Traditional Celtic Wedding with a Modern Flare
Planning a Celtic Wedding?
A Celtic Wedding can be a meaningful way to honor your or your fiance’s Irish roots. St. Patrick’s Day is a popular and lucky day for a Celtic wedding, but did you know that traditionally, Irish weddings took place in the spring on any day except Saturdays?
Marriage ceremonies between May through August were avoided because these were the busiest months for harvest. Many modern Celtic weddings today take place in March, but also throughout the warmer months of the year. Here are a few ways couples have blended a modern touch while still honoring their ancestral roots.
READ MORE: St. Patrick’s Day History in Detroit
The Claddagh Ring
Wearing the Claddagh Ring is a sweet and symbolic tradition with the motto, Let love and friendship reign. The heart with two hands and the crown symbolize your heart being open to love, the friendship between you and your husband (or significant other if you are not yet married) and the loyalty to your spouse with the crown.
Women who wear the ring may be single, dating, engaged or married – it all depends on how you wear the it! Make sure you wear the ring on the left hand with the heart facing toward your heart if you plan on wearing the ring on your wedding day. Many modern brides wear the Claddagh symbol on a necklace, bracelet and even incorporate it into their cake and decorations.
Wearing Shades of Green
- Emerald green has long been seen as a lucky color for the Irish and more so because of the lucky green clover. It’s also a bold and fun color to incorporate into your wedding fashion.
- Although many brides choose to wear white, some brides who want to bring all the Celtic wedding traditions into their big day opt for a blue wedding dress. Why blue? Blue was the symbol of purity for hundreds of years before the color white became symbolic of a pure soul. Although green has traditionally been incorporated into other aspects of a wedding, it’s traditionally considered bad luck for a bride to wear a green dress. Today, many brides find fun ways of incorporating emerald green into the wedding.
- Many Celtic wedding traditions go back hundreds of years, but this isn’t the case for grooms and groomsmen who wear kilts. Irish men began wearing kilts as wedding attire in the 1880’s after significant Irish men of influence started wearing them. It’s common for the groomsmen to wear a kilt if the groom wears a kilt. Today, grooms either wear a full kilt and jacket or they opt to wear a tux with a green tie.
Many weddings took place in March and the springtime when wildflowers were in full bloom. Traditional brides wear a wreath of wildflowers instead of a veil and incorporate wildflowers, including a sprig of English lavender and Bells of Ireland, in their bouquets and ceremony decorations.
Traditional Celtic wedding music is beautiful with a harp before and during the wedding ceremony and bagpipes while you leave the ceremony and through the reception. The bold sound of the bagpipes make a clear announcement of your new marriage. You can hire Celtic bands to play during your ceremony and reception or have your wedding DJ pick out the best songs to to honor your heritage.
The tradition called hand-fasting dates back hundreds of years and is symbolic of the couple uniting together forever. A bride a groom crosses their wrists and their hands are tied together with ribbon, creating the infinity symbol. Today, some couples follow this tradition while others incorporate the infinity symbol in their decor and wedding cake.
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