5 Irish Wedding Traditions

Customs from the Emerald Isle

What are some popular Irish wedding traditions? Read on to learn more about wedding customs from the Emerald Isle:

  1. In Irish wedding traditions, the ring of an Irish bride, called a Claddagh ring, is a heart with a crown on top, held by two hands. The heart represents love, the crown represents honor, and the hand stands for faith. “Let love and friendship reign” is the motto of the ring. (A woman who wears the ring on her right hand with the heart facing outward is telling the world that she is single and therefore open to giving her heart away. If the ring faces inward, then she is engaged. If the ring is worn on her left hand, she is married).

  2. An Irish bride often wears a blue wedding dress, as blue represented purity in ancient culture. It wasn’t until the 16th century that white became the symbol of virginity and purity.

  3. In Irish wedding traditions, a bride often braids her hair on her wedding day, a symbol of luck and feminine ingenuity.

  4. An Irish bride and groom walk to the church together before exchanging their Irish wedding vows. As they walk to the chapel, townspeople will throw things like rice (and sometimes larger items) to celebrate, and to impart good luck.

  5. English lavender is often a part of the bride’s bouquet, as it is a symbol of devotion and loyalty. This helps to ensure that the marriage will last.


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