Sometimes it is hard to explain Celtic culture to someone who is not of Irish descent. The Irish culture is so much more than short facts, ceremonial acts and old traditions. It’s a feeling that comes from deep within. A sense of pride, belonging and a strong bond with our roots…it is that same strength, bond and feeling that we get when we fall in love. And for an Irish bride and groom, the ties and connection they feel to their partner are just as strong as the connection and ties they have to our homeland and Celtic culture.
It is through this cultural strength and tradition that an Irish wedding theme is born. Perhaps the couple both have families that came to the States “off the boat” from Ireland, or perhaps the couple just shares a love for the designs and culture of the Celts. Whatever the reason, a Celtic themed wedding creates the most beautiful setting for such an important day in your life.
Below you’ll see a small capture of the gorgeous Irish traditions that will help make your big day a Celtic masterpiece. From groomsmen in kilts to traditional horseshoe décor, claddagh rings and a flower woven hair wreath, you can weave the Celtic culture into all aspects of your wedding, from your Celtic wedding invitations, to the wedding ceremony and wedding reception.
When I began writing this blog, I felt it appropriate to do a bit of research on Celtic and Irish wedding traditions, and I was very excited to share what I found. Being Irish myself, I was very excited to learn some interesting history and facts that even I wasn’t aware of. The first was the significance of the horseshoe, as traditionally it is one of the most widely recognized symbols of good luck. The reason for this is due to the importance the Celtic people put on their livestock and horses, as this was how they made their living and based their wealth. Thus came the horseshoe good luck charm. Many brides will incorporate the horseshoe into their Irish wedding, whether it is creating place cards from the horseshoes or using them as aisle décor for their wedding ceremony.
The most interesting tradition I read about had to be the hand-fasting tradition, in which the bride and groom’s hands are bound together after pledging themselves to one another. The wedding party forms a circle around the bride and groom as their hands are bound, and thus came the well-known saying, “tying the knot”.
Have you ever thought about the old saying, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”? I was very surprised to learn that this saying was very popular in Ireland, and had very specific symbolic meaning behind it. “Something old” representing family connection, “Something new” representing luck, “Something borrowed” representing friendship and “Something blue” representing the color of love and fidelity.
What Irish traditions do you think you will incorporate to your Celtic wedding? Perhaps you’ll do a hand fasting, walk down the aisle to the traditional Irish wedding song or state your vows along with a Celtic wedding band. Whatever you decide, rest assured that your Celtic themed wedding will be an event that everyone will remember and cherish in their hearts!