Irish tradition runs much more deep than green beer and lucky charms (though we still love those, too!). Practices from the old country are crossing over into our celebrations on this side of the pond and, let’s face it, it can’t hurt to add a little luck o’ the Irish into your wedding day. Our friends over at TresSugar have rounded up ways to tastefully incorporate traditional Irish and Celtic culture into your special day (minus the leprechauns).
THE CLADDAGH RING
A traditional Irish wedding ring, the Claddagh ring is passed down to each generation in Ireland but has become a favorite wedding band option for the LGBT community because of what is symbolizes—love (the heart), friendship (the hands) and loyalty (the crown).
Per tradition, how you wore the Claddagh ring told your relationship status. Worn on the right hand, heart facing outward, means that your single, while on the right hand with heart inward symbolizes that you’re in a relationship. Worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward means your engaged, and inward means you’re married.
There’s nothing quite like the sound of bagpipes drifting through the air. Hire a kilt-wearing bagpipe player to play as you walk down the aisle to the love of your life, but in order to keep in true tradition, be sure the piper plays Irish or “Uillean” pipes, which are very different from their Scottish counterparts.
If you’re looking for a twist on the traditional wedding booze, go with mead! Also called “honey wine,” this ancient alcoholic beverage is produced by fermenting honey and water, and it’s where we get the term honeymoon. In Irish, “mi na meala” means the month of honey, referring to the month after the wedding when the newlyweds celebrate their marriage by drinking mead. Another fun way to incorporate this Irish wedding tradition is by brewing it yourself and gifting it as favors (along with a note about the history).
What’s an Irish celebration without Guinness? Treat your guests to a pint of the infamous brew topped off with shamrocks for some Irish good times. Slàinte!
BELLS OF IRELAND
Include some green Bells of Ireland in your bouquets to add a little Irish flair to your florals, or do what many Irish couples do and add a sprig of shamrock to bouquets and/or boutonnieres for good luck.
CELTIC OATHING STONE
Incorporate a Celtic oathing stone (with your wedding date engraved on it) into your ceremony. This Celtic tradition involves holding a river stone while you say your vows so that they will be “set in stone.”
COAT OF ARMS
Join your two families with a joint crest that you debut at the wedding. Take inspiration from UK’s Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow’s coat of arms and add marriage equality motifs onto it.
Check out even more Irish ideas over at TresSugar.