From Ireland, With Love: Celtic Wedding Traditions Slideshow
March 6, 2013
In Ireland, blue is considered to be a very important color. It's not always all about Kelly green, in fact green was considered unlucky and might entice malicious fairies. Blue symbolized purity in ancient times before white became the universal symbol for virginity.
Floral Crowns are the New Veil
Many Irish brides wore a wreath of local and sustainable wildflowers in their hair instead of a veil and carried a wildflower bouquet with herbs to match. (How much greener can you get?!)
Beautiful Be-Ribboned Braids
To prepare for their wedding day, many Irish brides braided their hair.Irish brides often wore their hair in braids with ribbon and lace woven throughout.Braided hair is an ancient Irish symbol of feminine power and luck.
Turn Your Ring Towards Your Heart
Claddagh rings were originally worn in the town of Claddagh in Galway, Ireland. Their traditional purpose at that time was solely to show marital status. If you were courting, the ring would be worn on the right hand with the heart facing outwards to show that your heart had not yet been taken.
Once engaged, the heart was turned inward toward your own heart to show that you were now taken.
Once married, the ring was moved to the left hand with the heart still facing toward you as a sign of commitment and love.
Don't Waste the Whiskey Cake
Leftover whiskey wedding cake was saved until the couple's first born child was baptized and eaten on that day.
If a bride's mother-in-law broke a piece of cake over the bride's head, they would be friends for life.
The only downside to the traditional Irish wedding? Chances are they didn't serve cupcakes!
Wild Flower Love
English lavender was a popular flower for the bride's bouquet, symbolizing love, loyalty, devotion and luck.
Some Irish brides who aren't worried about offending fairies would carry green bells of Ireland flowers in their bouquets.
Handfasting is an ancient Celtic tradition where each partners hold hands with their wrists crossed.
A ribbon is wound around the top of one wrist and under and around the other wrist, creating the infinity symbol.This practice eventually became known as "Tying the Knot," hence the modern day usage.
Ring My Bell
Giving a "Make-up Bell" as a wedding gift is another long standing Irish tradition.
Bells were thought to ward off evil spirits and were also used if the married couple had an argument. One of the newlyweds would ring the bell as a way to end the fight and make a truce, reminding them of their wedding vows.
In more modern times, wedding guests have also been known to ring bells at the departing newlyweds, which is a great eco-friendly alternative to throwing rice or blowing bubbles.