowers stand for loyalty, devotion and luck.
  • lavender

  • Brides were required to braid their hair for the wedding day. Braided hair is a traditional symbol for feminine power and lady luck.
  • The couple were asked to eat salt and oatmeal to protect themselves from the evil eye.
  • The luckiest day to be married in Ireland was considered to be the St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), the patron saint of Ireland
  • In old Irish wedding tradition, the honeymoon was translated as mi na meala, meaning “month of honey”. The newly weds would spend a month with each other drinking honeyed wine (Bunratty Meade). They were secluded from the rest of the families.

Some more Irish wedding traditions from the beautiful country sides of Ireland

  • Irish bride carries lucky horseshoe (turned up) for luck.
  • She also carries a magic hanky that is handed down to the first born.
  • Gifting bells is considered good in Irish traditions as the chimes of bells are supposed to ward off evil spirits.
  • Irish wedding is incomplete without Irish dance and the music and of course, the Irish wedding song.

Omens and potents of Irish wedding traditions

  • It was considered unlucky to marry on a Sunday.
  • The groom should wish the bride first and not the other way round.
  • People who married during the harvest season were thought to spend their entire lives together.
  • It was lucky to see three magpies on the wedding morning or hear a cuckoo.
  • On the way to the wedding if one meets a funeral, it was considered bad omen.
  • The wedding party were asked to take the longest route from the house to church.
  • Broken cup or glass meant bad luck.
  • While leaving the church someone should throw an old shoe over the bride’s head for good luck.
  • The bride and the groom should not wash their hands together in the same sink.
  • The mother-in-law of the bride had to break a wedding cake piece on her daughter-in-law’s head for everlasting friendship between them.

Many couples mix the ancient Irish wedding traditions with the modern ones to celebrate the most beautiful day of their lives.

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